Functional dyspepsia (dis-PEP-see-uh) is a term for recurring symptoms of an upset stomach that have no obvious cause. Functional dyspepsia also is called nonulcer dyspepsia.
Functional dyspepsia is common. It is a constant condition but symptoms don't happen all the time. Symptoms resemble those of an ulcer. They include pain or discomfort in the upper abdomen, bloating, belching and nausea.
Symptoms of functional dyspepsia may include:
- Pain or burning in the stomach, bloating, excessive belching, or nausea after eating
- An early feeling of fullness when eating. The feeling of fullness also is called satiety.
- Stomach pain that occurs unrelated to meals or goes away when eating.
When to see a doctor
Make an appointment with your health care provider if you experience persistent symptoms that worry you.
Seek medical attention right away if you experience:
- Bloody vomit.
- Dark, tarry stools.
- Shortness of breath.
- Pain in your jaw, neck or arm.
- Unexplained weight loss.
No one knows what causes functional dyspepsia. Health care providers consider it a functional disorder. That means it can't be explained by a medical condition, so routine testing may not show any problems or causes. As a result, the diagnosis is based on symptoms.
Some factors can increase the risk of functional dyspepsia. They include:
- Being female.
- Using certain pain relievers that are available without a prescription. These include aspirin and ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB, others), which can cause stomach problems.
- Anxiety or depression.
- History of childhood physical or sexual abuse.
- Helicobacter pylori infection.
Functional dyspepsia care at Mayo Clinic
Dec. 29, 2022
- Ford AC, et al. Functional dyspepsia. The Lancet. 2020; doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(20)30469-4.
- Feldman M, et al., eds. Dyspepsia. In: Sleisenger and Fordtran's Gastrointestinal and Liver Disease: Pathophysiology, Diagnosis, Management. 11th ed. Elsevier; 2021. https://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed Oct. 8, 2022.
- Longstreth GF, et al. Functional dyspepsia in adults. https://www.uptodate.com/contents/search. Accessed Oct. 8, 2022.
- Rajan E (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic. Oct. 23, 2022.
- Indigestion (dyspepsia). National Institute for Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/digestive-diseases/indigestion-dyspepsia/all-content. Accessed Oct. 8, 2022.
- Goldman L, et al., eds. Functional gastrointestinal disorders: Irritable bowel syndrome, dyspepsia, esophageal chest pain, and heartburn. In: Goldman-Cecil Medicine. 26th ed. Elsevier; 2020. https://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed Oct. 8, 2022.
- Mounsey A, et al. Functional dyspepsia: Diagnosis and management. American Family Physician. 2020; doi:10.1097/MOG.0b013e328358ad9b.
- Li J, et al. A combination of peppermint oil and caraway oil for the treatment of functional dyspepsia: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine. 2019; doi:10.1155/2019/7654947.
- Masuy I, et al. Review article: Treatment options for functional dyspepsia. Alimentary Pharmacology & Therapeutics. 2019; doi:10.1111/apt.15191.
- Braswell Pickering EA. Allscripts EPSi. Mayo Clinic. Oct. 10, 2022.