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Suffering from digestive pain

could be due to an unusual attack of constipation, gas, diarrhea, heartburn or bloating; anyone who suffers from recurring or daily attacks of stomach pain knows how debilitating it can be on a daily basis: interfering with both the work and social life of the sufferer. Any such recurring digestion pain could be due to several digestive disorders arising from the process of digesting food, and whilst all are serious to the sufferer – some of them can be more serious than others.

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What is meant by the process of digesting food?

A digestive pain could, technically, occur in the mouth as the process of digesting our food begins in the mouth when we chew the food being eaten. After passing down the esophagus the food passes into what we commonly refer to as the stomach, where it is then further broken down by enzymes, acids and salts into forms that our body’s can metabolize, creating simpler substances capable of being passed through the blood stream to our body cells. However, the idea of stomach pain needs refining somewhat, as the action of these enzymes takes place throughout what we should really call the digestive tract. The whole of the digestive tract itself, which actually includes the mouth and esophagus, is the: stomach, small intestine, duodenum and large intestine; which includes the colon and rectum. So a digestive pain could be due to a digestive disorder at any of these points.

Some common digestive disorders.

A burning sensation in the chest on eating food could well be due to acid reflux, a common source of digestive pain in overweight people and pregnant women. It is caused by inefficient muscle valves in the esophagus allowing acidic fluids to be regurgitated from the stomach. An uncomfortable condition in itself, it can be an indication of a hiatus hernia. Diverticular diseases include diverticulitis and usually occurs in older people. It affects the lower colon and creates a digestion pain when feces low in fiber get trapped in diverticula, small pouches in the colon wall formed by pressure on the wall lining. The trapped feces, unable to pass through the body, become infected resulting in inflammation that causes the digestive pain. Irritable Bowel Syndrome, IBS, is a chronic digestive disorder condition giving rise to considerable digestion pains when eating food, as well as abdomen or stomach pains that can strike at any time. It can cause periods of diarrhea followed by intermittent periods of constipation. Severe stomach pains can arise if the sufferer has attacks of stomach cramps, this condition is often associated with sensations of feeling bloated and can be linked to stress and consuming certain foods. Gastritis, the inflammation of the mucous membrane lining the stomach, can be a sudden ‘acute’ attack or a chronic condition lasting for long periods of time. Its symptoms are similar to those of a gastric ulcer; a digestion pain in the upper abdomen, possibly followed by nausea and vomiting. Colitis is an inflammation of the colon causing diarrhea as well as stomach pains and is often accompanied by a fever. This is usually due to a bacterial infection, but it can also be a symptom of a more serious condition such as IBD or Crohn’s disease.

A couple of more serious digestive disorders.

Crohn’s Disease, IBD, is a serious digestive disorder that can strike both young and older people and can affect just about any part of the digestive tract. To say sufferers of this disease experience digestive pains or stomach pains in general is a vast understatement. Its symptoms include an inability of the small intestine to store food, rectal bleeding, abscesses at the anus, narrowing of the intestine restricting the digestive process and abdominal infections. A hiatus hernia, also known as a hiatal hernia, can cause stomach pain even when not digesting food. The most common form is a sliding hiatal hernia, which occurs when part of the stomach passes through the diaphragm, or membrane, usually retaining it and forces the stomach up into the lower esophagus.


Sources

  1. http://digestive.niddk.nih.gov/ddiseases/pubs/yrdd/index.htm
  2. http://www.umm.edu/digest/gas1.htm
  3. http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/003120.htm
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