We suffer from various digestive system disorders daily. These issues can range from mild diarrhea as a side effect of vital medication to severe gastrointestinal problems such as stomach ulcers.
Common symptoms indicating an issue with your digestive system include stomach aches, gas, heartburn, abdominal pain, nausea, bloating, and much more. It could be triggered by a stomach virus caused by inadequate food consumption, which resolves itself in a couple of days or could be a symptom of an underlying gastrointestinal disease.
Severe digestive system issues may need immediate medical attention or changing your lifestyle habits to minimize internal organ damage. In case of persistent symptoms and discomfort, consult your doctor to conduct a root cause analysis and find the underlying illness ailing your body.
Here is a list of five common stomach disorders that affect our wellbeing and comfort.
The inflammation of the inner lining of the stomach results in gastritis. It can be caused due to various reasons, the most common being infection caused by helicobacter pylori or H. pylori bacteria, aspirin and other anti-inflammatory medicines, and alcohol.
Gastritis symptoms include constant burning or gnawing abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting, loss of appetite, bloating, and belching. Trigger such as spicy and fatty junk food, chili consumption, alcohol, and coffee that irritate the stomach lining should be avoided to reduce gastritis symptoms.
Treating gastritis requires diagnosing the cause; for example, if H. pylori bacteria are responsible for causing gastritis, a combination of antibiotics and acid-suppressing medicines may be given to the patients.
However, if the cause of your gastritis is due to medications such as aspirin and alcohol, it may be treated by acid suppressants. An excellent way to ease gastritis symptoms would be to stay off alcohol and medicine to avoid worsening the symptoms.
Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)
The most common symptom of GERD is heartburn or acid reflux that persists more than a couple of times a week. The esophagus is responsible for mobilizing food down to the stomach through a series of contracting and expanding rings of muscles.
Once the food reaches your lower esophageal sphincter or LES, in case of a weak LES, stomach acid may leak into your esophagus, resulting in heartburn. Persistent heartburn and acid reflux can severely damage your esophagus.
GERD can be managed and treated by making small lifestyle changes such as diet change, portion control, consumption of antacids, and acid blockers. Acid reflux is accompanied by heartburn, chest pain, nausea, vomiting, difficulty swallowing, hoarse voice, sore throat, and cough in people who suffer from GERD.
Consumption of alcohol, smoking, or medications that erode the stomach lining causes LES to loosen up, resulting in GERD. Quitting smoking, alcohol intake, caffeine consumption, reducing fat consumption, and weight loss can help manage GERD symptoms and treat them effectively.
Gastritis and peptic ulcers are often associated with one another. Peptic ulcers are sores on the inner lining of the stomach, lower esophagus, or small intestine. These sores can be caused by H.Pylori bacteria, aspirin, or alcohol.
The symptoms of peptic ulcers are similar to gastritis’s symptoms, such as abdominal discomfort, bloating and pain accompanied by weight loss, appetite loss, nausea, bloody stools, and vomiting.
Peptic ulcers heal with proper treatment relieving from the painful symptoms. If left untreated, they can cause severe health problems such as a bleeding ulcer, scar tissue, and restricting the food passing through the digestive system tract.
Irritable bowel syndrome
Functional bowel disorders are a group of gastrointestinal problems. Irritable bowel syndrome is a common condition that affects the majority of people all over the world. Abdominal discomfort and pain accompanied by diarrhea and constipation with irregular bowel movements are signs of irritable bowel syndrome.
While the cause of irritable bowel syndrome is unknown and its symptoms vary from person to person, it is triggered by gastrointestinal infection or food poisoning. The operational condition irritates the gut encouraging it to produce protein and cells that increase gut sensitivity. This results in abdominal pain and discomfort. Stress and anxiety are often linked with irritable bowel syndrome.
Blood and stool tests help diagnose irritable bowel syndrome, and its treatment entails short-term medication and lifestyle changes through diet change reducing triggers from lifestyle. Dairy food, fried and junk food, sugary and aerated drinks, and beans are typical foods that aggravate IBS.
Including ginger, peppermint, and chamomile in your diet can relieve IBS symptoms and aid digestion. The doctor may manage your constipation, bloating, and intestine sensitivity through medication if changes in your lifestyle are not enough.
Constipation is referred to as decrease stool frequency which is less than three times a week. People suffering from constipation may have hard or small pellet-like stools feeling the need to pressurize their stomachs to pass motion.
Constipation can be treated by making lifestyle changes, regulating diet and fluid intake, along necessary medication. Chronic diseases such as hypothyroidism and diabetes can cause constipation in the form of medication side effects.
Pain killers and antidepressants have been liked to constipation. It can be diagnosed using blood tests, stool tests, colonoscopy, and anal muscle function tests. Laxatives may be required to be incorporated into your daily life to relieve constipation.