• Acid Reflux
• Nausea & Vomiting
The prevalence of acid reflux in the population is still on the rise.
The gradual increase in people who suffer from ACID REFLUX can be attributed to various factors. In a 2011 study, it was determined that acid reflux cases have doubled in the last 10 years, with the researchers noting that this rise in acid reflux patients runs parallel to the number of people who are obese and overweight, especially since obesity is a known risk factor for acid reflux.
The exact cause of this condition cannot be pinpointed on one particular cause, but it may be triggered by numerous external and internal factors. These articles will focus on the reasons why acid reflux happens, its cause and the treatment options and life changes you can employ to dampen or eliminate the symptoms completely.
Is Acid Reflux the Same as GERD?
The burning sensation people feel in their chest or the back of their throat is usually attributed to heartburn, acid reflux or gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). While they all share the similar symptoms, this may become a problem when it comes to treatment options.
When an individual mentions that they have heartburn, they are usually referring to a burning sensation felt in the chest. In some cases, this may be mistaken for heart attack pain, especially when the pain is severe. Heartburn is a symptom of acid reflux, the condition brought on by a weakening of the lower esophageal sphincter, which allows stomach acid to travel up the esophagus. Aside from heartburn, patients who suffer from acid reflux may also get sore throats and a cough.
If acid reflux occurs more frequently than normal, you may be diagnosed with GERD, which is its chronic form. GERD is characterized by acid reflux symptoms occurring more than twice a week, together with the inflammation of the esophagus. Because of the rate of recurrence, patients also suffer from more symptoms than just acid reflux , including damaged tooth enamel, mucositis, asthma and bad breath.
If you’re having trouble differentiating these terms, just remember that heartburn is a symptom of both acid reflux and GERD, and GERD is the chronic form of acid reflux.
Is Acid Reflux Dangerous?
Acid reflux may seem like a common condition since it doesn’t cause much debilitation aside from the heartburn and nausea, but it may still lead to serious diseases if left undiagnosed or untreated. The constant barrage of stomach acid traveling up the esophagus may lead to serious damage in the esophagus, as its lining is thinner and more delicate than the lining of the stomach.
Numerous esophageal complications may arise if adjustments are not done to control this condition.6 Acid reflux may also cause patients’ teeth to decay due to the stomach acid’s ability to break down the teeth enamel, weakening it and exposing patients to a higher risk of cavities.
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Gastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD, is a digestive disorder that affects the lower oesophageal sphincter (LES), the ring of muscle between the oesophagus and stomach. Many people, including pregnant women, suffer from heartburn or acid indigestion caused by GERD
What Are the Possible Complications of Untreated Acid Reflux?
While acid reflux may seem like a relatively harmless condition, it can actually lead to numerous complications. Some of the serious conditions that you may develop if acid reflux remains undiagnosed or untreated are:
Reflux esophagitis is the most common complication that may arise from acid reflux. It refers to the inflammation and irritation of the esophagus, which may be caused by acid reflux and bacterial or viral infections.
This is when the materials that make up the esophagus are replaced with tissues similar to intestinal lining. This exposes you to a higher risk of developing adenocarcinoma, or cancer of the esophagus. Barrett’s esophagus does not present any additional symptoms aside from those it shares with acid reflux.
This type of cancer typically develops in organ linings and is most commonly seen in the colon, esophagus, lungs and prostate. In esophageal cancer, the cancer cells start growing in the mucus glands in the lower part of the esophagus. This is one of the most dangerous types of cancer, with the five-year survival rate at only 17 percent.
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Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
is a common disorder that affects the large intestine. Signs and symptoms include cramping, abdominal pain, bloating, gas, and diarrhoea or constipation, or both. IBS is a chronic condition that you'll need to manage long term
Constipation is a symptom, not a disease. Most commonly, constipation is thought of as infrequent bowel movements, usually less than 3 stools per week. ... Straining with bowel movements. Excessive time needed to pass a bowel movement. Hard stools.
GORD or GERD
It has no direct meaning when necessarily applied to acid reflux, also known as gastro oesophageal reflux disease (gord or gerd), is a of the lower oesophagus and stomach.
Colitis refers to inflammation of the inner lining of the colon. There are numerous causes of colitis including infection, inflammatory bowel disease (Crohn's disease, ulcerative colitis), ischemic colitis, allergic reactions, and microscopic colitis.
