Bowel disorders that you should know-by Dr harold Gunatillake
We all, now and then get stomach or gut disorders probably eating the wrong food, or stale food kept in your fridge over more than three days.
Such disorders appear as colic, gurgling sounds, nausea, vomiting and including loose motions. Such conditions are minor annoyances. With symptomatic treatment or no treatment, you feel better in a day or two.
Todays, discussion is your getting such disturbances more often, interferes with your daily work, loses concentration, gets depressed, when you need to see your doctor for further investigations to clinch a diagnosis for treatment.
What are these disabling disorders that cause illnesses that makes you ill. That is what we are going to discuss today.
Let us first talk about gluten intolerance. Most foods we eat such as bread, breakfast oats, pastas, crackers, seasonings and spice mixes, malt vinegar, some salad dressings, baked foods such as cake, cookies, pies, biscuits soy sauce, condiments among others are foods contain gluten. Most popular condiments we use frequently are honey, sugar, salt, Mayonnaise, olive oil, salsa, Ketchup and so on. Spicy hot foods, black pepper chili pepper, mustard, garlic, and onions
Fortunately, rice being our staple diet is gluten free, but unfortunately the hot curries that go with it could have spices and condiments that upset your tummy if you have a gluten intolerance.
A gluten intolerance is the body’s inability to digest or break down the gluten protein found in wheat, certain other grains and others mentioned earlier. This could be mild, but the most severe form is referred to as celiac disease. This is a severe autoimmune disorder triggered by gluten consumption that leads to damage in the small intestine
After eating any of the gluten containing foods mentioned you get symptoms such as abdominal pain, bloating and diarrhea, you need to take steps to avoid such foods.
Now let us talk about other bowel disorders, also labelled as inflammatory bowel disease or IBDs.
If you get frequent bowel upsets, you should rule out Ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease the worst forms of inflammatory bowel disorders.
In these inflammatory bowel diseases, you may get abdominal pains and intestinal bleeding.
The real cause is unknown but may be due to genetic and environmental factors such as infections that interact with your body’s immune or defensive system.
When the immune system does not function well, many white blood cells accumulate in the inner lining of the gut. The white cells then release chemicals that lead to tissue injury (inflammation). This inflammation of the mucosa can cause diarrhea, which is the most common symptom of ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s.
These inflammatory diseases can have complications that interfere with your daily life, such as bleeding from ulcers, your large gut can get widened and loses its ability to properly contracts.
Inflammation can lead to strictures or narrowing of your gut, fistulas, tubular passageways originating from the bowel wall and connecting to other organs.
Other complications outside gut are, arthritis, skin rashes, eye problems and liver disease.
Ulcerative colitis is limited to the large bowel, unlike Crohn’s disease that can affect any area of the gastrointestinal tract from the mouth to the anus. In this condition inflammation and accompany in ulcers occur mostly in the ileum, jejunum including large gut. Malabsorption of food is common in Crohn’s disease unlike in Ulcerative colitis
Another bowel disorder you should be aware of is irritable bowel syndrome or IBS, quite a common disorder affecting the large bowel. You may get cramping, abdominal pain, bloating, gas and diarrhea or constipation.
According to the Cleveland Clinic, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is “a condition in which the colon muscle contracts more often than in people without IBS.” It may be triggered by diet, medications, or stress and can lead to symptoms such as gas, abdominal pain, bloating, constipation, and diarrhea.
Treatment varies, but is primarily centered on removing and trigger foods from the diet and minimizing or better managing stress In some cases, medication may also be prescribed.
For people with irritable bowel syndrome, avoiding high-fat foods is important because these foods are often taxing on the stomach and intestines, raising the chances of cramping, diarrhea, constipation, and overall discomfort.
Too much fiber can pose a problem for people with irritable bowel syndrome. That’s because their bodies have a hard time digesting food, especially those high in insoluble fiber. The trick is not to avoid fiber, but to consume it in moderation. Don’t switch to a super-high-fiber cereal and expect to feel great the following day.
Another condition that gives bowel discomfort is Diverticular disease.
In this disease there are finger like pouches in the large bowel and the condition is called diverticulosis. They could get inflamed and then we refer to the condition as diverticulitis.
With diverticulitis, people can experience symptoms such as abdominal pain, nausea, fever, diarrhea, or constipation. If the condition is mild in nature, it tends to be treated with antibiotics and a clear liquid diet. In severe cases, however, the source says, “You may need surgery to remove the diseased part of your colon.”
Another quite common condition that gives rise to bowel discomfort is lactose intolerance. simply put, lactose intolerance is a digestive disorder. It happens when your body can’t digest the main carbohydrate found in dairy (lactose). Usually, our bodies use an enzyme called “lactase” to break down the sugars in milk, cheese, and yoghurts. If we don’t have enough lactase, we can’t break the food down properly, causing gastrointestinal distress.
It is easy to suspect lactose intolerance. If you drink milk or eat ice cream you become gassy or bloated with discomfort.
I have explained some of the common bowel disorders that produce bowel discomfort. Be aware of them and see your doctor for further advise.
Hope this video talk was useful. Stay safe, and goodbye for now.
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