Gut problems can cause a range of symptoms. In the United States, one in five people suffers from digestive issues.
Gut problems usually come as heartburn, loss of hunger, and indigestion after eating. Some people may experience symptoms of chronic inflammation and bloat.
Others may experience painful cramps, hard time to swallow, or even vomiting blood. Treatments for these conditions are available and may include the use of acid-blocking drugs or surgery.
Changing your diet is also recommended, as avoiding foods that cause inflammation can be beneficial for your health. Other common gut problems include irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), spastic colon, and colitis.
Here are the 10 most common gut problems that affect people.
What Are Gut Problems?
Digestive health problems, also known as gut problems, are disorders that affect the gastrointestinal tract, which includes the esophagus, stomach, small intestine, anus, and large intestine.
These organs help the body digest food and convert it into nutrients that it can use for energy and growth. Digestive health problems may result in symptoms such as diarrhea, vomiting, nausea, or constipation.
Gut ailments affect as many as 60 to 70 million Americans. Some of the most common include gastroesophageal reflux disease, constipation, diarrhea, etc.
Common Gut Problems
Gut problems are gastrointestinal problems that are pretty common and often result in uncomfortable symptoms like bloating, gas, constipation, diarrhea, etc. Here are some common gut problems that affect people.
1. Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease GERD
Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is a common condition in which stomach contents flow back up into the esophagus (the tube linking the mouth and stomach). People with GERD experience frequent and severe symptoms, including heartburn and regurgitation. It can lead to serious complications, including damage to the respiratory tract. Many people do not seek medical attention for their symptoms, but fortunately, there are many effective treatment options available.
2. Celiac Disease
Celiac disease is a medical condition in which you won’t be able to digest gluten. It is a serious sensitivity to gluten. Some of the most common symptoms of Celiac disease are bloating, gas, and abdominal pain. Other symptoms can include diarrhea, weight loss, and gastric distension. In addition to chronic diarrhea, Celiac disease can also lead to multiple types of intestinal ulcers. These can result in rectal bleeding and other symptoms.
3. Crohn’s Disease
Crohn’s disease is an inflammation of the lining of the gut. It can affect the entire thickness of the intestine, resulting in narrowing and scarring of the walls. This can cause obstruction of the bowel and may require surgery. Symptoms include pain, itching, and bleeding, especially in the anus. In rare cases, the disease can even affect the genital area. The disease can also interfere with the body’s ability to digest fat, causing excess fat to pass from the small intestine to the colon.
Gallstones are common gut problems and can be a source of discomfort. The most common symptom is a dull, constant pain in the upper right abdomen that may last for a few hours or more. The pain may be accompanied by nausea or vomiting. Gallstones can be as small as a grain of sand but can grow to the size of a golf ball. Gallstones can block the duct and cause pain, inflammation, and even infection.
5. Ulcerative Colitis
Ulcerative colitis is a common condition in which the walls of the large intestine become inflamed and begin to form open sores. It is often associated with bloody diarrhea and may also be accompanied by abdominal pain, a persistent urge to defecate, or liver problems. The severity of the disease depends on the location and extent of the inflammation. In severe cases, the disease can affect the entire colon.
6. Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Irritable Bowel Syndrome, or IBS, is a common digestive problem that leads to stomach issues. It’s important to seek help if you think you’re suffering from IBS. Symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome include stomach pain, bloating, and changes in bowel habits. It can be triggered by stress, factors related to environment, or even dietary factors. Medications may help you relieve symptoms, such as laxatives or antidiarrheal medicines. Also, you can try fiber supplements.
Diarrhea is one of the most common digestive problems and can link with other symptoms, including vomiting, nausea, and a rash. It is typically self-limited, lasting a day or two, but persistent diarrhea can signal a more serious problem. Moreover, it could be a sign of bowel disease, celiac disease, or another intestinal disorder.
Diverticulitis is a common gut issue caused by inflammation of the diverticula. They are the tiny sacs that form on the wall of the large intestine. The condition can be mild or severe and is usually followed by symptoms such as fever and stomach pain. Moreover, there are several treatment options, including a change of diet, antibiotics, and surgery.
Constipation is a common gut problem that affects as many as 25% of the population. Symptoms of constipation may include a hard, lumpy stool or the feeling that you are not emptying your bowels completely. If you are experiencing these symptoms, you should see a doctor to find out what is causing your constipation.
10. Perianal Abscesses
A perianal abscess is a painful boil-like lump that is caused by bacterial infection. However, the abscess usually affects one or more of the glands in the anus. A gastroenterologist can detect perianal abscesses. It can be painful, but it’s easily curable.
How Can We Prevent Gut Problems?
While some digestive disorders are genetically predisposed and others have no known cause. Moreover, some simple practices can prevent or reduce the severity of a condition. For example, you can avoid acidic foods, eat smaller meals, and drink more water.
Additionally, exercise is crucial for digestive health. Aim for two and a half hours of exercise each week, including a combination of cardiovascular exercise and muscle-strengthening routines.
To improve your gut’s health, eat a proper diet with proper meals at the same time. You should also get enough sleep. Lastly, talk to your doctor about the use of probiotics to improve the balance of your gut microbes.
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