Common Disorders of the Digestive System
What are digestive system diseases?
One of the most sensitive components of our bodies is the digestive system. It breaks down food and drinks into nutrients that the body can absorb and use as energy and building blocks for cells. Stress, genetics, and environmental factors can cause malfunctions to our digestive system, which can lead to all sorts of diseases.
Digestive diseases are disorders of the digestive tract or the gastrointestinal (GI) tract, which is made up of the esophagus (food tube), stomach, large and small intestines, liver, pancreas, and the gallbladder. It is estimated by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services that between 60 to 70 million of people are affected by some type of digestive system disease.
The most common are Celiac Disease, Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) caused by changes in the GI tract, Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) resulted by a weakened sphincter-muscle between the stomach and esophagus, Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) which includes mentioned disorders like Crohn’s Disease and Ulcerative Colitis, and Gastroparesis – a disorder which reduces the stomach’s ability to empty its contents.
Diet for Digestive Health
Improving Your Diet for Control Over Digestive Diseases
Many people with Digestive Diseases can manage their symptoms through a modified diet. You will need to identify which foods trigger your symptoms and eliminate those foods as often as you can.
You may be able to learn new ways of preparing a diet based on what your body can digest properly.
To help you begin identifying foods that may trigger Digestive Disease symptoms, try eliminating the following:
- Carbonated beverages
- Caffeinated beverages
- Fruits that contain seeds
- Vegetables that contain seeds
- Legumes (Beans, broccoli, and cauliflower)
- Sugary and starchy foods such as pastries, cookies, bread, pasta
These are common sources of inflammation and eliminating these foods will often alleviate your Crohn’s symptoms. Consider using supplementation to boost your health and aid the effects of prescribed therapy.
Symptoms of Digestive Disorders:
- Nausea and vomiting
- Pain in the belly
What Causes Digestive Disorders?
Digestive Disorders can be the result of bacteria in food, infection, stress, certain medications, or chronic medical conditions such as Colitis, Crohn’s disease, and IBS.
Although unknown how it is caused, there are many ways to test for the disease. Always pay attention to your symptoms and the length of time you are experiencing them. The more information you can provide a physician the better.
The following foods are known to “trigger” symptoms of a Digestive Disorder. Drinking and Smoking are also big irritants to the disease.
Avoid the following foods:
- Carbonated beverages and caffeine
- Greasy, fried and processed foods
- Gas-producing foods (lentils, beans, legumes, cabbage, and broccoli)
- Spicy and/or highly seasoned foods
- Dairy Products
For more information on diet restrictions and suggestions for your Digestive Disease, call A.M.P. Floracel® at 954 637-7415 to speak to a specialist today!
Treatment for Digestive Disorders:
People that suffer from Digestive Disorders first tested by their physician to determine treatment routes. Treatment includes a combination of medication and lifestyle changes.
Tests and procedures used to diagnose Digestive Diseases include:
- Fecal Blood Tests: A fecal occult blood test checks for hidden (occult) blood in the stool. It involves placing a very small amount of stool on a special card, which is then tested in the doctor’s office or sent to a laboratory.
- Biopsy: The removal of a sample of tissue or cells so that they can be examined by a pathologist, usually under a microscope. A specialist trained to examine a sample of tissue for signs and extent of the disease under a microscope is called a pathologist.
- Endoscope: A procedure that allows your physician to analyze the esophagus, stomach, and small bowel by inserting a thin, flexible tube into your mouth. The camera inside the tube will display the images on a monitor.
Lifestyle tips for those with Digestive Diseases
The phrase “you are what you eat” is more prominent than ever when it comes to digestive system disorders. The feeling of unease in your stomach and intestines usually occurs during times of stress, anxiety, and excess worry. This is one of the culprits which can disturb the delicate balance of digestion. Besides finding a way to relax, you should also avoid eating when the bad feeling recurs.
Every doctor will recommend that you stop smoking if you are an avid smoker because a weakened muscle at the end of the esophagus will allow stomach acid to travel in the wrong direction. Gulping down random food between meetings and in transit won’t help your digestive system to do it’s function peacefully. You need to find time to eat slowly, sufficiently, and regularly with plenty to drink.
If you suffer from heartburn, shedding some pounds will relieve digestive symptoms. Also, binge-drinking is an acidic hazard for digestive disorders. You don’t have to quit drinking altogether (unless necessity demands it), just remember to keep things in moderation.
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