Fight digestive diseases with healthy lifestyle

The New Indian Express in conversation with Dr. Parameshwara C M – Chief, SMILES.

Digestive diseases, some of which commonly known can be treated at home, while others require medical intervention. Symptoms can range from a simple acidity to deadly colon or rectal cancers.

The digestive system contains Gastro intestinal tract, Pancreas, liver, Gall bladder. All of these together aid in breaking down the food or water and flushing out the wastes too. Starting from the mouth, including food pipe, the digestive tract ends at the anus.

A simple healthy lifestyle and regular health checks can prevent digestive problems like gas, stomach cramps, pain, constipation or acidity. The causes of digestive disorders are multiple. Some are restricted to the digestive system, and sometimes it is a symptom of a wider systemic problem.

Common Cause

  • ● Food allergy or intolerance
  • ● Stomach infection or Flu due to contaminated food or water intake (Escherichia coli, Rotavirus, Salmonella)
  • ● Unhealthy and sedentary lifestyle
  • ● Side effects of NSAIDS, antibiotics, and anti inflammatory, Diabetes drugs cause nausea, diarrhoea, constipation, ulcers
  • ● Post surgery discomforts like gall bladder surgery, bowel obstruction, pancreas obstruction, stomach resection and malabsorption
  • ● Decreased GI motility and saliva production due to ageing
  • ● Other diseases like HIV, Heart failure, genetic diseases, diabetes, scleroderma
  • ● Change in routine, travelling, pregnancy,
  • ● Depression, anxiety too

Identifying Digestive Disorder

Not all disorders can last for a short while; some long lasting disorders may need medical assistance. Following are the ways to recognise digestive diseases:

  • ● Diet history, medical history, Food allergies
  • ● Psychological analysis
  • ● Physical checkup (Abdominal swelling or tenderness)
  • ● Diagnostic tests:

Acid reflux test

  1. Stool test( fungi, parasites, bacteria and WBC in stool)
  2. Endoscopy
  3. Laparoscopy
  4. Barium and normal x-rays, CT scan, MRI, Ultrasound

Frequent and awkward burps, irregular stools, heartburns after meals, and other digestive problems should never be taken lightly. Regular assessments will always act as a precaution. Early possible diagnosis always helps to fight further digestive problems.