Common stomach diseases: Here’s What May Be Causing Your Digestive Gas Pain
Here’s What May Be Causing Your Digestive Gas Pain
Like it or not, everyone passes gas. “On average, an adult produces two pints of gas every day,” says Sari Acra, MD, MPH, a professor and director of the division of pediatric gastroenterology, hepatology, and nutrition at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee. According to the National Institutes of Health, farting 13 to 21 times per day is normal.
Typically, gas in the digestive tract occurs as a result of swallowing air (aerophagia) and when bacteria in your large intestine break down certain foods.
A person can swallow large amounts of air by:
- Chewing gum
- Drinking carbonated beverages
- Eating or drinking too quickly
- Wearing loose-fitting dentures
- Sucking on hard candy
If the air isn’t burped back up, it will move down into your gastrointestinal tract and get released through the anus.
Food can also cause gas, although the type of food can vary from person to person. Known gas culprits include:
- Certain vegetables, such as asparagus, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, and broccoli
- Beans and lentils
- Milk products, like cheese, ice cream, and yogurt
- Drinks like apple juice, pear juice, and carbonated beverages with high-fructose corn syrup
Regular gas is a sign that you’re consuming adequate amounts of fiber and that you have healthy gut microbes.
But gas accompanied by other red flags — such as weight loss, anorexia, excessive diarrhea, vomiting, fever, prolonged bloating, and severe stomach pain — can be a sign of a digestive disorder or other gastrointestinal condition that needs attention. Problems include:
Trouble Passing Gas
The flipside of excessive gas is the inability to pass gas, which can also be a symptom of an underlying problem, like an abdominal obstruction. An intestinal blockage is a serious condition and occurs as a result of a partial or total blockage of the small or large intestine.
According to the Mount Sinai Medical Center, a tumor, scar tissue (adhesions), or narrowing of the intestines are all likely causes of abdominal obstruction.
If you’re experiencing gas pain and you either can’t pass gas or have excessive flatulence, speak to your healthcare provider. They may be able to offer at-home solutions to your digestive woes. Or your doctor may schedule tests to determine if your gas pain is caused by another, more serious problem.
Read on to learn more about some of the causes of gas pain.
Gastrointestinal Disorders: Types, Symptoms & Treatment
Sometimes “tummy trouble” is something serious. According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, somewhere between 60 million and 70 million Americans suffer from gastrointestinal problems, leading to nearly 250,000 deaths each year. These conditions are responsible for close to 50 million hospital visits and 21.7 million hospital admissions annually, according to the NDDK. What’s more – treating and managing digestive diseases come with a staggering price tag of more than $141.8 billion to the US healthcare system.
Gastrointestinal conditions are disorders of the digestive system, an extensive and complex system that breaks down food in order to absorb water and extract nutrients, minerals and vitamins for the body’s use, while then removing unabsorbed waste (yes, we’re talking about poop).
Also known as the gastrointestinal (GI) tract, the digestive system comprises a range of vital digestive organs, including:
- The mouth
- Esophagus (the “feeding pipe”)
- Small and large bowels
- Rectum, and anus
The GI tract also includes connected organs – the liver, gallbladder, and pancreas.
“Unfortunately, there are many different gastrointestinal issues, so it is easy to mistakenly neglect them. Some GI problems are mild and usually go away on their own, but some conditions are serious enough that you have to see a physician or gastroenterologist. “
Founder of the University of Chicago Celiac Disease Center
General symptoms of gastrointestinal conditions
Symptoms of digestive disorders obviously vary from condition to condition and from person to person. However, some symptoms are common to most gastrointestinal problems. Common symptoms include:
- Abdominal discomfort (bloating, pain or cramps)
- Unintentional weight loss
- Vomiting and nausea
- Acid reflux (heartburn)
- Diarrhea, constipation (or sometimes both)
- Fecal incontinence
- Loss of appetite
- Difficulty swallowing.
If you see blood in your vomit or stool, get in touch with your physician immediately.
“Please remember, the only way to address these problems and get rid of these symptoms is to get proper diagnosis and treatment from a medical physician. ”
says Dr. Guandalini.
What causes gastrointestinal conditions?
Common causes of gastrointestinal problems include:
A low fiber diet
Fiber, a sort of carbohydrates found in plants that cannot be digested, is crucial when it comes to digestive health. It helps you feel full and aids in the digestion of certain foods. Everyone is talking about gut health – your microbiome health, and fiber is an important part of this. Fibers are a much welcome food for the trillions of beneficial bacteria (your microbiota) that happily inhabit our large intestine, which in turn provide wide-ranging health benefits.
The total daily recommended fiber intake is 25 grams for women and 38 grams for men under age 50. If you’re older than 50, you will need to consume slightly less (around 21 grams for women and 30 grams for men). The good thing is that fiber is easily available in foods such as fruits (almost entirely in the skin, however), whole grains, legumes, beans, and vegetables.
A diet low in fiber is a perfect recipe for digestive problems, ranging from constipation, to abdominal pain, and even the onset of colon cancer.
Stress and anxiety don’t only affect your mental health; they can also take a toll on your digestive health, especially the gut microbiota. Recent medical studies have shown that there is an established link between the GI tract and the brain. The two are always in bi-directional communication – always sending messages to each other – which is why the gut has more neurons than the whole spinal cord.
Being stressed has been found to cause a broad range of digestive issues that include: appetite loss, inflammation, bloating, cramping and changes in microbiota.
Not drinking enough water
Water is important to your digestive health because it helps cleanse the whole gastrointestinal tract. In particular, water softens the stool, helping prevent constipation. More crucially, water is known to aid your digestive system by helping break down food, assisting the GI tract to absorb nutrients faster and more effectively. If you don’t drink enough water, you are inviting all sorts of digestive problems.
You can increase your intake of water by drinking unsweetened coffee, tea, or even sparkling water to get to those 8 glasses of liquid a day! Just avoid sugary drinks like soda!
Eating a lot of dairy foods
Dairy is relatively new to the human diet – it was not really consumed for the first 200,000-plus years of mankind’s existence. Milk and cheeses are usually loaded with fats and proteins that are difficult to digest, and according to some medical evidence have a pro-inflammatory effect. That’s why consuming large amounts of dairy products can cause bloating, gas, constipation, and abdominal cramps.
Not getting enough physical exercise is not good for your overall health and digestive health. That is why doctors recommend a combination of exercise, diet changes avoiding foods that cause inflammation and increasing intake of foods that actually fight inflammation, and when necessary medication to remedy certain GI problems.
Aging is unavoidable – sadly – and age adds another predisposition for gastrointestinal disorders. As we age, digestive glands decrease in activity, affecting gut motility, reflux, and certain digestive conditions develop. The risk of developing cancers related to the digestive system also increases with age.
Another unavoidable factor – your genes! Many immune and autoimmune gastrointestinal disorders have a genetic component, which means they have an hereditary basis. In some cases, these modified genes are all it takes to develop a Gi disorder (think cystic fibrosis, or hereditary pancreatitis). Thankfully, in most instances they simply predispose you to the disease, meaning there are factors in the environment that need to be in play. This means that while your genes are a part of the story – it’s not the entire store. Lifestyle changes can help intervene. Examples of predisposed genetic conditions are ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease, celiac disease, and some liver conditions.
“These are but a few common causes of gastrointestinal disorders. Lifestyle choices, medication side effects, pregnancy, overusing laxatives, functional issues, inflammation, and systemic ailments may also play a role.”
says Dr. Guandalini.
The 13 most common gastrointestinal conditions:
- Celiac Disease
- Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
- Lactose Intolerance
- Chronic Diarrhea
- Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)
- Peptic Ulcer Disease
- Crohn’s Disease
- Ulcerative Colitis
- Acute and Chronic Pancreatitis
- Liver Disease
Gastrointestinal disorders, symptoms & treatment
1. Celiac disease
Celiac disease is a multifactorial gastrointestinal disorder. That’s a fancy way of saying that while it has a genetic basis, it is triggered by factors in the environment. Celiac is caused by an autoimmune reaction to gluten – proteins found in grains such as barley, rye, wheat, and their hybrids. When a person with celiac disease consumes gluten, it triggers an immune reaction which destroys villi, small hair-like projections on the lining of the small bowel.
When the villi are destroyed, the small intestine is unable to effectively absorb nutrients, vitamins, and minerals from food. This results in malnutrition and can lead to many serious health problems, including infertility, permanent damage to the small bowel, and even the big “c” – intestinal lymphoma. That’s why celiac disease, and getting properly diagnosed for celiac – is so important.
The prevalence of celiac disease in the world (and in the US population) is estimated to be around 1 percent. That means for every 100 Americans, one person has celiac disease. Once thought rare, celiac disease is now considered one of the most common autoimmune diseases.
Symptoms of celiac disease involve the digestive system, but they can also be seen in other areas of the body. Some people may not show symptoms at all. It’s worth noting, however, that adults and children often exhibit different symptoms. For example, celiac children may be smaller in stature, experience delayed puberty, and often feel irritable and tired. Digestive symptoms shown by children as well as adults with celiac disease include awful-smelling stool, diarrhea or constipation, stomach pain, abdominal bloating, vomiting, and weight loss.
Celiac patients, whether children or adults, can have both digestive and non-intestinal signs and symptoms. These are symptoms that are outside of the intestines, symptoms like headaches, fatigue, joint pain, iron-deficiency, skin rashes, hair loss, irregular menstruation, miscarriage, infertility, weak bones, tooth discoloration and even seizures. As you can see, there are many symptoms of celiac disease!
Celiac disease has no known cure. But the good news is that following a strict gluten-free diet is in general very effective in reducing and often stopping these symptoms. Multivitamin supplementation may help complement this lifelong gluten-free diet.
A proper diagnosis is necessary. Never ”try” eliminating gluten from your diet without getting screened for celiac! There are risks to a gluten free diet. Getting tested includes a preliminary blood test (highly accurate, such as the imaware™ home celiac test) followed – if it shows possible celiac disease – by a biopsy of the small intestine. Don’t worry, it doesn’t hurt – it’s a quick, safe and painless procedure done by pediatric or adult gastroenterologists. Keep in mind, you do have to continue to eat gluten for both the blood test and the biopsy for the results to be accurate.
2. Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) is ometimes referred to as nervous stomach, irritable colon, mucous colitis or spastic colon. IBS is a group of gastrointestinal conditions in which one experiences a combination of frequent abdominal pain, bloating and cramps associated with either diarrhea or constipation. This occurs by definition in the absence of any underlying inflammation, chemical or anatomical abnormalities, and is caused by a variety of factors, including irritated gut microbiota.
Contrary to common misconception, this condition is not the same as Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD), a set of digestive disorders including ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease that cause inflammation of various parts of the gastrointestinal tract. Irritable Bowel Syndrome affects 3-20 percent of the US population. Some of the risk factors include being stressed and consumption of certain medicines and foods. Women are more susceptible to IBS than men.
Irritable bowel syndrome symptoms vary in duration and frequency from one person to another, and can occur also in teenagers and ;less frequently in children. Some people have mild symptoms, while others experience substantial symptoms that can affect their quality of life.
Remember: a proper diagnosis handled by gastroenterologists is crucial. These symptoms may be Crohn’s disease, celiac disease, food allergies or food intolerances, and you need to be sure they are appropriately ruled out before assuming it is IBS.
Treatment options for IBS depend on the type of IBS (IBS-C with constipation, IBS-D with diarrhea, or IBS-Mixed, alternating diarrhea with constipation) and may include:
- Eating a diet with more (or less!) fiber
- Avoiding stress, or learning ways to cope with stress
- Eliminating FODMAP from your diet. FODMAP stands for fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides, and polyols. FODMAPs are carbohydrates found in many vegetables that are poorly absorbed in the small intestine and are prone to absorb water and ferment in the colon, causing symptoms. A low-FODMAP diet should be undertaken with a dietitian or nutritionist.
- Taking a probiotic for IBS
3. Lactose Intolerance
Lactose intolerance is a disorder in which a person is unable to fully digest lactose, a simple carbohydrate present in all mammals’ milk and in its derivatives. This is due to low levels of an enzyme called lactase that is responsible for digesting lactose. Lactose intolerance is a very common condition – affecting approximately 79% of Native Americans, 75% of African Americans, 51% of Hispanics, and 21% of Caucasians.
Upon eating dairy, symptoms can range from mild to distressing. Symptoms of lactose intolerance include diarrhea, gas, abdominal cramps and bloating. Symptoms vary between individuals due to various levels of decrease of intestinal lactase, and typically depend on the amount of lactose ingested.
Treatments for lactose intolerance include enzyme supplements to help break down lactose, and replacing regular milk with lactose-free or dairy-free milk. It’s important to also identify the differences between lactose intolerance, milk allergy and dairy sensitivity as part of your diagnosis and treatment.
4. Chronic Diarrhea
Chronic diarrhea is a gastrointestinal condition in which the person passes watery, mushy or loose stools that lasts more than 4 weeks. In a 2018 study, researchers found that the prevalence of chronic diarrhea in the US is 6.6 percent. This means that for every 100 Americans, 6 to 7 suffer from the condition. A high daily intake of sugars, being overweight, feeling depressed, older age, and being a woman seem to favor this condition.
