Nonulcer stomach pain is considered a condition of indigestion when the symptoms occur without a distinct cause. Other names for this condition are functional dyspepsia or nonulcer dyspepsia. It is a condition that occurs frequently and it can last long. The symptoms are usually pain and discomfort in the upper abdomen, bloating, burping or sickness.
The symptoms of nonulcer stomach pain may include:
- Feeling of fullness early after starting a meal
- Burning sensation in the upper abdomen
If the symptoms are persistent it is recommended to visit the doctor for proper diagnosis and right treatment.
If a person experiences nonulcer stomach pain that is accompanied with: shortness of breath, blood in the vomit, dark and tarry stool or pain that spreads to the jaw, neck or arm, immediate medical help is required.
The exact cause for nonulcer stomach pain is not familiar. Doctors believe it is a type of functional disorder because it can occur on its own without an underlying disease.
Factors that increase the risk of experiencing nonulcer stomach pain include:
- Too much alcohol
- Too much caffeine
- Certain medications (aspirin and ibuprofen)
If the symptoms of nonulcer stomach pain do not improve with lifestyle changes, but remain persistent and last for a longer period of time, further treatment may be necessary. The prescribed treatment usually depends on the symptoms and it can include a combination of medications and therapy.
Medications for managing the symptoms and pain include:
- Gas-relieving drugs
- Pills that reduce the production of acid
- Medications that block acid pumps
- Medications that strengthen the esophageal sphincter
The therapy for nonulcer stomach pain usually involves behavioral therapy. With the help of a therapist, a person experiencing pain and symptoms of the condition can learn relaxation techniques, methods on how to reduce stress in everyday life in order to relieve the symptoms and prevent the pain from appearing frequently.
Moreover, it is also recommended to employ lifestyle changes in daily life such as changes in eating habits and reducing the stressful situations that can occur daily.
Dietary changes can help in managing the symptoms. A person with nonulcer stomach pain should:
- Eat smaller meals
- Eat more frequently
- Avoid having an empty stomach
- Avoid skipping meals
- Avoid overeating
- Avoid fatty and spicy foods, carbonated drinks, alcohol and caffeine
- Chew slowly and thoroughly
- Have leisurely meals
Reduction of the stress in daily life can also help control the symptoms of nonulcer stomach pain. The stress can be reduced by:
- Learning stress-reduction techniques
- Doing things that the person likes doing, enjoys in or relaxes with