Causes and treatment of functional dyspepsia

Curr Gastroenterol Rep. 2001 Dec;3(6):503-8. doi: 10.1007/s11894-001-0071-y.


Functional dyspepsia is a clinical syndrome defined by upper abdominal symptoms without identifiable cause by conventional diagnostic means. Recent studies have established that functional dyspepsia is a heterogeneous disorder in which different pathophysiologic disturbances underlie different symptom profiles. Delayed gastric emptying is associated with postprandial fullness, nausea, and vomiting; impaired accommodation is associated with early satiety and weight loss; and hypersensitivity to gastric distention is associated with epigastric pain, belching, and weight loss. The pathogenesis of functional dyspepsia is unknown but may be postinfectious in a subgroup of patients. The role of psychological disturbances and of duodenal hypersensitivity requires further study. Treatment of the underlying pathophysiologic abnormality seems logical, but options for pharmacotherapy are limited to acid suppression, prokinetic drugs, and antidepressants. Psychotherapy can be considered for refractory patients. Several novel drug therapies are under evaluation.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Dyspepsia / drug therapy*
  • Dyspepsia / etiology*
  • Humans