What are the most common causes of gastric discomfort in an otherwise healthy male in his 30s?
The common causes will be gastric acid related erosion and ulcers, acid reflux disease if there is associated heart burn or reflux of gastric contents, and non-ulcer dyspepsia or functional pain.
There are other causes including problems originating from nearby organs such as the gallbladder, the pancreas and the liver. It may be difficult to pinpoint the exact source of the pain or discomfort by location alone.
If the discomfort is recent in onset with no associated symptoms and already getting better on its own, you can keep a close watch and try adjusting your diet a little to see if it helps. Take plenty of water and avoid alcohol and spicy food in the meantime. Light exercises should be fine too.
If the feeling has been bordering you for sometime or has been recurring or getting worse, I will suggest that you pay your family doctor a visit and possibly do some tests. Do watch for alarming features such as pain that occurs at night, weigh loss, dark colour urine and black stools or blood in your stools. These are features suggesting more serious problems in your digestive system and should prompt an immediate evaluation.
- Dr Quan
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