Every one of us might have experienced a digestive issue at some point of our lives. But a poor diet can cause long-term digestive issues that need instant medical care including:
Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)
Experiencing heartburn occasionally can happen to anyone, but if you are experiencing it on a regular basis, you may need to be evaluated for GERD. Your doctor can often diagnose GERD based on a description of symptoms alone, but if the problem has been ongoing for several days, your medical provider may recommend additional diagnostic testing to evaluate if the disease has caused damage to the esophagus.
Treatment of GERD can start by making simple lifestyle changes, including avoiding food for at least two hours before bedtime. Sometimes over-the-counter remedies can provide short-term relief for occasional heartburn, but for chronic GERD, a prescription medication or even surgery may be necessary.
If you are experiencing vomiting, fever, diarrhea it may be a sign of stomach flu also known as gastroenteritis. It is caused by an infection if a virus or bacteria enters your gut. Bacterial infections can be caused by E. coli or salmonella, while viral infections can include rotavirus or norovirus. Parasites, too, can cause gastroenteritis.
The best way to handle the problem is to drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration. Use good hand hygiene to prevent spreading the infection and, if possible, ask others not to use the same bathroom facilities until your symptoms stop or you get a chance to sanitize the washroom.
Peptic ulcers are most likely to be caused by either bacteria in the stomach or heavy use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, such as ibuprofen or naproxen. The bacteria or anti-inflammatory drugs can damage the mucus that lines the inside of the stomach, exposing the interior of the stomach to acid which irritates the tissue and causes the peptic ulcer. Your medical provider may prescribe a proton pump inhibitor to reduce the acid in the stomach.
If you are having fewer than three bowel movements a week for three weeks or longer or find it difficult to pass the stools, you may be suffering from chronic constipation. Your doctor may suggest you to add more fluids and fiber rich foods to your diet. If those fail to bring relief, your doctor may recommend some exercise to strengthen the muscles that move the stool through the bowels.