Maintaining good health is important to live a long and healthy life. A majority of health disorders originate from the gut. With poor lifestyle choices such as smoking, fast foods, and inactivity, our intestines get impacted the most causing a lot of bowel problems. Bowel problems can be described as the conditions that can continually affect the small intestine. However, some of them can also affect other parts of the digestive tract including the large intestine. This disease affects the way in which the body digests as well as absorbs foods. This can lead to uncomfortable symptoms such as constipation and diarrhea. If it is ignored and left untreated, then it may pave the way for severe health complications. When you are suspecting bowel problems, you need to visit the doctor for effective and timely treatment. It is very important first to understand what the different types of bowel problems that you face are.
Types of bowel problems
Some of the most common types of bowel problems include Crohn’s disease, irritable bowel syndrome or IBS, intestinal obstruction, and celiac disease. Below a brief description of each type has been outlined:
Crohn’s disease: This is one of the types of inflammatory bowel disorder and auto-immune disease where the body starts attacking its own tissues. This eventually leads to the damage of healthy tissues in the anus, intestines, and the mouth.
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS): This disease affects both the small and large intestines causing gastrointestinal problems which start interfering with the daily routine. It is estimated that more than 11 percent of individuals from around the globe out of which approximately 45 million Americans are affected by it.
Intestinal obstruction: As the name suggests, this type of bowel problems occur when the intestines are blocked. This can affect the digestive system and prevent the stomach from processing the food and passing the stool properly.
Celiac disease: This is yet another auto-immune disorder where consumption of gluten leads to an adverse reaction. Gluten is a kind of protein which is found in some grains such as rye, wheat, and barley. When you are affected by this disease and you eat gluten, then the immune system responds by destroying the inner lining of the small intestine.
Other health issues can also lead to the formation of symptoms similar to bowel problems. For instance, infections, ulcers, and cancer in the intestine may cause similar health problems. Therefore, it is important to get the proper diagnosis done for undergoing the much-needed treatment.
What are the symptoms of bowel problems?
The signs and symptoms of bowel problems can vary from one individual to another. However, there are some that remain unchanged across all kinds of bowel problems, and some of these include:
– Nausea and vomiting
– Abdominal bloating
– Pain and discomfort in the abdomen
Some people may also notice blood in their stool, and if this is the case with you, you should not ignore it and seek immediate medical attention. Other symptoms of bowel problems include fever and unexplained weight loss.
How can bowel problems be treated?
The specific treatment plan for bowel problems entirely depends on the diagnosis and the type of ailment you are suffering from. However, in general, your expert may suggest a combination of medicines and lifestyle changes while in severe cases surgery may be needed.
Lifestyle alterations for the better: Simple changes in lifestyle can help you cope up with bowel problems, and this would include dietary changes as well. Food intolerances may make the symptoms of IBS and Crohn’s disease worse. Also, eating too little or too much fiber can also lead to bowel problems.
If you are suffering from celiac disease, your doctor would invariably ask you to exclude gluten from your diet. For lowering the risk of complications and to avoid symptoms, you should avoid eating foods containing gluten like barley, wheat, rye, and spelt. One should also avoid oats unless it is free of gluten. Even though getting oats from natural reserves doesn’t contain gluten, they are often processed with wheat which makes them contaminated with gluten.
In the case of Crohn’s disease and irritable bowel syndrome, your doctor recommends you keep a journal of your food choices and symptoms. This would enable you to identify the food that triggers discomfort and make the symptoms of bowel problems even worse. It is important to maintain a balanced diet as much as possible.
Sometimes, doctors may encourage you to increase or decrease the amount of fiber in the diet. Fiber is a significant component when it comes to keeping the bowels healthy. However, when you are suffering from diarrhea, you will have to cut down the fiber intake until the bowel movements come to a healthy state.
Medicines can go a long way: When you are experiencing diarrhea due to irritable bowel syndrome, you will have to take anti-diarrheal medications. Moreover, if you are suffering from constipation, you will have to take laxatives that may soften the stool. On the basis of the symptoms, some medicines that can treat depression may also be useful for treating Crohn’s disease.
It is important to consult an expert who can treat you on the basis of the symptoms of your bowel problems.