Nearly a fifth of those suffering from stomach ailments can be treated with simple medicare but are being administered drugs which may translate into long- term complications, said doctors of the prestigious Sanjay Gandhi Post-Graduate Institute of Medical Sciences.

"40-60 per cent of the patients going to gastrointestinal experts suffer from functional bowel diseases such as irritable bowel syndrome, functional dyspepsia and constipation, which can be easily treated with simple drugs but requires asking detailed questions, which is normally not done due to the experts’ lack of time," said Dr Uday Ghoshal, President of the Organising Committee of Asian Neurogastroenterology and Motility Association.

Ghoshal, a professor in the Gastroenterology Department at the Lucknow-based institute, said that in about 20 per cent of these cases, acid blockers of lower abdominal region are prescribed whereas the problem is of the upper abdominal region.

He said that long-term use of these acid blockers, also known as Proton Pump Inhibitors (PPIs) such as Prilosec, Prevacid and Nexium, can result in a number of complications, including weakening of bones and damage to the oesophageal lining.

Aimed at bringing international standards to the care of patients suffering from functional bowel disease, the institute is hosting a three-day international conference here of specialist doctors starting February 6, which will also feature 100 foreign participants.

Over 33 delegates from the USA, Singapore, China, South Korea, Malaysia, Japan, Thailand, England, Belgium, Italy, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Israel, the Philippines, Indonesia, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh will gather for the conference.

He said that international standards like the ‘Rome IV criteria’ and treatment algorithm for treating patients of functional bowel diseases will be presented for the first time during the conference, which will host two discussions — Biennial Congress of Asian Neurogastroenterology and Motility Association and the third Biennial Conference of Indian Motility and Functional Diseases Association.