Upset Stomach

Upset Stomach, also known as Dyspepsia or Indigestion is a condition that is characterized by upper abdominal pain or discomfort. Upset Stomach is not a disease per se but a conglomeration of symptoms that often lead to bloating, nausea and burping. Upset Stomach is a common condition, and most people will experience its related symptoms a couple of times in their lifetimes.

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Upset Stomach Symptoms

The most noticeable symptoms of an upset stomach include discomfort in the stomach. The sensations typically occur after eating food or taking a drink. The most common symptoms of upset stomach include:

  • Nausea
  • Belching
  • Feeling bloated

In severe cases, the symptoms of upset stomach may include:

  • Loss of appetite
  • Weight loss
  • Vomiting
  • Black stools
  • Yellowing of the skin and eyes
  • Chest pain when exerting oneself
  • Shortness of breath
  • Chest pain radiation to the arm, neck or jaw

It is imperative to mention that upset stomach and heartburn are two separate conditions. Heartburn is a feeling behind the breastbone that usually occurs after eating.

Upset Stomach Causes

Upset stomach is primarily caused by lifestyle choices and what goes into the mouth. It may also be as a result of infection or other digestive conditions. The most common causes of upset stomach include:

  • Excessive eating
  • Eating fatty or greasy foods
  • Eating spicy foods
  • Emotional trauma
  • Hiatus hernia
  • Helicobacter pylori infection
  • Nervousness
  • Excessive consumption of fizzy drinks
  • Excessive use of caffeine
  • Excessive intake of alcohol
  • Gallstones
  • Pancreatitis
  • Peptic ulcers
  • Taking some medications such as antibiotics or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS)
  • Stomach cancer

In case the doctor cannot pinpoint the cause of upset stomach, the patient may be suffering from functional dyspepsia, a condition that affects the stomach’s ability to accept, digest and pass food into the small intestine.

Upset Stomach Diagnosis

For most patients, the symptoms of upset stomach are mild and do not require a diagnosis. However, people who experience upset stomach regularly should see a doctor who will then conduct the following procedures as part of diagnosis:

  • Blood Test – This done if the patient exhibits symptoms of anemia
  • Endoscopy – This involves passing a long thin tube with a camera at the end through the patient’s throat and into the stomach. This allows the doctor to examine the inside of the stomach and recommend appropriate treatment.
  • X-rays – These are done on the stomach, small intestines and esophagus to establish the movement of bowels.
  • Other procedures include

Test to diagnose Helicobacter pylori infection

  • Liver function test
  • Abdominal ultrasound

Upset Stomach Treatment

Treating Upset Stomach entails dealing with the underlying cause and the severity of the condition. In the event of mild symptoms, simple lifestyle tweaks would help reduce the intensity of Upset Stomach. Such changes include

  • Eating less fatty foods,
  • Drinking fewer amounts of caffeine,
  • Reducing the alcohol intake,
  • Keeping off chocolate
  • Sleeping for not less than 7 hours every night
  • Avoiding spicy foods

In case of severe side effects, a doctor’s attention may be sought. The doctor will prescribe medications to help reduce the effects of upset stomach symptoms. The type and dosage of the drug to be prescribed primarily depend on the severity of the symptoms.

Main Upset Stomach Drugs

Pepto-Bismol Tums

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