9 The most common digestive diseases and disorders

Presse Santé


If your stomach or intestines hurt, you may have one of the following conditions. Most people don’t like to talk about it, but indigestion is common.
There is no need to suffer in silence. Here is a comprehensive look at the nine most common digestive disorders, their symptoms and the most effective treatments available. If you think you have any of these problems, consult a healthcare professional immediately.

1. Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)

When stomach acid returns to the esophagus, you may feel a burning pain in the middle of your chest. This often happens after a meal or at night. It is common for people to suffer from acid reflux and heartburn from time to time, and symptoms that affect daily life or occur at least twice a week may be a sign of GERD. It is a very common chronic digestive disease. If you suffer from persistent heartburn, bad breath, tooth erosion, nausea, chest or upper abdominal pain, or have difficulty swallowing or breathing, consult your doctor.

Relief is achieved by avoiding the foods and beverages that cause their symptoms and / or by taking over-the-counter antacids. In addition, lifestyle changes such as raising the head of the bed, lying down after eating, avoiding tight clothing, and quitting smoking can help.

2. Gallstones

Gallstones are hard deposits that form in your gallbladder. It is a small pear-shaped sac that stores and excretes bile for digestion. Gallstones can form when your bile contains too much cholesterol or waste products, or when your gallbladder does not empty properly.

When gallstones block the ducts that lead from the gallbladder to the intestines, they can cause sharp pain in the right upper abdomen. Medications sometimes dissolve gallstones, but if that doesn’t work, the next step is surgery to remove the gallbladder.

3. Celiac disease

More than 80% of people with celiac disease do not know they have it or have been misdiagnosed.

Celiac disease is a severe susceptibility to gluten, a protein found in wheat, rye and barley. Eat gluten and your immune system will start. It damages your villi, those finger protrusions in your small intestine that help you absorb nutrients from the food you eat. In children, symptoms may include abdominal pain and bloating, diarrhea, constipation, vomiting and weight loss. In adults, symptoms may also include anemia, fatigue, bone loss, depression, and bouts of pain.

Still, some people may not have any symptoms. The only treatment for celiac disease is the complete elimination of gluten. Common alternatives to gluten are brown rice, quinoa, lentils, soy flour, corn flour.

4. Crohn’s disease

Crohn’s disease is one of a group of digestive conditions called inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). It can affect any part of the gastrointestinal tract, but most often it affects the terminal ileum, which connects the end of the small intestine and the beginning of the large intestine.

Doctors are not sure the cause of the disease. But he thinks genetics and family history could play a role. The most common symptoms of Crohn’s disease are abdominal pain, diarrhea, rectal bleeding, weight loss and fever. Avoiding starter foods such as dairy products, carbonated beverages, alcohol, coffee, raw fruits and vegetables, red meat, and fatty, fried, spicy, or gaseous foods can also help prevent flare-ups.

5. Ulcerative colitis

Ulcerative colitis is another relatively common inflammatory bowel disease. The symptoms of ulcerative colitis are very similar to those of Crohn’s disease, but the affected part of the digestive tract is only the large intestine, also known as the large intestine.

If your immune system replaces food or other materials with intruders, ulcers or ulcers will develop in the lining of the colon. See your doctor if you have frequent and urgent bowel movements, pain with diarrhea, blood in your stools or abdominal cramps.

It can help eliminate foods that cause discomfort. In severe cases, treatment of ulcerative colitis may require surgery to remove the colon.

6. Irritable bowel syndrome

Is your digestive tract irritated? Do you have abdominal pain or discomfort at least three times a month for several months? It can be irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), another common digestive problem.

The symptoms of IBS can vary greatly, from hard, dry stools one day to loose, watery stools the next. Flatulence is also a symptom of IBS.

The causes of IBS are unknown. The treatment of symptoms depends largely on the diet. Like eating low-fat, high-fiber foods and avoiding common starter foods (dairy products, alcohol, caffeine, artificial sweeteners, and gas-producing foods). A low FODMAP diet has also been shown to reduce IBS symptoms. It consists of the exclusion of foods rich in certain carbohydrates called FODMAP: fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides and polyols.

Also beneficial bacteria, such as probiotics in live yogurt, can help you feel better. Stress can trigger the symptoms of IBS. This is why some people consider cognitive behavioral therapy or other anti-stress methods to be useful treatments.

7. Hemorrhoids

Bright red blood in the toilet bowl when you have stool can be a symptom of hemorrhoids.

Hemorrhoids are inflammations of the blood vessels at the end of the digestive tract that can be painful and itchy. The causes are chronic constipation, diarrhea, stool strain and a lack of fiber in the diet.

Treat hemorrhoids by eating more fiber, drinking more water and exercising. Over-the-counter creams and suppositories may temporarily relieve the symptoms of hemorrhoids. If home treatment does not help, see your doctor. Sometimes a hemorrhoidectomy is needed to surgically remove the hemorrhoids.

8. Diverticulitis

Small pockets called diverticula can form wherever there are weaknesses in the lining of your digestive system. They are most often found in the large intestine. If you have diverticula but no symptoms, this condition is called diverticulosis. It is quite common in older people and rarely causes problems. About half of people develop diverticulosis before the age of 50. But in about 5% of people, the pockets become inflamed or infected, which is diverticulitis. Symptoms include fever, chills, nausea, and abdominal pain. Obesity is a major risk factor for diverticulitis.

Mild diverticulitis is treated with antibiotics and a clear liquid diet so that the large intestine can be cured. A low-fiber diet can cause diverticulitis. Your doctor may therefore advise you to follow a high fiber diet. Especially with: whole grains, legumes, vegetables.

If you have severe seizures that recur frequently, you may need to have surgery to remove a diseased part of the colon.

9. Anal fissure

Anal fissures are tiny, oval fissures in the wall of the end of your digestive tract called the anus. The symptoms are similar to hemorrhoids. Like bleeding and stool pain. Hard, difficult stools can cause cracking, but also loose stools and diarrhea.

A high-fiber diet that keeps your stools well-shaped and bulky is often the best treatment for this common digestive condition. Chronic fissures may require anal sphincter surgery.

* Presse Santé strives to impart health knowledge in a language accessible to all. IN NO EVENT can the information provided replace the advice of a healthcare professional.

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