Our digestive systems are one of the biggest causes of routine health problems. It’s important that we look after our stomach, intestines and other digestive organs. It’s so easy to notice when something is wrong with them. A problem with your stomach, for example, can make you feel uncomfortable and change your entire mood. You might not be able to sleep, or concentrate at work. And although the problem originates from one area of your body it can put your entire being on edge. Pain and discomfort can change your life, and some digestive problems could lead to something more serious. You can treat and avoid these common digestive problems, using the advice below.
Acid reflux occurs when stomach acid leaks out of the stomach and into the esophagus. Acid reflux symptoms include heartburn, a hot and painful feeling in the abdomen and chest. Frequently experiencing acid reflux symptoms could indicate that a person has GERD. This stands for gastroesophageal reflux disease. If this is the case, the disease can harm the esophagus over time and even lead to cancer. However, many people only occasionally experience acid reflux and heartburn. Acid reflux is often treated with antacids. And you can treat GERD reducing acid levels with proton pump inhibitors. However, taking medication regularly could have risks. You could help to prevent heartburn by changing the position you sleep in, eating smaller meals and cutting back on alcohol consumption.
It’s likely that everyone experiences indigestion at some point in their lives. Symptoms include feeling bloated or gassy, and it can also come with heartburn. If you often experience indigestion, it may be worth changing your diet. You can look at what you eat and how much you eat; eating little and often may be better if you’re prone to indigestion. Try to pace yourself when you’re eating too, as eating too fast could bring on indigestion.
Peptic ulcers were once thought to be brought on by stress, and in fact this idea still pervades in some places. In fact, the bacterium Helicobacter pylori causes ulcers. It disrupts a layer of mucus and causes ulcers in the stomach or small intestine. Other causes of ulcers include smoking, excessive NSAID use, and possibly alcohol. 25 million Americans will experience an ulcer at some point in their lives. And if they’re left untreated they can cause internal bleeding and lead to infection. If you have unexplained stomach pain, your doctor may consider the possibility that you have an ulcer.
Most gallstones don’t require treatment. In fact, only a quarter of cases needs treatment, of the 1 million Americans who are diagnosed with gallstones every year. Symptoms include pain around the top of your abdomen and jaundice. If gallstones are causing major problems, getting rid of them often involves removing the gallbladder. However, gallstones may not cause any symptoms and can pass naturally, so they don’t require any treatment.
If you’re experiencing persistent digestive problems, visit your doctor for a diagnosis and advice on treatment.