Definition of Dyspeptic

Dyspeptic: Pertaining to dyspepsia, a term that is probably more often encountered today in advertising than in medicine. "Dyspepsia" refers to nondescript, nonspecific upper abdominal symptoms which may include discomfort, bloating, a feeling of unusual fullness with very little intake of food (early satiety) or following meals (postprandial fullness), nausea, loss of appetite, heartburn, regurgitation of food or acid, and belching.

The term "dyspepsia" may be used for these symptoms when they are not typical of a specific disease as, for example, gastrointestinal reflux (GERD), and the cause of the upper abdominal symptoms is not clear. Once a cause for the symptoms has been determined, the term "dyspepsia" usually is dropped in favor of a more specific diagnosis such as gastric ulcer, GERD, etc.

Attempts have been made to subcategorize dyspepsia into ulcer-like, dysmotility-like, reflux-like, and unspecified; however, the utility of this categorization is unclear. Subdividing such a nebulous condition is a dubious endeavor.

A French writer (1862) called dyspepsia "the remorse of a guilty stomach." The word "dyspepsia" came into English usage in 1706. It was contrived by cementing "dys-" to the Greek "pepsis" (digestion) = dysdigestion = indigestion.


Last Editorial Review: 6/14/2012

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