Digestive problems are medical conditions characterised by disruption of the normal digestion processes of the body. A person experiencing digestive problems has difficulty or becomes totally unable to absorb nutrients from food and remove waste products from his body.
Digestive problems concern a wide range of medical problems related to the gastrointestinal system. It can include symptoms and illnesses such as diarrhoea, vomiting, heartburn, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), and food intolerances.
Statistics show that digestive problems are indeed common in the UK population. Two research agencies have revealed the following numbers:
Digestive problems are clearly prevalent in society, and these symptoms are often experienced by most sufferers:
Guts UK even noted that the most prevalent symptom is abdominal pain, experienced by 63% of known cases. Diarrhoea clocks in at second place with 55%, while bloating is at third with a narrow 53% of cases. Constipation and flatulence are tied at the bottom with both symptoms experienced in 44% of reported digestive problem cases.
Your physician will initially diagnose your condition through the following means:
If the two methods above are not enough to get an accurate diagnosis, your doctor may perform a physical examination on your abdomen as needed. He will check for swelling or tenderness by gently pressing down on various abdomen areas.
Most cases are diagnosed through those three methods. However, if the doctor suspects something else, he may send you for other tests which may include any of these:
These procedures will let the doctor see the condition of your key digestive organs inside the body.
If an infection is suspected, your physician typically requests for a test to check your blood, urine, and stool for any bacterial, viral, or parasitic presence.
Mild digestive conditions can be managed with lifestyle modifications and over-the-counter medications. Serious and chronic digestive problems benefit the most from medications and permanent lifestyle changes. If you have any concerns about your symptoms (whether it’s the first time or they’re getting worse), it’s best to speak with a physician to settle your mind.
Here’s a list of the common digestive problems experienced by the public:
Most digestive problems are mild and clear up on their own. However, there are plenty of cases when symptoms never go away or even worsen despite treatment. These cases are indicative of a bigger problem and warrant a trip to the doctor if your symptoms persist after two weeks of over-the-counter medications and management.
Urgently seek medical care if you experience any of these symptoms:
Treatment is typically specific to the digestive condition you are experiencing. But common digestive problems can be alleviated through these lifestyle modifications: