What is non-ulcer dyspepsia?

Neal E. Rakov, MD
When there is no physical diagnosis of an ulcer, upper gastrointestinal issues are called non-ulcer dyspepsia. These issues, including chronic pain, bloating, cramps and acid reflux, are often associated with more stress in one’s life. Feeling stressed out from juggling many professional and personal tasks can take its toll on your stomach.

There are dozens of over-the-counter medications to treat gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) and ulcers. But there is no clear treatment for non-ulcer dyspepsia, one of the most common and recurring upper-gut disorders that has no clear physical cause, and for which there is no diagnostic test (it is a clinical diagnosis).

A clinical diagnosis usually means that nothing comes up after in-depth diagnostics, such as an endoscopy, colonoscopy and abdominal ultrasound or computed tomography (CT) scanning that can be traced to the symptoms. That is, there are no objective signs of the commonly diagnosed causes of dyspepsia, such as duodenal ulcer, stomach ulcer, inflamed esophagus (esophagitis) and inflamed stomach (gastritis).

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.