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    Digestive Diseases

    Health    Digestive Diseases
    Also called: Gastrointestinal diseases

    When you eat, your body breaks food down to a form it can use to build and nourish cells and provide energy. This process is called digestion.

    Your digestive system is a series of hollow organs joined in a long, twisting tube. It runs from your mouth to your anus and includes your esophagus, stomach, and small and large intestines. Your liver, gallbladder and pancreas are also involved. They produce juices to help digestion.

    There are many types of digestive disorders. The symptoms vary widely depending on the problem. In general, you should see your doctor if you have

    • Blood in your stool
    • Changes in bowel habits
    • Severe abdominal pain
    • Unintentional weight loss
    • Heartburn not relieved by antacids

    NIH: National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases

    Symptoms of Digestive Diseases

    The following features are indicative of Digestive Diseases:
    • blood in the stool
    • changes in bowel habits
    • severe abdominal pain
    • heartburn not relieved by antacids
    • bleeding
    • bloating
    • constipation
    • diarrhea
    • heartburn
    • incontinence
    • nausea and vomiting
    • pain in the belly
    • swallowing problems
    • weight gain or loss
    References: 1, 2

    Common Causes of Digestive Diseases

    The following are the most common causes of Digestive Diseases:
    • gastrointestinal motility problems
    • excessive acid production
    • use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs
    • cigarette smoking
    References: 3, 4, 5

    Other Causes of Digestive Diseases

    The following are the less common causes of Digestive Diseases:
    • smoking
    • diarrhea
    • constipation
    • muscle damage or weakness
    • nerve damage
    • loss of stretch in the rectum
    • childbirth by vaginal delivery
    • hemorrhoids and rectal prolapse
    • rectocele
    • swallowed air
    • fiber
    • obesity
    • lack of exercise
    References: 3, 4, 5

    Risk Factors of Digestive Diseases

    The following factors may increase the likelihood of Digestive Diseases:
    • recent foreign travel
    • contact with symptomatic persons
    • contact with a dog with diarrhea
    • consumption of products containing formula milk
    • prior diagnosis of several types of atopic diseases

    Prevention of Digestive Diseases

    Yes, it may be possible to prevent Digestive Diseases. Prevention may be possible by doing the following:
    • use only purified or bottled water for drinking
    • use boiled tap water
    • eat fully cooked and hot food
    • do not eat unwashed or unpeeled raw vegetables and fruits
    References: 6

    Occurrence of Digestive Diseases.

    Degree of Occurrence

    The following are number of Digestive Diseases cases seen each year worldwide:
    • Very common > 10 Million cases

    Common Age Group

    Digestive Diseases most commonly occurs in the following age group:
    • Can happen at any age

    Common Gender

    Digestive Diseases most commonly occurs in the following gender:
    • Not gender specific
    References: 7

    Lab Tests and Procedures for Diagnosis of Digestive Diseases

    The following lab tests and procedures are used to detect Digestive Diseases:
    • Colonoscopy: To diagnose gastrointestinal diseases
    • Upper GI endoscopy: To diagnose gastrointestinal diseases
    • Capsule endoscopy: To diagnose gastrointestinal diseases
    • Endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography: To diagnose gastrointestinal diseases
    • Endoscopic ultrasound: To diagnose gastrointestinal diseases
    References: 2

    Doctor for Diagnosis of Digestive Diseases:

    Patients should visit the following specialists if they have symptoms of Digestive Diseases:
    • Gastroenterologist
    • Nurse practitioner
    • Nutritionist or dietitian
    • Primary care doctor
    • Radiologist
    • Surgeon

    Complications of Digestive Diseases if Untreated

    Yes, Digestive Diseases causes complications if it is not treated. Below is the list of complications and problems that may arise if Digestive Diseases is left untreated:
    • can be fatal
    References: 2

    Procedures for Treatment of Digestive Diseases

    The following procedures are used to treat Digestive Diseases:
    • Surgery: To remove a part of colon
    • Biofeedback training: To pass stool more easily
    • Fluid replacement: Maintain your electrolyte levels by drinking fruit juices to keep your heart beating
    References: 8, 9

    Self-care for Digestive Diseases

    The following self-care actions or lifestyle changes may help in the treatment or management of Digestive Diseases:
    • Increase fiber intake: Helps increasing increases the weight of stool and speeds its passage through intestines
    • Exercise most days of the week: Helps increasing muscle activity in intestine
    • Drink plenty of fluids: Avoid caffeine and alcohol
    • Eat semisolid and low-fiber foods
    • Helps in bowel movements return to normal
    • Avoid dairy products, fatty foods, high-fiber foods or highly seasoned foods
    • Consider taking probiotics: Restore a healthy balance to the intestinal tract
    References: 9, 10

    Alternative Medicine for Treatment of Digestive Diseases

    The following alternate medicine and therapies are known to help in the treatment or management of Digestive Diseases:
    • Use a probiotic such as bifidobacterium: Helps in treating constipation
    • Use a probiotic such as lactobacillus: Helps in treating constipation
    • Acupuncture therapy: May be helpful in treating constipation
    • Intake of zinc supplementation: Helps in treating malnourishment or zinc deficiency
    References: 8, 11

    Patient Support for Treatment of Digestive Diseases

    The following actions may help Digestive Diseases patients:
    • Education: Helps improving emotional functions
    • Psychosocial support: Help people with COPD and their carers better manage the condition
    References: 12

    Time for Treatment of Digestive Diseases

    While time-period of treatment for each patient may vary, below is the typical time-period for Digestive Diseases to resolve if treated properly under an expert supervision:
    • In 1 - 4 weeks
    References: 11

    Is Digestive Diseases Infectious?

    Yes, Digestive Diseases is known to be infectious. It can spread across people via the following means:
    • contact with symptomatic persons
    References: 4

    Questions - Digestive Diseases

    References

    1. MedlinePlus Digestive Diseases https://medlineplus.gov/digestivedisease... - Accessed: February 20, 2017.
    2. MedlinePlus Digestive diseases https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/007... - Accessed: February 20, 2017.
    3. NIH Digestive Diseases https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-informa... - Accessed: February 20, 2017.
    4. Ethelberg S, Olesen B, Neimann J, et al. Risk factors for diarrhea among children in an industrialized country. Epidemiology. 2006;17(1):24-30. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1635... - Accessed: February 20, 2017.
    5. Wikipedia Stomach disease https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stomach_di... - Accessed: February 20, 2017.
    6. MedlinePlus Diarrhea https://medlineplus.gov/diarrhea.html - Accessed: February 20, 2017.
    7. CDC Digestive Diseases https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/digesti... - Accessed: February 20, 2017.
    8. Mayo Clinic Constipation http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-condi... - Accessed: February 20, 2017.
    9. Mayo Clinic Diarrhea http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-condi... - Accessed: February 20, 2017.
    10. Mayo Clinic Constipation http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-condi... - Accessed: February 20, 2017.
    11. Wikipedia Diarrhea https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diarrhea - Accessed: February 20, 2017.
    12. AIHW What interventions are used to treat COPD? http://www.aihw.gov.au/copd/treatment/ - Accessed: February 20, 2017.
    13. Source: https://medlineplus.gov/digestivediseases.html

    Last updated date

    This page was last updated on 7/29/2018.
    This page provides information for Digestive Diseases.