When you swallow, food passes down your throat and through your esophagus to your stomach. A muscle called the lower esophageal sphincter controls the opening to your stomach and stays tightly closed except when you swallow food. When it doesn’t close, the acid in your stomach can splash back up into your esophagus. This backward movement is called reflux. When it happens, you might feel burning inside, commonly known as heartburn.
Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is when reflux happens more than twice a week and often enough to affect your daily life or damage your esophagus.
It's a problem that involves both the digestive tract and the immune system. It's also known as celiac sprue or gluten-sensitive enteropathy. When you have celiac disease, eating foods with a form of protein called gluten makes your body attack your small intestine. The damage makes it hard for your body to absorb nutrients, especially fat, calcium, iron, and folate, from food.
The disease usually runs in families. There’s no treatment, so people who have it have to stick to a strict, gluten-free diet. Gluten is found in some grains, such as wheat, barley, and rye.
It's a procedure that helps your doctor look inside your digestive system. A flexible, lighted tube with a camera, called an endoscope, goes in your mouth to help her see the inside of your esophagus, stomach, or the first part of the small intestine, or in your bottom to show the inside of your colon or rectum. Doctors use it to help diagnose:
Let yours know if you have any of these symptoms:
Ulcers are painful sores in the lining of the stomach or the first part of the small intestine. Not all of them have symptoms, but warning signs can include:
In severe cases, ulcer symptoms can include:
Hepatitis is a virus that inflames the liver. It can be either acute (lasting less than 6 months) or chronic (lasting more than 6 months). There are several viruses that cause it, including hepatitis A, B, and C.
To lower your chances of getting the disease:
You can keep many digestive problems away with lifestyle changes. Bad habits, such as eating too quickly or skipping meals, can upset your stomach. Be sure to eat slowly and chew thoroughly. You might want to try eating several small meals throughout the day.
Doctors use this operation, also called fundoplication, to create a better valve at the bottom of the esophagus to protect it from stomach acid. You might get this operation if you’ve tried taking medications and making lifestyle changes to treat GERD, but they haven’t helped.
A surgeon will make several small (usually 5- to 10-millimeter) cuts in your belly. Then she’ll use a thin, lighted tube, called a laparoscope, to look inside the cuts at your organs. The scope sends a picture of your insides to a monitor, which guides the surgeon during the operation.
Laparoscopic antireflux surgery is best for people who haven’t had surgery on their belly before, those who’ve had their stomach push through their diaphragm (called hiatal hernias) and those who have most of their reflux symptoms when they’re lying down.
Hemorrhoids are groups of swollen and inflamed veins in the tissue inside your bottom, specifically the anus and lower rectum. These blood vessels can burst and cause bleeding. You might see blood on toilet paper or in the toilet, and feel pain or itching. It might happen if you strain during a bowel movement. The best way to prevent hemorrhoids is to keep your stools soft so you can pass them easily without straining. Eat a high-fiber diet and drink plenty of fluids each day.
It’s a good idea to let your doctor know if you have bleeding from your bottom or blood in your stools. These can be a symptoms of colon cancer, or polyps that could become cancer. Your doctor may want to use a lighted tube to check inside your rectum (called an anoscopy), your lower colon (sigmoidoscopy), or your entire colon (colonoscopy).
Encourage her to get treatment as soon as she has symptoms so she can avoid as much discomfort as possible. Diarrhea, vomiting, and side effects of medications she takes can mean she may not get all the nutrients she needs to be healthy. If the symptoms don’t get better after a few days or if they're severe, call a doctor to make sure she gets the right diagnosis and treatment.
Liver failure occurs when large parts of the liver become damaged beyond repair, and the liver is no longer able to function.
Liver failure is a life-threatening condition that demands urgent medical care. Most often, liver failure occurs gradually and over many years. However, a more rare condition known as acute liver failure occurs rapidly (in as little as 48 hours) and can be difficult to detect initially.
The most common causes of liver failure are:
Everyone has gas. Burping or passing gas through the rectum is normal. Because it is embarrassing to burp or pass gas, many people believe they pass gas too often or have too much gas. It is rare for a person to have too much gas.
Most of the time gas is odorless. The odor comes from sulfur made by bacteria in the large intestine. Sometimes gas causes bloating and pain. Not everyone has these symptoms. How much gas the body makes and how sensitive a person is to gas in the large intestine have an effect on how uncomfortable having gas is.
Preventions: Changing what you eat and drink can help prevent or relieve gas. If you feel like you have too much gas, you might want to try these things before going to the doctor.
i) Cut down on foods that causes gas.
The amount of gas caused by certain foods varies from person to person. The only way to know your own limits is through trial and error. These are some foods that cause gas:
ii) Drink plenty of water, non-"fizzy" liquids, and clear soup.
Try not to drink liquids that cause gas, like soda and beer. If you do drink these liquids, pour them into a glass first to let some of the "fizz" out.
iii) Reduce the amount of air you swallow. Here are some ways to avoid swallowing air:
iv) Keep a diary
Write down the foods (and the amounts) that seem to cause you the most problems. Also keep track of the number of times you pass gas.If you are still troubled by gas, you may want to see your doctor. Take your diary with you to help you answer the doctor's questions about eating habits and symptoms.
Points to Remember: