Digestive diseases (Gastrointestinal diseases)
- Belching is caused by swallowed air from:
- Eating or drinking too fast.
- Poorly fitting dentures; not chewing food completely.
- Carbonated beverages.
- Chewing gum or sucking on hard candies.
- Excessive swallowing due to nervous tension or postnasal drip.
- Forced belching to relieve abdominal discomfort.
- Carbonated beverages.
- Chewing gum
- Hard candies.
- Baked beans.
- Carbonated drinks.
- Chewing gum.
- Hard candy.
- 10-18 passages per day are normal.
- Primary gases are harmless and odorless.
- Noticeable smells are trace gases related to food intake.
- Ulcers are "sores" that frequently affect the stomach and the first part of the small intestine (duodenum).
- Bacterial infection is the most common cause of duodenal ulcers.
- Stomach ulcers are often a side effect of pain killers and anti-inflammatory drugs used primarily to treat arthritis.
- Alcohol ingestion, cigarette smoking, and emotional stress may also influence the development of an ulcer or interfere with its healing.
- Upper abdominal pain is the most common symptom of ulcers, but many ulcers cause no symptoms at all.
- Ulcers may hemorrhage (bleeding) into the gastrointestinal tract; this results in the passage of black ("tarry") stool. Very serious ulcer disease may also cause a blockage between the stomach and small intestine and this complication results in persistent vomiting. Severe pain results from the most urgent complication of ulcers - peritonitis caused by a tear through the wall of the stomach or duodenum.
- Almost all ulcers can be treated successfully, usually without surgery. Many ulcers can be prevented.
- Ulcer treatments include antibiotics, agents that neutralize gastric acid or reduce its secretion, and drugs that strengthen the resistance of the stomach and duodenum.
- Abnormal muscle contraction.
- Scar tissue from chronic inflammation.
- Fatty food in the diet.
- Bed-time snacks.
- Tight-fitting clothes that constrict the abdomen.
- Certain medications.
- Heavy lifting, straining.
- Gallstones typically develop over many years, although they can form in months. Gallstones are present in about 20% of women and 10% of men over the age of 55.
- There are two basic types of gallstones: cholesterol and pigment. Cholesterol gallstones are the most common type in the United States.
- About 75% of gallstones do not cause symptoms. The most common symptom caused by gallbladder stones is episodic upper abdominal pain.
- For healthy patients who have no symptoms, no therapy or change in diet is needed. Patients with uncomplicated symptomatic gallbladder stones should reduce dietary fat and consider surgical removal of the gallbladder (cholecystectomy). An alternate approach is oral bile acid therapy. For complicated disease, gallbladder removal is warranted.
- Patients who undergo rapid weight loss are at risk for the development of small cholesterol gallstones and may benefit from bile acid therapy. Gallstones can seldom be prevented, although a low-fat diet may provide some protective benefit.
- Five different hepatitis viruses have been identified: type A; type B; type C; type D, or delta virus; and type E. Type A is probably the most prevalent type of viral hepatitis worldwide, followed by types B, E, C, and D.
- Hepatitis A and E are transmitted through fecally contaminated food or water. Other modes of transmission include needle sharing among intravenous drug abusers; sexual contact; maternal transmission; and transmission by blood transfusion.
- A simple blood test is used to determine that a person has one or more of the different types of hepatitis.
- Acute hepatitis is typically characterized by flu-like symptoms (including fever, headaches, fatigue, nausea and vomiting) and jaundice. Chronic hepatitis is often asymptomatic.
- Vaccines are available to protect against hepatitis A and B. Additionally, immune globulin for hepatitis A or hepatitis B is recommended when someone has been exposed to an infected person.
- Among the ways to care for your liver are: limiting alcohol consumption; avoiding liver- damaging drugs; practicing safe sex; avoiding use of illegal drugs; avoiding high doses of vitamins unless prescribed; avoiding tattoos and the sharing of razors; not eating raw shellfish from questionable sources; and carefully following directions for use of toxic substances (e.g., cleaning products).
- The small intestine and the colon have a relatively restricted blood supply and are frequently affected by circulatory disorders, whereas the esophagus, stomach, and rectum are well supplied with blood and are only occasionally involved in circulatory disturbances.
- The colon is commonly affected by ischemia (reduction of blood flow to a level not permitting normal function). In most cases, symptoms subside within days and healing is seen within 2 weeks. Antibiotics and bowel rest usually suffice. In complicated disease, damaged parts of the colon must be removed surgically.
- Acute mesenteric ischemia results from inadequate circulation of blood to the small intestine. Treatment is aimed at dilating (opening) the blood vessels with drugs and/or surgery to restore intestinal blood flow and to remove any irreversibly damaged bowel.
- Chronic mesenteric ischemia results when blood flow to the small intestine is reduced to an insufficient level. It causes pain associated with eating. Surgery is often warranted to correct the problem.
- Abdominal pain (colicky, periodic or continuous dull pain)
- Erratic bowel activity; frequent constipation or diarrhea
- Accompanying symptoms of bloating, nausea, headache, fatigue
- Sensitivity to intestinal gas (cramping, flatulence)
- No evidence of specific disease
- May be triggered by psychological factors or ingestion of food
- Careful explanation of the syndrome, including what it is not
- Better management of key triggers: stress and diet
- Modification of diet to reduce or exclude foods that promote gas
- Drug therapy to relieve symptoms (bulk fiber products, antispasmodics, antidiarrheals).
- Occasionally, psychiatric therapy and medication
- Rectal bleeding.
- Sharp abdominal pain or cramping.
- Intestinal obstruction.
- Ulcerative Colitis
- Crohn's Disease:
- IBD is not Contagious.
- IBD is not caused by diet.
- IBD is not a form of cancer.
- IBD affects young and old alike.
- IBD can usually be treated with medicine but sometimes requires surgery.
- Medications to reduce or eliminate inflammation
- Special diet or elemental formula diet
- Time is critical. If you suspect IBD, call your doctor.
- Not enough dietary fiber or fluids
- Medication side effects
- Emotional or physical stress
- Misconception about normal bowel habits
- Lack of activity
- Medical problems
- Gradually add dietary fiber from various sources.
- Increase fluids (water, soup, broth, juices).
- Eat meals on a regular schedule.
- Chew your food well.
- Gradually increase daily exercise.
- Respond to urges to move your bowels.
- Avoid straining.
- Rare before age 30
- Common after age 60
- Usually no symptoms
- Bright red rectal bleeding with clots
- Special feeding.
- Bright red rectal bleeding.
- Staining of undergarments with mucus.
- Pain and itching when irritated by constipation or diarrhea.
- Difficulty with hygiene.
- Work strain (lifting, etc.)
- Straining while defecating.
- Chronic constipation.
- Passing hard, dry, small stools.
- Laxative abuse.
- Use of medications increases with age: 80% of older Americans who live independently receive 20 or more prescriptions per year Residents of nursing homes receive an average of 8-10 drugs per day
- It is important to take medications as prescribed. Reasons for not following directions include:
- Too many drugs.
- Error due to visual or mental impairment.
- Sharing drugs.
- Changing doctors.
- Use of over-the-counter drugs.
- Sparing expense.
- Drug side effects.
- Symptoms not improving.
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