Literally, "difficulty in digesting," or indigestion. Most people experience dyspepsia at some time in their lives, since indigestion is extremely common. It is ordinarily not a serious problem unless it is either constant or prolonged for many weeks. It can be associated with irregular meals, alcoholic excess, and eating foods to which one is unaccustomed.

The symptoms include belching, a feeling of distension in the upper part of the abdomen, an acidic taste in the mouth, stomach pains, and sometimes nausea. Common causes include eating fatty foods (especially when fried), foods that contain sulfur (such as eggs, cucumbers, onions, and salads) or strongly acid foods (fruit and wines). Dyspepsia is sometimes associated with smoking on an empty stomach, skipping meals, and chronic anxiety---with consequent excess secretions of gastric acid.

If dyspepsia is continual, regularly causes disruption of sleep, or occurs after every meal, it may be a symptom of a developing ulcer. Prompt medical attention should be sought to confirm the diagnosis and permit early treatment.

In mild cases the most effective treatment is the use of oral antacids---particularly the effervescent types---which usually will relieve the discomfort.

Dys*pep"si*a ,L. dyspepsia, Gr. , fr. hard to digest; ill, hard + to cook, digest; akin to E. cook: cf. F. dyspepsie. See Dys-, and 3d Cook.] Med.

A kind of indigestion; a state of the stomach in which its functions are disturbed, without the presence of other diseases, or, if others are present, they are of minor importance. Its symptoms are loss of appetite, nausea, heartburn, acrid or fetid eructations, a sense of weight or fullness in the stomach, etc.



© Webster 1913.

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