No one likes the idea of having stomachaches since it usually causes unbearable pain. To add to that, you may also have a hard time detecting what certain sickness you’re going through since there are various organs in your abdominal area. It may only be a side effect from what you ate or drank, but there may be times when it could be something more serious. So, how would you know the difference?
Here, I’ll be discussing the difference between a simple stomachache and a more severe gastrointestinal disorder. There are many possible signs and symptoms that one may go through, so you better watch out for that.
Common Gastrointestinal Illnesses
First off, let’s start with the most common gastrointestinal illnesses. As mentioned, there are major organs located in our abdomen. Some of these are the intestines, kidneys, pancreas, liver, and many more. And most of the time, the pain you experience in these regions is due to bacterial infections. Another possibility is that you may have an infection in your throat. As a result, this allows bacteria to reach your digestive tract, hence the pain.
There are also illnesses such as bloating, diarrhea, constipation, and vomiting. I bet you experienced at least one of these at one point in your life. That’s normal since it may only be due to something bad you ingested. In the case of bloating, this is usually caused by trapped wind inside your body.
Not everyone may know this, but stress is also another factor to consider. You may think that it doesn’t make much sense. Since this usually leads to headaches that are nowhere near your abdomen, yes. But whenever we experience this, we tend to lose our appetite. As a result, we don’t give our body the nutrients it needs, and it leaves our stomachs with nothing to digest.
These are only a few of the most common causes of stomachaches. Some of which you can cure with over-the-counter medicines. Now, this is where it starts getting serious. If you think that you’ve crossed all those possibilities out, you may be experiencing something that needs more immediate attention.
Serious Gastrointestinal Illnesses
This is where structural gastrointestinal illnesses come in. A possible disorder may be hemorrhoids. There are four types: Internal, External, Prolapsed, and Thrombosed. The pressure usually causes this that one exerts from straining. May it be during a simple bowel movement or even pregnancy.
Diverticulosis could also be one. This is more common in adults over the age of 60. Usually, it’s caused by low-fiber diets. As a result, diverticula appear in one’s large intestine. Particularly the muscular wall. At times, antibiotics are enough to treat such an illness. However, if that doesn’t do the trick, surgery is the next best option.
In the United States, the third most common type of cancer is colorectal cancer. With the help of technology, early detection is already possible. The most affected people are above the age of 50, overweight, or a smoker. Sometimes, it’s a hereditary disease as well.
The early stages begin with the formation of polyps. Once these grow, they may start affecting the tissues within the colon and rectum. This is why it’s best to have them removed before they spread all over your body. The disadvantage here is that this type of sickness doesn’t have obvious symptoms. So, visiting a GI doctor and getting a screening test is probably the best way to determine its presence.
What You Can Do to Prevent It
As the saying goes, “prevention is better than cure.” Of course, no one likes to get sick. However, that’s the fact of life. There will be times when we become vulnerable to such diseases. So, the best thing we can do is to follow certain preventive measures. A healthy lifestyle is one of the best ways to help protect ourselves.
Cutting back on sugary drinks and candies is one. You can still eat oily and fatty foods, but only once in a while. As for your eating habits, try chewing your food slowly so that your body can digest it easily. Of course, a balanced diet is best paired with proper exercise. Squeezing in a few minutes of stretching or running is enough to keep your body healthy, inside and out.
And as mentioned, a regular check-up is ideal—no matter where you may be living. Whether you’re all the way in Salt Lake City, Fresno, or Reno, you’re sure to find clinics that specialize in Gastroenterology.
So the next time you or someone you know goes through such pains, you already know that it’s never good to avoid it. Serious or not, it’s best to be aware of these kinds of symptoms and illnesses. I hope I was able to be of help.