However, chronic diarrhea can be the end result of a number of disorders that must be identified in order for proper treatment, including celiac disease, food intolerances (like lactose intolerance) and allergy, Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, IBS. Chronic diarrhea can also be due to a large number of intestinal infections such as C. difficile, Cryptosporidium, Giardia, and others.
Your doctor will choose the best treatment option based on the underlying cause of diarrhea that has been identified. It may include steroids, antibiotics, pain killers, immunosuppressants, antidiarrheal, and other prescription medication. A specific diet and lifestyle changes may also help reduce symptoms of chronic diarrhea.
Constipation is a digestive condition in which the person experiences hard, dry and often painful bowel movements, occurring less frequently than normal (generally fewer than three bowel movements a week). Constipation is one of the most common digestive disorder symptoms, and is estimated to affect approximately 2.5 million Americans.
While there could be in some rare cases anatomical or inflammatory conditions causing it, constipation is typically caused by a low fiber diet, little or no physical activity, dehydration, certain meds including sedatives and some antidepressants, or anything that disrupts your normal diet/routine.
All of this leads to a slower transit of the stools through the colon, so that they tend to sit in the rectum becoming harder and larger. When you’re constipated, you tend to strain when passing stool, sometimes causing hemorrhoids and anal fissures.
In many cases, constipation can be treated by:
- Increased fiber and water intake
- Frequent exercise (every day of the week is ideal)
- Not ignoring urges of bowel movements
If the constipation persists, you can use laxatives as a temporary relief. There are various types of laxatives, working differently. While you can use some OTC remedies for occasional constipation, it is highly recommended to seek medical advice if constipation is chronic. Be wary of OTC remedy use, as excessive use of laxatives can do more harm than good.
6. Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)
Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is defined as having symptoms of acid reflux twice or more times a week. Acid reflux or heartburn occurs when stomach contents and acids spill over into your esophagus, causing a burning sensation and chest pain. This condition is sometimes also called acid regurgitation. Around 20 percent of Americans are affected by Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease, according to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK).
If not treated early, frequent bouts of heartburn can damage the esophagus and lead to esophagitis, esophageal narrowing and other serious health complications including a precancerous lesion called Barrett’s esophagus. GERD usually manifests itself as a dry cough, discomfort in the chest area, sore throat, swallowing difficulties, and sour taste in the back of the mouth.
You can treat GERD by:
- Lifestyle changes: reduce obesity, avoid acid-stimulating foods (caffeine, alcohol, fried, fat foods, tomato sauce), going to bed at least 2 hours after eating any food.
- Taking over-the-counter antacids to treat heartburn
- Using h3 receptor blockers (such as Famotidine and others) or proton pump inhibitors (such as Omeprazole and others)
If lifestyle changes and medication haven’t gotten rid of the symptoms, surgery to tighten the stomach muscles may be necessary.
7. Peptic Ulcer Disease
Peptic Ulcer Disease (PUD) is a gastrointestinal condition, most commonly caused by an infection by a microorganism called Helicobacter pylori, in which ulcers or open sores develop in the inner lining of the stomach and duodenum (the first portion of the small intestine). The stomach lining is normally protected from corrosion by digestive juices by a thick mucus layer. Peptic ulcers may occur when this protective layer is reduced. In addition to H.pylori, several other factors can cause a reduction in the mucus layer, including alcoholism, long-term use of certain medications and aging.
PUD affects approximately 4. 5 million Americans, translating to a prevalence of around 1.4 percent. Mild symptoms of PUD include acid reflux, vomiting or nausea, bloating, and burning sensations in the upper abdomen. In a serious case of peptic ulcer disease, you may experience heavy vomiting, occasionally blood-tinged, severe pain in the upper abdomen, tarry-black stool (indicative of a bleeding ulcer), and weight loss.
In addition to a healthful diet, prescription drugs are mandatory and can help treat most peptic ulcers. Depending on the underlying cause, you may be prescribed proton pump inhibitors, antibiotics, probiotics or h3 receptor blockers. In rare cases, however, the doctor may recommend surgical removal of the ulcers.
8. Crohn’s Disease
Crohn’s disease is a chronic inflammatory digestive disease that can affect any part of the GI tract, from the mouth to the anus. It most commonly however involves the ileum (the lower side of the small bowel) that becomes ulcerated and inflamed. Along with ulcerative colitis, this condition is part of a group of gastrointestinal disorders called inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).
As mentioned, although the inflammation primarily affects the ileum, ulceration can also occur in any area of the small intestine, colon, esophagus, or stomach. Crohn’s disease is most often diagnosed in those aged between 15 and 30, although it can develop at any age. According to the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation, around 780,000 individuals in the U.S. have Crohn’s disease.
As with any IBD, Crohn’s disease usually manifests itself gradually; some symptoms usually get worse as the condition progresses. In the early stages of the condition, you may experience fever, weight loss, reduced appetite, fatigue, bloody stools, abdominal cramps, and diarrhea. Potentially serious symptoms appear much later. These can include: ulcers, skin inflammation, perianal fistulas, and shortness of breath as a result of anemia.
Early screening and diagnosing can make a huge difference so you can start treatment. The diagnostic process is run by gastroenterologists and involves endoscopies (intubation of the upper and of the lower gut under anesthesia), imaging studies (X-rays, but also CT scans or Magnetic Resonance Enterography – MRE). Treatment can include:
- Medication – You may need to take medications such as antidiarrheal drugs, anti-inflammatory drugs, immunomodulators, antibiotics, and biologics to block inflammation.
- Change in diet – Although there aren’t generally any specific dietary restrictions necessary, a diet with low impact on areas of the intestine that can be narrowed by the inflammation is usually recommended. Also, other, more sophisticated changes are likely to be advised by your doctor and dietician.
- Surgery – This is a last-resort treatment option if lifestyle changes and medications don’t work. However, three-quarters of people with Crohn’s disease usually undergo elective surgery at some point.
9. Ulcerative Colitis
Ulcerative colitis is one of the two most common inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD), along Crohn’s disease. This diagnosis refers to a group of digestive disorders that cause inflammation of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. Ulcerative colitis is caused by the inflammation of the inner lining of the colon (large intestine), rectum or both.
Ulcers or small sores start to develop, typically starting in the rectum and spreading to the large intestine. It is estimated that about 750,000 people in the United States have ulcerative colitis, which is frequently diagnosed in individuals aged between 15 and 35. Genetic predisposition, the presence of other immune disorders, and environmental factors such as antigens, viruses, and bacteria may increase your chances of developing ulcerative colitis.
The most common symptoms of the condition include diarrhea, often with bloodstains in stool, fever, malnutrition, weight loss, stomach pain, and frequent abdominal sounds. People with UC may also exhibit other symptoms that include inflamed eyes, mouth sores, skin issues, loss of appetite, swelling in the joints, and joint pain.
Proper diagnostic steps are of course needed, likely to include a colonoscopy, and will be directed by a gastroenterologist. The best course of treatment will be decided based on the severity of the condition and other factors, and usually includes prescription meds such as mesalamine, sulfasalazine, balsalazide or olsalazine, but also steroids, to help reduce swelling and inflammation.
The doctor may also prescribe antibiotics, some probiotics and other drugs that may aid in suppressing immune function, or biologic medications that help block inflammation. The treatment is typically long, and it may well be lifetime. Surgery to remove all or parts of the colon and rectum can be contemplated in difficult cases and typically is resolutive, as the condition does not extend up to the small intestine.
Gallstones are what they sound like — stone-like lumps that develop in the bile ducts or gallbladder. They can be as small as a grain of sand or as large as a golf ball. The gallbladder is a small digestive organ located in the right upper abdomen. Its job is to produce, store and release bile, a yellowish-green fluid that aids in the digestion of fat. This condition is fairly common in the US, affecting 10-15 percent of the general population. Even though the exact cause is not well known, gallstones usually form when bile has a high concentration of bilirubin and cholesterol.
Diagnosis is made by ultrasound, sometimes guided via endoscopy to better detect small stones.
Gallstones may show no symptoms, although most people experience pain in the upper right abdomen, especially when they consume fatty foods. Other symptoms of gallstones include indigestion, diarrhea, burping, dark urine, vomiting, nausea, and clay-colored stool. People with mild or no symptoms may not need treatment.
Depending on symptoms, surgery may be recommended to get rid of the gallstones. About 250,000 Americans diagnosed with gallstones undergo surgery each year. Without the gallbladder, bile is not stored anymore in the gallbladder and thus it flows straight from the liver into the small intestine. This won’t affect a normal digestive function, however. Endoscopy is usually chosen if the gallstones are lodged in the bile ducts.
11. Acute and Chronic Pancreatitis
Pancreatitis – inflammation of the pancreas – occurs in adults and in children. Occurring either in acute or in chronic forms, it is the most common pancreatic disorder and a cause of considerable morbidity (death). Once thought to be uncommon, the incidence of pancreatitis has been increasing for at least the past 20 years and now thought to be similar in adults and in children, up to about 80 cases per 100,000 of the general population.
The incidence is increasing worldwide, especially due to increased rates of obesity and gallstones. The acute form of the inflammation of the pancreas, a J-shaped organ that secretes digestive enzymes and hormones, appears suddenly and lasts for days. Mild cases of acute pancreatitis usually regress without any treatment, but severe cases can cause life-threatening complications.
Chronic pancreatitis instead is a less common form of pancreatitis that occurs over many months or years and is loaded with potentially severe complications, including pancreatic cancer. The main preventable causes of pancreatitis in adults are:
- Smoking cigarettes
- Abdominal injury
However, other causes include gallstones, cystic fibrosis and other rare genetic disorders, hypertriglyceridemia (very high triglycerides), and infections.
Symptoms typically start suddenly and are mostly characterized by abdominal pain that can extend to the back, sometimes like stabbing and worsened by eating, nausea and vomiting. Acute pancreatitis can also cause serious complications, including pseudocyst (pockets of fluid in the pancreas) that can rupture, necrotizing pancreatitis (pancreatic cells dying), diabetes, kidney failure.
In chronic pancreatitis, involuntary weight loss (that can lead to malnutrition) and oily stools are also possible. The diagnosis is based on blood tests to measure levels of pancreatic enzymes and is completed by supportive imaging tests like ultrasounds and/or a CT scan. Rare genetic forms of chronic pancreatitis (Hereditary pancreatitis) can also be diagnosed with specific genetic tests.
Treatment must be carried out in hospital, and includes fasting, infusion of IV fluids, pain medication and additional measures depending on the cause that has been identified.
12. Liver Disease
The liver is the second largest organ and plays a varied role in digestion, including breaking down of food, storing energy, and getting rid of waste and toxins from the bloodstream. Liver disease is a collective term for all digestive conditions that affect the liver.
While the causes may be different, they can all damage your liver and affect its function. According to statistics from the CDC, 1.8 percent of US adults have been diagnosed with chronic liver disease, which translates to about 4.5 million Americans. Liver disease can be diagnosed with blood tests by a gastroenterologist or primary care provider, or by using imaging tests like CT or MRIs.
Symptoms of liver disease can vary from one person to another, depending on the cause. Some general symptoms may include: itchy skin, persistent fatigue, vomiting, nausea, swollen abdomen, legs or ankles, dark urine, jaundice, loss of appetite, and black or bloody stool.
Lifestyle changes are usually recommended for liver disease. These may include reducing/avoiding alcohol, a common cause of serious liver disease, keeping a healthy weight (obesity is often associated with a chronic inflammation of the liver called Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease), drinking plenty of water, and embracing a low-fat, “liver-friendly” diet.
Depending on the underlying cause, the doctor might prescribe medications such as antibiotics, blood pressure drugs, steroids, antiviral drugs, and multivitamins. On rare occasions, you may need surgery to remove diseased parts of the liver. A liver transplant may be necessary if no other treatment option is viable.
The condition diverticulosis is characterized by the formation of small pockets or pouches called diverticula in the lower part of the inner lining of the colon (the large intestine). Diverticulitis refers to the inflammation of these pockets, that become swollen with waste and get infected. This can lead to a range of mild to serious complications, including rectal bleeding. Diverticulitis occurs in severe or advanced diverticulosis.
Symptoms may be minimal or include fever and chills, nausea and vomiting, painful abdominal cramps, bloody stool, and rectal bleeding.
Diverticulitis can be treated in several ways, including:
- Changes in diet – Your physician may get you on a liquid-only diet before weaning in low-fiber foods after several days.
- Medication – You could be prescribed OTC pain medication for discomfort, as well as antibiotics if you have got an infection
- Surgery – This rare option is recommended if your diverticulitis cannot be treated through medication and dietary changes. These may include needle drainage, bowel resection with colostomy or anastomosis.
The gastrointestinal tract is a large organ system that performs numerous tasks including the breakdown of food, absorption of nutrients and fluids, protection from invasive bacteria or noxious substances, and removal of waste. A gastrointestinal disorder is any condition that affects the digestive system. It is estimated that these conditions affect 60-70 million people in the US alone, leading to a quarter of a million deaths annually.
Whereas symptoms vary depending on the condition and underlying causes, most gastrointestinal diseases share common symptoms such as pain in the abdomen, diarrhea, constipation, bloating, weight loss and excess gas.
To recap, the most common digestive conditions include:
- Celiac disease – This is an autoimmune digestive disorder in which the body launches an immune reaction to gluten. While the exact cause isn’t known, genetics and a number of factors in the environment such as viral infections may play a role in celiac disease development.
