10 FAQ’s About Digestive Diseases
What are Digestive Diseases?
The conditions which are associated with the digestive tract are known as digestive diseases. The digestive tract includes the following:
What are the Warning Signs of Digestive Disorders?
The manifestation of various digestive disorders often begins with similar symptoms. The following are warning signs of digestive disorders:
Difficulty in swallowing food
Change in body weight
Increase in frequency of released gas
Irregular bowel movements
What are the Types of Digestive Diseases?
Digestive diseases can be classified into two main types.
These are the types of disorders in which the functioning of the digestive tract is impaired. They are common conditions which are triggered due to upsetting of the GI tract.
Examples of functional disorders are:
Irritable bowel syndrome
In these conditions, the structure of the digestive system is compromised and shows abnormalities. These diseases often require corrective procedures to fix the abnormality.
The following are examples of structural disorders:
Can Stomach Ulcers be Caused by Eating Spicy Food?
No, stomach ulcers cannot be caused by eating spicy food. There is a common myth that eating spics food can cause stomach ulcers.
The symptoms of already present stomach ulcers can be aggravated and observed due to the ingestion of spicy food but they cannot be caused by it.
Most stomach ulcers are caused by infections or are drug-induced.
Can Smoking Help in Treating Heartburn and Other Digestive Conditions?
Caption: Smoking does not help in treating any digestive disorder.
Alt text: A person smoking.
No, smoking does not help in treating heartburn or any other digestive condition. Smoking makes heartburn worse. Heartburn is caused when a muscle called LES which is present between the oesophagus and the stomach relaxes. This results in acidic content going back the oesophagus causing heartburn.
Smoking has a relaxing effect on the LES and can increase heartburn.
What are the Causes of Constipation?
Constipation is a condition in which the frequency of bowel movements is less than 3 times a week. It is characterized by bowel movements which are hard to pass.
The range of normal frequency bowel movements varies largely between 3 times a day to 3 times a week. This large range is considered normal.
Constipation is caused by the following:
Not drinking enough water
Changes in routine
Caption: Travelling often results in constipation.
Alt Text: A woman with a suitcase.
What is Irritable Bowel Syndrome?
Irritable bowel syndrome is a digestive disorder which affects the intestine. It is fairly common in women between the ages of 30 and 50 years. The exact cause of this disorder is not known and the diagnosis is made based on symptoms.
The symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome include:
Mucus containing stools
What Does the Medical Procedure Endoscopy do?
Endoscopy is a diagnostic procedure which is performed to diagnose digestive diseases. It is a non-surgical procedure in which a camera is inserted into the body through the mouth.
The camera is very small in size and sends back images which are used for diagnostic purposes.
Only go through this procedure if your doctor recommends it.
How Can Digestive Disorders be Prevented?
The prevention of digestive diseases can be done by maintaining a proper diet. A proper diet which is good for digestive health should focus on the following:
High Fiber intake
Consuming frequent meals
High water intake
Maintain body nutrition
In addition to food intake, getting regular exercise is also helpful.
Caption: Drinking plenty of water helps in preventing digestive diseases.
Alt Text: A man drinking water.
What is Colon Cancer?
Colon cancer or colorectal cancer is a type of cancer in which a malignant tumour is formed on the inner wall of the large intestine. It is a common form of cancer.
Initially, cancer does not show any symptoms but detection at an early stage is important as it increases the chances of effective treatment. It can be detected by a procedure called colonoscopy. It is recommended to get regular colonoscopies above the age of 50.