A Crash Course in Common Digestive Disorders
If you are experiencing some symptoms that point to a digestive disorder, then you need to know what you are dealing with so that you can find the best treatment. However, although this crash course in digestive disorders will allow you to have an idea of what you may be experiencing, remember that self-diagnosis is not always accurate—a healthcare professional will best be able to help you find out the problem and treat it.
Gastro Esophageal Reflux Disease or Acid Reflux
Acid reflux is a common condition that many people experience. It can be caused by a hiatal hernia, ill-timing of the esophagus’ relaxation, or some nerve or muscle issues in the stomach. It can manifest symptoms like regurgitation of stomach acid, an acidic taste in the mouth, and heartburn. The symptoms are most commonly occur after meals and upon lying down.
It is not possible to completely cure GERD at this time, but the condition can be made manageable through a number of remedies. A change in diet to cut out acidic foods and avoid problem foods that exacerbate the problem is highly effective in helping the problem. Reducing coffee, soda and alcoholic intake is also effective. Lessening or quitting smoking has been found helpful, along with an increase in water intake. Some have found success with apple cider vinegar as well.
Gastritis and Gastric Ulcers
The inflammation of the stomach lining (gastritis) or open sores/wounds in the lining (ulcers) are usually caused by certain medications, infections and in some cases, abuse on the stomach (skipping meals, drinking acidic beverages when the stomach is empty, etc). It can also be caused by some underlying conditions.
Common symptoms are nausea, vomiting, frequent upset stomachs, diarrhea, and a burning feeling in the stomach. If the person experiences vomiting a coffee ground-like material or blood, or bloody/black and tarry stool, seek emergency help.
Treatment of underlying conditions can result in the gastritis/ulcers healing. However, it is also common to prescribe antacids to patients suffering from this problem. A diet cutting out hot/spicy foods, acidic foods and beverages and other problem foods is also helpful. Increased water intake can also help ease the problem.
Often confused with IBS (irritable bowel syndrome), Crohn’s Disease is actually a separate condition all on its own. It primarily affects the small intestines, causing its swelling or inflammation. However, this condition can also affect the large intestine and pretty much any other part of the digestive system. This condition can bring flare-ups where the symptoms are highly active, and remissions where the symptoms ease up or disappear completely.
CD usually causes fever, diarrhea and abdominal pain. In some, it can cause appetite loss which can then result in weight loss.
This condition is commonly treated with some medications. However, in some worse case scenarios, it may be necessary to be surgically treated. Dietary changes such as switching to low-fat options, lessening intake of dairy, eating smaller portions, and avoiding problem food have also been found helpful. Visiting a dietician or nutritionist can also help the person.