Symptoms of Poor Digestive Health

Your digestive system can malfunction for many reasons, so you’ll need a correct diagnosis to put your symptoms into perspective. You may suffer from slow digestion and difficult bowel movements, or food may pass too quickly through your intestines for healthy digestion. A nutritional deficiency can display specific symptoms related to a diet low in vitamins or minerals. According to the USDA Dietary Guidelines for Americans, a lack of adequate fiber is a common reason for poor food digestion symptoms.   Constipation Constipation often indicates a dietary imbalance or nutritional deficiency. This symptom occurs when the colon absorbs too much water during digestion, resulting in hard stools that your body has trouble eliminating. You may have fewer than three bowel movements a week, straining during elimination and bloating in the periods in between. According to the National Institutes of Health, too much dietary fat, a lack of dietary fiber, pregnancy or surgery can initiate constipation.   Vomiting Your stomach may fail to pass food along to the intestines at an efficient rate, causing digestion to pause or halt. Delayed stomach emptying, or gastroparesis, can create vomiting symptoms; you’ll regurgitate undigested food particles several hours after eating. The American College of Gastroenterology notes that you can distinguish this symptom from vomiting associated with a virus when it recurs or is associated with a sensation of feeling full soon after eating. Symptoms of nausea and bloating may also indicate poor digestion.   Diarrhea Malabsorption of nutrients triggered by a food intolerance or nutritional disorder may cause several types of diarrhea or otherwise abnormal stools. As the Merck Medical Library states, poorly digested sugars can cause explosive diarrhea, while poorly digested fats can result in unusually light-colored stools.   Weight Loss Unintentional weight loss, especially when eating a healthy […]

Crohn’s Disease

Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis are the two major chronic inflammatory bowel diseases, together known as IBD. These two diseases, while similar in many ways, can differ in location, symptoms, and the character of the inflammation and ulcerations. Crohn’s disease, named after one of the physicians who described it in 1932 and also known as regional enteritis, results in ulcers, or sores in the gastrointestinal tract. It may involve any part of the gastrointestinal system from the mouth to the anus. However, it most often involves the lower part of the small intestine, known as the ileum, and the large intestine (the colon). In contrast, ulcerative colitis causes ulcers only in the large intestine. The symptoms of Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis include diarrhea, abdominal pain, blood in the stool, anemia, weight loss, malnutrition, and fever. Patients with ulcerative colitis more often complain of diarrhea and blood in their stools andpatients with Crohn’s disease more often complain of diarrhea and abdominal pain. Crohn’s disease also may present with delayed growth in adolescence or childhood, intestinal obstruction (severe painful cramping, vomiting, nausea, and abdominal distention), bowel perforation, fistulas (abnormal passages or tunnels from one part of the intestine to another, or to the skin, or less commonly to the abdominal wall, vagina, bladder or other nearby organs), or abscesses. In both UC and Crohn’s, patients can experience periods of remission from symptoms and periods of relapse or “flares”. About one-quarter of patients for both types of IBD may have extra-intestinal disease manifestations, most commonly arthritis, eye inflammation (uveitis, iritis or episcleritis), and skin inflammation, typically pyoderma gangrenosum and erythema nodosum. Unfortunately, once IBD occurs it tends to be present for life. Ulcerative colitis can be cured […]
By |September 16th, 2013|Crohn' Disease|0 Comments

In Depth on Indigestion

Indigestion, also known as dyspepsia, is a term used to describe symptoms including a feeling of fullness, discomfort or a burning sensation in the abdomen after meals. It is most common in adults and can occur occasionally or every day. Often these symptoms can be managed and suppressed with the appropriate medication or dietary changes. Frequent indigestion can often be the sign of a more serious underlying condition, so it’s best to consult your doctor if the problem persists. Causes Causes of indigestion can vary greatly, from lifestyle and eating habits, to other digestive conditions. Common causes include overeating or eating too much of the wrong foods, like chocolate, alcohol and overly spicy or fatty foods. Lifestyle choices like smoking, stress and fatigue have also been known to contribute to indigestion. Your indigestion may also be a symptom of a more serious medical condition affecting the digestive tract. Peptic ulcers, a gallstone, irritable bowel syndrome and, in rare cases, even stomach cancer can cause indigestion. In cases where no cause can be found, even after a thorough evaluation, it’s likely that you may be suffering from functional dyspepsia, which occurs as a result of the stomach’s inability to properly accept, digest and then pass food to the small intestine. Prevention If an underlying medical condition is not the cause, preventing indigestion can often be as simple as making a few basic dietary and lifestyle changes. Eating plenty of fiber each day will help improve your digestive system and keep indigestion at bay. You may also be wise to avoid foods that tend to cause excess gas, like cabbage, baked beans, broccoli and carbonated beverages. Lower stress and exercising regularly will also help to reduce indigestion and improve your […]
By |September 16th, 2013|Indigestion|0 Comments