Drs confusing common gastric condition with reflux

Thursday, 04 January, 2018

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Australian researchers have warned that many people with functional dyspepsia are being misdiagnosed.

They say that doctors often misdiagnose the condition as acid reflux, even when people do not have heartburn. While functional dyspepsia is not dangerous, the researchers say there are plenty of treatment options.

A new article published in the latest edition of Australian Prescriber highlights the common clinical confusion that surrounds distinguishing functional dyspepsia from gastro-oesophageal reflux disease (GORD).

Functional dyspepsia affects 10% of Australians and is more prevalent in women. Its symptoms, such as the inability to finish a meal (early satiety) and epigastric pain or burning, can impact sufferers’ quality of life and work productivity. These symptoms can easily be overlooked as they overlap with GORD and irritable bowel syndrome.

“Recent evidence suggests GORD is often the diagnostic label applied to patients even if they have typical symptoms of functional dyspepsia with little or no heartburn,” writes Laureate Professor Nicholas Talley, with Drs Thomas Goodsall and Michael Potter.

“Correctly diagnosing functional dyspepsia is important to guide appropriate therapy and reduce unnecessary procedures or treatments,” the researchers said.

While symptoms can be distressing, there are no long-term impacts on mortality. The article outlines several treatment options and rates their usefulness depending on the predominating symptoms.

Image credit: ©stock.adobe.com/au/adiano

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