- Irritable Bowel Syndrome – IBS is a condition with abdominal pain or bloating associated with either diarrhea or constipation (or both).
- Lactose intolerance – This condition occurs when someone cannot digest a specific sugar called lactose that is found in milk and processed dairy products. This is caused by a lack of lactase, an intestinal enzyme which normally digests lactose.
- Chronic diarrhea – This is a condition in which a person passes watery or loose stools for four or more weeks. This persistent diarrhea can be due to a number of various causes and may cause dehydration and poor nutrition.
- Constipation – This is a very common digestive problem affecting more than 2.5 million individuals in the US. A constipated person has difficulty moving bowels because of a dry, hard stool.
- Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) – This is characterized by persistent bouts of acid reflux from the stomach up into the esophagus which can slowly damage the esophagus. A person with GERD experiences heartburn and acid reflux symptoms at least twice per week.
- Peptic ulcer disease – Peptic ulcers form when sores develop on the lining of the gastrointestinal tract. Changes in appetite, vomiting, chest pain, indigestion, weight loss, and bloody stools are some of the symptoms of PUD.
- Crohn’s disease – This is an inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) that involves inflammation of any part of the gastrointestinal tract, most commonly the lower small intestine and the large intestine, and has a chronic course.
- Ulcerative colitis – This is another inflammatory bowel disease. In UC, the lining of the colon is affected by inflammation and open sores. This also runs a chronic course characterized by abdominal pain, diarrhea, bloody stools, malnutrition and fever.
- Gallstones – These are small stone-like solids that form in the bile-storing gallbladder when there is a high concentration of bilirubin and cholesterol. While they can cause no symptoms at all, gallstones may also cause pain in the upper abdomen, burping, dark urine, nausea, clay-like stools.
- Acute and Chronic pancreatitis – Inflammation of the pancreas, an organ that produces digestive juices as well as hormones. Symptoms are severe abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, weight loss. While acute pancreatitis may be caused by a variety of factors, including infections, more than two-thirds of chronic pancreatitis cases are alcohol-related.
- Liver disease – this refers to all diseases, complications, and illnesses that can affect the liver, including liver cirrhosis. Common symptoms include pale stools, dark urine, jaundice (or yellowing of eyes and skin), appetite loss, nausea, and vomiting. Treatment options vary depending on the underlying cause.
- Diverticulitis – This condition occurs when one or several diverticula (small pouches or pockets that sprout on the GI lining due to diverticulosis) get inflamed and infected. While common symptoms like constipation, diarrhea and bloating are mild, advanced diverticulitis can lead to rectal bleeding and other severe digestive complications.
It’s important to see a gastroenterologist for any persisting or alarming symptoms of a diagnosis and a treatment plan.
Common GI Symptoms – American College of Gastroenterology
Gastrointestinal (GI) symptoms such as heartburn, indigestion/dyspepsia, bloating and constipation are common in the community. However, these symptoms may be misinterpreted and their impact and significance misunderstood both by health care providers and patients.
The ACG has created this special resource section that features the College’s wealth of scientifically-based education material and information, the latest related research from The American Journal of Gastroenterology and expert insight to help patients understand common GI symptoms and how these symptoms should be appropriately and effectively managed.
Do You Have IBS?
In the United States, it is estimated that 10-15 percent of the adult population suffers from IBS symptoms, yet only 5 to 7 percent of adults have been diagnosed with the disease. IBS is the most common disease diagnosed by gastroenterologists and one of the most common disorders seen by primary care physicians.
Information on Common GI Conditions
ACG Expert Podcasts on Common GI Conditions
The American Journal of Gastroenterology Author Podcast:
Food Choice as a Key Management Strategy for Functional Gut Symptoms
Professor Peter Gibson reviews the quality of the evidence on diets high or low in poorly absorbed short-chain carbohydrates, known as FODMAPs (Fermentable Oligo-, Di- and Mono-saccharides and Polyols) and their impact on functional gastrointestinal symptoms. In a discussion with Co-Editor Dr. Bill Chey, Professor Gibson provides insights on implementing dietary approaches in the office and discusses the challenges of recognizing patients with non-celiac gluten sensitivity.
Listen to the Podcast | Read the Article
Abdominal Pain – Lin Chang, MD
Biliary Tract Disorders, Gallbladder Disorders, and Gallstone Pancreatitis – William B. Silverman, MD
Nausea, Vomiting and Dyspepsia – Brian E. Lacy, MD, PhD, FACG
ACG Clinical Guidelines
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9 Common Digestive Disorders – Birmingham Gastroenterology Associates
During our lifetimes we will experience some type of digestive problems such as gas, bloating or heartburn. For most people, these symptoms will resolve fairly quickly. However, there are times people experience more serious and long-lasting symptoms which is cause for concern. Below we provide general guidelines on how to recognize the most common digestive disorders.
The digestive system includes the gastrointestinal tract GI), liver, pancreas, and gallbladder to help us digest food. Digestive disorders involve the gastrointestinal (GI) tract and can range from mild to severe pain. Diagnosing digestive disorders involves a physical exam, diagnostic evaluation, lab testing, and imaging. Symptoms include:
Digestive Disorders: Upper Abdomen
Symptoms in the upper abdomen may include burping, heartburn, nausea, vomiting, and pain. Digestive disorders in the upper abdomen can be caused by too much cholesterol or overuse of medications that upset the stomach. More serious causes include ulcers and nerve damage.
- Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) mainly causes heartburn, usually after eating. GERD is due to the lower esophageal sphincter not working properly and pushing content back up the esophagus. Acid reflux and heartburn are common symptoms. However, experiencing symptoms that affect your daily life or twice a week could be a sign of GERD. Treatment includes changes to your diet, antacids or prescription-strength acid blockers and sometimes surgery.
- Peptic Ulcers Disease (PUD) is an open sore in the lining of the stomach due to acid and digestive enzymes eroding the lining of the stomach or duodenum. The main symptom is a gnawing or burning pain in the pit of the stomach. Getting medical treatment for peptic ulcers is important or it could cause bleeding and anemia. The main cause of peptic ulcers is an infection or chronic use of NSAIDs.
- Gastritis is an inflammation in the stomach lining with symptoms similar to heartburn. This is usually treated with medication to reduce stomach acid.
- Gastroparesis occurs when the stomach takes too long to empty its contents. This is usually caused by damage to the nerves in the stomach. People with type 1 or type 2 diabetes are at a greater risk of developing gastroparesis.
- Gallstones form in the gallbladder when bile hardens, resulting in hard stones that range in size from grains of sand to the size of a golf ball. Gallstones can form when there’s too much cholesterol or waste in your bile. Most people don’t have symptoms. However, gallstones that cause blockage will cause a sudden sharp, severe pain that can last a few minutes to several hours. Medications can be used to dissolve gallstones. If that doesn’t work, surgery is the next step to remove gallstones.
Digestive Disorders of the Lower Abdomen
Digestive disorders in the lower abdomen include pain, cramping, and bowel movement problems. Common digestive disorders in the lower abdomen range from autoimmune diseases to inflammation.
- Celiac Disease is an autoimmune disease in which gluten triggers the immune system to attack the lining of the small intestine. Eventually, you could lose your ability to absorb nutrients from your food. Symptoms include headaches, diarrhea, bloating, weight loss and abdominal pain. Some alternatives to gluten are brown rice, lentils, soy flour, and cornflour.
- Diverticular Disease is inflammation in the walls of the intestines. Most people don’t experience symptoms. Those that do have to experience sharp pains in the lower abdomen and develop a fever. If left untreated, diverticulitis can cause life-threatening complications. Treatment usually includes changing your diet. If you have bleeding from your rectum, see your doctor right away.
- Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) is a chronic condition that requires lifelong monitoring and treatment. IBD is an autoimmune disease that causes inflammation in the GI tract. Symptoms can include abdominal pain, weight loss, urgent bowel movements, fever, rectal bleeding, skin/eye irritations, and diarrhea.
- Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) is a common digestive disorder not to be confused with IBD. People with IBS have recurring abdominal pain and either diarrhea, constipation or both. IBS occurs at least three times a month for three months in a row.
A gastroenterologist is best equipped to determine what’s causing your digestion issues. If you are having trouble with your digestive health, Birmingham Gastroenterology can help. We have decades of experience treating diseases and disorders in all parts of the digestive system. To make an appointment to discuss your symptoms and treatment options, call us at (205) 271-8000.
The Most Common Signs & Symptoms of Gastrointestinal Disorders
We all occasionally experience digestive upset. So how are you supposed to know the difference between when your GI symptoms are a temporary inconvenience and when they’re indicative of a digestive disorder? When they’re persistent and/or severe.
Gastrointestinal symptoms can vary in intensity from very mild to serious. If you’re experiencing the symptoms below over and over again or if they cause you significant discomfort, your body could be trying to tell you that you have a digestive condition.
Bloating & Excess Gas
Bloating could be a sign of several GI disorders, like Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), or food intolerance such as Celiac disease.
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) defines constipation as having less than 3 bowel movements a week or passing hard, dry stool. Several digestive diseases count constipation as a warning sign, like IBS with constipation. If constipation is a typical problem in your life, you could be suffering from chronic constipation, a recognized GI disorder.
Chronic diarrhea (lasting longer than a day or two) could signify a digestive disorder, such as lactose intolerance or inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).
If you experience heartburn two or more times a week, you might have Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD). If left untreated over time, the acid from your stomach can damage your esophagus and lead to complications.
Nausea & Vomiting
Nausea is often a sign of extreme pain, and it could be the result of anything from an allergy to cancer. Nausea and/or vomiting could also indicate an infection in your GI tract or gallbladder, appendicitis, diverticulitis, pancreatitis, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, or an intestinal blockage.
Most digestive diseases include abdominal pain, so if you’re experiencing persistent abdominal pain, you should see a physician. This could signal an ulcer, diverticulitis, or irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).
If you’re experiencing any of these worrisome digestive symptoms, don’t hesitate to contact Tulsa Endoscopy Center today for an evaluation. If you’re not sure if your GI symptom is serious enough to see a gastroenterologist, remember that any symptom you would define as “persistent” and/or “severe” deserves a diagnosis.
In the meantime, you can take our online assessments to determine what steps you need to take to begin feeling your best again.
Indigestion and Stomach Pain – How to Fix Common Digestive Disorders
What it feels like: Gnawing pain or dull ache in your upper abdomen. It may develop gradually or come on suddenly. You feel like throwing up, or may have already. You deeply regret eating that pepperoni pizza late last night.
What causes it? Indigestion, called gastritis or dyspepsia by doctors, is an inflammation of the stomach lining. Acute gastritis can be triggered by medications, especially aspirin or other pain relievers, as well as alcohol and food. Chronic gastritis may be caused by Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori), a bacterium that causes ulcers; if not treated early, it can lead to peptic ulcer disease and cancer.
The fix: Depends on what’s causing the inflammation. If you’ve been taking aspirin or other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), switch to another pain reliever. If you have an ulcer, a combo of antibiotics and antacids can help. Too many late nights or too much stress? Antacids, histamine-2 blockers and PPIs can curb stomach acid. Cut back on alcohol and fatty foods. Eat smaller meals, and eat them slowly. Try taking a short walk after meals. If you’re a smoker, stop. If the pain is still there after a few days, or if you develop shortness of breath and worsening pain that shoots down your arm, see a doctor immediately.
What it feels like: For no obvious reason, there’s been a change in your normal bowel pattern: You’re going less frequently; you’re straining; stools are hard and dry.
What causes it: It could be your diet — too much fat, too little fiber and fluids. It could be medications or supplements. Or perhaps your body rhythms are out of whack because you’ve been traveling or been sick. Less likely: underlying health issues such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), diabetes, colon cancer.
The fix: Gradually increase fluids and high-fiber foods, such as whole-grain breads and cereals, nuts, seeds, fresh fruits and vegetables. Get moving, even if it’s just to walk around the block. Stool softeners, fiber laxatives or those containing polyethylene glycol may help, but stay away from stimulant products, such as those containing senna, which can be habit-forming and damage the nerves in your colon. If problems persist for more than a few days, or if constipation comes on quickly and is very painful, see your doctor.
Common Stomach & Intestinal Problems in Kids
Children’s abdominal complaints have many potential causes, most of which are not dangerous, but some (such as appendicitis) can be life threatening. For this reason, all belly problems should be monitored closely and treated with care. To help parents determine the best course of action when their child has abdominal upset, I’ve summarized the most common causes of stomach and intestinal concerns in children and adolescents, as well as their treatments. At the end I’ll review some “red flags” that should trigger parents to seek medical attention.
Heartburn (Reflux Disease)
Heartburn symptoms are fairly common in children and adolescents, with as many as 3 to 5 percent of all adolescents experiencing reflux disease. Chest and upper abdominal discomfort occurs when acidic stomach contents slide upwards into the esophagus, causing irritation and a burning sensation. Reflux is caused by decreased strength of the valve (esophageal sphincter) that closes the esophagus off from the stomach or from obesity (which increases stomach pressure). Diet can also play a role in triggering episodes of heartburn.
Treatments for Reflux Disease
If your child is prone to reflux symptoms, there are several things you can do to reduce the frequency of their problems before resorting to medication. For example, if certain foods seem to trigger heartburn (such as acidic or fatty foods), then avoiding those consistently is a good first step. Be aware that the position of the body can greatly influence the likelihood of regurgitation. Encourage your child not to eat before bedtime or lie down after a large meal. Elevating the head of your child’s bed can also decrease the flow of stomach contents into the esophagus. If your child is overweight or obese, losing weight may resolve his or her reflux problems.
