Functional Dyspepsia causes pain and sometimes other symptoms in your upper tummy (abdomen). The cause is often not clear. Medication to reduce stomach acid helps in some cases. Infection with Helicobacter pylori may cause a small number of cases. Clearing this infection, if present, helps in some people.
Most patients have mild, intermittent symptoms that respond to reassurance and lifestyle changes. Alcohol and caffeine should be reduced or discontinued. Patients with postprandial symptoms should be instructed to consume small, low-fat meals. A food diary, in which patients record their food intake, symptoms, and daily events, may reveal dietary or psychosocial precipitants of pain.
Drugs have demonstrated limited efficacy in the treatment of functional dyspepsia. Onethird of patients derive relief from placebo. Antisecretory therapy for 4–8 weeks with oral proton pump inhibitors (omeprazole, esomeprazole, or rabeprazole 20 mg, dexlansoprazole or lansoprazole 30 mg, or pantoprazole 40 mg) may benefit 10–15% of patients, particularly those with dyspepsia characterized as epigastric pain (“ulcer-like dyspepsia”) or dyspepsia and heartburn (“reflux-like dyspepsia”). Low doses of antidepressants (eg, desipramine or nortriptyline, 10–50 mg orally at bedtime) are believed to benefit some patients, possibly by moderating visceral afferent sensitivity. However, side effects are common and response is patient-specific. Doses should be increased slowly. Metoclopramide (5–10 mg three times daily) may improve symptoms, but improvement does not correlate with the presence or absence of gastric emptying delay. In 2009, the FDA issued a black box warning that metoclopramide use for more than 3 months is associated with a high incidence of tardive dyskinesia and should be avoided. The elderly, particularly elderly women, are most at risk.
Anti H pylori treatment
Meta-analyses have suggested that a small number of patients with functional dyspepsia (< 10%) derive benefit from H pylori eradication therapy. Therefore, patients with functional dyspepsia should be tested and treated for H pylori as recommended above.
Psychotherapy and hypnotherapy may be of benefit in selected motivated patients with functional dyspepsia. Herbal therapies (peppermint, caraway) may offer benefit with little risk of adverse effects.