Digestion

Overview

During digestion food and drink are broken down into nutrients that are able to be absorbed by the body. The digestive system convert food into energy as well as the basic nutrients needed to feed the entire body. Though, at times this complex system does not function as it should and can lead to chronic diseases of the digestive system. Two of the most common problems of the digestive system are diarrhea and heartburn. Frequent and chronic heartburn Is known as gastrointestinal reflux disease or GERD for short.

Signs and Symptoms

GERD is when the acid from within your stomach splashes to burn the lower end of the esophagus. Some of the signs and symptoms you may experience include bad breath, nausea, chest pain, trouble swallowing, and tooth erosion.

Celiac Disease is another common digestive that is due to an intolerance of gluten within the diet, similar to a food allergy. Common symptoms include anemia, fatigue, depression, and bone loss.

Crohn’s Disease is one of the most troublesome digestive diseases. It can lead to symptoms of severe abdominal pain, diarrhea, weight loss, rectal bleeding, and fever. There are many medications prescribed to treat the symptoms of this disease.

Diagnosis and Treatment

If you think you may be experiencing digestive related issues please talk with your doctor and discuss what treatment options are best for you. Digestive issues are initially evaluated from your medical history. A physical examination may be necessary. This could include a variety of tests such as endoscopy, x-ray, ultrasound, as well as chemical measurements from the body or stool. It is important to discuss the risks and benefits of testing with your health care professional. Once the diagnosis has been determined your physician can help you develop a treatment plan. In some cases surgical intervention is required. Different types of medications, as well as dietary changes can help alleviate symptoms. If your symptoms are able to be controlled it increases the likelihood of being able to complete your everyday activities.