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.

Risk factors

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.
  • Smoking.
  • Anxiety or depression.
  • History of childhood physical or sexual abuse.
  • Helicobacter pylori infection.