Digestive Problems in Carlsbad
What are Digestion Problems?
The digestive system is an intricate and extensive part of the body. It ranges all the way from the mouth to the rectum. The digestive system helps your body absorb vital nutrients and is responsible for getting rid of waste. Digestion problems can mean more than negative symptoms. Small problems that are left untreated can cause more serious, chronic health problems. Since there are many different kinds of digestion issues, you may mistakenly dismiss them. It's important to understand common digestion problems-- as well as emergency symptoms-- so you know when to speak with a medical professional.
Chronic constipation indicates a problem with eliminating waste. This usually occurs when the colon can't pass or move stools throughout the rest of the digestive tract. You might experience stomach pain and bloating along with fewer bowel movements (which are more painful than usual).
Chronic constipation is among the most common digestive problems in the United States.Getting enough fiber, water, and exercise will likely help curb constipation. Medications can also provide relief in more severe cases.
Food intolerance occurs when your digestive system can not tolerate particular foods. Unlike food allergies, which can cause hives and respiratory problems, an intolerance just impacts digestion.
Symptoms of food intolerance consist of:
- bloating and/or cramps
Food intolerance is typically diagnosed by keeping and reviewing a food journal. Recording what you eat and when can help you determine which foods are causing your symptoms.
Celiac disease, an autoimmune disorder, is one type of food intolerance. It causes digestive problems when you consume gluten (a protein in wheat, barley, and rye). People with celiac disease should follow a gluten-free diet to minimize symptoms and damage to the small intestine.
Heartburn is an occasional occurrence for a lot of adults. This occurs when stomach acids go back up into the esophagus, triggering chest pain as well as the trademark burning sensation.
If you have more frequent heartburn, you could have gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). Such frequent episodes can interfere with your daily life and damage your esophagus.
Symptoms of GERD include:
- chest pain
- dry cough
- sour taste in the mouth
- sore throat
- swallowing difficulties
You may need medications to control heartburn. A damaged esophagus can make swallowing difficult and interfere with the rest of the digestive system.
Inflammatory Bowel Disease
Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is a form of chronic swelling. It affects one of more parts of the digestive system.
There are two kinds of IBD:
- Crohn's disease: affects the whole gastrointestinal (GI) tract but most commonly affects the small intestine and the colon
- ulcerative colitis: affects just the colon
IBD can cause more common digestive problems, such as abdominal pain and diarrhea. Other symptoms can consist of:
- incomplete bowel movements
- loss of appetite and subsequent weight loss
- night sweats
- rectal bleeding
It's important to diagnose and treat IBD as soon as possible. Not only will you be more comfortable, but early treatment also reduces damage to the GI tract.
Potential Serious Conditions
A gastroenterologist is a doctor who specializes in diagnosing and treating diseases involving the digestive system. If you continue to experience digestion problems, it's time to make an appointment.
Some signs are more serious and can indicate there's an emergency medical problem. These signs include:
- bloody stools
- constant vomiting
- severe stomach cramps
- sudden, unintentional weight loss
These symptoms could be a sign of an infection, gallstones, hepatitis, internal bleeding, or cancer.
Digestive Problems in Carlsbad
You may be able to get rid of digestion problems with treatment and lifestyle changes. Certain diseases of the digestive system could be long-term, but medications can help relieve symptoms. Identifying specific digestion problems and talking with a gastroenterologist can go a long way in regards to helping your physician give you a proper diagnosis. Keep in mind, you do not have to tolerate constant digestive issues.
Linette Williamson, MD is an Integrative Medical Doctor, who specializes in helping her patients and Digestive Problems in Carlsbad
Identify lifestyle factors that affect their everyday medical issues. Dr. Williamson uses cutting-edge testing to find imbalances that are related to your health problems. She will spend time with you to find out what specific issues you have and help you develop a specific plan that is unique to you.
Call the clinic and schedule your appointment now. Call us today at (760) 875-2627.