Non-ulcer stomach pain or non-ulcer dyspepsia is a term used to describe symptoms of indigestion that may not have any obvious cause. For non-ulcer dyspepsia the symptoms seem to come from the upper gut but the cause is not known. Some people get worried thinking that they have been affected by some serious diseases like stomach cancer. Worry and anxiety can worsen the symptoms. So, awareness and understanding are needed as the basic treatment. There are some other medications available, to name a few- acid supressing medications, medicines for clearing H. pylori infection etc.
Gastric acid suppressants have been used extensively in the treatment of non-ulcer dyspepsia. A one month trial of medication that reduces stomach acid is often suggested by doctors. This may be helpful in some cases. There are two groups of medicines that are beneficial to reduce stomach acid- proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) and H2-receptor antagonists. These two medicines work in different ways but both of them reduce the amount of acid that human stomach makes. PPIs include omeprazole, lansoprazole, pantoprazole, rabeprazole and esomeprazole. H2-receptors antagonists include cimetidine, famotidine, nizatidine and ranitidine. If medication is helpful, further courses may be suggested is symptoms continue to persist. If a person is infected with H. pylori, then the first treatment should be clearing the H. pylori infection. Treatment in this case includes a one-week course of two antibiotics with an acid-suppressant. If the patient continue to have pain even after eight weeks of medication or the symptoms goes away and the return again then the doctor may suggest an upper endoscopy.
Some sensation in the stomach on the first part of the small intestine that is irritable stomach is suffered by one in three people having functional dyspepsia. So any one going through such symptoms or others like- a delay in emptying the stomach contents into the duodenum, infection with a germ called H. pylori, or as a side effect of any medication like anti-inflammatory medicines , sour taste in mouth, heart burn, excessive burping, nausea, and sometimes vomiting are advised to seek a doctor’s help and check whether they are suffering from non-ulcer dyspepsia.
As there are some side effects of the medications and some medications may not be safe for every kind of patient like H2- blockers are not suitable for kidney patients or for pregnant or breast feeding mothers. So, consultation with doctor is advised for a safe treatment.
If PPIs are taken for a longer term or as multiple daily dose then it can show some side effects such as increased risk of osteoporosis related fractures of hip, wrist or spine. Most people taking H2 blockers do not develop any side effects but small number of people may show some side effects like- headache, dizziness, rash, tiredness. The most common side effects of PPIs are- headache, constipation, fever, vomiting, nausea, abdominal pain etc. but these are generally well tolerated.
There are no such after treatment guidelines but adopting a healthy life style is always advised. Maintaining a healthy diet, having healthy food, leave smoking, having regular meals, doing physical exercises.
Duration of the treatment and thus recovery depends on the cause of the disease and some other factors too. If the symptoms return then treatment may require a long time while there have been cases that medication such acid supressing drugs for a short duration have cured dyspepsia.
Cost of treatment includes many factors like the underlying cause of dyspepsia, response to the medications and doctor’s fee and method of treatment chosen.
There have been cases where the symptoms have returned after the treatment so permanency of the treatment may be depends on the cause of the dyspepsia and other health conditions.
There some natural remedies for dyspepsia. For dyspepsia relief ginger has been used effectively for years as digestive aid and natural remedy for nausea. Researchers have found that three capsules ( 1.2 grams total) of ginger help the stomach to release its contents into small intestines in people with functional dyspepsia. Artichoke extract is highly effective at treating functional dyspepsia. Compared to placebo takers, who have taken ginger and artichoke extracts for four weeks had decreased the symptoms of nausea, pain. Practising some proper eating and after-eating habits like chewing with mouth closed, not lying down directly after eating, three hours of gap between dinner and sleep, etc. Relaxing is also helpful for treating functional dyspepsia. Lifestyle changes like giving up smoking, not drinking too much of alcohol, losing weight if he/she is obese.