The digestive system is one of the most essential systems of our body starting from the oral cavity to the rectum. A healthy digestive system is of paramount importance for the easy and quick absorption of the essential nutrients and the expulsion of toxins from the body in the form of urine and stools. Our unhealthy food habits and sedentary lifestyle has been a major contributing factor for the increment of digestive problems. If ignored, temporary issues can result in permanent chronic illness. Your health should always be your priority and especially in these unprecedented times being preventive is of much more importance.
Having a well-balanced lifestyle is the first and the most important step in achieving a healthy digestive system which is devoid of any underlying diseases. We have thoroughly researched and curated a guide for you to understand the causes, signs and symptoms of some of the commonly occurring digestive problems along with their preventive treatment.
1) Constipation: This is the most commonly occur digestive issue which is primarily caused due to indigestion, resulting in fewer bowel movements. Constipation is common for people of all ages but mostly occurs in elderly patients. If you suffer from constipation you will have dry and hard stools accompanied by stomach pain.
Causes for Constipation
Apart from our eating habits and patterns, constipation can also be caused when people are on medications or are pregnant. Some of the most common causes of constipation are discussed below:
- Consuming food with low fiber content
- Not hydrating properly
- Sedentary lifestyle
- Consuming excess amount of dairy products
- Irregular sleeping patterns
- Stress and anxiety
Treatment for Constipation
- Drink a sufficient amount of water every day, it is advised to consume at least 4-5 liters of water without any caffeine or sugar.
- Have a nutritious and balanced diet containing essential minerals, fibers, proteins and vitamins. Try to include seasonal fruits and green leafy vegetables in your diet along with beans, nuts and legumes.
- Exercise and move your muscles for at least half an hour every day.
- Try including supplements in your diet like magnesium, iron and multivitamins.
2) Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease(GERD): This situation occurs when food reflux backwards moves back from the stomach into the esophagus. GERD affects the flexibility of the muscles in your stomach and esophagus. The major symptom of the disorder is heartburn, chest pain, sore throat and irritation due to excessive acid production. Severe cases of GERD may result in ulcers in the esophagus and even cancer.
Causes for GERD
The disorder is caused when muscles of the lower esophageal sphincter lose their flexibility. It does not close properly after the ingestion of food and thus results in reflux of the digestive juices, food components and acid from the stomach back into the esophagus. Other common reasons that can contribute to the development of GERD are:
- Excessive weight gain
- Intake of a high amount of caffeine and processed foods
- If you are already having a connective tissue disorder
Treatment for GERD
- Medications: GERD can be treated by administering medications that can lower the risk of reflux. The usual medications prescribed by your doctor are usually antacids and protein pump inhibitors.
- Maintain a Healthy Lifestyle: Apart from the mentioned medicines, you can also provide some positive changes in your lifestyle and eating habits to avoid the occurrence of such situation in future. Keep away from processed foods, sugars and caffeine.
- Exercise: Try doing mild exercises such as meditation, stretching and walking this will improve agility and also will help in better digestion.
3) Inflammatory Bowel Disease: This disorder occurs when there is inflammation in the intestine. IBD is of two types: Ulcerative Colitis and Crohn’s Disease. Ulcerative colitis is related to the inflammation in the colon and large intestine whereas Crohn’s disease can affect any part of the digestive tract. During IBD, the person might suffer from diarrhea, stomach pain, ulcers and anemia.
Causes for IBD
IBD is mainly caused when the immune system acts up without any threat from the foreign body and the inflammation does not subside but starts destroying the cells of the body. The common causes for IBD are:
- Environmental factors
Treatment for IBD
1) Medications: IBD can be best treated by proper medications, some of the commonly prescribed medications are Anti-inflammatory drugs, these class of drugs help in the reduction of inflammation of the digestive tract. The drugs that are included under this category are glucocorticoids and biologic drugs in case of severe IBD. But they do have many side effects and should not be consumed over a longer period of time.
2) Following A Healthy Lifestyle: Making positive changes in your lifestyle will contribute a lot to decreasing the intensity of this disorder. Increase the intake of water, juices, non-caffeine liquids to have a smooth bowel movement and to flush out toxins easily.
3) Take Supplements: In IBD you lose an ample amount of nutrition, minerals and vitamins from your body taking supplements will not only help you restore those but will also provide you strength and energy. Try to include supplements like iron, magnesium and multivitamins in your everyday diet.
4) Say No To Smoking: One of the major factors that contribute to the development of IBD is smoking and excessive smoking can lead to worsening of the condition. People who smoke have a higher risk of developing Crohn’s disease and can suffer from a blockage in the digestive tract, inflammation and internal fissures.
The majority of the digestive issues can be prevented by choosing a healthy lifestyle. In case of serious concerns, you can always consult a physician and take prescribed medications. You should not avoid any underlying issues associated with your digestive health as they might result in something severe within no time. We hope that this article helps you in identifying symptoms of the commonly occurring digestive issues.
Main Keyword: Digestive Issues Long-Tail Keyword: development of IBD, Crohn’s disease, Anti-inflammatory drugs, development of GERD, healthy digestive system
- Healthline; “Understanding Digestion Problems”; accessed on: 13th May,2021;https://www.healthline.com/health/digestion-problems
- Webmd; “GERD”; accessed on: 13th May, 2021; https://www.webmd.com/heartburn-gerd/guide/reflux-disease-gerd-1
- Healthline; “Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)”; accessed on: 13th May,2021; https://www.healthline.com/health/inflammatory-bowel-disease#causes-and-risk-factors