Gastritis is inflammation of the lining of the stomach. It may occur as a short episode or may be of a long duration. There may be no symptoms but, when symptoms are present, the most common is upper abdominal pain. Other possible symptoms include nausea and vomiting, bloating, loss of appetite and heartburn.
An ulcer is a discontinuity or break in a bodily membrane that impedes the organ of which that membrane is a part from continuing its normal functions. According to Robins pathology, "ulcer is the breach of the continuity of skin, epithelium or mucous membrane caused by sloughing out of inflamed necrotic tissue." A stomach ulcer involves an erosion in a person's gastrointestinal tract. Gastric and duodenal ulcers are two kinds of peptic ulcers. A peptic ulcer is a sore that's on the inside of the stomach lining (gastric) or the upper part of the small intestine (duodenal). A person can have one or both ulcers at the same time. Having both types is known as gastroduodenal.
Medical Definition of Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Inflammatory bowel disease: A group of chronic intestinal diseases characterized by inflammation of the bowel -- the large or small intestine. The most common types of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) are ulcerative colitis and Crohn disease.
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Nausea and Vomiting
Nausea and vomiting are some of the most distressing symptoms experienced by patients with advanced illness and they take a toll on both the patient’s physical and emotional wellbeing.
What are nausea and vomiting?
Nausea refers to the queasy feeling in your throat or your stomach.
Vomiting is when you actually get rid of the contents of your stomach through your mouth. Sometimes the combination of nausea and vomiting is called emesis.
Common causes of nausea and vomiting or emesis?
Lots of things cause emesis, including food that is hard to digest (digestive nausea), some medications, anaesthesia, chemotherapy, radiation, Anxiety, Pain, Liver problems, alcohol, kidney failure, motion sickness, ARV drugs, morning sickness or an illness such as a virus.
Your Healthcare provider will, as far as possible, investigate and treat the underlying cause of your nausea.
It is important to communicate with the your healthcare provider as any nausea or vomiting may indicate a complication of illness or side effect of a drug.
Your healthcare provider may uses many different types of nausea medications to reduce nausea. Medications for nausea can be taken in the following ways.
• Orally if you are able to swallow or keep medicines down
• Rectally in the form of a suppository
• Sublingual tablets (dissolve under the tongue)
• Subcutaneous (under the skin) injections
• Intra-muscular injections (rarely necessary)
• Intra-venous injections (rarely necessary)
• Sometimes several different medications need to be used in combination for effective relief of nausea.
What about dehydration?
Some patients who are nauseous become dehydrated. It is not usually necessary to automatically start intravenous rehydration. Oral rehydration is safe and effective and can be done at home. Once the nausea settles on medication, the patient will be able to start sipping fluids again. It is important to note that too much fluid can also cause problems.
Is nausea and vomiting serious?
Do not underestimate nausea and vomiting—they can be very serious.
Call your healthcare provider if nausea and vomiting lasts more than 24 hours, if you are confused, if you are not urinating very often or if you have a dry mouth or sunken eyes. These can be signs of severe dehydration. Besides the physical effects, nausea and vomiting can also be emotionally upsetting. Emesis can make you anxious or depressed and interrupt your daily routine. This is why it is so important to take nausea and vomiting seriously.
While you have the problem of nausea and vomiting you may not feel like eating normally.
The following dietary advice might be helpful.
Avoid greasy, fried foods or rich sauces, as they can be difficult to digest. Eat bland foods rather such as toast, crackers, cereals and light soup.
• Try eating some dry food such as toast or crackers first thing in the morning before you get up.
• If you have been vomiting, eat savoury foods rather than very sweet ones, e.g. chicken soup
• Have cold foods in preference to hot as these emit less odour. Avoid strong odours
• Stay away from heady perfumes, sprays, smoke or anything with an annoying smell. Fluids Drink little and often throughout the day to make sure you are having enough fluid.
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The importance of regular bowel movements Even if you are not eating or drinking much, it is essential to still have regular bowel movements. Constipation aggravates and even causes nausea. It may be necessary for you to take a daily dose of a laxative.
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Your gut is an important part of the hydration cycle. The question is, how do you move water from the intestinal lining into your bloodstream and, more importantly, into your cells? As noted by Dr Bush, when we talk about hydration ,we're not simply talking about drinking enough water throughout the day but, more specifically, getting water inside your cells.
