The human body is comprised of several systems such as the circulatory system which disseminates blood and the muscular system which enables the body to move.
The digestive system is another structure which is responsible for two processes: a) provision of nutrients which travel from our mouth into our stomach and intestines and b) discharge of waste from the body. The digestive mechanism involves the stomach, liver, and intestines, which means it is significant.
Given its central location and function, it is imperative that major issues are averted. However, humans are prone to developing digestive disorders and afflictions which can prove particularly painful. We will examine the most common ailments which can put the digestive system in disarray.
Irritable Bowel Syndrome
The issue of an irritable bowel syndrome manifests itself in a number of ways. Patients may experience pain in their abdomen on a regular basis. Alternatively, they may excrete substantial stool one day followed by watery excrement the next day.
According to the International Foundation for Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders, this syndrome is quite prevalent and affects between 10 to 15 percent of people worldwide. Additionally, it is estimated that at least 25 million of those affected reside in the United States.
The precise cause of irritable bowel syndrome is not known. However, a common countermeasure is to improve your diet and consume foods rich in fiber like fruits, while avoiding trigger foods like spicy meals.
A known cause of irritable bowel syndrome which is not linked to our diet is stress. A patient’s psychological health is all the more significant since it can affect their digestive system as well. Traits like depression and anxiety can be particularly detrimental. In fact, according to statistics, around 60% patients who suffer from irritable bowel syndrome have some form of a cognitive issue as well.
The subject of issues affecting our digestive system shows some compelling numbers. For instance, people in the United States spend 725 million dollars annually on laxatives. These are pharmaceutical drugs that relieve constipation by flexing the patient’s stool. These are meant for short term usage and allow the stool safe passage through the intestinal tract.
The overwhelming use of these stimulants is a damning indictment of how reliant patients can be on medication. It would lead to the digestive system becoming dependent on medication, which would render it futile if taken in high doses. Furthermore, minor issues like constipation can lead to issues that are long-term in nature, such as hemorrhoids.
Much like irritable bowel syndrome, constipation can be evaded by adhering to a healthy diet which consists of fruits and vegetables and the appropriate intake of water.
Gallstones are the formation of substantial deposits in a patient’s gallbladder. The gallbladder is a miniscule organ beneath the liver that stores and secretes bile for the purpose of digestion. More than 25 million Americans are affected by gallstones, which is yet another mystifying fact regarding their overall health. This is besides almost a million new cases are diagnosed yearly.
Gallstones are small pebbles created because of extraneous cholesterol in a patient’s bile. Since the gallbladder is full to the brim, it blocks the passage to the intestines which causes patients to suffer from severe abdominal pain. Other effects of gallstones include excessive vomiting and the sensation of nausea.
Although medication can be taken to solve the issue, some people will have the gallbladder removed. The removal of the gallbladder is a common surgical process in the United States. This becomes necessary since gallstones can adversely affect the pancreatic and liver regions by causing an inflammatory action. As one doctor put it: “It is a useless organ.”.
A slightly adjacent fact is that the western diet is enriched with fats, which may be why millions across the country suffer from issues with their digestive systems.
The occurrence of a reflux is when the patient experiences a sharp sensation such as heartburn after consuming a meal. Reflux is one of the more prevalent digestive issues which affect many patients. If you experience a reflux regularly, it may be a sign that you have gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).
Other symptoms of reflux include hypersalivation and a constant bad taste in the patient’s mouth. The process of reflux involves the advent of stomach acids backing up into a patient’s esophagus. The ultimate result of persistent refluxes is esophageal cancer, although that is the worst case scenario.
Refluxes can be treated by taking medicines which lower the acidity levels in the digestive region. A healthy diet which avoids foods and beverages such as acidic drinks such as soft drinks is also recommended.
A less common infection that affects only 1 in every 133 Americans is Celiac disease, according to the foundation Beyond Celiac. The worrying notion is that 83% of patients with celiac disease may not be aware that they are suffering from it.
Celiac disease takes place when patients develop a considerable intolerance of gluten, which is found in wheat and barley. If patients suffer from celiac disease and still consume gluten, then their intestines may be in the line of fire. Symptoms include diarrhea, constipation, and vomiting, all of which can be attributed to other digestive issues as well, which is why celiac disease must be detected in a timely manner.
Adults may also experience increased fatigue and seizures if they have this disease. In case of celiac disease, the apparent way to overcome it is to avoid gluten at all costs. Patients can turn their attention to alternatives like brown rice and lentils. If the human body is taken for granted and a healthy diet is not maintained, a person’s digestive system debilitates as a consequence, as well as a host of other diseases that may materialize. Regardless of the disease or condition affecting the digestive system, the bottom line is that a healthy diet can help people avoid multiple illnesses.