Learning Some Gastrointestinal Disturbances

Gastrointestinal (GI) disturbances are the diseases classified to be affecting the gastrointestinal tract. The GI is composed of the esophagus, stomach, small and large intestines, as well as rectum. The liver, gall bladder, and pancreas are also affected as these organs aid in the process of digestion.

GI disturbances can be classified into acute or chronic. Acute GI disturbances can only last a few days while the chronic ones may last longer periods, inflicting much pain and suffering to those affected. Most common symptoms include nausea, vomiting, bloating, constipation, or diarrhea. Some of the most common GI disturbances are brought about by the combination of several symptoms, most of which can be easily treated if only those affected seek medical attention right away instead of suffering in silence.

Here are only some of the various gastrointestinal disturbances that any person can face:

Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)

Easy as the name suggests, IBS refers to the repeated pain felt in your abdomen caused by changes in bowel movement like constipation or diarrhea. These symptoms can occur without any visible damage to your digestive tract and can be primarily treated using prescribed medicines and ultimately changing eating as well as other lifestyle habits. Discomfort due to IBS may be alleviated with professional intervention but there is no known absolute cure for this functional GI disease.

Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)

GERD is a serious, lifelong GI disturbance characterized by repeatedly getting heartburns, meaning the contents of the stomach come back up the esophagus. It happens not only to adults, but also to teens and even children. Other symptoms include bad breath, tooth erosion, chest pains, and trouble swallowing. Relief may be found in eating healthier and changing lifestyles, but depending on the severity, some may require medicines or surgery.

Hemorrhoids

Also called Piles, Hemorrhoids are inflamed blood vessels around the anus or the lining of the lower rectum. Seeing blood on the toilet when you move your bowels is a sure sign of this disease and would be a good opportunity to see a doctor. Medicines can help ease swelling and itching, while eating high-fiber meals, drinking a lot of fluids and proper toilet habits can help ensure non-reoccurrence.

Gallstones

These small pebble-like pieces found in the gall bladder are made up of cholesterol and bile salts. Symptoms such as vomiting, fever, nausea and prolonged pain are red flags for a bad case of gallstones. Though most of the people affected do not require treatment, not getting it checked can lead to complications requiring removal of the gall bladder.

Celiac Disease

Celiac Disease is an autoimmune disorder that affects about one per cent of the US population. Those affected cannot eat food with gluten or else they damage their small intestine. Symptoms include fatigue, vomiting, anemia, and a fatty stool. There is no known cure for Celiac Disease but it is recommended to go gluten-free to alleviate the swelling of the small intestine.

Peptic Ulcers

Unexplainable sudden burning pains in the stomach are a common symptom of Peptic Ulcers, also known as Stomach Ulcers. These are sores on the lining of the stomach or duodenum, which are caused by prolonged use of aspirin or ibuprofen or at times even caused by tumors in the stomach. Smoking and drinking alcohol are also seen as factors aggravating ulcers, but are not yet proven to actually cause them. An endoscopy or x-ray can help confirm if a patient has a peptic ulcer so it is best to visit a health professional to know for sure. If left untreated, these ulcers can burn holes on the stomach wall or small intestine and may also lead to gastric cancer.

Crohn’s Disease

This is a chronic disease that can affect the whole digestive tract, but it is commonly found at the connection between the small and large intestines or the terminal ileum. There is no certainty as to the exact cause of Crohn’s Disease, but a look at the genetics and family medical history can at least provide an overview. Medicine and surgeries do not completely heal this GI disturbance but can surely decrease the inflammation in the intestines to prevent manifestation of symptoms.

Ulcerative Colitis

Ulcerative Colitis is another enduring disease that causes inflammation and ulcers on the inner lining of the large intestine. It is classified as an Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) alongside Crohn’s Disease. Continued medication can help minimize the symptoms but surgeries are also advisable depending on the severity of the disease.

Gastrointestinal Bleeding

Any portion of the gastrointestinal tract that starts to bleed can be classified under this umbrella terminology. Other existing GI disturbances can lead to bleeding and symptoms vary depending on the location and gravity of the bleeding. If diagnosed, it is advisable to not drink alcoholic beverages. To cure the bleeding, it is crucial to also address any other GI disease already present.

There are many other gastrointestinal disturbances that affect a lot of people worldwide. It is important to remember to always listen to your body and never ignore the signs and symptoms it provides. Consultation with a medical professional is vital and keeping a healthy and well-balanced lifestyle is a must for diseases like those above to be prevented.

 

Sources:

The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases Health Information Center. Retrieved from https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/digestive-diseases

Haupt, Payne and Baldauf. 2012, September 6. 8 Common Digestive Problems and How to End Them. Retrieved from https://health.usnews.com/health-news/articles/2012/09/06/8-common-digestive-problems-and-how-to-end-them

Orenstein B W. 2017, July 6. 9 Common Digestive Conditions From Top to Bottom. Retrieved from https://www.everydayhealth.com/digestive-health/common-digestive-conditions-from-top-bottom/

Cleveland Clinic. 2016, October 25. Gastrointestinal Disorders. Retrieved from https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/articles/7040-gastrointestinal-disorders

Myeloma UK. 2018, May. Gastrointestinal Disturbances. Retrieved from https://www.myeloma.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/Myeloma-UK-Gastrointestinal-disturbances-Infosheet.pdf

Journal of Hepatology and Gastrointestinal disorders. Retrieved from https://www.omicsonline.org/hepatology-gastrointestinal-disorders.php

Journal of Gastrointestinal & Digestive System. Gastrointestinal Infections. Retrieved from https://www.omicsonline.org/scholarly/gastrointestinal-infections-journals-articles-ppts-list.php

 

 

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