Most people shy away from talking about it, but having a gastrointestinal problem is common. Do you often suffer from heartburn, ulcers, flatulence, and stomach aches? If left untreated, these disorders can worsen and become even harder to treat.
Signs and Symptoms of Gastrointestinal Disease
There are several signs and symptoms you should look for. Among which are the following:
- Difficulty in stool movement
- Irregular bowel habits
- Rectal bleeding
- Stomach cramps
Types of Diseases
Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)
When stomach acid travels up into your esophagus, a condition called as acid reflux, you may feel a burning sensation in the middle of your chest. It often occurs after meals or at night. While it is common for people to experience acid reflux and heartburn once in a while, going through this in your daily life or occur at least twice each week could be a sign of GERD.
When hard deposits, called gallstones block the ducts leading from your gallbladder to your intestines, they can cause sharp pain in your upper-right abdomen. They usually form when there’s too much cholesterol or waste in your bile, or if your gallbladder doesn’t empty properly.
Celiac disease is a serious sensitivity to gluten, which is a protein found in wheat, rye, and barley. Upon eating gluten, your immune system goes on attack and damages the small intestine. Frequent bouts of abdominal pain, diarrhea, constipation, vomiting, anemia, fatigue, bone loss, depression, and seizures.
Crohn’s disease comes under a group of digestive conditions called inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). It most commonly affects the terminal ileum, which connects the end of the small bowel and the beginning of the colon. Though causes are not known, genetics and family history do play a role. The most common signs are abdominal pain, diarrhea, rectal bleeding, weight loss, and fever.
Ulcerative colitis is another inflammatory bowel disease. The symptoms of ulcerative colitis are very similar to those of Crohn’s, but the part of the digestive tract affected is solely the large intestine, also known as the colon.
Irritable Bowel Syndrome
IBS is diagnosed in cases of constipation, diarrhea, bloating, hard stools on one day and loose watery stools on another. The treatment of symptoms focuses largely on diets, such as eating low-fat, fiber-rich meals or avoiding common trigger foods such as dairy products, alcohol, caffeine, artificial sweeteners and carbonated beverages.
Hemorrhoids are an inflammation of the blood vessels at the end of the digestive tract. They are painful and itchy. The causative factors are usually chronic constipation, diarrhea, straining during bowel movements, and a lack of fiber in your diet.
Anal fissures refer to small tears in the lining of the very end of your digestive tract called your anus. It is similar to hemorrhoids. Straining and hard bowel movements are mostly responsible for this condition.
Doctors have found several reasons for the variety of gastrointestinal diseases. Among which are the following:
- Poor diet: If you lack fibre in your diet, then it can cause a problem in passing stools.
- Complications in childbirth: In-labour trauma can weaken muscles, create lesions and scars, and cause infections.
- Chronic Constipation: When stools are irregular, the nerves are required to work extra hard because the stools actually harden over time.
- Genetic Diseases: People suffering from Crohn’s disease are more prone to gastrointestinal problems.
How is Gastrointestinal Disease Diagnosed?
For a correct diagnosis, it is advisable to go through a series of tests:
- Colonoscopy or Endoscopy
There are a number of treatment options to choose from-
- Dietary modification
Stick to eating organic and unprocessed foods. It is best to go for regular health screening as well to see if you are more prone to a number of diseases and to halt any of these in its tracks.
To keep all of these gastrointestinal diseases away, eat right, exercise regularly, and avoid foods that wreak havoc in your system.