Dyspepsia is common and describes a range of upper gastrointestinal tract symptoms, e.g. epigastric pain or burning, nausea, heartburn, fullness, and belching. Patients are likely to use the term ‘indigestion’ for these symptoms.
Dyspeptic symptoms are caused by disorders of the esophagus, stomach, pancreas, or hepatobiliary system, but the most common cause is functional dyspepsia. Other causes include peptic ulceration, gastro-oesophageal reflux disease, or rarely gastro-oesophageal cancer.
Flatulence describes an excessive wind, presenting as belching, abdominal distension, and the passage of flatus per rectum. It is rarely indicative of serious underlying disease.
Dysphagia is difficulty in swallowing and suggests an abnormality in the passage of liquids or solids from the oral cavity through the esophagus and into the stomach.