Digestive disorders are among the most common problems that are faced by majority of people worldwide. It has been estimated that millions of people are affected by these digestive diseases. Dietary habits and specific food types can play an important role in the onset, treatment and prevention of many Gastrointestinal disorders. Poor diet and lifestyle act as aggravators and risk factors for the development of GI disorders.
The digestive disorders that occur commonly nowadays are Gastritis, GERD (Gastro Intestinal Reflux Disease), Acidity ,Peptic Ulcers etc. Lets know what they are and the general symptoms that they bring in.
- Gastritis is defined as the inflammation of the lining of stomach. It can be used to describe symptoms relating to stomach. Gastritis is of two types- Acute and Chronic. Acute gastritis refers to rapid and sudden onset of inflammation and the symptoms whereas chronic gastritis might occur from a longer period of time with repetitive symptoms. Prolonged gastritis can result in degeneration of cells (atrophy) , loss of stomach cells, with a loss of HCl secretion which is important to maintain a normal pH and lastly the loss of intrinsic factor present in the stomach which is necessary for the synthesis of Vit B12 leading to a condition known as Pernicious Anaemia.
Symptoms of Gastritis include– Nausea, vomiting , Anorexia (lack of appetite), Hemorrhage and abdominal pain or discomfort.
- GER (Gastro Intestinal Reflux) is a normal process that occurs several times a day in healthy infants, children and adults. It is a disorder which permits gastric contents to enter the esophagus. It is reported to occur on a daily basis in almost 50% of the infants whereas GERD (Gastro Intestinal Reflux Disease) is a more serious, chronic or long lasting form of GER and is defined as symptoms or complications resulting from reflux of gastric contents into esophagus and even into oral cavity. GERD is common during pregnancy, usually beginning as heartburn and can occur in any trimester. Some people experience GERD symptoms in the evening which is termed as Nocturnal GERD which has greater impact on quality of life and can also lead to sleep disturbance.
Symptoms of GERD include– Heartburn ,regurgitation, dysphagia (loss of hunger),dental corrosion etc.
- Acidity-Acidity is a less serious form of digestive disorder. Almost half of the population suffer from it. Like GERD, it also refers to the backflow of gastric contents or acid reflux in the esophagus giving you burning sensation or heartburn but is not long lasting or chronic.
Symptoms of Acidity include– Heartburn, Taste of acid in the throat region, nausea, discomfort etc.
Knowledge of these digestive disorders is not enough ,knowing about the proper management of these disorderswith diet and lifestyle modification is way more crucial. So, Lets know about some quick management tips:
- Lifestyle modification– This serves as the first step in the management of these digestive disorders. People must bring a changes in lifestyle including diet. A healthy lifestyle should be adopted instead of sedentary and less nutritive habits.
Small and frequent meals- Eating small rather than large meals reduces the chances of backing up gastric reflux into esophagus. Small meals must be consumed within short intervals to prevent acidity.
- Obesity– Obesity is a contributing factor to GERD as it increases intragastric pressure.Therefore it is recommended to maintain an ideal weight to prevent oneself from these disorders.
- Head Elevation– It is advisable that the head of the bed should be elevated by 6-8 inches to reduce the symptoms of reflux.
- Avoid flavored foods– Foods with strong flavors should be strictly avoided as they aggravate the symptoms or cause discomfort even more. Hence they should be restricted or consumed in limited amount.
- Avoid Acidic foods– Highly acidic foods such as citrus juices and tomatoes should be avoided because they cause pain when the esophagus is already inflamed.
- Abstain from smoking- Smoking tobacco compromises GI integrity and increase the risk of esophageal and cancers.
Your diet plays a vital role keeping you away from these digestive disorders as you are what you eat. So, Eat well and Stay Healthy.