Gastrointestinal symptoms are some of the most frequently experienced by people and one of the most common reasons individuals seek medical help. Some of these gastrointestinal issues are mild and resolves at home, while others require medical care. Unfortunately, millions of people suffer silently believing their symptoms are normal. They attempt to avoid certain foods and situations that trigger their stomach problems. Some self-medicate with antacids, over the counter drugs like laxatives and analgesics. Health care experts often find these gastrointestinal complaints to be difficult to diagnose and treat, especially in individuals who have been suffering from the issues for last so many years and have experienced unsuccessful remedies.
Many doctors and health care professionals are frustrated by the overuse of medications and surgery to relieve stomach problems as these treatment remedies often have no relationship with the root cause of the dysfunctions experienced by the patients. Clinical experts were aware that a wide range of gastro health issues appears in individuals with no discernible organ dysfunction. From the last few years conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome come into limelight due to the prevalence while no discernible or tissue defect has been identified, some overall dysfunction within the gastrointestinal tract is present. In fact, over the last few decades, a whole new name has given to a wide range of gastrointestinal problems and is now referred to as functional gastrointestinal disorders (FGIDs). Functional disorders are those in which the individual’s gastrointestinal tract looks normal but does not work properly. The most common gastro health problems affect the colon and rectum, causing problems, like constipation and irritable syndrome.
A variety of factors may trigger stomach issues and affects its ability to keep functional. These include:
- Eating a low fibre diet
- Lack of physical activity
- Consuming a large number of dairy products
- Travelling or other factors responsible for changing routine
- Resisting the urge to have a bowel movement
- Overusing OTC products such as laxatives (stool softener)
- Using antacids
- Taking other medications such as iron pills, antidepressants, and strong pain killers such as narcotics.
We live in an era where change is a part of our lives. The impact of change is to the extent that we can probably define as our ability to cope with change. The gradual changes in lifestyle habits accompanied with consequent disease patterns is happening at an accelerated rate. Changes in food and nutrient intakes together with other behavioural changes, are responsible for changes characterized by decreases in infectious and nutritional deficiency diseases, decreased fertility accompanied by an increase in non-communicable diseases across the world.
Gastrointestinal disorders include conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome, constipation, fissures, haemorrhoids, perianal infections colon polyps, and diverticular diseases. Most of them can be treated or prevented by maintaining a healthy diet and practising good bowel habits.
Some gastrointestinal symptoms can be relatively minor and short-lived and are easily resolved with the help of over-the-counter medications. Gastro health issues, including acid reflux and indigestion, can be treated with antacids or medicines such as ranitidine and omeprazole. Gastrointestinal medications, including mebeverine, helps to relieve symptoms of the irritable syndrome. You can consult your doctor which medicines are most suitable for you. If any symptoms become bothersome or persist for a longer duration (more than two weeks), make an appointment with your doctor. You may suffer from more severe gastrointestinal issues like ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease that requires the use of medicines like prednisolone, and budesonide.
Prevention of Gastrointestinal Disease
Many conditions of the gastrointestinal tract of the colon and rectum can be prevented or minimize d by maintaining a healthy diet and lifestyle habits. If you have symptoms of colorectal cancer, then you should consult a doctor straight away. Colorectal cancer can have the following symptoms:
-Unusual gas or abdominal pain
-Blood in the stool
-Unexplained weight loss
-A change in normal bowel habits
-A feeling that the bowel has not emptied completely
For heartburn- Heartburn usually causes a burning sensation in your stomach, chest, or throat that can cause discomfort. An imbalance in the stomach acid contributes to this irritation. Ranitidine lowers the amount of acid your stomach makes. It takes up to an hour for this medicine to work, and the effects last longer than antacids. Omeprazole and Lansoprazole provide long-lasting reduction up to 24 hours.
For Constipation - There are a variety of laxatives available over the counter, your health care provider can help you decide which one work best for you. Drink plenty of water while taking the medicines. Laxatives usually make it easier for stools to pass. It is also important to consult a doctor if you are currently taking prescription medicines and nutrients.
For Diarrhoea - Everyone experience diarrhoea once in their lifetime. The condition is usually characterized by loose or watery stools occurs when your colon is not able to adequately absorb the liquid from the food and fluids you take and is often caused by the bacteria. The condition does not require medication and resolves by its own within just a few days. Most times, lifestyle changes can help prevent gastrointestinal condition. However, anti-diarrheal medications play a crucial role in helping moderate to severe symptoms. Your health care professional may suggest one of the effective anti-diarrheal agents for you. If you think your diarrhoea might be caused by infection, speak to your doctor as another drug might be a better option for you.
Some medicines can make you drowsy, so be careful. You should avoid the medication if the side effects become bothersome.
The right gastrointestinal drug can bring relief to a range of short-term gastrointestinal issues. Remember to consult a doctor first before you plan to take any gastrointestinal tablet.