If these lifestyle interventions do not control your child’s heartburn, there are three kinds of over-the-counter (OTC) medications that may be helpful. They each treat heartburn in a different way, so be sure to find the one(s) that works best. In some cases, relief may be achieved by using more than one medicine at a time. Always make sure that you read the Drug Facts label carefully before offering any medicine to your child or teen.
- Antacids – work by neutralizing the acidic properties of stomach contents so that they cause less irritation if they escape the confines of its tough lining. The active ingredients in antacids include aluminum hydroxide and magnesium hydroxide (to be used in children aged 12 and over) and calcium carbonate (approved for use in children aged 2 and over).
- Histamine Receptor (h3) Blockers – work by preventing the stomach from producing acid. Active ingredients in h3 blockers include: cimetidine, famotidine, and nizatidine. These medicines are indicated for children 12 and older; ask a doctor about treating children under 12.
- Proton Pump Inhibitors – these medicines are not available for children under 18, and the OTC labels are only for use by adults. They work to reduce stomach acidity by blocking tiny acid pumps on the stomach lining wall. Active ingredients in PPIs include: omeprazole, omeprazole with sodium bicarbonate, and lansoprazole.
Constipation is a very common problem, and accounts for 3 to 5 percent of all pediatrician visits. Although people often think of constipation as synonymous with hard stool, the medical definition of constipation is more specific and must include two or more of the following symptoms (occurring at least once a week for two months) in a child older than four years of age:
- Two or fewer defecations per week
- At least one episode of fecal incontinence per week
- History of retentive posturing or excessive volitional stool retention
- History of painful or hard bowel movements
- Presence of a large fecal mass in the rectum
- History of large-diameter stools that may obstruct the toilet
Constipation may be caused by a low fiber diet, painful defecation (causing the child to avoid passing stool), food intolerances, medications and bowel dysfunction (related to different diseases).
Lifestyle treatments that may be helpful in remedying constipation include: regular exercise, increased fluid consumption, higher fiber diet, discontinuing cow’s milk and behavior modification (such as toilet breaks at regular intervals).
OTC treatments that are commonly used to treat constipation include: Stool softeners, laxatives (four types), enemas, and suppositories.
- Stool softeners – prevent stool from becoming too hard by introducing a slippery substance into the stool while it’s being formed. The active ingredient in stool softeners is docusate. Ask a doctor for advice on treating children under 2.
- Osmotic laxatives – draw water into the bowel from other body tissues to make stool more moist. For children, the most commonly used laxatives include polyethylene glycol, magnesium citrate hydroxide, and lactulose. Ask a doctor for advice on treating children under 17.
- Lubricant laxatives – coat the stool with an oily layer to keep it from drying out. Mineral oil is the most common example of a lubricant laxative and can be used orally or rectally. Ask a doctor for advice on treating children under 6.
- Stimulant laxatives – stimulate the bowel to increase its contractions, moving stool through the intestines faster. Senna (a derivative of tree bark) and bisacodyl are used in cases of more severe childhood constipation. Ask a doctor for advice on treating children under 6.
- Bulk-formers (fiber) – Bulk-forming laxatives absorb liquid in the intestines and swell to form a soft, bulky stool. The bowel is then stimulated normally by the presence of the bulky mass. Some bulk-forming laxatives ingredients are psyllium (ask a doctor for children under 6) and polycarbophil (ask a doctor for children under 3).
- Enemas and suppositories flush stool from the bowel (enemas) or stimulate the bowel to contract (suppositories). The most common active ingredients used in enemas and suppositories for severely constipated children or adolescents include: mineral oil enemas (under 2 do not use), saline enemas (under 2 do not use) and bisacodyl suppositories. Ask a doctor about treating children under 6.
Red Flag Review
Although most cases of heartburn, constipation, and diarrhea are not dangerous, it is important to be on the lookout for more concerning signs and symptoms that could require immediate medical attention. These include:
- Severe abdominal pain. This could be caused by life-threatening medical conditions such as appendicitis. Call your healthcare provider right away if your child has extreme abdominal pain.
- Blood in vomit. Especially larger amounts. Please check out this helpful first-aid guide for managing vomiting in children.
- Blood in stool. Blood can be bright red to black in appearance.
- Dangerous dehydration. May include high fevers lasting many days, a large amount of diarrhea, fast heart rate, dizziness with standing, decreased skin turgor (tone, firmness), dry mouth, decreased urine output, lack of tears, unusually deep breathing, lethargy and/or irritability.
- Risk of a toxic ingestion. If you think that your child may have consumed a toxic household substance, call the Poison Control Center hotline immediately: 1-800-222-1222.
90,000 symptoms and signs of gastrointestinal diseases
More than two dozen organs participate in digestion, which grind food, assimilate nutrients and remove excess from the body . It is a “full cycle” system – from food absorption and processing to the removal of undigested residues. It is imperative that every element of it works clearly and does not fail.
How the human gastrointestinal tract works
The digestion process is somewhat reminiscent of going down a slide in a water park.The beginning of the path is the oral cavity , where food is chewed, crushed, mixed with saliva and turns into a soft food lump .
This is interesting
The mucous membrane of the mouth has receptors that help to recognize the taste, temperature and texture of food. These sensors transmit signals to the brain, which turns on the salivary, fundus, and pancreas.
This is followed by pharynx – a funnel-shaped canal in which the digestive and respiratory tracts intersect.
The journey of food continues in the esophagus , a cylindrical muscular tube 22–30 cm long. It takes a certain amount of time for food to be digested and absorbed. In this regard, along the entire length of the digestive tract, there are special closing devices capable of “closing” one or another section of the digestive tract. These devices include sphincters and valves: esophageal-gastric sphincter, pyloric sphincter, ileocecal valve, colon sphincters, anal sphincters, and others .
Stomach – saccular muscular organ that connects the esophagus with the duodenum (duodenum). It is like a cauldron in which food is accumulated, mixed to a pasty mass and digested by the action of gastric juice. Stomach juice consists of enzymes and hydrochloric acid, due to which it has a pronounced acidity (about 1.5–2.0 pH). Gastric juice breaks down proteins and other chemical compounds, after which they are transported to the small intestine for final digestion and absorption.In addition, the stomach performs a protective function, since gastric juice has a bactericidal effect .
Length of the small intestine , consisting of the duodenum, jejunum and ileum and occupying most of the abdominal cavity, is about 4.5 m. The small intestine contains glands that produce intestinal juice for the main digestion of food and absorption of nutrients into the blood [5 ].
Large intestine – the lower part of the intestine, in which water, electrolytes, fiber are absorbed and unsuitable food residues are formed into feces.The large intestine is 1.5 m long and is subdivided into the cecum, colon, and rectum. The rectum – the end of the digestive tract – ends with an opening (anus). Serves for the accumulation of feces and bowel emptying. Here the “unprecedented journey” ends – the processed food remains leave the body .
The pancreas, kidneys, adrenal glands, gallbladder and liver are also involved in digestion.
The pancreas is located in close proximity to the stomach and duodenum.It secretes pancreatic juice, which contributes to the complete digestion of food and the course of metabolic processes.
The liver takes part in the metabolism of lipids, vitamins, proteins and carbohydrates, synthesizes blood proteins: globulins, albumin and fibrinogen. The organ is involved in immunological reactions.
Functions of the gallbladder – to store and supply as needed concentrated bile, which is constantly produced by liver cells. Bile is directly involved in human digestion and acts as a kind of antibacterial agent.
It is worth mentioning the role of kidneys and adrenal glands in digestion , related to the urinary system. They process the water coming from the colon, filtering it into suitable for the needs of the body and into urine containing unnecessary impurities and to be excreted.
At each of the stages of the passage of food through the gastrointestinal tract, disruptions are possible, leading to incomplete assimilation of food, problems with the elimination of waste material and threatening the development of pathologies of the gastrointestinal tract.
Among the causes of problems with the digestive system, malnutrition, which has various forms, is in the lead. These are overeating and eating heavy food, malnutrition and starvation, irregular meals, quick snacks, scarcity and imbalance in the diet. Poorly purified water and harmful food additives negatively affect the digestive tract.
Other factors: poor ecology, stress, harmful working conditions, addictions, congenital predisposition, autoimmune diseases and disruptions in the endocrine system, side effects of drugs (antibiotics, anti-inflammatory, painkillers, hormonal drugs), violation of sanitary standards in the preparation and consumption of food that can cause infectious diseases and parasite infestation.
Disruptions in the digestive system negatively affect the entire body, reduce immunity, disrupt metabolism, lead to a deterioration in the appearance of the skin, brittle hair and nails. They are fraught with numbness in the limbs, pain in muscles and bones, and sleep disturbances .
Possible complications for the cardiovascular system: hypertension, arrhythmia, angina pectoris, risk of stroke and heart attack. Against the background of gastrointestinal diseases, anular stomatitis, glossitis, bleeding gums, eczema, neurodermatitis can develop.With advanced forms of gastrointestinal diseases, damage to the pituitary gland, adrenal glands, gonads, thyroid gland is possible.
Diseases of the gastrointestinal tract: what the statistics say
Diseases of the gastrointestinal tract are among the most common pathologies in the world. According to the forecasts of experts from the World Health Organization, by the middle of the XXI century, diseases of the digestive system will occupy one of the leading places. This is largely due to the lifestyle of a modern person (stress, poor nutrition, physical inactivity, bad habits), environmental pollution, an increase in the proportion of low-quality and genetically modified food in the diet .
As of January 1, 2018, it can be argued that in the structure of mortality of the population of the Russian Federation, diseases of the digestive system are in fifth place – 5.1% (63 cases per 100,000 people). The first place is taken by diseases of the circulatory system – 47.3%, on the second – neoplasms – 16.1%, in third place are external causes – 8.4%, followed by diseases of the nervous system – 5.6%. In general, for the period 2016–2017, there is a decrease in mortality from diseases of the digestive system by 5.5% – from 67 to 63 people per 100,000 population .
Men are more likely to become victims of gastrointestinal diseases: in 2017, 50,538 deaths of men from causes associated with digestive diseases were recorded, while for the female population this figure was 42,451 .
Among the deadly gastroenterological diseases, 47.9% are liver diseases . More men die than women (the ratio is 15:11). Diseases of the gallbladder, biliary tract and pancreas are in second place – 15.3%.Peptic ulcer and duodenal ulcer, despite its widespread prevalence, leads to the death of 11.5% of patients from the total number of deaths in the gastroenteric group. They die from appendicitis in 0.3% of cases .
The bacterium Helicobacter pylori, an etiopathogenetic agent of a number of “gastric” and “extragastric” diseases, including stomach cancer, is present in more than 28–84% of the world’s population (the figure varies considerably depending on the methods of testing the population) . Of the infected individuals, 50% suffer from chronic gastritis, 10-15% – peptic ulcer, approximately 1% – carcinoma or MALT-lymphoma of the stomach .
In Russia, according to data from various regions, the presence of Helicobacter pylori in the stomach is observed in 65–92% of adult patients .
The consequence of gastritis – a stomach ulcer is found in every 15th inhabitant of the Earth.
In general, various diseases of the digestive system were registered in 11.5% of Russians of various ages (on average, this is 11,518 people per 100,000). Among the “leaders” of morbidity for 2017–2018 (per 100,000 population), the following diseases can be noted :
- Gastritis and duodenitis, which were diagnosed in 2806 people, which is 2.8% of the total population RF.
- Diseases of the gallbladder, biliary tract – 1643 people, or 1.64%.
- Diseases of the pancreas – 949 people, or 1%.
- Stomach and duodenal ulcers were diagnosed in 835 people, or 0.84%.
- Liver diseases – in 361 people, which is 0.4% (of which 82 people were diagnosed with liver fibrosis and / or cirrhosis – 0.082%).
- Non-infectious enteritis and colitis – 274 people, which is 0.3%.
Symptoms of the most common gastrointestinal diseases
Typical signs of gastrointestinal tract pathologies: heartburn (burning from the reflux of stomach contents into the esophagus), flatulence and intestinal stenosis (bloating caused by gas in the intestines), belching (gas escaping from the stomach or esophagus), nausea and vomiting, stool problems (constipation or diarrhea), bad breath, plaque on the tongue.
Less common: dysphagia (impaired swallowing, accompanied by pain and a feeling of stopping the food bolus), impurities in the feces (blood, mucus, undigested food residues), swelling of the tongue, bitterness in the mouth, itching and other allergic reactions. Diseases of a single pathogenesis have both general and specific signs.
Diseases of the stomach
Pain in the epigastric (epigastric) region and dyspeptic syndrome (sour belching, heartburn, vomiting and nausea) can indicate a number of diseases of the stomach, esophagus and duodenum.
With peptic ulcer , which is a wound of the wall of the duodenum or stomach, there are sharp periodic pains in the left hypochondrium, which can radiate to the left half of the chest and left scapula, as well as to the thoracic and / or lumbar spine … Depending on the location of the ulcer, pain can occur either immediately after eating, or in the interval from half an hour to three hours. “Hungry” and “night” pains appear six to seven hours after eating and disappear after eating.Seasonal – arising in spring and autumn – exacerbations of the disease are typical. With an exacerbation, sour belching, nausea, and constipation are observed. Ulcerative bleeding is manifested by vomiting such as “coffee grounds” and / or black (tar-colored) stools. In this case, weakness, loss of consciousness, tachycardia, and decreased pressure may occur .
