Non-ulcer dyspepsia

About non-ulcer dyspepsia 

Dyspepsia is the medical term for indigestion. Dyspepsia is upper abdominal (epigastric) or lower chest discomfort or pain which is related to food or eating. Dyspepsia is often accompanied by other gastrointestinal symptoms such as loss of appetite (anorexia), nausea, vomiting, belching or distension and bloating. Non-ulcer dyspepsia refers to those cases of indigestion or dyspepsia where no ulcer or other medical cause, such as gallstones or gastro-esophageal reflux disease is found.


Indigestion is a common term (known medically as dyspepsia) covering a variety of symptoms brought on by eating, including heartburn, abdominal pain, nausea, and flatulence (excessive wind in the stomach or intestine, that causes belching and discomfort).

Discomfort in the upper abdomen is often caused by eating too much, too quickly, or by eating very rich, spicy, or fatty foods. Persistent or recurrent indigestion may be due to a peptic ulcer, gallstones, oesophagitis (inflammation of the oesophagus), or, rarely, stomach cancer.

The Battle in the Oesophagus between Acid and Oesophageal defences

The Pathophysiology of GERD

The pathophysiology of acid reflux disease is very complicated. There is a tremendous imbalance between the defensive barriers which are protecting the esophagus and the aggressive factors rising from the stomach.

The defensive barriers are mechanical anti-reflux barriers, local tissue resistance and esophageal acid clearance. The attacking factors are gastric acidity and volume and duodenal contents including bile.


Heartburn is a burning pain or discomfort felt in the centre of the chest, which may travel from the tip of the breastbone to the throat. Heartburn is often brought on by lying down or bending forwards. It may be caused by eating rich or spicy food, or by drinking alcohol.

Recurrent heartburn is a symptom of oesophagitis (inflammation of the oesophagus), which is usually caused by acid reflux.

Heartburn is a symptom of gastro-esophageal reflux disease (GERD). Heartburn is often treated with antacids. Lifestyle changes and dietary changes also help heartburn and GERD.

Acid Reflux Disease

Acid reflux is the regurgitation of the acidic fluid from the stomach into the lower oesophagus (the gullet - a tube that connects the throat to the stomach). This acid reflux is the result of inefficiency of the muscular valve at the lower end of the oesophagus. Also known as gastro-esophageal reflux disease (GERD), acid reflux if repeated frequently may inflame the oesophagus, resulting in heartburn (a burning pain in the chest) due to oesophagitis (inflammation of the oesophagus).

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