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Dyspepsia, Functional

Dyspepsia, Functional is a topic covered in the 5-Minute Clinical Consult.

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  • A group of epigastric symptoms classified based on presenting symptoms
  • The presence of bothersome postprandial fullness, early satiety, or epigastric pain/burning in the absence of causative structural disease (to include normal upper endoscopy) for at least 1 to 3 days per week for the preceding 3 months, with initial symptom onset at least 6 months prior to diagnosis (Rome IV criteria)
  • Rome IV criteria divide patients into two subtypes:
    • Postprandial distress syndrome (PDS)
    • Epigastric pain syndrome (EPS)
  • System(s) affected: GI
  • Synonym(s): idiopathic dyspepsia; nonulcer dyspepsia; nonorganic dyspepsia; PDS; and EPS


Unknown; accounts for 70% of patients with dyspepsia, and ~5% of primary care visits

  • 10–30% prevalence worldwide
  • Typically more common in Western cultures. PDS may be more common in Eastern cultures than originally recognized.
  • Predominant age: adults but can be seen in children
  • Predominant gender: female > male

Etiology and Pathophysiology

Unknown but proposed mechanisms or associations include gastric motility disorders, visceral pain hypersensitivity, Helicobacter pylori infection, alteration in upper GI microbiome, postinfectious complications, immune activation, inflammation, and gut-brain axis disorders

Possible link to G-protein β3 subunit 825 CC genotype, serotonin transport genes, and/or cholecystokinin-A-receptor gene polymorphisms

Geriatric Considerations
Patients ≥60 years with new-onset dyspepsia should undergo endoscopy.

Pediatric Considerations
Be alert for family system dysfunction.

Pregnancy Considerations
Pregnancy may exacerbate symptoms.

Risk Factors

  • Other functional disorders: fibromyalgia, temporomandibular joint pain, chronic fatigue syndrome
  • Anxiety/depression, psychosocial stressors (e.g., divorce, unemployment)
  • Smoking
  • Female gender

General Prevention

Avoid foods and habits known to exacerbate symptoms.

Commonly Associated Conditions

Other functional bowel disorders

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Stephens, Mark B., et al., editors. "Dyspepsia, Functional." 5-Minute Clinical Consult, 27th ed., Wolters Kluwer, 2019. Medicine Central, im.unboundmedicine.com/medicine/view/5-Minute-Clinical-Consult/116198/all/Dyspepsia__Functional.
Dyspepsia, Functional. In: Stephens MB, Golding J, Baldor RA, et al, eds. 5-Minute Clinical Consult. 27th ed. Wolters Kluwer; 2019. https://im.unboundmedicine.com/medicine/view/5-Minute-Clinical-Consult/116198/all/Dyspepsia__Functional. Accessed April 26, 2019.
Dyspepsia, Functional. (2019). In Stephens, M. B., Golding, J., Baldor, R. A., & Domino, F. J. (Eds.), 5-Minute Clinical Consult. Available from https://im.unboundmedicine.com/medicine/view/5-Minute-Clinical-Consult/116198/all/Dyspepsia__Functional
Dyspepsia, Functional [Internet]. In: Stephens MB, Golding J, Baldor RA, Domino FJ, editors. 5-Minute Clinical Consult. Wolters Kluwer; 2019. [cited 2019 April 26]. Available from: https://im.unboundmedicine.com/medicine/view/5-Minute-Clinical-Consult/116198/all/Dyspepsia__Functional.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - ELEC T1 - Dyspepsia, Functional ID - 116198 ED - Stephens,Mark B, ED - Golding,Jeremy, ED - Baldor,Robert A, ED - Domino,Frank J, BT - 5-Minute Clinical Consult, Updating UR - https://im.unboundmedicine.com/medicine/view/5-Minute-Clinical-Consult/116198/all/Dyspepsia__Functional PB - Wolters Kluwer ET - 27 DB - Medicine Central DP - Unbound Medicine ER -