World Digestive Health Day 2024: 7 Common Digestive Issues And Ways To Manage Them

World Digestive Health Day was established by the World Gastroenterology Organisation (WGO) in 2005 to highlight the importance of digestive health and address the rising burden of digestive diseases globally. It is observed every year on May 29. Read on to take a look at some of the most common digestive issues and ways to manage them. Read More

7 Common Digestive Issues And Ways To Manage Them
7 Common Digestive Issues And Ways To Manage Them
World Digestive Health Day is observed on May 29 and the day aims to raise awareness about digestive health. It also aims to highlight the importance of recognising digestive disorders and taking the necessary steps that help to manage the condition. The day was established by the World Gastroenterology Organisation (WGO) in 2005 to highlight the importance of digestive health and address the rising burden of digestive diseases globally.
The WGO was established in 1958. It is an organisation that promotes digestive health globally. On this day, healthcare professionals, patients and others engage in educational activities and advocate for better digestive health practices. It is important to understand your digestive health and take the necessary steps that help to promote a healthy gut. However, there are certain digestive issues that come up and are extremely common.

Here, take a look at some of the most common digestive issues and ways to manage them.

Heartburn and Acid Reflux

This happens when stomach acid flows back into the oesophagus which causes a a burning sensation in the chest. This can be due to various factors, including diet, obesity and certain medications. It is important that you avoid foods that might trigger the condition such as spicy, fatty or acidic foods. Also, eating smaller meals, not lying down immediately after eating and maintaining a healthy weight can help manage symptoms. Over-the-counter antacids or H2 blockers can also be beneficial in providing relief.

Constipation

Constipation happens when you have infrequent bowel movements, hard stools and difficulty passing stools. It is a result of a low-fibre diet, dehydration, lack of exercise or even medications. Try to increase your fibre intake through fruits, vegetables and whole grains, drink plenty of water and perform physical activity regularly. You can also use over-the-counter laxatives or stool softeners, if necessary.

Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)

This is a chronic condition that affects the large intestine and causes symptoms such as abdominal pain, bloating, gas and changes in your bowel habits (diarrhoea or constipation). Identify and avoid trigger foods such as caffeine, dairy, and high-fat foods. Also, eating smaller, more frequent meals and managing stress can help manage IBS symptoms.

Diarrhoea

Diarrhoea leads to frequent, loose or watery stools and this results from infections, certain foods or chronic conditions like IBS or Crohn’s disease. Make sure to stay hydrated by drinking plenty of fluids, eating a bland diet and avoiding dairy, fatty foods and high-fibre foods can help manage diarrhoea.

Gas and Bloating

Gas and bloating are often caused by swallowing air, certain foods or digestive disorders. Symptoms of the condition include a feeling of fullness, abdominal discomfort and frequent passing of gas. Eating slowly to reduce swallowed air, avoiding carbonated drinks and gas-producing foods (such as beans, broccoli, and onions). You can also use over-the-counter remedies.

Lactose Intolerance

Lactose intolerance happens when the body lacks the enzyme lactase, which is required to digest lactose found in dairy products. This can cause bloating, diarrhoea and gas after consuming dairy. Make sure to avoid or reduce your dairy intake, use lactose-free products and take lactase enzyme supplements before consuming dairy as it can help manage symptoms.

Celiac Disease

Celiac disease is an autoimmune condition wherein consuming gluten can cause damage to the small intestine. Symptoms include diarrhoea, bloating, fatigue, and weight loss. It is extremely crucial that you follow a strict gluten-free diet.
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