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Understanding Common Digestive Disorders and How to Manage Them

Digestive disorders are common all over the world. They range from temporary discomfort that lasts a few hours to digestive diseases that require lifestyle changes and medium to long-term treatment. The prevalence of these issues is difficult to quantify because many people feel embarrassed to talk about them and end up suffering in silence. Overcoming this embarrassment and knowing the signs and symptoms to watch for can help you take measures to deal with any issues you may have. This article examines the most common digestive problems and what you can do about them.

Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)

Acid reflux happens when stomach contents rise from the stomach and into the food pipe or esophagus. A common symptom when this happens is a burning sensation in the middle of the chest and around the diaphragm.

While acid reflux is common, especially in people who eat spicy food, frequent occurrences point to a bigger issue and could develop into Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD). This is a chronic disease that often requires treatment and management using medication.

Proton pump inhibitors like omeprazole reduce the amount of acid in the stomach and can reduce your symptoms when reflux happens. Understanding what omeprazole is used for, how to take it, and when to do so leads to excellent outcomes for those with acid reflux and GERD.

Some changes like quitting smoking, not lying down after a meal, and elevating the head when you sleep can also help. However, see a doctor for a thorough examination if you have other issues like persistent pain in the abdomen, bad breath, and blood in your stool.

Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)

IBS is a mysterious disease because its causes are unknown. However, several symptoms can point to the likelihood of having it. It typically presents with incomplete bowel movements, constipation, diarrhea, bloating, and stomach cramps. These symptoms can last from a day to a few weeks, and they come and go, making the condition harder to diagnose.

IBS does not have a cure, but it can be managed. Doctors first try to find any underlying issues that could be worsening it and treat them. They can also recommend stress reduction and dietary changes because those have shown positive outcomes in people with IBS.

Celiac Disease

Celiac disease is a serious autoimmune condition where the body signals the white blood cells to attack the small intestine’s lining when the person consumes foods containing gluten. It can lead to the partial or total destruction of the small intestines, so it is crucial to recognize its symptoms early. These include abdominal pain, vomiting, nausea, bloating, constipation, gas, and long-term diarrhea.

Celiac disease can also cause issues with your nervous and reproductive systems, malnutrition, and bone softening. Its primary treatment is avoiding foods and drinks with gluten in them. Doctors also prescribe steroids to control and reduce inflammation when the small intestine is damaged.


This condition causes inflammation of the stomach and intestines’ linings. It is typically caused by bacteria like salmonella or E. coli, rotavirus and norovirus, and some parasites. It is also called stomach flu and can be difficult to diagnose since it causes flu-like symptoms, including headaches, fever, vomiting, and diarrhea.

While it is usually not life-threatening, it can be if it causes excessive loss of fluid that leads to dehydration.

You may require treatment if you have gastroenteritis, and it is important to protect those around you by washing your hands frequently to avoid spreading it.

The digestive system is very sensitive to anything in it, including the foods, drinks, and medications you take or the microorganisms that normally are found in it. While some digestive disorders cause mild symptoms, some are more severe and can point to more serious issues like cancer. Get a checkup if they last more than a few hours.

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