Gastroduodenal disorders are manifested in a similar way: inflammatory processes of the stomach ( chronic Helicobacter pylori gastritis ) and duodenal ulcer ( duodenitis ).Diseases in some cases are asymptomatic, but more often accompanied by symptoms of functional dyspepsia. These are sharp, aching or pulling pains in the upper abdomen, which are not localized in other parts of the abdomen and do not decrease after a bowel movement. There is also a burning sensation and a feeling of fullness in the epigastric region after eating, early satiety and heaviness in the abdomen, even with little food intake. These syndromes can be combined and accompanied by nausea .
Unfortunately, these diagnostic criteria are not specific for functional dyspepsia (respectively, and for gastritis) and can occur in many other diseases.Therefore, the diagnosis of “functional dyspepsia” is made only after a thorough examination of the patient in order to exclude more serious diseases .
Hernia of the esophagus, the consequence of which is gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), is manifested by heartburn – this is the most characteristic symptom observed in 83% of patients. The severity of heartburn increases with errors in diet, intake of alcohol and carbonated drinks, physical exertion, bending and in a horizontal position.Another symptom is belching, which is worse after eating and taking carbonated drinks, with physical exertion. It is also given off by pain in the epigastric region when changing posture and after eating. Back pain and girdle pain may occur. In 20% of patients (mainly over 60 years old), pain in the region of the heart is noted against the background of concomitant cardiac diseases. They are localized in the chest and along the esophagus and can give the impression of coronary pain. There are also extraesophageal manifestations of GERD, which include bronchopulmonary, otorhinolaryngological and dental syndromes – chronic cough associated with reflux, chronic laryngitis, bronchial asthma and tooth enamel erosion .
The intestine often suffers from inflammatory processes, infectious lesions. These are inflammation of the large and small intestines – enteritis (malabsorption syndrome) and colitis. Most often these diseases are combined – gastroenteritis, enterocolitis or gastroenterocolitis. Usually, if the picture of acute colitis or enterocolitis comes to the fore, dysentery is diagnosed. When gastroenteritis prevails, the disease is diagnosed as food poisoning.
Acute enteritis first manifests itself as a disorder of the stool (up to 15 times a day), nausea, vomiting, pain in the umbilical region. Then general symptoms join: fever, weakness, sweating, headache. Chronic enteritis develops over a long time, often against the background of concomitant gastritis. Bloating, cold sweat, trembling limbs, tachycardia, as well as loud rumbling in the abdomen, splashing noise and tenderness on palpation are noted.During and immediately after bowel movements, the patient experiences severe weakness, dizziness, nausea, and a drop in pressure. Symptoms acute colitis – severe cramping abdominal pain, frequent loose stools mixed with mucus and / or blood, painful urge to defecate, general malaise, weakness, often fever .
Signs paraproctitis (fistula of the anus), or abscess (purulent inflammation) rectum, is the presence of an external abscess or fistulous opening near the anus, severe pain in the rectal or rectal region …Against the background of an increase in the size of the abscess, serous, bloody, purulent discharge appears, the pain intensifies, the urge to defecate becomes excruciating, the temperature rises, and chills are possible .
Dysbacteriosis (dysbiosis) can have both latent (compensated) form , proceeding without pronounced clinical manifestations, and clinical , which is manifested by diarrhea, abdominal distension, cramps allergic reactions (itching and skin rashes) .
Hemorrhoids (varicose veins of the rectum) are characterized by pronounced symptoms. This is a feeling of discomfort and moisture in the anus, bleeding or smearing with blood after the act of defecation; the presence of enlarged external hemorrhoids and / or their prolapse through the anus (usually associated with a violation of stool, diet, in women – with pregnancy and childbirth). There is pain during bowel movement, which continues for some time (when walking, in a sitting and lying position) .
Symptoms appendicitis is determined by the patient’s age, the area of the appendix in the abdominal cavity and the presence of complications.
It is recommended to consider as suspicion of acute appendicitis any persistent manifestation of pain in the right lower quadrant of the abdomen .
Sometimes the pain “radiates” to the umbilical region, in some cases – to the hip joint. Often accompanied by nausea and vomiting, anorexia (complete lack of appetite).The temperature rises and stays within the range of 37–38 degrees .
One of the most common bowel pathologies should not be overlooked – irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) , which occurs at least once a week and is accompanied by the following symptoms :
- Abdominal pain, which has a transient character, it is localized mainly in the iliac regions, more often on the left. The pain usually increases after eating, decreases after the act of defecation, passing gas, taking antispasmodic drugs.In women, the pain increases during menstruation. An important distinguishing feature of pain syndrome in IBS is the absence of pain at night.
- Feeling of bloating, less pronounced in the morning, increasing during the day, worse after eating.
- Stool disorders in the form of constipation, diarrhea or their alternation. Violations of the act of defecation in the form of an imperative urge to defecate or a feeling of incomplete emptying of the intestines.
IBS has a negative effect on the entire body: the patient complains of headache, insomnia, increased fatigue, heart palpitations even at complete rest.There are also pains in the lumbar region, other muscle and joint pains, urological symptoms, nausea, heartburn. Dyspareunia (pain during intercourse) is possible in women .
According to most experts, IBS has a psychosomatic nature and appears as a result of stress, severe emotional overload. However, to get rid of the problem, it is important not only to come to peace of mind, but also to apply complex drug treatment. At the moment, there are specialized drugs designed to treat irritable bowel.They successfully eliminate various symptoms and normalize bowel function.
Hepatitis (autoimmune hepatitis, viral hepatitis B, C, D, unspecified chronic viral hepatitis, cryptogenic chronic hepatitis and others) is marked by a whole spectrum of symptoms. Among them – general weakness, fatigue, decreased appetite, performance and mood, emotional lability, irritability, sleep disturbance, aversion to food. Dyspepsia, a feeling of heaviness in the abdomen, pain in large joints, rash, fever.There is also darkening of urine, yellowing of the skin, sclera and other tissues. Hence another common name for the disease – jaundice, this condition is associated with an excessive amount of bilirubin in the blood. Yellowness of the sclera and skin becomes evident when the bilirubin level exceeds 3 mg / dL. Cholestatic jaundice is accompanied by pronounced itching of the skin.
In some cases, enlargement of the liver and spleen is present. Pain in liver diseases is localized in the right hypochondrium, sometimes in the epigastric region and has a different character.Chronic hepatitis is accompanied by the following systemic manifestations: polyarthritis, polymyositis, pneumonitis, fibrosing alveolitis, pleurisy, pericarditis, myocarditis, ulcerative colitis, diabetes mellitus, hemolytic anemia, blood clotting disorders and others .
Cirrhosis of the liver in many cases may develop asymptomatically for some time and is detected by chance during clinical examination. But in most cases, some or all of the following symptoms are present: weakness, anorexia, discomfort in the epigastric region and right hypochondrium, weight loss and muscle mass loss.At the stage of expanded manifestations, encephalopathy (confusion, large-sweeping tremor, liver odor from the mouth), bleeding gums, “spider veins”, jaundice, itching and more appear. The disease is accompanied by serious systemic manifestations .
Diseases of the gallbladder and biliary tract
Signs of cholecystitis (inflamed gallbladder) – acute pain in the right hypochondrium after eating, especially when eating fatty and fried foods, bloating, bouts of nausea, vomiting, constant mouth.The pains can become permanent, intensify with a change in body position, tilt of the body forward and radiate to the right lumbar region, right shoulder blade, right shoulder. Also, the pain intensifies with a deep breath during the probing of the gallbladder zone. Many patients note a slight (up to subfebrile numbers) increase in temperature .
Diseases of the pancreas
Patients with pancreatitis initially complain of acute abdominal pain, which may have different intensity and localization.In the upper right half of the abdomen – with damage to the head of the pancreas. In the epigastric region – with a predominant lesion of the body of the pancreas. In the left hypochondrium – with the defeat of the “tail” of the gland. Dyspeptic symptom complex (feeling of fullness of the stomach and discomfort, bloating, nausea, belching) in most cases appears with a prolonged course of the disease .
Most common and life-threatening diseases of the gastrointestinal tract are caused by inflammatory processes associated with a bacterial or viral infection.Digestion is a single interconnected system, and diseases of its organs can consistently develop according to the domino principle. Therefore, in the treatment of pathologies of the gastrointestinal tract, an integrated approach is effective: correction of diet and lifestyle, contacting a doctor in order to select a treatment strategy, including pharmacological agents designed to relieve spasm of smooth muscles of the alimentary canal, bile and urinary tract.
Prevention of diseases of the gastrointestinal tract – GBUZ “City Hospital No. 4Sochi “MZ KK
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Diseases of the gastrointestinal tract occur in all groups of the population, and are one of the most common in comparison with pathologies of other organs. Statistics show that about 95% of the population in one way or another needs regular consultations of a gastroenterologist.
Different diseases have different predisposing factors, for example, men aged 20-40 years are at risk for peptic ulcer disease, and malignant neoplasms are more common in people over 50 years old.In addition, the sex of a person matters: cancers are 2 times more common in men, and pathologies of the gastrointestinal tract secretory apparatus are 3-5 times more likely to develop in women. The risk group for diseases of the gastrointestinal tract also includes people who have a burdened heredity for such pathologies.
Symptoms of gastrointestinal diseases are very diverse and directly depend on which organ is affected. Common signs accompanying the pathology of the digestive system include: abdominal pain of varying intensity and localization, lack of appetite, belching and heartburn, nausea and vomiting, weight loss, stool disorders, general weakness, flatulence.
The main reasons that provoke the development of gastrointestinal tract pathologies: overweight, smoking, alcohol abuse, unhealthy diet and violation of its regime, stress, diabetes mellitus, abuse of carbonated drinks and coffee, low physical activity, infectious diseases of the body.
Prevention of diseases of the gastrointestinal tract
1) Observe the power supply conditions and mode. Frequent meals, divided into small portions, will be helpful.It is undesirable to skip meals, especially breakfast. Before eating, be sure to thoroughly wash your hands and all those foods that will not be cooked. This will protect your body from the penetration of pathogens into it.
2) Eat a proper diet. It will be useful to reduce the consumption of fried, fatty, smoked, salted foods. In addition, it is necessary to increase the fiber content in the diet (vegetables and fruits, bran bread, cereals).Eat as much coarse fiber food as possible, fresh salads, try to use less vinegar and similar ingredients when cooking.
3) Avoid overeating. Eat in moderation, remember that a standard portion of food should not exceed 300-400 ml if presented in a liquid state. On the other hand, you cannot force yourself to starve, you must eat in an orderly and correct way.
4) Control your body weight. If you are overweight you should try to lose weight.Remember to do it right:
weight loss should not exceed 0.5 kg for women and 1 kg for men per week.
5) Avoid alcohol completely or keep it to a minimum. The maximum safe dose of alcohol consumption is no more than 30 ml of ethanol for men and 20 ml for women per day. Remember also that low-quality alcoholic beverages contain various dyes, chemical components, excess sugar, preservatives and flavorings.All of these substances have a detrimental effect on the digestive system. Consume only natural, pure and high-quality alcoholic beverages, and it is better to refuse them altogether.
6) Stop smoking. When nicotine is exposed to the body, there is no “normal” or minimum dose. To really reduce the level of pathological effects of tar and nicotine on the digestive organs, it is necessary to quit smoking completely.
7) Learn to deal with stressful situations.Try not to get nervous, go for a walk, rest and get enough sleep. Such measures will not only improve the condition of the digestive system, but also improve your overall health.
8) In diabetes mellitus, the disease must be carefully monitored. Do not disregard the recommendations of your healthcare professional, eat right, monitor your well-being carefully, and control your blood sugar. If painful sensations appear in the gastrointestinal tract, you should immediately consult with your doctor in order to prevent the development of complications.
9) Limit carbonated drinks and coffee. A safe dose of coffee is 300-400 ml of ready-made natural drink (2-3 coffee cups) per day. Carbonated drinks should also be drunk as little as possible. It is advisable to limit yourself to one glass per day or completely refuse them.
10) Move more. Normally, an adult’s intense physical activity should be at least 150 minutes per week. If this indicator is insufficient, try to increase it, for example, by playing sports.
It’s no secret that the digestive tract plays a very important role in the life of the body. With its help, we get vitamins, trace elements, proteins, fats, carbohydrates, fiber and useful acids. Some of them serve as a building material for cells, provide us with energy. Other substances contribute to the smooth functioning of organs and systems. Therefore, gastrointestinal diseases can not only disrupt the normal rhythm of a person’s life, but also seriously affect his health.
REMINDER FOR THE POPULATION
Prevention of diseases of the gastrointestinal tract (GIT)
The gastrointestinal tract is a system of organs where food enters and where it is broken down, from where substances necessary for the vital activity of the body are absorbed, and undigested food residues are excreted.
If the gastrointestinal tract works harmoniously, like a conveyor belt, and nutrition is balanced, then a person is provided with good health and working capacity, he rarely gets sick, quickly copes with diseases, he has a good emotional and physical tone.
