Digestion is a very important activity of the human body. It involves the breaking down of food particles to extract nutrients needed by the body to function optimally. The remaining food particles that are not needed for digestion are then passed down to the excretory system for removal from the body. Thus, it is clear that while digestion takes place within the digestive tract, it affects other parts of the body.
Therefore, when the body is unable to digest the food consumed, a situation known as a digestive problem, other parts of the body are equally affected. This article seeks to discuss the symptoms and signs of digestive problems.
Symptoms of Digestive Problems
There are numerous types of digestive problems, many of which have similar symptoms. Therefore, it becomes a bit difficult to identify each of the problems with their mixed symptoms. Below are some of the popular digestive problems and their signs;
This digestive problem occurs when the body cannot effectively remove the waste from the digestion process to the excretory system. The organ responsible for moving waste through the rest of the gastrointestinal tract is the colon. When the colon cannot effectively do this, it causes constipation.
The signs associated with this digestive problem are bloating, abdominal pains, and fewer movements within the bowel.
People have different body peculiarities, one of which is the inability of the body to process or tolerance some kinds of food. This digestive problem should not be confused with food allergies which causes respiratory problems and hives. Food intolerance only affects the digestive tract.
An example of food intolerance is Celiac disease. This disease is a form of digestive disorder that occurs when people eat gluten. Gluten is a form of protein found in rye, barley, and wheat. It damages the small intestine and causes irritability. People with this disease should stay away from foods containing gluten.
Its symptoms include cramps, gas, vomiting, diarrhea, heartburn, and headache.
Heartburn and GERD
Heartburn is a condition when the gastrointestinal juices (acids) go against their flow and find their way up to the esophagus. This condition causes chest pain and gives a burning feeling along the throat. However, heartburn seldom happens.
When it occurs frequently, you may be suffering from gastroesophageal reflux disease, shortened as GERD. If left for long without treatment, it could damage the esophagus. Its symptoms include dry cough, sore throat, chest discomfort, difficulty with swallowing, and sour mouth.
Inflammatory Bowel Disease
Also known as IBD, inflammatory bowel disease affects the digestive tract and causes swelling. Depending on the type, it could affect one or more parts of the tract. Crohn’s disease typically affects the whole tract but is commonly found around the small intestine and the colon. The second type, which is ulcerative colitis, affects the colon only.
This digestive problem is a bit serious and can cause other digestive problems if not treated. If left for long, IBD can cause serious damage to the digestive tract. Its symptoms include night sweats, incomplete bowel movement, loss of appetite, rectal bleeding, and unexplained weight loss.