"That's two vastly different things," A common recommendation to ensure hydration is to drink water until your urine runs clear. Unfortunately, even most medical professionals are stuck in this simplified mindset. "It's not unusual to put 5 liters of water into somebody's vein in a matter of hours in the operating room or the emergency room,"
So, we have this huge infusion into the bloodstream, but unfortunately, that does not necessarily translate into water inside the cell. That, as it turns out, is really a crux of what we call the aging process."
About two-thirds of your body is composed of water, and a majority of that water — about 66 to 70 percent — is within your cells and lymph system. With age, your body tends to lose its ability to get water from the vasculature, the extracellular environment, to the inside of your cells. "If we could stay perfectly hydrated in the intracellular environment, our aging would slow down if not reverse," The reason is because water is an important mechanism by which you remove toxins and naturally-produced oxidants from your body.
Dehydration is not a simple health issue. Anyone can run out of liquids in their body due to various reasons, so it is important that you always hydrate yourself with water. Read on to learn more about symptoms of dehydration and how to prevent it.
What Is Dehydration?
Water makes up at least two-thirds of the human body. It plays a large part in your normal functions, such as lubricating your joints and eyes, keeping your skin healthy by eliminating toxins, and facilitating proper digestion. Once the water in your body is reduced, it needs to be replaced because an imbalance between the salts and sugar in your body can affect the way you will perform.
If your body has lost one to two percent of its entire water content, you will feel thirsty, a sign that you need to replenish the lost liquids.
Dehydration happens when you've lost too much water in your body without replacing it, preventing your body to perform its normal functions. Mild dehydration can easily be treated but if it reaches extreme levels, it can be life-threatening and will require immediate medical attention.
Signs and Symptoms of Dehydration
Aside from the common symptoms like intense thirst or sweating too much, here are some of the mild and severe symptoms of dehydration:
Infants are more vulnerable to dehydration, that's why immediate attention must be given to them especially if you see these symptoms:
• Sunken soft spot (fontanelle) on their head
• Few or no tears when they cry
• Dry mouth
• Few wet diapers
• Fast breathing
Chronic dehydration may affect your organs and lead to kidney stones, cholesterol problems, constipation, and liver, joint, and muscle damage.
Whether it is mild, moderate, or severe dehydration, the lost liquids in your body must be immediately replaced. If you start to develop severe diarrhea with or without vomiting, fever, moderate diarrhea for 24 hours, bloody stool, or you can't drink any liquids, you must get professional treatment as soon as possible.
What Causes Dehydration?
There are various reasons for dehydration like intense physical activity, which makes you lose so much water – fat and calories are counted as well – so proper hydration is necessary. Other causes of dehydration include:
• Diarrhea. It prevents your intestinal tract from absorbing water from the foods that you eat, which makes it the most common cause of dehydration.
• Vomiting. Common causes include foodborne illnesses, nausea, and alcohol poisoning.
• Sweating. Vigorous sweating may happen due to various reasons like fever and engaging in intense physical activity. Profuse sweating can also occur when you are working in a hot condition.
• Diabetes. Aside from having high blood sugar levels, some medications for diabetes like diuretics may cause diabetics to frequently urinate.
• Frequent urination. It can be cause by alcohol and certain drugs like antihistamines, blood pressure medications, and antipsychotics.
Who Is at Risk of Dehydration?
While everyone is prone to dehydration, there are people who are at a high risk for it like those who engage in mountain climbing. It is especially hard for hikers to stay hydrated because the pressure in high altitude places makes them lose more sweat and breathe harder. The increased gas exchange causes your body to lose more water vapor.
Athletes, particularly those who are involved in marathons, triathlons, and cycling tournaments, are also predisposed to dehydration. The longer they exercise, the more they lose water in their bodies.
One study7 even revealed that dehydration can affect basketball players' performance. The study focused on 17 males ranging from 17-28 years old, and determined their performance based on different dehydration levels of up to 4 percent. The result showed that when there's an increase in dehydration, skill performance decreases.
Infants and children are especially prone to dehydration since their bodies are composed of 70 percent and 65 percent water, respectively. Since their bodies are more vulnerable to water depletion, their need for water is greater than adults.
Elderly people are also at risk for dehydration since the thirst mechanism weakens as a person grows older. According to BBC News, research revealed that one in five seniors is not getting enough water every day, as aging causes people to lose their sense of thirst mainly because of minimal social contact or forgetfulness. Those with dementia were found to have a six-fold increased risk for dehydration.
Ill-stricken people, like those who are inflicted with kidney disease, diabetes, cystic fibrosis, and adrenal gland disorders, are also more prone to dehydration. Alcoholics may also be susceptible to this condition.
