The most common digestive issues can be embarrassing, and so many people suffer in silence. Whether you choose to speak up or not it’s important to know what to do about them. Some digestive issues can be addressed with over-the-counter fixes, while others require doctor’s visits, or even a trip to the hospital.
Here are some of the most common problems, and what you can do about them.
Acid reflux, or heartburn, is often more serious than most people think. It can be a symptom of GERD, a painful disease which can harm your esophagus. Eventually, untreated GERD can lead to esophageal cancer.
Heartburn causes a hot, burning feeling that rises from the abdomen’s center and into the chest. You might feel a sour taste, or start hypersalivating.
According to DrGurunath Reddy, a well-known Digestive & Liver Disease Consultant from Txgidocs.com, treatment options for mild to moderate heartburn include proton pump inhibitors that decrease acidity levels. These include Prevacid, Aciphes, and Protonix.
Severe GERD may require laparoscopic surgery to tighten the loose muscle between the esophagus and the stomach.
Unexplained stomach pain? Don’t reach for painkillers. Aspirin or NSAID (Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs) such as Advil can make the situation worse.
Instead, get a Helicobacter pylori test. Helicobacter pylori is a bacterium which disrupts the protective mucus layer of the stomach. This causes the stomach to become lined with sores and ulcers, as well as the first stretch of the small intestine.
Smoke? Drink alcohol? Live a stressful lifestyle? All these factors can aggravate peptic ulcers. And you can’t afford to leave them untreated—ulcers can cause internal bleeding and serious infections, even as they increase the risk of gastric cancer.
Gallstones are little pebbles in the gall bladder made of bile salts and cholesterol. They can be very painful when they get stuck, as they block the flow of bile in the ducts between the small intestines and the liver. They can be exacerbated by other conditions, like irritable bowel syndrome.
If the stones begin to cause infection or inflammation of the liver, pancreas, or gallbladder they will need to be removed. This will mean removing the gallbladder altogether.
Many individuals suffer from chronic constipation because they overuse laxatives. The gut can become dependent upon these drugs, even as the body builds up a tolerance to them, causing them to become ineffective.
It’s not necessary to get obsessed with your elimination schedule. However, if you are uncomfortable you can try Milk of Magnesia. You don’t necessarily need a doctor’s help to tackle this problem, but be aware that hard stools and straining can cause hemorrhoids or anal fissures.