Abstract

Functional dyspepsia (FD) is a common upper gastrointestinal disorder, characterized by bothersome epigastric pain or burning, fullness after meals or early satiety. The precise pathophysiology remains incompletely understood but may include the role of disordered gut-brain communication leading to disturbances in gastro-duodenal physiological functioning. Even if there are several pharmacological treatment options, it is a chronic and relapsing disorder with persistent symptoms that makes its management difficult. Yoga is a fast-spreading complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) specialty, that has gained attention in the medical field for its ability to address the physical, emotional, mental and social aspects of health and disease. Various other CAM therapies are being used for FD with varying efficacy. However, apart from one research study that used yoga therapy on abdominal pain related functional gastrointestinal disorders in children which included a few FD cases as well (11.6%), no other study using yoga therapy has been done in FD as per our best knowledge. Therefore, in the present review, we have summarized the current scientific understanding of the probable effects of yoga on the pathophysiological mechanisms involved in FD (gastric motility, fundic accommodation, hypersensitivity, duodenal inflammation, psychological distress and gut-brain dysfunction). The literature suggests yoga can have a beneficial role in the management of FD. However, rigorous research and clinical trials are required to confirm the same.

Keywords

yoga, yoga therapy, functional dyspepsia, gut-brain axis, hypothalamus-pituitary axis, vagus nerve