How to Prevent Dehydration
Since dehydration can be a life-threatening condition, it is important that you replenish your body with water immediately after you've lost so much. Water plays such an immense role in your bodily functions, making it an essential part of your everyday life.
Always bring a bottle of water with you during exercise or any physical activity, especially when the temperature's too hot. One good rule of thumb to prevent dehydration is to drink as much water until your urine turns light yellow. Dark urine means that your kidney is retaining liquids in order for your body to perform its normal functions.
It is especially important to pay attention to people who are sick with fever, vomiting, or diarrhea, so they may not become dehydrated. They should be given lots of water to replace the liquids that they've lost.
Drinking Sports Drinks Will Not Keep You Hydrated
Sports drink is one of the highly commercialized beverages today – from its TV advertisements to its popular athlete endorsers – as mainstream media makes it look like drinking it will keep you healthy and well-hydrated. Beverage companies advertise that sports drink will help replenish the electrolytes in your body during exercise or outdoor activities, but the truth is the ingredients of your favorite sports drinks will not hydrate and benefit you, and may even be detrimental to your health.
The Key to Avoiding Dehydration: Listen to Your Body
No one can determine if you have dehydration better than yourself. If you feel that you are already thirsty or sweating profusely, you have to replenish your body with water immediately. Do not wait for severe symptoms to show before you take action, since this can be life threatening.
Everyone is practically at risk for dehydration, even without any physical activity, so it is important to always keep a bottle of filtered water to always keep you hydrated. Remember that a healthy person urinates seven to eight times each day, so if you're not urinating frequently it means that you're not drinking enough water.
Remember to always listen to your body. Once you feel that urge to drink, opt for structured or filtered water rather than artificially sweetened beverages, which can have dire effects on your health. Nothing feels more refreshing than PROGAST HydrateRite
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Everyone occasionally has diarrhea — loose, watery and possibly more-frequent bowel movements.
In most cases, diarrhea lasts a couple of days. But when diarrhea lasts for weeks, it can indicate a serious disorder, such as a persistent infection, inflammatory bowel disease, or a less serious condition, such as irritable bowel syndrome.
Signs and symptoms associated with diarrhea may include:
• Loose, watery stools
• Abdominal cramps
• Abdominal pain
• Blood in the stool
• Urgent need to have a bowel movement
When to see a doctor
If you're an adult, see your doctor if:
• Your diarrhea persists beyond two days
• You become dehydrated
• You have severe abdominal or rectal pain
• You have bloody or black stools
• You have a fever above 102 F (39 C)
In children, particularly young children, diarrhea can quickly lead to dehydration. Call your doctor if your child's diarrhea doesn't improve within 24 hours or if your baby:
• Becomes dehydrated
• Has a fever above 102 F (39 C)
• Has bloody or black stools
A number of diseases and conditions can cause diarrhea, including
• Viruses. Viruses that can cause diarrhea include Norwalk virus, cytomegalovirus and viral hepatitis. Rotavirus is a common cause of acute childhood diarrhea.
• Bacteria and parasites. Contaminated food or water can transmit bacteria and parasites to your body. Parasites such as Giardia lamblia and cryptosporidium can cause diarrhea.
Common bacterial causes of diarrhea include campylobacter, salmonella, shigella and Escherichia coli. When traveling in developing countries, diarrhea caused by bacteria and parasites is often called traveler's diarrhea. Clostridium difficile infection can occur, especially after a course of antibiotics.
• Medications. Many medications, such as antibiotics, can cause diarrhea. Antibiotics destroy both good and bad bacteria, which can disturb the natural balance of bacteria in your intestines. Other drugs that cause diarrhea are cancer drugs and antacids with magnesium.
• Lactose intolerance. Lactose is a sugar found in milk and other dairy products. People who have difficulty digesting lactose have diarrhea after eating dairy products.
Your body makes an enzyme that helps digest lactose, but for most people, the levels of this enzyme drop off rapidly after childhood. This causes an increased risk of lactose intolerance as you age.
• Fructose. Fructose, a sugar found naturally in fruits and honey and added as a sweetener to some beverages, can cause diarrhea in people who have trouble digesting it.
• Artificial sweeteners. Sorbitol and mannitol, artificial sweeteners found in chewing gum and other sugar-free products, can cause diarrhea in some otherwise healthy people.
• Surgery. Some people have diarrhea after undergoing abdominal surgery or gallbladder removal surgery.
• Other digestive disorders. