Top 6 Common Digestive Disorders – We Should Know About

Top 6 Common Digestive Disorders

Hey there, welcome to this blog post “Top 6 Common Digestive Disorders – We Should Know About.” Digestive disorders can severely impact your lifestyle. From what you eat, to your work schedule, they really mess things up.

Most people don’t talk about it, but developing digestive disorders is a very common problem. In this article, we’ll be discussing the top 6 common digestive disorders we should know about.

What is IBS, what are its symptoms, and what causes it? Gallstones are a common problem. But why do they occur? Can you prevent them? And what about GERD and Crohn’s disease? We’ll be discussing all of these AND more…

1 – IBS

IBS - Top 6 Common Digestive Disorders

Do you cycle between diarrhea and constipation? Do you get cramps in your abdomen that only go away with a bowel movement? Are you always experiencing abdominal pain and bloating?

You could be struggling from Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). It’s one of the most common digestive disorders.

If you get stomach pain at least three times a month, it could easily be a symptom of IBS. Especially, if it goes on continuously for months and is accompanied by an irritable digestive tract.

IBS is seen among 10 to 15% of the world’s population, with the US having around 45 million people suffering from it. It’s more common in women, with about 2 in 3 IBS sufferers being female.

More often than not, people with IBS come under the 50 years age group. But it can occur in older people as well. Other symptoms of IBS include bloating and change in stool, from hard and dry one day to loose and watery the next. It’s not yet clear what causes IBS.

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Treatment for this digestive disorder is mainly about controlling your diet. You need to avoid trigger foods like dairy, caffeine, alcohol, and anything else that produces gas in your body. You can try probiotics like yogurt, as the bacteria can help you feel better.

It has been noticed that stress and anxiety are huge triggers for IBS. So trying therapy or antidepressants can help as well.

The precise reason for IBS is not yet known. But there are various factors that contribute to IBS. It could be muscle contractions in your intestine. Confused?

Well, there are layers of muscles lining your intestine walls. These muscles contract as the food moves through your digestive tract. When these contractions last longer and get stronger, they produce gas, diarrhea, and bloating.

Another reason for IBS is the abnormalities in the nerves in your digestive system. They’re responsible for greater discomfort when your abdomen stretches from gas or stool.

Early life stress, severe infection, and changes in gut microbiota are other reasons for IBS. But the biggest triggers for an IBS episode remain stress and food. Allergies, intolerance, and bloating are among the worse triggers.

Some people have worse symptoms when they eat wheat, dairy products, cabbage, and beans. Even carbonated beverages can bloat you.

Stress triggers or worsens IBS symptoms. It could lead to frequent flare-ups. Stress can even aggravate existing IBS symptoms.

Do you get constipated a lot? What about diarrhea? What helps you in these situations? Share your experiences with our community in the comments.

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2 – Hemorrhoids

Hemorrhoids - Top 6 Common Digestive Disorders

The thought of bloody stool scares me. But for people living with hemorrhoids, this is a painful reality. Hemorrhoids are swollen veins in the lowest part of your rectum and anus.

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If you see blood in your toilet, it could be a sign of hemorrhoids. This is another very common digestive disorder. As many as 75% of Americans over the age of 45 are suffering from it.

Hemorrhoids occur when the walls of blood vessels in the lowest part of your rectum stretch thin. This is usually caused by inflammation.

These veins stretch so thin that they bulge and get irritated when you go to the bathroom. These are usually itchy and very painful.

Hemorrhoids often occur due to chronic constipation, or lack of fiber. It could also be because of diarrhea, and straining too hard while relieving yourself.

The best way to treat hemorrhoids is by eating a lot of fiber-based foods. Drinking a lot of water helps as well. On top of that, exercise is needed.

There are ointments and medications available to help. But if the situation is really serious, you may need surgery.

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3 – Gallstones

Gallstones - Top 6 Common Digestive Disorders

Your gallbladder is where your body stores bile juice, which is critical for digesting food. It’s a small sac with a unique role in your digestive process.

But sometimes, parts of the bile juice can form hard deposits called gallstones, which block the entrance. When that happens, you experience sharp pain in your upper abdomen, on the right or center. You can also begin vomiting.

Every year, about one million Americans suffer from gallstones. You could have just one gallstone or hundreds, even the sizes vary from a grain of sand to a golf ball. Sometimes the gallstones are so small you can’t even see them with your naked eye.

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More often than not, medication would take care of the issue. But if that doesn’t help, the next step would be the removal of the gallbladder. If there are only a few gallstones, they can be removed from your bile duct.

4 – Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)

Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease

If you feel a burning sensation in your chest after eating at night, it’s usually because some of the stomach acids has moved into your esophagus. This is called acid reflux and is fairly common.

However, if these symptoms happen regularly and affect your daily life, you’ve got a problem. If you get it at least two times a week, it could definitely be Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD). This is a digestive disorder that affects as many as 20% of Americans.

The symptoms of GERD include bad breath, tooth erosion, and nausea, along with heartburn and pain in your upper abdomen. If you’re unable to swallow or have trouble breathing, go to a doctor right away! You can avoid GERD by staying away from foods that trigger symptoms.

Taking antacids that reduce the inflammation in your esophagus also helps. They reduce the production of stomach acid.

You can make some lifestyle changes as well to treat it permanently. Like not lying down immediately after having your meals and quitting smoking. If nothing happens from this, you might have to consider surgery.

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5 – Ulcerative Colitis

Ulcerative Colitis - Top 6 Common Digestive Disorders

Ulcerative Colitis (UC) is a digestive disorder that mainly occurs in the rectum and large intestine. It’s caused by inflammation in those areas, and can even extend to other parts of the intestine.

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About 907,000 Americans suffer from UC. Some of the symptoms of this disorder include long-term diarrhea, abdominal pain, weight loss, and fatigue. Sores or ulcers develop in your colon when your immune system mistakes food for an invader.

If you have to go through these kinds of bowel movements on a regular basis, you need to see a doctor. Usually, UC can be cured using medication.

But you can avoid the whole issue by staying away from inflammatory foods. If your condition is serious, you might need surgery.

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6 – Crohn’s Disease

Crohn’s Disease

Crohn’s disease is similar to ulcerative colitis, in that it’s also an inflammatory bowel disease. This digestive disorder can take place in any part of your GI tract but usually sticks to the terminal ileum (ill-iiam).

This is what connects your colon to the end of your small bowel. There are as many as 780,000 Americans with Crohn’s disease. There is no clear indication as to why people suffer from this disease.

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But it could be because of genetics and the way your immune system reacts to certain bacteria. The symptoms include abdominal pain, diarrhea, and rectal bleeding. You can also have a fever and suffer unexplained weight loss.

Fatigue is another symptom of Crohn’s. If you want to stay away from Crohn’s disease, it’s best to avoid foods that trigger it, including dairy products, carbonated beverages, alcohol, coffee, and red meat, among others. Fried and spicy foods should be avoided as well, and any foods that are bound to produce gas.

You might require medication if you have the disorder. Sometimes even surgery’s required. Digestive disorders are really uncomfortable. A lot of illnesses and problems start from your colon.

Maintaining a healthy, clean colon could solve a lot of your worries. In fact, it can save you from inflammation. Do you think you have any of these digestive disorders? Let us know in the comments section!

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