Nonulcer stomach pain is a term used to describe signs and symptoms of indigestion that have no obvious cause. Nonulcer stomach pain is also called functional dyspepsia (dis-PEP-see-uh) or nonulcer dyspepsia.

Nonulcer stomach pain is common and can be long lasting. Nonulcer stomach pain can cause signs and symptoms that resemble those of an ulcer, such as pain or discomfort in your upper abdomen, often accompanied by bloating, belching and nausea.


Signs and symptoms of nonulcer stomach pain may include:

  • A burning sensation or discomfort in your upper abdomen or lower chest, sometimes relieved by food or antacids
  • Bloating
  • Belching
  • An early feeling of fullness when eating
  • Nausea

When to see a doctor

Make an appointment with your doctor if you experience persistent signs and symptoms that worry you.

Seek immediate medical attention if you experience:

  • Bloody vomit
  • Dark, tarry stools
  • Shortness of breath
  • Pain that radiates to your jaw, neck or arm


Many times it's not clear what causes nonulcer stomach pain. Doctors consider it a functional disorder, which means it's not necessarily caused by a specific disease.

Risk factors

Factors that can increase the risk of nonulcer stomach pain include:

  • Drinking too much alcohol or too many caffeinated beverages
  • Smoking
  • Taking certain medications, especially certain over-the-counter pain relievers, such as aspirin and ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB, others), which can cause stomach problems

Nonulcer stomach pain care at Mayo Clinic

Feb. 06, 2015
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