An irritable stomach or even functional dyspepsia is a disease of the stomach. This leads to a malfunction, which can cause a pathological change within the stomach due to external and internal stimuli. Typical signs of irritable stomach are bloating, stomach pains in the upper abdomen, nausea and occasionally vomiting. The exact causes are not completely clear so far. However, it is mainly based on psychological causes and burdens.

What is an irritable stomach?

An irritable stomach, also known medically as functional dyspepsia, is present when human digestion is disturbed. It is a medical condition characterized by chronic or recurrent upper abdominal pain.

Even a considerable feeling of fullness, even with little food intake, indicates repeated irritation. Accompanying symptoms may include bloating, frequent belching, nausea or heartburn.

causes

The irritable stomach is a common phenomenon and not infrequently results from gastroesophageal reflux disease or gastritis. Misbehavior in diet also plays a big role. Fats, spicy or with artificial additives provided food as well as alcohol and caffeine are considered as frequent triggers. Occasionally, medications may cause irritable stomach, such as calcium antagonists, such as those used in angina or hypertension.

Also, theophylline in lung disease, bisphosphonates in osteoporosis or corticosteroids, and other anti-inflammatory drugs used as analgesics may cause long-term use of irritable stomach requiring treatment. Sometimes, the reason for an irritable stomach is also in the mental area, for example, if ongoing stress burdened the person or crisis situations overwhelm him.

In some cases, irritable stomach may be the first sign of gastric ulcer and in rare cases of gastric cancer. This means that the first or unexpected occurrence of a stimulant stomach should be a warning sign and give reason for further investigations.

Symptoms, complaints & signs

An irritable stomach can present numerous symptoms that cause a noticeable reduction in quality of life. The complaints are not limited to the area of ​​stomach, stomach and digestion. A symptom of irritable stomach (functional dyspepsia) may be a feeling of pressure in the upper abdomen, which increases. This can be followed by belt-shaped radiating pain.

Signs of irritable stomach can also be heartburn and acid regurgitation. It can also cause bloating and irregular bowel movements. An irritable stomach may also indicate nausea and vomiting. Affected report an occurring loss of appetite and a dislike of special foods. One of the typical perceptions of an irritable stomach is the feeling that a stone is in the stomach.

Other signs of irritable stomach can be premature satiety and feeling of fullness. The symptoms can occur individually or in combination. You can adjust depending on or independent of the diet. Signs of a nervous stomach can also be headache, nervousness and restlessness, as well as sleep disturbances, dizziness or lack of concentration.

The disease may also be accompanied by vegetative disorders such as palpitations, heart piercing and circulatory problems, as well as excessive sweating. The symptoms of irritable stomach include back pain and joint pain. As atypical symptoms of irritable stomach are also swallowing and weight loss. Painful discomfort caused by an irritable stomach increases with effort.

disease

Characteristic of the course of the disease in the irritable stomach is an increase in pain on exertion, excessive sweating and an ever greater sensitivity when touching or palpating the abdominal wall.

Occasionally, heavy dysphagia, weight loss or gastrointestinal bleeding are added. In such cases an irritable stomach should be promptly visited by a doctor. The prognosis for irritable stomach is generally good. In any case, in people with irritable stomach there is no increased risk for the development of an ulcer or a malignant stomach disease.

complications

If an irritable stomach remains untreated for a longer period of time, chronic stomach pains and other gastrointestinal complaints may occur. For example, it often causes heartburn or diarrhea, both associated with risks and possible sequelae (for example, intestinal infections and esophageal cancer). Helicobacter pylori infection may later develop into gastritis.

Gastritis is associated with an increased risk of stomach cancer. Occasionally, irritable stomach may cause difficulty in swallowing or gastrointestinal bleeding. The latter can lead to anemia and, as a consequence, to life-threatening complications. The often accompanying weight loss can lead to deficiency symptoms and dehydration.

A chronic irritable stomach has psychological consequences and may cause depression or anxiety disorders. The treatment can also cause complications. Medications such as omeprazole or pantoprazole often cause gastrointestinal complaints, muscle and limb pain, as well as a variety of other side effects and interactions.

Excessive intake of these preparations may also develop an addictive behavior. Surgical intervention, which may be necessary for resulting cancer, can result in injury to nerves, bleeding, bleeding, wound healing disorders, infections and other problems.

When should you go to the doctor?

Persistent or recurrent stomach discomfort should be examined and evaluated by a physician. If it comes to pain, nausea or vomiting, this is worrisome and should be presented to a doctor. Lack of appetite, refusal to eat, and loss of weight are signs that indicate a health condition. A doctor is needed as soon as the symptoms persist for several days or increase in intensity and volume.

