Food is a basic need, but sometimes the sight of it can be repulsive if every time you eat, all you experience is discomfort. It is easy to ignore such problems, yet they could be a symptom of a much bigger concern. The longer you stay without seeking help, the higher the chances of a minor issue becoming a serious one in the future. Here are seven common digestive diseases you could end up suffering from, and the best medications you can use.
1. Celiac Disease
You might be surprised to learn that around 83% of people have celiac disease without their knowledge. High sensitivity to gluten, therefore, consuming wheat or rye products triggers the immune system to attack in defense. It damages the villi (finger-like protrusions) which help in food absorption. Symptoms are diarrhea, vomiting, constipation and weight loss in children. Adults get anemia fatigue and seizures. You can avoid consuming gluten and eat other foods rich in protein such as lentils. If you would like more information, Digestive Center has additional resources available.
2. Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
If you experience regular pain or stomach discomfort, your digestive tract could be irritable. Matter of fact is you are among the 15% people worldwide suffering from the diseases. IBS causes constipation, diarrhea or bloating.
The symptoms can vary from one day to the next such that today you have a hard stool, tomorrow you have loose stool. IBS doesn’t have a known cure, but you can manage it by avoiding stress and trigger foods such as dairy products. Friendly bacteria (probiotics) can make your condition improve as well.
If your stool has bright red blood, you could be suffering from hemorrhoids. When the end of a digestive tract gets an inflammation, one gets hemorrhoids which can be itchy and painful. You can treat it by including more fiber in your diet, exercising and drinking more water. If persistent, a hemorrhoidectomy can remove them surgically.
4. Anal fissure
When your anus’ lining gets small, oval-shaped tears, you get anal fissures. They result in pain and bleeding after a bowel movement. You treat anal fissures by eating high fiber diets so that your stool is well-formed. If the pain is too much, you can use topical anesthetics to relax anal sphincter muscles.
5. Ulcerative Colitis
Your colon can develop ulcers on its lining of your immune system attacks the food you consume. Its symptoms include abdominal cramps, painful diarrhea, bloody stool, and frequent bowel movement. Medicines can relieve the inflammation but in severe cases, removing the colon is the only option.
6. Crohn’s Disease
Although it can affect any digestive tract part, it mostly affects the part connecting small and large intestines. The cause of Crohn’s disease is not known, but doctors believe it is hereditary. The main symptoms are diarrhea, abdominal pain, fever, weight loss, and rectal bleeding. The signs determine the treatment you get which can be surgery, topical pain relievers or immune-suppressants.
Too much waste or cholesterol in your bile causes hard deposits to form in your gallbladder. These deposits can block the ducts connecting your gallbladder to the intestines, leading to sharp pain in the upper right abdomen. You can take medicines to dissolve the gallstones, but if they don’t work, you have to remove the gallbladder through surgery.