Statistics show that more than ninety percent of the urban population worldwide suffer from some type of gastrointestinal disease. Meanwhile, more than half of people with diseases of the gastrointestinal tract are not even aware of them. This is due to the fact that most diseases until a certain time do not make themselves felt, since the body suppresses them with the help of immunity. And when the body becomes unable to cope with the developing disease, the first symptoms begin to appear.Unfortunately, in most cases, only after the onset of symptoms, a person decides that it is time to seek help from a specialist. But just basic prevention helps to prevent many diseases of the gastrointestinal tract. The causes of gastrointestinal diseases can be – a violation of the diet, the habit of eating dry food, snacks or fast food (fast food: hamburger, sandwich, hot dog, pizza, shawarma, french fries, etc.), the use of sugary carbonated drinks and alcohol, fried, spicy, etc.e. Human nutrition should be varied and appropriate to the energy expended. In addition, one must always remember the relationship between nutrients such as protein, fat and carbohydrates.
Compliance with strict diets for weight loss can be the cause of digestive disorders. For any violation of the digestive process, it is necessary to consult a specialist. A timely visit to a specialist in the field of gastroenterology will provide an opportunity to prevent an exacerbation of the disease and its transition to a chronic form.Stress can be so strongly associated with the functioning of the gastrointestinal tract that any more or less intense experience will be reflected in the work of the intestines. There is even such a phenomenon as bear disease, when before some important event in a person’s life, constipation occurs. Or, for example, before an important event, you may experience the opposite bowel disorder – diarrhea. It’s all to blame in such cases of experience. Prevention of gastrointestinal diseases and digestive disorders involves the ability to effectively deal with stress.Stressful intestinal problems are usually transient and can be treated with natural sedatives such as motherwort tincture or valerian root. Meanwhile, if such disorders begin to occur regularly, no sedatives will help. Another measure for the prevention of gastrointestinal diseases is the establishment of a balanced diet. This does not mean that all unhealthy foods should be excluded from the diet, but it is worth trying to reduce their amount as much as possible.When changing the diet, it is necessary to monitor the manifestation of possible signs of intestinal diseases – belching and heartburn, nausea and seething in the abdomen. The cause of a group of symptoms – the accumulation of gas in the abdomen, rumbling and flatulence, irregular bowel movements – can be excessive tension of smooth muscles in the intestines, aggravated by a violation of the intestinal microflora. To establish a specific pathogen, a number of specific gastroenterological studies are carried out.
Maintaining health is, first of all, your concern.Take care and love yourself. At the first alarming symptoms, without delay, contact a specialist who will either relieve you of your anxiety or prescribe the necessary examination and treatment on time.
Information for the population
Constipation. Ways to solve the problem
Constipation is the most common bowel dysfunction, which affects about 70% of older people in Russia. Functional constipation is often detected in children, and according to statistics, up to 30% of Russian children need treatment.
Constipation is no joke. Sometimes it is painful. A lack of fiber in the diet, not getting enough fluids, stress, medication, or lack of exercise can cause intestinal inertia. Below we will look at all these factors and ways to improve the situation.
Are you drinking enough? The first thing to do for a constipated person is to check their diet. The main menu items for combating constipation are dietary fiber and fluid.You need a lot of both to keep the stool soft and pass freely through the colon. How much liquid and how much fiber is required? Every adult should have a minimum of 6 to 8 glasses of liquid in their diet. Any liquid works, but water is best.
Eat more fiber. Adults are advised to absorb daily 20-35 g of dietary fiber, 30 g for those who suffer from constipation. Where does the fiber come from? Dietary fiber comes from complex carbohydrates such as whole grains, fruits and vegetables.If you choose your food carefully, it is not at all difficult to get 30 g of fiber daily: 1/2 cup of green peas, for example, will give 5 g, 1 small apple – 3 g, and a plate of bran – as much as 13 g. Cooked beans, prunes, figs, raisins, cornflakes, oatmeal, pears, and nuts are the most fiber in your diet, but increase the fiber gradually so you don’t get gasped.
Go in for sports. You know that exercise is good for the heart, but did you know that it is good for the bowel as well? Regular exercise tends to fight constipation by forcing food to move faster through the intestines.
Have a good laugh. Good mental laughter can help with constipation in two ways. It massages the intestines, which aids digestion and also helps release stress.
Should you take a laxative? Commercially available laxatives usually do their job, but the intestines get used to them very quickly and constipation can worsen. Be aware that different laxatives work in different ways. In many pharmacies, next to chemical laxatives, you will find another category labeled “natural” or “herbal” laxatives.The main ingredient in these preparations is crushed psyllium seed (flea plantain seed). It is a super concentrated form of fiber that, unlike chemical laxatives, is difficult to get used to, and is generally safe even with prolonged use. The problem with many psyllium laxatives is that they are quite expensive. But you can prepare the remedy yourself, grind 2 parts psyllium with 1 part linseed bran and 1 part oat bran (all of which can be bought), mix the ingredients with water and take every evening for about 21 hours.
Look for quick relief from time to time. If you are really feeling really bad, nothing will clear your bowels as quickly as an enema or suppositories. They are very suitable for rare use. However, with frequent access to them, you run the risk of getting a lazy colon. Use only clean water or saline enemas, but never use soapy water as it can irritate. And when you go to the pharmacy for candles, choose only with glycerin.
Review your medications and supplements. There are a number of medications that can cause or worsen constipation. Common culprits include antacids containing aluminum or calcium, antihistamines, Parkinson’s disease medications, calcium supplements, diuretics, narcotics, sleeping pills, and antidepressants.
Eat small meals. A person with a spastic colon should avoid heavy food, which stretches the intestinal tract and thus aggravates constipation.
Be careful with herbs. There are many herbs available to combat constipation. Aloe juice, sienna, medicinal rhubarb, cascara sagrada, dandelion root and plantain seed are especially well used. Some, for example, cascara sagrada can be very effective, but you should be careful with it, as intestinal addiction is possible.
Don’t strain yourself. As tempting as it is, do not try to get rid of constipation at the expense of incredible efforts.This is unwise: you risk getting hemorrhoids and anal fissures, and this not only hurts, but can also aggravate constipation by narrowing the anus. Plus, stress can raise blood pressure and lower your heart rate.
Alternative Way: Bypass Slippery Oil
“Eliminate all vegetable oils from your diet, squeezed from vegetables, olives, soybeans, and perhaps chronic constipation will bother you less. The problem with vegetable oils is that they form a film in the stomach that makes it difficult to digest carbohydrates and proteins. in the small intestine.Adequate digestion is delayed for up to 20 hours, causing gas and toxins to build up in the colon. But these same oils in their natural forms, for example, in nuts, avocados, corn, are released gradually, without forming any oil films that delay digestion and cause constipation. These oils are healthy and nutritious components of the diet.
Information for the population
CONSTRUCTION Prevention and treatment
Diet, laxatives, herbal medicine, physical exercises to enhance peristalsis.
- Eat foods with a mild laxative effect – black or whole wheat bread, fermented milk products, vegetable juices, fruits and vegetables (fresh, sour, dry), millet, buckwheat, unrefined vegetable oil. In the latter, by the way, there is no cholesterol. It is found only in animal fats.
- Liquids – at least one and a half liters per day.
- Do not use gas-forming products (legumes, cabbage, spinach, sorrel, radish, radish) containing essential oils (onions, garlic) and binding (strong tea, cocoa, red wine, blueberries, rice, jelly).
- Eat 4-5 times a day, with as little processing as possible.
- Take advantage of the unique laxative properties of fiber! Eat wheat bran, flaxseed, seaweed in all forms – there is a lot of it. Start with 2 tsp. bran; pour boiling water over them for 1 hour, then drain and eat with food (or 3 hours before meals). If there is no effect, increase the dose to 6 tablespoons a day, and when the stool improves, reduce again.
- Turn to herbal remedies – zhostera extract or tincture, rhubarb root, licorice root, laxative teas.However, don’t get carried away! Even taking herbal remedies, you should take breaks, otherwise you will become addicted to them and your intestines will never be able to work on their own again. Use them only as an ignition spark for your “motor”.
- Take sitz warm baths with self-massage of the abdomen (5 minutes every other day), warm pine baths (20 minutes every other day).
- Take up a feasible sport, lead an active lifestyle. If you’re nervous a lot, take valerian, smoke less, and skip coffee.
Bran broths and jelly with honey.
In the morning on an empty stomach, drink a glass of water with lemon juice and one teaspoon of honey.
Mix 1. Soak scalded and washed dried fruits (as they are) in the evening. In the morning add ground bran dried in a pan, ground sprouted wheat, honey – to taste. There are 1-2 tablespoons on an empty stomach.
For chronic constipation (and gastritis), mix 100 g of thick aloe leaves with 100 g of honey.Take a teaspoon 3 times a day 20 minutes before meals for three weeks.
Mix 2: Scald and rinse thoroughly about equal parts (half a cup) of raisins, pitted prunes, dried apples, dates, figs, dried apricots or pitted apricots. Turn everything through a meat grinder. Add to the mixture half a cup of ground flaxseed, liquid honey, ground nuts and mix everything thoroughly into a viscous mass along with a slimy infusion of flaxseed, prepared separately. Put the mass in a jar with a lid and store in the refrigerator.Eat in the morning on an empty stomach, in the afternoon half an hour before lunch and at night, before bedtime. First, a teaspoon, and if there is no effect, then a dessert.
Mix 3. Pour one or two teaspoons of flaxseed into ½ glass of cold water in the evening. In the morning add grated apple or grated carrots, washed and steamed raisins, honey to taste. There are 1-2 tablespoons on an empty stomach.
Mix 4. Soak 1 teaspoon of flaxseed overnight with ½ cup of cold water. In the morning, mix with curdled milk, honey and juice – to taste.Drink half a glass on an empty stomach.
For chronic constipation (and gastritis), mix 100 g of thick aloe leaves with 100 g of honey. Take a teaspoon 3 times a day 20 minutes before meals for three weeks.
Place 10 g of common anise in an enamel bowl, boil 200 ml of boiling water, cover and boil on the stove with low heat for 15 minutes, then leave for 20 minutes. and strain; take the liquid part of the infusion, 1/4 cup 3-4 times a day as a laxative.
Brew 200 ml of boiling water in an enamel bowl, cover and boil on the stove with low heat for 15 minutes, then leave for 1-2 hours and strain; take the liquid part of the infusion, 2 tablespoons 4-5 times a day.
Place 20 g of laxative joster fruit in an enamel bowl, boil 200 ml of boiling water, cover and boil on the stove with low heat for 15 minutes, then leave for 2 hours and drain; take the liquid part of the infusion 1/2 cup 2-3 times a day.
15 g of leafy tops of St. John’s wort brew 200 ml of boiling water in an enamel bowl, cover and boil on the stove with low heat for 15 minutes, then leave for 45 minutes. and strain; take the liquid part of the infusion 1 teaspoon 6 times a day.
Place a tablespoon of common gooseberries in an enamel bowl, boil 200 ml of boiling water, cover and simmer on the stove over low heat for 15 minutes, then cool, strain, add sugar to the liquid part of the broth to taste; take 1/4 cup 4 times a day.
10 g of crushed roots of Leuzea safflower pour in a bottle (0.5 l capacity) 100 ml of 40% drinking alcohol (vodka), close with a stopper and leave for 1 month; take a tincture of 30-40 drops from 1/2 cup of boiled water 3 times a day.
2 teaspoons of crushed roots of medicinal dandelion pour 200 ml of cold boiled water, leave for 8 hours, drain; take the liquid part of the infusion, 1/4 cup 4 times a day before meals.
Boil 15 g of caraway seeds in an enamel bowl with 200 ml of boiling water, cover and boil on the stove with low heat for 15 minutes., then insist 1-2 hours and strain; take the liquid part of the infusion, 1 tablespoon 3 times a day
Warning . If you are taking laxative tablets, remember that only herbal pills are acceptable, not saline: they are not harmless to the kidneys.
Physical exercises to enhance peristalsis
1. Rhythmically tense the abdominal press. Pull the thighs to the stomach with force (actively or passively).
2. Sitting: movements of the mower – turning the body to the left and to the right, helping at the same time with a wave of both arms to the sides.
3. Exhale half the air, draw in the stomach with force and push it back sharply. Do this exercise while sitting or lying down 10 times at a time. Take a breath and repeat the cycle 5-10 times.
4. External massage of the sigmoid colon: sharply palpate a point 5-7 cm to the left of the navel. Do 30-40 strong jerks in a row.
On holding the Day of Health on the topic
“Say” No! ” junk food! ”
On September 3, 2016, the State Budgetary Healthcare Institution “Center for Medical Prevention” of the Ministry of Health of the Krasnodar Territory organizes the next Health Day, which is held as part of the Day of Prevention of Gastrointestinal Diseases under the slogan “Say” No! ” junk food! “Health Day is held with the aim of preventing diseases of the digestive system, promoting the principles of a healthy lifestyle. A demonstration Day of Health with the participation of regional specialists will be held in the Starominsky District. During the Day of Health, organized jointly with the district administration and with the participation of the press, diagnostic studies, consultations, lectures, promotional and festive events will be carried out.
In the modern world, due to frequent stress and malnutrition, more and more people are faced with problems of the gastrointestinal tract.Cheap food, fast food, chips and other “joys in life” are not only unhealthy, but also really harmful to the body. As a result, more and more people suffer from diseases of the digestive system.
