5 Common Stomach Related Ailments & Their Preventive Measures

Did You Know These 5 Common Stomach Related Ailments & Their Preventive Measures?

Common stomach-related ailments
Contributed by: Priyaish Srivastava

Introduction:

Your stomach plays a vital role in maintaining your overall well-being. It digests the food you eat by breaking it down through contraction and relaxation of muscles and temporarily stores the food for two hours or longer to utilize it when required.

Around 70% of your immune system resides in the stomach, and it is home to more than 100 trillion bacteria, which includes both good bacteria and bad bacteria. Good bacteria are essential for your metabolism and protects you from several illnesses. An escalation of bad bacteria in your gut can give rise to several ailments.

Thus, maintaining a healthy gut is extremely crucial for your overall well-being. Here are some tips to promote your gut health.

Top 7 tips to promote your gut health:

 

    • Eat more green vegetables, whole-grain foods, nuts, and fresh fruits
    • Maintain good oral hygiene by brushing at least twice a day
    • Eat food rich in beneficial bacteria (probiotics) such as yoghurt, pickles, traditional buttermilk, and cabbage 
    • Eat foods rich in polyphenols (antioxidants present in plant-based foods) like almonds, garlic, bananas, and apples
    • Add some spices like ginger, turmeric, fennel (saunf), caraway (jeera), cinnamon, peppermint, and dill seeds (soa ke beej)
    • Exercise regularly
    • Stop unhealthy lifestyle habits like smoking and alcohol consumption

 

In this article, we will discuss the top 5 ailments related to your stomach and the measures you can take to prevent the condition.

 

Top 5 stomach related ailments

 

Gastro-oesophagal Reflux Disease (GERD)

GERD, also termed acid reflux, is a condition in which the hydrochloric acid present in your stomach backs up into your oesophagus (food pipe) often after meals or at night and causes a sensation of heartburn in the middle of your chest. 

While it is common to experience heartburn occasionally, but if the symptoms of acid reflux occur in your daily life or twice a week, it can be a sign of GERD. These symptoms include:

 

    • Heartburn
    • Bad breath
    • Tooth erosion
    • Nausea
    • Chest pain
    • Pain in the upper abdomen
    • Trouble breathing
    • Trouble swallowing

 

If you experience these symptoms persistently, here are some preventive measures that can help you manage the condition:

 

    • Identify and avoid the food and drink that can trigger the symptoms
    • Take prescribed over the counter medicines to reduce stomach acid production and oesophagus inflammation
    • Exercise regularly with a focus on cardio workouts
    • Don’t lie down immediately after the meal
    • Avoid wearing tight-fitting clothes
    • If you smoke, quit immediately
    • Avoid or reduce alcohol intake
    • Take a heart checkup, as heartburn can also be a sign of a silent heart attack
    • Seek medical attention

 

Gallstones

Gallstones are hard deposits that form in the gallbladder when there is an increase in the levels of chemicals such as cholesterol, calcium bilirubinate, and calcium carbonate. A rise in the levels of these chemicals obstructs the functioning of the gallbladder.

The gallbladder is a small sack, located behind the liver, that stores and secretes bile for healthy digestion. When the ducts of the gallbladder leading to the intestine are blocked by gallstones, it can give rise to sharp pain in your upper right abdomen.

Your body can manifest the following symptoms due to gallstones:

 

    • Nausea
    • Pain in the upper right abdomen
    • Vomiting
    • Sweating
    • Restlessness
    • Pain in the right shoulder

 

If you experience these symptoms, here are some preventive measures that can help you manage the condition:

 

    • Eat foods enriched with fibre, such as whole-grain foods, fruits, and green vegetables
    • Reduced the intake of refined carbohydrates
    • Eat healthy fats like olive oil
    • Avoid fried foods
    • Get diagnosed
    • Seek medical attention

 

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)

IBS is a condition in which your digestive tract becomes sensitive and gives rise to stomach ache, diarrhoea, or constipation. The exact cause of IBS is unknown, but some researches prove that family history, food intolerance, stress, anxiety, and severe digestive tract infection can give rise to this condition.

You may experience the following symptoms if you have IBS:

 

    • Cramps in the lower half of the abdomen
    • Bloating
    • Unusual bowel movements
    • Repeated episodes of diarrhoea or constipation
    • Excessive gas
    • Whitish mucus in your poop 

 

Some preventive measures that can help manage the condition include:

 

    • Quit smoking
    • Limit caffeine and alcohol intake
    • Limit dairy products, fruits, and artificial sweeteners if you experience repeated episodes of diarrhoea
    • Eat foods rich in fibre
    • Seek medical attention and get a check-up done

 

Haemorrhoids

Haemorrhoid is a condition that occurs due to an inflammation of the blood vessels at the end of your digestive tract. 

Obesity, pregnancy, a low-fibre diet, chronic constipation or diarrhoea, lifting heavy objects, spending too much time sitting on the toilet, and straining during bowel movements are some conditions that can give rise to haemorrhoids. 

Symptoms of haemorrhoids include:

 

    • Blood while passing motions
    • Itchy anus
    • Hard lumps near the anus that may feel sore or tender
    • Pain in the anus, especially when you sit
    • Abnormal bulging outside the anus

 

Measures to manage and prevent the worsening of haemorrhoids:

 

    • Apply prescribed over the counter medication 
    • Drink more water
    • Eat foods rich in fibre
    • Soak in a warm bath for at least 15 minutes every day
    • Take prescribed laxatives to soften stool
    • Gently wipe the area after bowel movements and keep the area dry
    • Get a checkup done and seek medical attention if the symptoms worsen

 

Anal fissure

An anal fissure is another common ailment related to your stomach. It occurs due to chronic constipation, straining during bowel movements, prolonged diarrhoea, anal sex, or holding the urge of bowel movements for a long time. 

The condition causes a tear in the lining of the anus and can affect anyone at any age, but the chances of having an anal fissure are less in older people. 

Symptoms of an anal fissure include:

 

    • Pain during and after bowel movements
    • Constipation
    • Blood while passing motions
    • A visible tear in the anal canal
    • Painful burning or itching sensation
    • Foul smell discharge
    • Discomfort while urinating

 

Some preventive measures that can help manage the condition include:

 

    • Avoid caffeine and alcohol
    • Stay hydrated
    • Apply petroleum jelly
    • Increase the intake of fibre rich foods to support healthy digestion
    • Avoid straining and prolonged sitting on the toilet seats
    • Take prescribed over the counter medicines to manage constipation or diarrhoea
    • Get a checkup done and seek medical attention if the symptoms are persistent
    • Soak in a warm bath between 10 – 15 minutes every day

 

Final thoughts:

Your ‘gut’ is also known as the ‘second brain’ of your body. Sometimes you may ingest food without thinking about its effects on your body and may assume it is not causing any harm, but your gut may be thinking otherwise and can manifest symptoms related to the above-mentioned stomach ailments. By implementing the preventive measures in your lifestyle, you can manage and reverse the condition effectively.

 

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