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dispepsia funcional

Functional dyspepsia: causes, symptoms and integrative treatment

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Upset stomach, bloating, burning, cramping… Sound familiar? Do you identify with these symptoms? Functional dyspepsia is a common digestive disorder that causes recurring pain or discomfort in the upper abdomen. Although the exact cause is unknown, it is often related to abnormalities in the functioning of the digestive system.

As dyspepsia is one of the most frequent reasons for consultation, in this article we will explain exactly what it is and we will talk about the most common causes and risk factors that predispose you to suffer from it. We will discuss the symptoms you should look out for to identify it, and how to treat it, with an emphasis on diet as the main tool to end functional dyspepsia.

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What is functional dyspepsia?

Commonly referred to as “poor digestion”, functional dyspepsia encompasses various symptoms such as abdominal pain, a feeling of fullness shortly after eating, heaviness or discomfort, and epigastric pain in the upper mid-abdomen, among others.

Dyspepsia affects approximately ⅓ of the population and its symptoms can be chronic and significantly impair a person’s quality of life.

The diagnosis of functional dyspepsia is based on the presence of symptoms and the exclusion of other underlying medical conditions. Treatment options for functional dyspepsia may include lifestyle modifications, such as avoiding trigger foods and managing stress.

Which disease causes dyspepsia?

Many factors can cause indigestion or functional dyspepsia:

  1. Eating certain foods: for example, foods that are very spicy and fatty, or foods that have a lot of acid or fibre.
  2. Dining too late.
  3. Drinking alcohol.
  4. Too much caffeine.
  5. Some medicines.
  6. Smoking.
  7. Not getting enough sleep.

There are also certain pathologies and gastrointestinal problems that can cause dyspepsia:

  1. Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).
  2. Reflux, gastro-oesophageal reflux (GOR) or gastro-oesophageal reflux disease (GORD).
  3. Helicobacter pylori bacterial infection.
  4. Ulcer.
  5. Gastroparesis.
  6. Stomach cancer.
  7. Gastritis.

Symptoms of functional dyspepsia

  • Stomach pain.
  • Chest discomfort or pain.
  • Burning.
  • Swelling.
  • Belching.
  • The feeling of fullness.
  • Gases.
  • Acid reflux.
  • Acidity.
  • Nausea and/or vomiting.

How to remove functional dyspepsia?

  • Personalised healthy eating to treat dyspepsia.
  • Helicobacter pylori eradication
  • Medication (anti-acid blockers, stomach protector, with all the side effects that go with it). Important: medication does not cure or treat dyspepsia, it merely ‘covers up’ or temporarily improves its symptoms.

Functional dyspepsia and diet

A dietary approach is essential for the treatment of functional dyspepsia. It is advisable to follow these general guidelines:

  • Avoid large meals.
  • Do not eat or drink 2-3 hours before bedtime.
  • Reduce or avoid high-fat foods.
  • Avoid food and drinks that are too hot or too cold.
  • Avoid drinking large amounts of fluids during meals and drink them slowly throughout the day.
  • Eat slowly and chew your food well.
  • Do not wear tight clothing or belts.
  • If you suffer from nocturnal reflux, it is advisable to raise the head of the bed slightly.
  • Do not exercise immediately after eating.
  • In case of overweight or obesity, it is advisable to gradually reduce weight and waist circumference through a balanced diet, associated with regular exercise.

Which foods should I eat and which should I not eat?

 ALLOWEDNOT ALLOWED
Carbohydrates– Sourdough bread (non-wheat). – Breakfast cereals such as organic cornflakes, gluten-free oats or rice porridge, and bran. – White rice, basmati or jasmine rice, pasta and noodles (non-wheat, gluten-free), sweet potatoes and potatoes, polenta, quinoa, buckwheat and brown rice.Wheat flour.Chemical yeast.Industrial products.Packaged toast.
VegetablesVegetables cooked for a short timeRaw vegetables.Tomato and tomato products, turnips, cabbage, cauliflower, bean sprouts, Brussels sprouts, asparagus, broccoli, spring onions, onions, garlic, chilli, curry, pepper and mint.Vegetables with fatty sauces, cream, cheese, bacon or lard.Pickled or fermented vegetables such as kimchi or sauerkraut and others prepared in oil or brine.
FruitsCooked fruitNuts, seeds, nut spreadsCitrus and citrus juices GrapesHandleCherriesWatermelon
Milk and milk productsLactose-free skimmed milk (sheep or goat)Lactose-free yoghurt (sheep or goat)Cheese (sheep or goat)Plant-based alternatives such as almond, oat and rice milk   If these foods cause pain or uncomfortable symptoms, it is best to eliminate them.– Coconut milk – Normal whole milk and dairy products – Whipped cream, milkshakes…
Meat and alternativesVealPoultry.Eggs.   Preferably grass or organic.Fatty meatsSmoked or cured meatsStewsRagùChicken skinProcessed meatOrgans: Kidney, brain and liver
Snacks, condiments, drinks and sweetsWater (1.5-2 litres/day), including herbal tea, light barley coffee, chamomile, fresh vegetable/fruit juices, and coconut water.Salt, herbs (such as oregano, sage, thyme, basil leaves, rosemary, coriander, etc.), ginger.Oils (extra virgin olive oil, avocado oil), used sparingly.– Alcohol, carbonated beverages, soft drinks, coffee, black tea, citrus juices. – Chocolate, chewing gum, sweets in general, foods sweetened with sugar such as sorbitol, mannitol, and xylitol. – Fatty foods such as fried foods, coconut milk or cream, sauces, margarine, butter, lard, and desserts.

In what proportion?

  • ½ plate of vegetables.
  • 1 portion of fruit separate from meals (mid-morning or afternoon).
  • ¼ plate of whole grains.
  • ¼ plate of protein.

Healthy fat:

  • 1 portion of nuts, seeds or 100% nut spread for breakfast or as a snack.
  • Use 3-4 tablespoons of good oils a day.

What can a person with dyspepsia not eat?

Many studies have reported that the symptoms of dyspepsia are exacerbated by the ingestion of certain foods such as:

  1. Onions.
  2. Peppers.
  3. Fried and fatty foods.
  4. Alcohol.
  5. Citrus fruit.
  6. Wheat.
  7. Gluten.
  8. Spicy foods.
  9. Food chemicals (precooked food containing preservatives).

What to eat for breakfast if I have dyspepsia?

There are several breakfast options that you can combine or alternate throughout the week:

  1. Boiled or scrambled eggs.
  2. Homemade oatcakes (sugar-free).
  3. Buckwheat bread with oil and unrefined sea salt.
  4. Gluten-free granola.
  5. Porridge with vegetable drink, berries and nut cream.
  6. Vegetable or goat’s yoghurt with nut cream.

Upset stomach, it’s time to put an end to it.

Functional dyspepsia, also known as indigestion, is used to describe a set of symptoms affecting the digestive tract, such as stomach pain, nausea, bloating or belching.

When there is no obvious cause for these symptoms, the diagnosis is dyspepsia. Treatment includes a combination of various habit changes, diet, lifestyle, stress management and medication when needed in the short term, with diet being the most effective therapeutic tool.

Some supplements can contribute to treatment and make nutritional guidelines more effective. Silicium G7 Original is a great ally when it comes to eliminating toxins. An intoxicated body often shows digestive symptoms of functional dyspepsia, so it can be helpful to take a dynamised silica supplement in cases of dyspepsia and poor digestion.

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