Dyspepsia - Diagnosis

Diagnosis

People under 55 years without alarm symptoms can be treated without investigation. People over 55 years with recent onset dyspepsia or those with alarm symptoms should be urgently investigated by upper gastrointestinal endoscopy. This will rule out peptic ulcer disease, medication-related ulceration, malignancy and other rarer causes.

People under the age of 55 years with no alarm features do not need endoscopy but are considered for investigation for peptic ulcer disease caused by Helicobacter pylori infection. Investigation for H. pylori infection is usually performed when there is a moderate to high prevalence of this infection in the local community or the person with dyspepsia has other risk factors for H. pylori infection, related for example to ethnicity or immigration from a high-prevalence area. If infection is confirmed it can usually be eradicated by medication.

Medication-related dyspepsia is usually related to non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and can be complicated by bleeding or ulceration with perforation of stomach wall.

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