Many people today suffer from a variety of stomach problems. You may be one of them. If so, you know how a case of diarrhea or nausea and vomiting can ruin your plans for the entire day. Heartburn can torment you in the late night hours as well as spoil the enjoyment of a good meal. While most of these are temporary annoyances, persistent stomach ailments should cause you to seek out medical intervention. Sometimes these are symptoms of much more serious conditions.
Diarrhea is a problem with loose, watery stools that sends you flying to the bathroom, often at the most inopportune times. It can be caused by food poisoning, or bacterial infections such as e-coli. If you are lactose intolerant you may also feel the unpleasant results of enjoying those dairy products. More serious issues that cause these stomach problems are Crohn’s Disease and Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). In the case of food poisoning or bacterial infections, your symptoms will usually lessen by consuming only a clear liquid diet within 24 hours. Drink as much fluid as you can because dehydration can be a real concern. To avoid this problem in the first place, always practice good food safety habits in the kitchen, insist on well-cooked food, and return food that is served to you looking as though it has been sitting out for some time, especially if mayonnaise is involved. If mucous or blood shows in your stools, consult a doctor immediately.
Nausea and vomiting are stomach problems that are rarely life-threatening but can also cause dehydration and even shock if unchecked for too long. The typical causes are an upset gastrointestinal tract, pregnancy, vertigo (dizziness) from inner ear problem or motion sickness, food poisoning, brain injury, carbon monoxide poisoning, and reactions to medicine. It seems that whenever the brain is affected by injury or illness, nausea and vomiting will also be present. Taking slow, deep breaths helps settle the queasiness, as do Vitamin B6 and ginger supplements. There are OTC antihistamines that will also ease your distress.
Heartburn is a burning sensation in your upper abdomen or chest that often mimics the effects of heart disease. Because of this, a doctor should be made aware of your condition if it does not respond to OTC acid buffers and H2 blockers. To reduce acid reflux you should quit smoking and drinking carbonated drinks. Raising the top of your bed, eating small meals, and avoiding coffee, chocolate, fatty foods, and whole milk has also been shown to help. Most stomach problems can be improved with lifestyle changes such as these, but more serious ones will need medical treatment including possible surgery.
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