To reduce discomfort caused by belching and gas and/or abdominal distension.
Dyspepsia (also known as belching and gas) is a range of symptoms that can be related to:
- Tumor of the stomach, bowel, chest or abdomen
- Lack of bowel motility or movement
- Reduced food and/or fluid intake
Other causes may also be post-surgical, radiation treatment, drug or acid irritation, delayed stomach emptying and anxiety.
Symptoms may include: feeling or appearing bloated, feeling full after eating very little, pain, nausea and/or vomiting, discomfort after meals or burning discomfort relieved temporarily by antacids.
Related Symptoms: Severe discomfort including stomach pain, referred pain to shoulder blade, chest or flank, emotional distress and embarrassment.
What to do
- Provide small frequent meals to avoid bloating.
- Avoid spicy foods and foods that are not well tolerated by the patient.
- Have patient sleep with head elevated.
- Have patient sit up 15 minutes before and after meals and while eating.
- Discuss the use of over-the-counter medications with your hospice nurse.
- Discuss patient’s feelings as gas and belching can be emotionally distressing and embarrassing.
Adapted from: The Lippincott Manual of Nursing Practice (10th ed.) Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 2013.