Factors Responsible for Increasing Digestive Diseases in India

Dr. Parameshwar CM, Chief, Bengaluru Smiles Bengaluru Smiles is a pioneer in the field of colorectal treatment & surgery with its advance facilities & state-of-the-art technology offers treatments in Piles, Colonoscopy Test, Fistula, Digestive Diseases, Fissure, Colorectal Cancer and many other health problems.

Well,gastrointestinal problem or simply stomach-related illnesses that are getting common these days. Suffering in silence is not the solution, some can be remedied at home just by over the counter medications, but some may require medical intervention if not treated well. There are so many stomach illnesses that come under the category of digestive diseases, thus the causes are also wide as well. Digestive disorders are taking millions of lives and the main root cause of many illnesses, ranging from slight nausea or heartburn caused after eating any heavy meal, to as serious as colon or rectal disorder.

What is the digestive system?
Digestive system helps in food digestion; it is made-up of the gastrointestinal tract, pancreas, liver and gallbladder. Digestion assists in food breakdown to provide energy for survival. It processes whatever we eat either it is food or drink, and at the same time deal with the waste.

What is a digestive tract?
It is a portion which starts from the mouth, including food pipe and end-up as anus. Some common digestive problems are: The most common digestive ailments encountered in the day-to-day life are as follows, gas, stomach cramps, stomach pain or discomfort, diarrhoea or constipation, heartburn or GERD; these can be minimized or prevented just by sustaining a healthy lifestyle and regular screening, but there can be some structural problem with gastrointestinal tract, rectal or colon motility like irritable bowel syndrome or constipation.

There are many factors that may upset the GI tract and its ability to move or motility. The factors responsible for increasing digestive diseases are as follows:
•Food Intolerance& Certain Allergies: These things also may cause nausea, vomiting and abdominal discomfort.

•Eating contaminated food & water gives way to the viruses, bacteria and parasites in the digestive system, which is also the major cause of digestive issues. For example, Escherichia coli, rotavirus, and salmonella can cause bacterial infections, gastroenteritis or ‘Stomach flu’.

•Lifestyle Choices& Lack of Proper Diet: Following sedentary lifestyle, food laced with excess sugar,consuming fewer fibres(fruits & vegetables),eating red meat, high fat and processed foods may cause gastric oesophagus reflux(GERD) which may be due to multiple reasons, including all these
thus healthy diet and better lifestyle can relief the frequent episodes.

•Medication & Its Side Effects: Few non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs,antibiotics, diabetes medications and others also have some side effects that may cause stomach discomfort, including nausea, ulceration, constipation and diarrhoea.

•Post Surgery: It can also create some temporary discomfort linked with digestive system like gall bladder surgery, obstruction of the bowel, pancreas obstruction, stomach resection & malabsorption.

•Aging: Our digestive system ages as we grow older such as there is a decrease in saliva and intestinal motility, taste alters and reflux gets slow as well, that may enhance the risk of cancer, thus the onset of symptoms should not be ignored as we age.

•Already existing systemic disease is also one of the reasons of digestive illnesses such as scleroderma, genetic diseases, diabetes, HIV and heart failure.

•Routine change, travelling, eating dairy product in excess, eating spicy food, stress, overuse of medication and pregnancy are the other factors that may greatly enhance the chances of developing digestive illnesses such as heartburn, gastric acid reflux and some time ulcer.

"It is vital to sort-out the minor digestive health ailments promptly just for the sake of well-being"

How to recognize digestive diseases?
Some digestive issues may resolve their own, last for a short time and don’t cause any long-term health problem, but sometime they need medical assistance, especially if they are long lasting or chronic and persisting for a longer time. Hence, there are certain ways to recognise digestive diseases, such as:

•View Medical History: That includes general lifestyle, food choices, food allergies, previous gastric problems, nature of discomfort or pain, bowel movement, medication if any and other health issues like diabetes and others.

•Physical Diagnosis: To observe any swelling, enlarge organ and tenderness in the gastrointestinal area.

•Psychological Assessment: Sometime it is needed to rule-out any digestive ailment, which may also arise due to anxiety& depression, since digestive problems have close link with psychological conditions.

•Taking Help of Diagnostic Tests:These may greatly help in confirmation and the exact cause of the digestive disease too, these are:
1.Tests for Acid Reflux: It is used to know the amount of acid regurgitation in the stomach.

2.Stool Tests: It is done to see the presence of fungi, parasites, bacteria and white blood cells in the stool.

3.Endoscopes: It is done to look inside an organ or body cavity.

4.Laparoscopy: This is used to detect any abnormalities or tumour because sometimes that may be the cause of digestive diseases.

5. Barium X-rays & Normal X-rays: Both are used to see any abnormality in digestive system, such as paralysis or blockage. Besides this, other sophisticated techniques(Computed Tomography Scan, MRI & ultrasound scanning and many)can also be used to identify any hidden cause of acidity, heartburn and many more minor causes of some digestive illnesses.

There could be overweight or something wrong with your inner digestive system that may cause you sick, giving you frequent burps or belches all the time or giving you awkward time with an uneasy feeling, particularly in a silent meeting or in a crowded room, so it is most important to address the minor ailments because it will surely save you from the red face moments and definitely inhibit further damage, as well as relieve the discomfort and long-standing unsettled digestive issues too. It is vital to sort-out the minor digestive health ailments promptly just for the sake of well-being. If you have any doubt of digestive system linked issues, then don’t delay, consult the doctor at the earliest to re-establish future health.