The Importance of Educating Yourself:
It is important to learn about digestive problems and symptoms. Keeping our gut healthy is necessary if we want to maintain overall health. The digestive system has an effect on our whole body, given that it is responsible for breaking down the food we eat and is also responsible in distributing nutrients throughout our system. In here, we will take a look at some of the common digestive illnesses and their associated symptoms.
What are digestive diseases?
Illnesses that affect that gastrointestinal tract are considered digestive diseases. These will include illnesses afflicting the stomach, esophagus, intestines, colon and rectum. They can come in various forms and manifest various signs. An illness in the digestive system will have an impact on our whole being, not just because of the importance of the function that this system performs, but because such conditions will inevitably make us feel lousy overall.
Gastroesophageal reflux disease
Also known as GERD, this is one of the most common digestive problems and symptoms vary from discomfort to outright serious or health threatening. This condition is a manifestation of damage to the mucosa caused by acid from the stomach coming up to the esophagus. It can also be caused by changes or damage to the barrier between the esophagus and the stomach.
The most common symptom of GERD is heartburn, or a burning feeling in the chest. Regurgitation and swallowing difficulties may also be symptoms of gastroesophageal reflux disease. Other symptoms, albeit less common, include pain when swallowing, nausea, chest pain and increased saliva production. For children, vomiting, coughing, wheezing, belching and bad breath are some of the signs.
This condition is an inflammation affecting the stomach lining. There are several factors that can cause gastritis, including excessive consumption of alcohol, dependence on nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, infections, certain injuries and may even manifest after a person has undergone surgery.
The most common sign is pain in the upper central part of the abdomen, although the pain may also occur in other parts of the gut. People with gastritis sometimes do not exhibit symptoms, while others may show signs other than abdominal pain, including vomiting, belching, nausea, bloating, loss of appetite and weight loss without any other particular reason.
This is more commonly known as indigestion or upset stomach. It is often caused by other digestive problems and symptoms, including GERD and gastritis. In some cases, dyspepsia is actually a sign of peptic ulcer and even cancer. There is also the so-called functional dyspepsia which is a form of the condition wherein no evidence of organic disease can be found to explain the signs exhibited by the patient.
Some of the symptoms associated with dyspepsia are severe and recurrent pain in the upper part of the abdomen, a feeling of fullness despite not eating enough, belching, bloating, nausea and even heartburn in some cases. Pain felt at the abdomen often gets worse when the patient engages in strenuous activities or exerts himself.
This is mainly characterized by loose or liquefied bowel movements occurring three or more times a day. If the loose bowels are accompanied by blood, the condition may be dysentery; which in turn, can be a symptom of bacterial infection. Diarrhea may be caused by bacterial infections, gastroenteritis with rotavirus or the presence of toxins. When not immediately addressed, diarrhea can lead to dehydration and electrolyte imbalance. For children, this condition may be fatal.
Dealing with digestive problems and symptoms
Immediate action should be taken once symptoms manifest, particularly in the case of children. With the latter, a consultation with a doctor is a must. The best protection, as always, is prevention. Even when you have yet to suffer from any of these conditions, keeping your gut healthy is important.
You can do this by eating food rich in fiber, avoiding fatty foods, consuming plenty of vegetables and fruits and eating meals at the same time each day. Exercising, avoiding excessive intake of alcohol and not smoking will also help. Better yet, laden your diet with prebiotics which you can get from kiwi fruit, artichokes, leeks, onions and other fructan-containing plant produce.
You can also take nutritional supplements rich in prebiotics and made from natural ingredients, such as Kiwi-Klenz. Common digestive problems and symptoms can be avoided if you focus on maintaining the health of your digestive tract and a bit of lifestyle and activity changes will also help.