Functional gastrointestinal disorders like Irritable Bowel Syndrome can be extremely uncomfortable because they are characterized by a range of unpleasant gastrointestinal symptoms. Some people can experience multiple symptoms which can vary in frequency and severity. They can also severely impact your quality of life. “Functional” means the bowel looks normal (i.e. no inflammation or lesions can be seen that might explain the symptoms) but does not function properly.
If you think you might be suffering from a Functional Digestive Disorder, make sure you visit your doctor.
Along with IBS, Functional Dyspepsia is one of the most common gastrointestinal disturbances. Symptoms include discomfort or pain in the stomach, bloating, heartburn, nausea and feeling full early when eating as well as feeling uncomfortably full after meals
People who suffer from Functional Dyspepsia tend to react to excitement and stress in the upper abdomen, and often experience eating as a burden. They have what’s sometimes called a “nervous stomach”. If you think you might have Functional Dyspepsia you should consult with your doctor as soon as possible.
What is Functional Dyspepsia and how is FD diagnosed?
There’s a lot of overlap between IBS and Functional Dyspepsia (FD), so it can be difficult for a diagnosis to clearly separate the two diseases. Patients with FD are often bothered by acid reflux, feelings of pressure, nausea, and severe abdominal pain. These symptoms can often not be traced back to particular foods or behaviours. To be diagnosed with FD, you must show no evidence of damage or other visible changes of the digestive system.
When it comes to diagnosing FD, long-term monitoring is very important. To be diagnosed with the syndrome, you must have experienced one or more of the following for the last 3 months:
- Uncomfortable feelings of fullness after eating
- Feeling full early on
- Pain immediately below the ribs, in the upper abdomen
- A burning sensation immediately below the ribs, in the upper abdomen
Your symptoms must also have started at least 6 months before diagnosis. So if you suspect you may have a digestive disturbance, consider keeping a diary to record and track your symptoms over time and share with your doctor.
What causes FD?
The exact cause of FD isn’t yet known. The symptoms are varied, and so are the reasons behind them. Eating too quickly and swallowing too much air can contribute to a nervous stomach, as can greasy food, spices, coffee, alcohol, cigarettes and too much sugar.
Stomach muscles that work too slowly are a suspected cause of FD. This slowness means that food can’t be transported quickly enough. An over-active gastric motor function can also be to blame; strong muscular movements can lead to severe abdominal pain. For some people, FD is triggered by an irritable stomach or aggravated by infection with Helicobacter pylori. Psychological factors such as stress and emotional upset are also thought to play a big role.
Is there a cure?
Scientists and clinicians have not yet found a cure for FD, but there are things you can do to relieve and limit the digestive symptoms associated with the condition. Try Iberogast for effective relief.
Keeping a journal of your mood, meals, and symptoms can help you to identify and avoid triggers. Breathing exercises, relaxation techniques and even psychotherapy are also handy ways to manage FD, especially for those who struggle to cope with stress.
Working together with your healthcare professional can help decide the most appropriate treatment for your Functional Dyspepsia.
Functional Dyspepsia is a condition with multiple symptoms that can occur at the same time, and a treatment with Iberogast, can work provide effective relief from the symptoms of Functional Dyspepsia.
Tips for managing FD:
- Avoid foods that may trigger your symptoms such spicy, salty, fatty foods that trigger flatulence
- Eat little and often
- Enjoy a healthy, varied diet
- Don’t season food to heavily
- Eat vegetables
- Avoid coffee
- Drink plenty of liquids
- Keep active and exercise regularly
- Do relaxation exercises e.g. yoga and meditation
- Consider Iberogast