Tummy issues can ruin your night, weekend, or even week. From beginning to end, the digestive system can be up to 30 feet long in adults, so there is a lot of room for something to go wrong. If you are having discomfort anywhere from the beginning to the end of your system, these are some popular gastrointestinal conditions that might be the culprit. However, from one hypochondriac to another, see your doctor before self-diagnosing yourself with any of these conditions.
Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)
GERD is when stomach acid comes up into the esophagus. The most common symptom is heartburn, which is pain or pressure right behind your sternum, but you can also feel nauseous, have trouble swallowing, burp loudly and often, or feel a lump in your throat. Stomach acid is corrosive, as the term “acid” implies, so GERD should be treated ASAP so it doesn’t cause permanent damage to your esophagus or even your vocal cords or tooth enamel.
Food Allergies and Sensitivities
Do you find yourself running to the bathroom after you eat? It might not be as much to do with your stomach and more to do with what you are putting in it. Gluten and lactose intolerances are common causes of diarrhea/constipation and bloating within 30 minutes after eating it. It can be hard to tell if it’s a food allergy if gluten and lactose comprise a lot of your diet. The only way to tell is to cut them out of your diet for about two weeks to see if it makes you feel better.
Gluten sensitivity isn’t always Celiac, but Celiac is an autoimmune disorder is a gluten sensitivity that causes your body to attack the gluten as well as your intestines. Symptoms of Celiac disease can also extend past the GI system including anemia, fatigue, bone loss, and even seizures. Your doctor can do a blood test to find out if you have Celiac.
Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
IBS is a dysfunction of the intestines, but the cause is unknown. There are two types of IBS: the diarrhea one or the constipation one. Both equally as not fun. Medication is available to curb the symptoms, and certain changes in diet can prevent flare-ups. Stress can trigger IBS symptoms, so getting mental health help can actually help your gut too.
Irritable Bowel Disease (IBD)
IBD is a group of conditions that cause damage to the intestines. Two common diseases in this group are Crohn’s and Ulcerative Colitis. Crohn’s can affect any part of the intestines, but most commonly it affects the connection between the small and large intestine. Ulcerative Colitis affects the large intestine, also known as the colon.