Flatulence, a feeling of sickness, as well as an internal weakness are other symptoms that require a doctor's visit. If the person suffering from sleep disorders, dizziness and a decrease in his physical and mental performance, a cause research is needed. Problems of the cardiovascular system, heartburn or a feeling of pressure in the area of ​​the stomach must be investigated.

If the everyday obligations can no longer be realized or if a restriction of the usual way of life sets in, there is a need for action. Excessive sweating, increased body temperature, diarrhea, inner restlessness and complaints of swallowing must be clarified by a doctor.

Cramps, irregularities of the joints and concentration disorders lead to a reduction in well-being. Medical care is needed to prevent further deterioration. If the symptoms are due to an unhealthy meal, in many cases no doctor is needed. Once the food has been digested it comes to a spontaneous healing.

Treatment & Therapy

Patients younger than 55 years of age may usually be treated with a challenge stomach without further examination. At most, an infection with Helicobacter pylori should be excluded. In persons over the age of 55, gastrointestinal endoscopy of the upper abdominal area is recommended to rule out gastric or duodenal ulcer or other rare malignancies, as well as drug-induced irritable stomach.

The treatment of the irritable stomach depends on the exact appearance of the complaints, ie on whether they are functional or subjectively perceived, unpleasant kind. Proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) such as omeprazole or pantoprazole usually provide rapid relief in heartburn, a major symptom of irritable stomach. H2-antagonists such as cimetidine or simple chewable tablets with the active ingredient Simeticon help with flatulence and bloating. With over-the-counter preparations containing ranitidine, unpleasant symptoms such as regurgitation, reflux or stomach hyperacidity can be counteracted. Sometimes proven herbs and home remedies such as peppermint, cumin and anise are sufficient to effectively counteract a stomach irritation.

prevention

Preventing irritable stomach can be achieved by changing the diet accordingly. This means avoiding spicy spices, as well as coffee or other "sour" foods. From the menu, susceptible people should also take high fat and flatulent foods as well as alcohol. Sustainable stress reduction and relaxation techniques can help treat irritable stomach.

Note: It is important to distinguish between the irritable stomach, whether it is a harmless symptom that is relatively easy to get under control with or without medical advice, or whether a serious illness behind it, such as a gastritis. An acute or chronic inflammation of the stomach or digestive tract, which requires drug treatment with antibiotics.

aftercare

After an acute episode of the disease, a light diet is indicated after one or two days of fasting. Care should be taken to ensure adequate hydration. For this purpose, especially quiet mineral water and unsweetened tea. When eating, it is recommended to start with small amounts of unseasoned and unsweetened foods.

Rusks, crispbread, bananas, boiled potatoes or rice barely strain the stomach. For fruits with a lot of fruit acid and bloating vegetables, restraint is required. In the further course and if the consumed food was well tolerated, chicken meat and bread can extend the menu. After a few days can be eaten normal again.

Mental stress, stress and hecticness promote an aggravation of the irritable stomach and should be avoided. Stimulants such as alcohol, tobacco, coffee and sweets are contraindicated. This also applies to very high-fat and difficult-to-digest foods. A vitamin rich and light diet, with vegetables and fish, works best on functional dyspepsia.

Hyperacidity should be avoided. Regulated meal times with small portions, enough sleep and exercise can provide for a less irritated stomach. If food intolerances are the trigger, these foods should generally be avoided.

You can do that yourself

Affected an irritant stomach are limited in everyday life. Especially when it comes to nutrition, a few things should be considered. Those affected can help themselves with "self-help tips" and relieve the symptoms and discomfort caused by the irritable stomach.

On the one hand, no spicy or spicy foods should be consumed. These irritate the stomach even more and even lead to an aggravation of the symptoms. Furthermore, sufferers of an irritant stomach should refrain from carbonated drinks. These stimulate the production of acid in the stomach and thus again lead to an irritation of the mucous membranes in the stomach. A varied and healthy diet should be sought.

Furthermore, people are advised to exercise. Small walks in the fresh air or yoga, help reduce stress. Many sufferers do not know that stress can also contribute to an aggravation of the irritable stomach.

Natural remedies can also be helpful in the treatment. Herbal teas soothe the stomach and its mucous membranes, so that cramps or heartburn can be relieved. Even slightly dosed medicines can be helpful. If the symptoms worsen, the walk to the doctor is inevitable.

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