A lot of people don’t want to talk about the common stomach problems, such as gas, bloating, pain and flatulence. More often than not, these signs and symptoms are an indicator of an underlying problem that may need immediate medical attention. “Gastrointestinal disease” is more like an umbrella term for conditions concerning the gastrointestinal tract and some of the other organs that are responsible for aiding the entire digestive system. In this post, we will take a quick overview of the symptoms of gastrointestinal diseases and when you should see a doctor.
Understanding the digestive system
The gastrointestinal tract consists of the small intestine, large intestine, esophagus, stomach and the rectum. Organs such as pancreas, liver and gallbladder aid the digestive system in performing the required actions. At times, it is hard to understand the cause of abdominal discomfort and pain, because it can be related to one or many parts of the gastrointestinal tract and accessory organs. However, it is never recommended to ignore the signs and symptoms (discussed below) for more than 48-72 hours. Known experts like Dr Gurunath Reedy suggest patients to go for yearly screening and tests to prevent the digestive disorders. Even if you have a gastrointestinal problem, early treatment can prevent most of the future complications.
Symptoms and signs to look for
As mentioned above, it is hard to tell the direct cause for a gastrointestinal problem. However, you should look for some of the tell-a-tale signs such as abdominal pain, bloating, flatulence, swelling in the stomach, nausea and vomiting. You may also have diarrhea or constipation. Some people also feel different kinds of pain in different parts of the abdomen. Hiccups, chest pain, and acid reflux are some of the other signs of digestive disorders. If you have any of these signs for more than a day, do not use medicines unless you have spoken to a doctor.
Tips for immediate relief
Drink lots of water if you have pain or discomfort in your abdomen. Avoid all sorts of dairy and milk products for the moment, including yoghurt and stick to simple foods, such as fruits and veggies. If you have loose motions, avoid foods that work like stool softeners. An over-the-counter painkiller can be taken for the time being, but do talk to your doctor first. Also, check if there are any changes in your urine and stool color.
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