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Gastrointestinal Disorders On The Rise

After a hearty meal or unusual ingredients all of us may have some digestive discomfort, even bloating and heartburn. When pain and repeated discomfort persist in any point of your gastrointestinal tract, it is time to see your physician. There is an increasing number of patients suffering from gastrointestinal diseases, chronic or acute malfunctions of the gastrointestinal tract. 

Gastrointestinal disorders doctors traditionally divide into two categories:

  • In case of structural gastrointestinal diseases there is a disfunction and the abnormality is visible and obviously caused by haemorrhoids, inflammations, fissures, ulcers, polyps and cancers. 
  • Functional gastrointestinal disorders, mostly that of the bowels (the colon and rectum) cause malfunction, but the organs look normal and it is impossible to detect any visible signs of the illness. Irritable bowel syndrome and constipation are the most common functional conditions. 

Some risk factors that may trigger gastrointestinal disorders:

  • Lack of exercise
  • Stress
  • Pregnancy
  • Excessive use of laxatives
  • Traveling, environmental changes
  • Diet low in fibres and consuming too much dairy products
  • Contact with microbes

Gastrointestinal disorders may affect the:

  • esophagus
  • stomach
  • pancreas
  • liver
  • gallbladder
  • small intestine
  • colon rectum

Esophagus

Gastroesphageal reflux is quite a common disease in developing countries. It involves the stomach acid coming up from the stomach, which can cause severe damages to mucosal surfaces in the mouth and oesophagus. 

Symptoms: throwing up blood, sore and swelling throat.

Stomach

Gastritis is the inflammation of the stomach usually caused by an infection. When it becomes chronic, it can induce very serious consequences, such as ulcers, stenosis or cancer. As a malfunctioning stomach hinders proper absorption, malnutrition is often an issue in gastrointestinal disorders treatment. 

Common symptoms of gastritis and stomach ulcers are indigestion, heartburn, vomiting.

Small Intestines

  • Crohn’s  disease is an inflammatory autoimmune disease of the bowels that causes abdominal pain and weight loss because of the frequent diarrhoea and vomiting. The inflammation can spread further in the bowel and to other organs without proper medical help. 
  • Celiac disease is another autoimmune disease that causes hypersensitivity to gluten.
  • Enteritis is an inflammatory disease, however, it is not influenced by hereditary factors but it is rather caused by microorganisms getting  into the intestines with food. 
  • Ulcers
  • Malabsorption is the unsatisfactory absorption of one ore more nutrients, which can lead to anemia and malnutrition.

Large Intestines

  • Appendicitis is the acute inflammation of the appendix. 
  • Colitis is an inflammation appearing in distinct part(s) of the large intestines caused by the presence of a bacteria.
  • Irritable bowel syndrome is still a mystery for medicine, as there is no consensus what triggers this functional colonic disease. 

            Symptoms: bloating, abdominal pain, constipation, diarrhea, cramps, irregular

            bowel habits.

Rectum

Cancerous and ulcerous gastrointestinal disorders are very common in this area.

Symptoms: blood in the stool, pain when passing stool, feeling of incomplete emptying

Gastrointestinal Disorders Treatment

As the array of illnesses is long and the diseases are often of unknown origin gastrointestinal disorders treatment is complex and often requires total lifestyle changes. Treatment options can be medical and surgical, depending on the condition. When tissues are damaged, they must be corrected or removed. Inflammatory diseases are treated with drugs and antibiotics. When some kind of allergy or hypersensitivity is diagnosed, the elimination of the allergens becomes necessary. To treat or prevent gastrointestinal diseases, doctors often recommend probiotics in form of supplements. 

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