Our digestive enemies!

Posted by   - Fotopharmacy -
20/11/2020
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Our digestive enemies!

Digestive dysfunction can be responsible for a number of diseases, from weakened defense of the immune system, autoimmune diseases, to depression and chronic fatigue, according to experts. Conversely, the better the digestive system works, the healthier we are.

Digestive system problems are the second most common cause, after the common cold, that leads people to seek medical advice. The path of food, from its intake to the stomach and intestine, is an extremely complex process. In addition, the large intestine is a living ecosystem that has nine times more bacteria than the rest of the body. Through a highly sophisticated signal transmission system, which works with the contribution of various hormones, cytokines and neurotransmitters, there is always a flow of information from the intestine to the brain and vice versa. This information signals hunger, satiety, stress, happiness, but also what has entered the body through diet.

Let's look at the most common diseases of the stomach...
Irritable bowel syndrome

The term includes a variety of disorders of the intestine affecting about 20% of the population. Typical symptoms are abdominal pain and discomfort, as well as a feeling of bloating and gas accumulation. Characteristic of the disorder is alternating constipation with diarrhea. This syndrome, which is essentially an inflammatory condition, is more common in women than men. Symptoms are caused or worsened by psychological factors, such as stress, anxiety and worry, but also by various types of food.

Peptic ulcer, gastritis
In most cases it is caused by a bacterium, Helicobacter pylori. The symptoms are periodic discomfort in the epigastrium (below the sternum and above the navel in the center of the abdomen) in the form of heartburn and sourness but also pain and occurs in 30% of people. The infection can be detected by a stool or breath test. The treatment is done with a combination of antibiotics,

Gastroesophageal reflux disease and heartburn
Heartburn in the epigastrium is manifested by a sharp sensation of pain, usually after a meal. Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is essentially the return to the esophagus of a quantity of gastric contents. A degree of regression is normal. It becomes pathological when it is repeated or when it is of long duration. The most common complication is esophagitis, while obesity exacerbates the problem. It can be manifested by chronic cough, asthma, pharyngitis, hoarseness in the voice, chest pain, abdominal pressure and sleeping discomfort. A visit to the doctor is required
.

Indigestion
Indigestion as a term includes all the problems related to digestion, such as its long duration, the feeling of bloating, nausea, vomiting. Usually, all the symptoms appear after big meals, while if the problem is chronic, it lasts for at least 4 weeks. So one should visit a specialist, if the symptoms become chronic, if they are accompanied by fever or abdominal pain, if do not go away with treatment.

Food intolerance
It is a growing problem in the western world, as about 20% of the population feels that some food causes them discomfort in the form of constipation, diarrhea, nausea, stomach pain, flatulence or gastroesophageal reflux disease. Some become irritable, hyperactive, while others experience symptoms of drowsiness. Other symptoms include headache or migraine, muscle aches and difficulty concentrating.

Stool disorders
Diarrhea and constipation
Diarrhea is defined as the condition in which we have continuous and watery stools. Diarrhea can be acute with a violent onset usually accompanied by vomiting and abdominal pain, while with treatment it develops ideally in 3-5 days. The year lasts more than 4 weeks with watery stools more than 3 per day and needs medical monitoring due to the variety of etiologies. It can also be infectious and due to toxins secreted by pathogenic microorganisms (viruses, bacteria, fungi). ...). These diarrheas are intense and frequent and lead to electrolyte loss, and are often accompanied by fever; or finally diarrhea due to food poisoning or due to medication (antibiotics ...).

Constipation (discussed in more detail in the next article) defines the condition in which the bowel movements do not exceed three per week and this may be accompanied by abdominal pain, intestinal cramps and bloating. It affects 10% of adults over 65 years and older women. Factors that burden it are reduced intake of fiber, water, exercise, obesity, travel, age, laxative abuse, taking certain medications such as opioids, tricyclic antidepressants, irritable bowel syndrome, and other bowel conditions.

Diverticula
They are sac-like protrusions of the mucosa and submucosa, through the muscular layer of the wall of the large intestine. They look like bags or holes in cheese and are formed when tightened during emptying, especially when there is constipation. They are usually found in the large intestine and are found in 50% of people over 60 years of age. The most common symptom is pain in the left lower abdomen, but also fever, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting or constipation.

Colon cancer
The risk of developing colon cancer increases after the age of 50. Colon cancer is also more likely to occur if polyps, ulcerative colitis, Crohn's disease, a family history of colon cancer are present, if a chronic high-fat or smoky diet is followed. Most often, colon cancer begins with small, non-cancerous benign masses of cells called adenomatous polyps. Over time, some of these polyps develop into cancer cells in the colon. Symptoms include bleeding stools, persistent abdominal discomfort, cramps, gas, weakness or fatigue, unexplained weight loss, diarrhea or constipation.

Dietary tips (with a little help..)
Limit hard to digest foods and alcoholic beverages
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Eat light and small meals.
Limit fats; measures against heartburn and gastroesophageal reflux disease Limit coffee, tea, milk or milk chocolate that stimulate acid production in the stomach, alcoholic beverages that promote relaxation of the sphincter between the esophagus and stomach, carbonated beverages that cause bloating, vinegar and spices which cause heartburn.

Eat more fruits and vegetables.
Eat foods rich in calcium and vitamin D (milk, cheese, yogurt, broccoli, eggs, liver, salmon).

Avoid fatty foods (red meat, pork, bacon, sausages, cold cuts)
Do not wear tight clothes.

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