It is very important to monitor the condition of the stomach and intestines, as they form the basis of the digestive system. If there is a malfunction in the intestines, then this can manifest itself in such phenomena as increased flatulence, changes in stool color, dysbiosis, constipation or diarrhea. In all these cases, it is clear that a malfunction has occurred in the body and one should not delay the visit to the doctor.
To prevent this from happening, you need to adhere to some rules:
It is important to drink 1.5 to 3 liters of water every day. It is pure, non-carbonated water, not tea, coffee, juice, etc. These are liquids that do not compensate for the body’s water loss. Do not forget about a glass of water in the morning, before breakfast and half an hour before meals during the day – this improves digestion and helps to remove all unfavorable substances from the body.
Alcoholic drinks must be excluded! Alcohol causes significant harm to the digestive system.
Do not eat instant food! Fast foods negatively affect the stomach as well as the intestines, killing the favorable microflora.
Fried, spicy and salty are the specific enemy of your stomach. It is necessary to minimize their use, which negatively affects digestion. Better to steam, boil, or bake.
Strong drugs should be taken only on a full stomach, otherwise there is a high risk of gastritis, and this is pain and discomfort in the abdomen.
Try to take time for rest and good sleep. Determine your sleep schedule, preferably at least 8 hours of sleep.
The digestive tract plays a very important role in the life of the body. With its help, we get vitamins, trace elements, proteins, fats, carbohydrates, fiber and useful acids. Some of them serve as a building material for cells, provide us with energy. Other substances contribute to the smooth functioning of organs and systems. Therefore, gastrointestinal diseases can disrupt the normal rhythm of a person’s life and seriously affect his health.
GBUZ “Center for Medical Prevention” of the Ministry of Health of the Krasnodar Territory.
Diseases of the digestive system – causes, prevention.
The health of the digestive system is largely dependent on lifestyle. In the rhythm of the city, a person does not have time to eat right and keep track of what products he eats, the harmful effects of bad habits are reflected in the digestive system.
One of the earliest signs of a disease of the digestive system are heartburn, yellow plaque on the tongue, recurrent abdominal pain.You should always monitor and promptly pay attention to the following symptoms:
– pain in the chest area, heartburn, belching with an unpleasant odor may be the first signals of the development of gastritis and ulcers;
– a violation of the intestinal microflora with further manifestations of dysbiosis may be evidenced by rumbling in the abdomen, intestinal upset, heartburn and pain in the abdominal cavity;
– for the onset of the development of infectious diseases, nausea (possibly vomiting), stomach pain, gas formation are characteristic;
– inflammation of the intestinal mucosa can be judged by colic, rumbling in the abdomen and loose stools;
– frequent constipation (stool less than once a day) indicates an imbalance in nutrition and a sedentary lifestyle.
The onset of symptoms is often ignored, and this leads to the triggering of inflammatory processes. The disease is always easier to prevent than to cure, so it is worth noting the main ways to prevent gastrointestinal diseases. Proper nutrition and a measured lifestyle are the main methods of preventing serious diseases of the gastrointestinal tract.
MOST COMMON DISEASES OF THE DIGESTIVE SYSTEM
• Stomach ulcer.
• Gallstone disease.
• Age. The risk of cancer of the digestive system is increased in men over 50 years old, the risk of peptic ulcer disease is increased in men aged 20-40 years, the risk of developing gallstone disease is increased in women over 40 years old.
• Pol. Stomach cancer is 2 times more likely to develop in men, while gallstone disease develops 3-5 times more often in women.
• Heredity. If your parents or other close blood relatives had a peptic ulcer or cancer of the stomach and colon in the past, then in your case the risk of developing the corresponding diseases increases.
• Overweight. The most severely overweight affects the development of diseases such as pancreatitis, gallbladder cancer and gallstone disease.
• Alcohol abuse. Such an addiction as a painful addiction to alcohol doubles the risk of developing stomach ulcers, stomach cancer, pancreatitis, hepatitis and cirrhosis of the liver.
• Smoking. This is one of the decisive factors in the development of stomach ulcers. With an already existing peptic ulcer disease, treatment does not give significant results if the person continues to smoke.
• Incorrect power supply. The abundance in the diet of fatty and fried, red meat, fast food, an excess of carbohydrates (especially simple ones), smoked and salted meat and fish, marinades, preservatives – all this significantly increases the risk of developing stomach cancer and other diseases of the digestive system.
• Violation of the diet.Refusal of breakfast, long breaks in food (more than 4-5 hours), overeating before bedtime, drinking soda on an empty stomach and other eating disorders contribute to the development of all types of digestive diseases – from relatively harmless gastritis to stomach cancer.
• Stress. In an organism experiencing stress or nervous tension, a spasm of the capillaries of the stomach occurs. This prevents the secretion of mucus, which protects the mucous membrane. Gastric juice eats away at the mucous membrane and tissue of the stomach, which leads to the formation of ulcers – and, therefore, to the development of peptic ulcer disease.In addition, stress causes an imbalance in the intestinal microflora, which means dysbiosis.
• Diabetes mellitus.
• Abuse of coffee and carbonated drinks. Coffee contains chlorogenic acids that can cause heartburn and irritation of the stomach lining. As for the abuse of carbonated drinks (exceeding the dose is considered the use of more than 1 liter of drink per day), then the negative effect is manifested in the irritating effect of carbon dioxide on the walls of the stomach, which, in turn, leads to the development of gastritis, ulcers, etc.d.
• Low physical activity. Lack of movement, lack of tone complicates the body’s task of dealing with negative factors. This also applies to issues of general shape, immunity, and specific problems – for example, weakness of the muscles of the abdominal wall.
• Overeating. If too much food is consumed, the stomach is unable to produce enough gastric juice, so the food is processed and absorbed inadequately. This leads to problems, and then diseases of the digestive system.
• Power mode . Eat more often, but in smaller portions, be sure to have breakfast, do not skip meals. Be sure to thoroughly wash your hands and all non-cooked foods before eating to protect your body from the entry of pathogenic bacteria.
• Eat right. Reduce the consumption of fatty, smoked, fried, salted food, smoked meats, drink as little carbonated drinks as possible. On the contrary, increase the dose of fiber in the diet (cereals, bran bread, vegetables, fruits), eat as much fresh salads, coarse fiber foods as possible, salt food in moderation.
• Don’t overeat . Eat in moderation; remember that a standard serving does not exceed 400 ml (300 ml for women) of food when presented in liquid form. Don’t force yourself to starve, eat healthy and orderly.
• Control your weight. If you are overweight, try to lose weight, just do it correctly (weight loss should proceed with the intensity of losing no more than 0.5 kilograms (for women) and 1 (for men) kg per week), so as not to cause even more damage to the digestive system. harm.
• Avoid alcohol or reduce consumption to a minimum. The maximum safe dose of alcohol consumption is 20 ml of ethanol (for women) and 30 ml of ethanol (for men) per day. Remember that low-quality alcohol containing various chemical components, dyes, excess sugar, flavors or preservatives has an extremely detrimental effect on the digestive system! Consume only the most natural, high-quality and pure alcohol, and it is better to give it up altogether.
• Stop smoking. In the case of smoking, there is no “normal” dose. To really reduce the level of harmful effects of nicotine and tar on the digestive system, quit smoking.
• Learn to control stress. Move more, try not to be nervous, learn to cope with stress, walk, get enough sleep, rest. Such measures not only indirectly affect the health of the digestive system, but also improve your overall health.
• If you have diabetes, keep your illness under control.Follow all the recommendations of your doctor, eat right, carefully monitor your well-being, control your blood sugar . If you experience pain in the digestive system, consult your doctor immediately to avoid complications.
• Limit your consumption of coffee and carbonated drinks. The norm for safe coffee consumption per day is 300-400 ml of ready-made natural coffee (2-3 coffee cups). Drink as little carbonated drinks as possible: it is advisable to limit yourself to one glass a day or refuse them altogether.
• Move more. The norm of physical activity for an adult is 150 minutes per week; if you do not reach this indicator, try to increase the level of your physical activity.
After taking the food, you should never go to bed right away. While eating, you need to chew the food thoroughly, without being distracted by conversations.
Compliance with these simple rules will help you prevent acute diseases such as gastritis, pancreatitis, ulcers and relieve chronic forms.
State Institution “Lipetsk City Polyclinic No. 9”
90,000 Rare diseases of the digestive system | Clinic Rassvet
Rare (orphan) diseases of the digestive system are characterized by specific clinical manifestations, are difficult to diagnose and significantly reduce the quality of life of patients without effective treatment or supportive therapy.
Symptoms of common and orphan diseases of the digestive system are often similar. Therefore, for a gastroenterologist, it is very important not only to master the methods of differential diagnosis, but also to be able to distinguish between typical diseases and rare syndromes, which, as a first approximation, may have similar manifestations.
For example, common symptoms for gastritis, gastroesophageal reflux disease and eosinophilic gastroenteritis (esophagitis) are heartburn, heaviness, bloating, early satiety, fullness, nausea and vomiting.However, suspecting gastritis or GERD in a patient, which are well known, studied and do not raise questions, the doctor, relying on other (specific) symptoms, as well as information about asthma or hay fever in history, may suggest the presence of a rare disease – eosinophilic esophagitis. That in the future, with a high probability, will be confirmed by the results of EGDS (esophagogastroduodenoscopy) with a biopsy.
The causes of many rare diseases of the digestive system are unknown or not fully understood, it is possible to prescribe only symptomatic or supportive therapy.
Rare diseases of the digestive system that are diagnosed and treated by the doctors of the Rassvet clinic
- autoimmune hepatitis
- achalasia of cardia
- eosinophilic gastroenteritis (eosinophilic esophagitis)
- Menetrie’s disease
- Diverticula of the esophagus and stomach
- sideropenic dysphagia
- Schmieden’s syndrome
- Whipple’s disease
- cystic fibrosis of the pancreas (cystic fibrosis)
- intestinal carcinoid
- Gardner’s syndrome
- Hilaiditi syndrome
- stones of a pancreas
Benefits of treating rare diseases of the digestive system in the clinic Rassvet
Lack of awareness of doctors about rare syndromes and diseases forces patients to be in an endless search for answers to questions about the nature of their diseases, effective methods of treatment, maintaining a normal quality of life.It is especially difficult to obtain an accurate diagnosis, accessible and reliable information for patients with rare pathologies of the digestive system. It is not only the lack of specific knowledge among doctors that hinders, but also the stigmatization of topics related to the peculiarities of the intestines. This makes it impossible for the patient to have an open and honest dialogue with the specialist when discussing their medical and emotional needs.
Gastroenterologists of the Rassvet clinic can rightfully be called one of the best specialists in their field.Our doctors specialize in complex diagnoses and rare diseases, constantly study new approaches in the diagnosis and treatment of rare pathologies of the digestive system, use only proven effective methods.
Rassvet Clinic is equipped with modern diagnostic equipment, treatment is carried out according to international protocols with drugs with proven efficacy.
Diseases of the gastrointestinal tract, liver
The gastrointestinal tract is a group of organs responsible for processing incoming food and extracting nutrients from it.It unites the mouth, pharynx, esophagus, stomach, intestines, anus, salivary glands, pancreas, and liver.
Different types of gastrointestinal tract pathologies are characterized by different predisposing factors. For example, men 20-40 years of age most often develop a stomach ulcer, cancer is found in patients after 50 years, violations of secretory activity in women are found 3-5 times more often than in men.
The causes of gastrointestinal diseases are:
- improper nutrition;
- abuse of alcohol, coffee, carbonated drinks;
- diabetes mellitus;
Various pathologies of the gastrointestinal tract manifest themselves in different ways, however, there are general symptoms that should be alarming:
- abdominal pain of varying intensity and localization;
- Stool Disorders;
- heartburn, belching;
- nausea, vomiting;
- general weakness;
- lack of appetite;
Diagnostics and treatment of gastrointestinal diseases
Use the following data for diagnosis:
- radiation diagnostics;
- antroduodenal manometry;
- biopsies, etc.d.
The most common diseases of the gastrointestinal tract are inflammatory pathologies of its various departments. Including gastritis, gastroduodenitis, enteritis, colitis, peptic ulcer, pancreatitis, irritable bowel syndrome.
Drug treatment of gastrointestinal disorders may include the following drugs:
- laxatives and antidiarrheals;
- appetite and acidity regulators;
- anti-inflammatory drugs;
- preparations for the normalization of microflora;
- stimulants of motor skills;
- anti-inflammatory drugs;
- choleretic, etc.d
Therapy of the gastrointestinal tract also includes: adherence to a special diet, physiotherapy, exercise therapy and surgery.
Pathologies of the liver and gallbladder affect the state of the whole organism. Among the most common liver diseases are: hepatitis, hepatocerebral dystrophy, hepatosis, liver tumors, hemochromatosis, liver failure. Common diseases of the gallbladder: cholecystitis, cholangitis, cholelithiasis, dyskinesia of the gallbladder and biliary tract, tumors, postcholecystectomy syndrome.
Treatment of liver and gallbladder diseases is aimed at relieving pain, normalizing the functions of these organs. Complex therapy includes:
- diet therapy;
- bed rest;
- antiviral, antibacterial treatment;
- surgical interventions;
- taking hepatoprotectors;
- spa treatment.
