There are a number of common gastrointestinal conditions, disorders and diseases that may cause problems. These include:
Dyspepsia is the medical term for "difficult digestion" (indigestion). Dyspepsia is a common problem and occurs in approximately 25% (range 13-40%) of the population each year. It is characterized by chronic or recurrent pain or burning in the upper abdomen, upper abdominal fullness and feeling full earlier than expected when eating. It may be accompanied by bloating, belching, nausea, or heartburn.
The most common cause of dyspepsia encountered in primary care and gastroenterology practice is functional (non-ulcer) dyspepsia. It may also be due to gastro-oesophageal (acid) reflux disease or Helicobacter pylori associated gastritis, but in a small minority it may be the first symptom of peptic ulcer disease (an ulcer of the stomach or duodenum) and occasionally cancer.
Hence, unexplained newly-onset dyspepsia particularly in people over 55 years or the presence of other alarming symptoms requires further investigation such as gastroscopy and screening for Helicobacter pylori.
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