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5 Common Digestive Issues & How They Can Be Treated

photo of woman lying on couch holding her stomachDigestive problems can wreck havoc on your life, both socially and emotionally. If you’ve ever had to rearrange your entire life around digestive interruptions, you know how incredibly frustrating and embarrassing it can be. Don’t let these common digestion problems rule your life.

Celiac Disease

With one percent of the US population truly having Celiac disease, there’s been more research going into the causes and symptoms of the disease. People suffering from CD can’t eat gluten without it causing unpleasant digestion problems like chronic diarrhea, vomiting, constipation, and foul smelling stools. If you think you might be suffering, your doctor can rule it out with blood tests and stool samples. There’s no cure, but a gluten-free diet can manage the symptoms.

Constipation

Chronic constipation can be one of the most uncomfortable issues with your bowels. It’s important to not overuse laxatives, however; after a while, the gut can become dependent on the laxatives. Experts say if you’ve gone a week without bowel movement, you should see a doctor. You can avoid constipation with exercise, a diet high in fiber, and proper hydration

Lactose Intolerance

Symptoms of lactose intolerance range from cramping, bloating, and gas to nausea and diarrhea. If a person is truly lactose intolerant, they’ll see these symptoms appear within 30 minutes to two hours after dairy consumption. If you are one of the 30 to 60 million people with this ailment, don’t get too depressed. Over the counter pills can replace the missing enzyme that keeps you from digesting lactose. There are also plenty of milk substitutes available to help you get your dairy fix without the unpleasant side effects.

Peptic Ulcers

Peptic ulcers present as unexplained pain in the abdomen and are aggravated by overuse of NSAIDs, smoking, stress, and alcohol use. If left untreated, these ulcers can cause internal bleeding or eat holes in the small intestine or the stomach wall, leading to severe infections. Talk to your doctor about antibiotic treatments and acid reduction therapy. If the ulcers are significantly advanced, surgery may be the only viable treatment option.

Reflux

Heartburn is the most common symptom of reflux and is caused by an overproduction of acid in the stomach. It can cause significant burning in the throat and disrupt sleep and decrease your appetite because of the ensuing discomfort. There are many over the counter and prescription drugs that reduce the acid levels and help keep you comfortable after meals.

If your life is being constantly disrupted by digestive issues, you don’t have to suffer in silence. Come to our GI North office to be seen promptly by our experienced staff for a full examination and any necessary lab work to help get you back to normal as quickly as possible. GI North is dedicated to providing their patients with quick and effective relief no matter the issue.

© 2014 GI North Gastroenterology Services. All rights reserved.

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