Call now to schedule a consultation at a convenient time for you. (383) 383-22-16 or 383-22-17
90,000 Stomach ulcer: signs, symptoms, treatment
Reasons for development
The main difference between stomach ulcers and other diseases is deep tissue damage. Even after treatment and rehabilitation, scars remain on the walls of the stomach. Medicine identifies several factors that contribute to the manifestation of diseases. Quite often, stress and medication are provoking reasons.
The risk group includes all people aged 25 to 50, which is due to the rhythm of life, bad habits, poor diet and constant stress.At the same time, the male population is more likely to suffer from stomach ulcers.
What else provokes the development of ulcers:
- Helicobacter bacteria – causes more than half of all cases. Infection occurs from a sick person, through common objects of use, saliva, from mother to fetus.
- Taking medications – non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, potassium-containing drugs and a number of others.
- Against the background of concomitant diseases. For example, tuberculosis, autoimmune diseases, cancers.
- Genetic predisposition.
- Metabolic disorders and endocrine diseases.
Injuries, kidney failure, tobacco and alcohol abuse can provoke an acute form of “shock ulcers”.
Forms of the disease
Specialists distinguish several types of ulcers, depending on the location, shape and course. The acute form develops rapidly, with a characteristic pain syndrome. Stomach ulcers of this type affect a significant part of the mucous membrane.The chronic form develops gradually, the periods of remission last for a long time, the pain syndrome is mild.
There is also a classification according to the size of the affected areas. Sizes of ulcers:
- small – up to 5 mm;
- medium – from 5 to 10 mm;
- large – 11–30 mm;
- giant – over 31 mm.
Depending on the course of the stomach disease, there are four main groups. Latent gastric ulcers are more common in adolescence.It is characterized by the periodic appearance of symptoms and the same rapid passage. The mild form occurs with a mild pain syndrome, more common in the female sex. The average degree is characterized by the alternation of periods of exacerbation and subsidence of symptoms, coinciding with the change of seasons. Severe is accompanied by pronounced symptoms and soreness. This is a dangerous form of stomach ulcer that requires urgent intervention.
The main symptom of a stomach ulcer is pain.Even at an early stage of development, the pain syndrome appears after eating and goes away if you drink water. At first, discomfort is felt only after eating salty, spicy or spicy foods. The elimination of these foods from the diet leads to a decrease in symptoms. The person believes that he is healthy and is in no hurry to go to the attending physician. However, soon the discomfort intensifies, pain syndrome of moderate intensity appears, and problems with food digestion are observed. The second symptom of a stomach ulcer is heartburn.It is often accompanied by a burning sensation or pain in the chest area.
The following symptoms are added to the mentioned signs:
- Belching with a sour taste;
- nausea and retching;
- feeling of heaviness in the stomach;
- fast saturation;
- loss of appetite;
- stool disorder;
- increased gassing;
In general, due to lack of nutrition and problems with the absorption of vitamins, a general deterioration in health is observed, sleep is disturbed due to night pains, and blood pressure rises.A person can suddenly sweat, intoxication of the body is observed, limbs tremble. Discomfort with pressure in the area of the digestive system also testifies to a stomach ulcer. Having noticed one or more of the listed signs, you must immediately make an appointment with a specialist.
Diagnostics and treatment
As a rule, stomach ulcers are treated in a stationary setting. This approach helps to continuously assess the state of health and, in case of emergency, to carry out surgery on the stomach.
Stomach ulcer treatment combines an integrated approach to the problem. Fast treatment of stomach ulcers is impossible – it will take time to restore the tissues of the mucous membrane.
Before starting treatment, it is important to undergo a series of laboratory and instrumental studies. Among them:
- endoscopic examination;
- general blood and urine tests;
- Ultrasound of internal organs;
- study on the level of acidity and other diagnostic methods.
How to treat a stomach ulcer depends on the findings of the examination. If the bacterium Helicobacter became the causative agent of the disease, it is removed from the body in the first place.
Different groups of medicines are used in the treatment of stomach ulcers. These are drugs for relieving pain syndrome, drugs for reducing gastric secretion. For the treatment of severe gastric ulcers, they resort to surgical intervention.
Prevention and prognosis
In most cases, ulcer treatment does not lead to complete recovery.However, if you adhere to the diet and undergo a preventive examination in a timely manner, the patient can lead a full-fledged lifestyle.
A mandatory rule for stomach problems is adherence to dietary nutrition. For the duration of treatment and after its completion, it is recommended to exclude sauces, spices, fatty and smoked dishes from the diet. Alcohol and soda should not be consumed.
It is important to make a choice in favor of lean meats, fish, liquid and pureed soups, cereals.Stick to fractional meals – eat small meals five to six times a day. If you have problems with chewing food, you should contact your dentist to restore the dentition. In addition to adhering to the basic treatment regimen prescribed by a specialist, it is recommended to get enough sleep, reduce stress levels and walk more in the fresh air.
90,000 ᐈ First symptoms of stomach cancer
Oncological diseases are a real scourge of modern mankind. Despite advances in medicine, their prevalence remains very high.And on the 4th place in terms of cancer incidence in the world is stomach cancer.
What is considered stomach cancer
Stomach cancer is a malignant neoplasm that occurs from the mucous membrane of any part of the stomach. Such a tumor does not have a clear demarcation from healthy cells, it easily grows into the surrounding tissues, overcomes the outer serous membrane and spreads beyond the organ. Therefore, at later stages, a conglomerate forms in the abdominal cavity, in which all adjacent anatomical structures can be involved.
In addition, stomach cancer rapidly grows into the walls of blood vessels and begins to spread by the hematogenous and lymphogenous pathways (along the bloodstream and lymphatic channels). Its particles settle in the form of metastases in the lymph nodes and organs; the favorite places for such cancerous screenings are the liver, lungs, brain, and in women also the ovaries.
But at the first stage, stomach cancer is limited to the mucous membrane (stage 1A) or the submucosa (stage 1B), there are no regional and even more distant metastases yet.At the same time, the tumor is small, its effect on the functioning of the organ and the entire body is still insignificant. Therefore, the first signs of stomach cancer that appear do not cause severe discomfort to the patient. In most cases, they are ignored or taken for manifestations of banal gastritis or even overeating. Therefore, people with the first symptoms of stomach cancer prefer self-medication, do not go to the doctor and see no reason for self-examination. This leads to the late detection of this formidable disease.
Why early diagnosis is so important in stomach cancer
Stomach cancer is a fairly common disease. A little less than 40 thousand new cases of this disease are diagnosed annually in the territory of the Russian Federation alone. Moreover, in most cases, it is detected already during the germination of tumor tissue outside the mucous membrane or even its spread outside the organ. This greatly worsens the prognosis, makes treatment more difficult and difficult.
It is this tendency towards late diagnosis that explains the high mortality rate from stomach cancer: in terms of mortality, it ranks 2nd among all oncological diseases.And this situation, unfortunately, in the last decade in the Russian Federation has remained unchanged. In 2016, the officially registered incidence of stomach cancer was 38 thousand new cases, and the mortality rate was as much as 32 thousand! After all, the 5-year survival rate of patients with stage 3 cancer is no more than 15%.
But early diagnosis gives a completely different, much more favorable prognosis.
Among patients who see a doctor with the first symptoms of stomach cancer, the 5-year survival rate is more than 80%.This is a very high indicator for oncological diseases with damage to internal organs.
The first signs of stomach cancer: when should you be on your guard?
In gastric cancer, the first symptoms in most cases are local, due to the emerging dysfunction of the organ affected by the tumor. But general non-specific manifestations are not excluded. Moreover, at the initial stages of the disease, they are associated not with cancer intoxication, as in advanced stages, but with anemia against the background of recurrent (repeated) gastric bleeding.
The first symptoms of stomach cancer may be:
- Stomach discomfort shortly after eating. The pain sensations experienced are usually quite tolerable in intensity; many patients describe them as a feeling of overflow, unpleasant distention against the background of a small (habitual) amount of food eaten.
- The onset of a tendency to belch, and it is usually sour and not associated with overeating.
- Increased acidity of gastric juice, due to which belching is often accompanied by a feeling of heartburn.
- Weakness, fatigue, discomfort and a tendency to non-systemic dizziness on exertion. Usually, such complaints in case of initial stomach cancer are the first symptoms of gradually developing chronic anemia. Its appearance is caused by repeated small-volume bleeding from the superficial vessels destroyed by the tumor. They can be accompanied by a change in the thickness and color of the stool, it becomes viscous and darkens. But many patients do not pay attention to this. But in many cases, such early bleeding in stomach cancer is detected only by examining feces for occult blood.
- Moderate change in taste and food preferences, which can also be explained by the manifestation of anemia. But these symptoms are still more common in the later stages of cancer.
Some patients experience slight weight loss. But in the early stages of the disease, this is not yet typical cancer cachexia (wasting), but rather a consequence of a change in appetite and a decrease in the amount of food eaten.
When to see a doctor?
The first signs of stomach cancer are not very different from the symptoms of indolent gastritis.Therefore, it is very difficult to independently recognize the onset of the disease, especially if a patient’s tumor appears against the background of a previous chronic pathology of the digestive tract.
The only correct solution in such a situation is to consult a gastroenterologist when even small changes in the nature, intensity, duration and combination of symptoms appear. In addition, people with chronic gastroenterological diseases are advised to undergo regular preventive examinations.This will help monitor the condition of the gastric mucosa and detect malignant tumors at 1 or even 0 (precancerous) stage, when they are still a small superficially located islet of cells.
How to diagnose stomach cancer
General clinical blood tests and comparison of symptoms in the first stages of stomach cancer will not provide reliable information. Only a histological examination of tissues obtained by biopsy of areas suspicious for a tumor can confirm the presence of a malignant tumor.Therefore, the gold standard for diagnosing stomach cancer is FGS (fibrogastroscopy).
This technique cannot be replaced by any other visualization method. After all, it is the FGS that allows the doctor to examine the gastric mucosa in real time and with magnification, where the cancer cells originate from. A biopsy makes it possible for histological confirmation of the diagnosis, which is the only absolutely reliable method for diagnosing oncological diseases.
According to current clinical guidelines, patients with an increased risk of developing stomach cancer should undergo FGS once a year.Moreover, the slightest suspicion of oncopathology in the form of the appearance of new symptoms or a change in the nature of existing ones is an unambiguous reason for an unscheduled examination.
Where to pass FGS
FGS does not belong to innovative and rare diagnostic methods; many medical institutions offer services for such an examination. But whenever possible, preference should still be given to specialized centers equipped with the most modern models of endoscopic devices.
ICLINIC is a multidisciplinary clinic on the basis of which the Digestive System Cancer Prevention Center operates. Therefore, ICLINIC specialists have extensive clinical experience in identifying the earliest signs of malignancy (malignancy) of the gastric mucosa. And the newest models of fibrogastroscopes with high-precision optical systems, atraumatic small-diameter tubes and sensitive manipulators allow the examination to be carried out accurately, quickly, with a high degree of reliability and at the same time with minimal discomfort for the patient.
FGDS with the advice of a leading specialist
Taking a biopsy for endoscopic examinations
Appointment of a gastroenterologist
Test for the likelihood of stomach cancer
Are you over 45 years old?
Have your relatives had cancer?
Do you have chronic diseases of the gastrointestinal tract:
– chronic gastritis,
– peptic ulcer,
– chronic colitis and other inflammatory bowel diseases,
– Crohn’s disease,
– ulcerative colitis,
– previously identified polyps of the stomach and intestines,
– identified submucosal epithelial formations of the gastrointestinal tract?
Have you had stomach and intestinal surgeries?
Do you have cicatricial adhesive changes in the gastrointestinal tract?
Do you smoke (more than 1 cigarette per day)?
Do you allow for errors in your diet (low consumption of fruits and vegetables, high consumption of meat and animal fats)?
You have at least one of the following symptoms:
– difficulty swallowing,
– pallor of the skin,
– chest pain,
– unmotivated weakness,
– sleep disturbance,
– loss of appetite,
– bad breath,
– nausea and / or vomiting,
– feeling of heaviness in the abdomen,
– changes in stool (constipation and / or diarrhea),
– traces of blood in the stool,
– abdominal pain.
Make an appointment
What are the advantages of ICLINIC?
The highest level of specialists: among them are doctors of medical sciences and members of the world’s medical communities, and the average length of service of the clinic’s doctors is 16 years of impeccable work.
Modern expert equipment: diagnostic devices of the medical center were released in 2017 by the world’s leading manufacturers (Pentax and others of the same level).
Impeccable endoscopic diagnostic accuracy thanks to high image resolution of 1.25 million pixels.
Unique technologies for early diagnosis of cancer, including i-scan – virtual chromoendoscopy. With the help of this technology, even the smallest, initial tumor changes can be recognized.
Everything for the patient’s comfort: effective pain relief, including general anesthesia; thin endoscopes less than 10mm in diameter; fast and accurate handling.
Safety: automated disinfection of equipment with quality control, monitoring of vital functions of the patient during research.
Narrow specialization: the medical center deals with diseases of the digestive system, constantly improving in its field. Our specialists are constantly undergoing advanced training, participate in international conferences, trainings and seminars in Russia and Europe.
Convenient location: Petrogradskiy district of St. Petersburg is located not far from the center.It is convenient to get here both by car and by public transport. Chkalovskaya metro station is located very close to the clinic, and also not far from the medical center of St. Petersburg Sportivnaya, Petrogradskaya and Gorkovskaya stations.
Our professionalism is always on guard for your health.