Like most other organisms, humans have to consume food for sustenance and growth. To process this food and convert it to energy, humans have a specialized system for digestion and absorption of food. However, pathogens, genetic predisposition, and lifestyle changes can bring about certain disorders that can drastically compromise human digestion. Following are the most common digestive disorders you should be aware of.
G.E.R.D (Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease)
When the digestive acids present in the stomach flow back up into the oesophagus, a condition called acid reflux occurs. This induces a burning sensation in the chest accompanied by pain and discomfort. This is rather common and not life-threatening, furthermore, symptoms dissipate on its own. However, when these symptoms occur with increased frequency, it might be a sign of G.E.R.D. Prolonged symptoms can cause the acids to rot teeth, pain in the chest, and burning sensation in the stomach that gets worse when lying down.
Over the counter medications such as antacids provide temporary relief, but symptoms may return if the condition is severe enough. In that case, surgery or even stronger medications H2 blockers and proton pump inhibitors.
Irritable Bowel Syndrome (I.B.S)
An estimated 10% to 15% of the world’s population suffers from this syndrome. The symptoms manifest themselves in various forms such as diarrhoea, constipation, bloating etc. Based on these forms, IBS can be of 3 types namely:
- IBS with diarrhoea
- IBS with constipation
- IBS with alternating constipation and diarrhoea
IBS symptoms frequent almost 3-4 times or more in a month. A patient suffering from IBS may have loose, watery stools one day, dry hard stools the next. The exact cause is still unknown, but it has been loosely linked to stress and depression.
Known treatment involves consuming food low in fat and high in fibre. Also, bacteria that live in curds are very beneficial for digestive health and upkeep. Avoiding alcohol, caffeine, spicy food, and diary products also help to aleivate the symptoms.
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