An Essential Asset That Determines Your Overall Health
Digestive system in a human body is one of the most vital systems. It comprises of organs like liver, stomach and intestines to carry out digestion process methodically. Food first passes through food pipe, stomach, liver (breaks down the sugars), intestines (nutrient absorption) and finally the waste food is passed out (stools). If any of the digestive processed functions improperly, the resulting symptoms will be very disturbing. Hence your digestive health is of paramount importance in determining the quality of your life, physically and emotionally. Some typical problems arising from the malfunction of the digestive system are discussed below:
Inflammatory Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
Also known as Ulcerative Colitis, IBS is caused by inflammation of the large intestine and is the most common of all affecting almost 10-15% of the adult population, in the United States. Its symptoms include diarrhea, bleeding from rectum, mild abdominal cramping and stool urgency. More often than not, IBS is a chronic condition. Severe condition of IBS requires surgery while other cases can be treated with medications.
Abdominal Pain Syndrome
The most mundane of reasons like acidity, to critical diseases like cancer of intestines, can cause abdominal pain. This syndrome is extremely generic so you must isolate your concerns of abdominal pain with symptoms like fever, blood in stools, continuous vomiting, severe constipation or jaundice. Your primary physician will determine the seriousness of your pain based on your medical history, nature of pain experienced and blood tests (if required). This syndrome can be an indication of hernias, shingles, blunt force injuries or nerve irritation. There are many other rare conditions too that start with abdominal pain.
Belching, Bloating and Flatulence
While eating or drinking air or gas gets trapped in your stomach. When your body discharges air accumulated in your stomach, it is a burp. Air trapped in the gut causes bloating and when the same air passes out of the rectum, it is called flatulence. This is not a very critical condition but causes some pain in the abdomen when trapped. Food like soda, beer, cabbage, beans and broccoli must be avoided. Belching and flatulence are normal processes that take place in your body, however if they occur alongside with Irritable Bowel Syndrome, lactose intolerance, gastric inflammation and esophageal reflux, the symptoms have to be medically treated.
Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
IBS is a chronic disorder of the intestines that cause diarrhea, constipation or abdominal discomfort, and flares up sometimes. It is treated depending on the severity of the symptoms and its frequency of occurrence. Stress and anxiety indirectly contribute to IBS symptoms by causing a dysfunction in the muscles and nerves that control the bowel movements.
Ways to Keep Your Digestive Tract on Track
- Drink plenty of water and eat on time
- Quit smoking and keep your alcohol and caffeine intake in check
- Avoid excessive fatty food. Choosing lean meats would be a good option
- Keep your diet rich in soluble and insoluble fiber like oats and psyllium husk
- Increase your physical activity and follow a workout regime