Population-wide surveys about gut symptoms show that between 10% and 30% of people fit the diagnostic criteria for functional dyspepsia (FD), yet it is far less well known than irritable bowel syndrome or reflux and is often misdiagnosed as these conditions.
For those unfamiliar with this condition, functional dyspepsia is medically diagnosed if a person reports at least two of these symptoms: (i) postprandial (after eating) fullness, (ii) early satiety (feeling full quickly), (iii) epigastric (mid gut) pain or (iv) epigastric burning. To be considered the functional dyspepsia condition, these symptoms would be severe enough to interfere with your usual activities and occur at least 3 days per week for the past 3 months and have been going for a total of at least 6 months (without any ‘red flags’ for other gut conditions).
Despite food and eating being implicated in functional dyspepsia symptom induction, strong evidence for dietary management of FD is limited. Some of the approaches we use include trialling different proportions and food sources of macronutrients (carbs, fats, protein), temporary exclusion of ‘trigger’ foods, food additives or natural food chemicals.
At Help Yourself, our dietitians have expertise in interpreting your medical history in the context of previous dietary approaches you have trialled and current dietary triggers. This is important with conditions like FD, where misdiagnosis is common. For example, many people who don’t have altered bowel form or frequency are diagnosed as having IBS (even though this is a diagnostic criteria).
To read more about our research into FD, see these recent publications.
Our consulting work with clients complements Dr Kerith Duncanson’s and Dr Georgina Williams’ research in gastrointestinal nutrition and functional gut disorders. Our research knowledge allows us to cut through the confusing, conflicting and overwhelming dietary advice you have been bombarded with. We focus whatever energy and time you have on your ‘best bets’ – what is most likely to work well for you, now and into the future.
Even more importantly, we help you to help yourself – to food! We can help take the stress and worry out of food decisions by serving up science in healthy, ‘bite-sized’ chunks of relevant, practical advice to help you take control of your health.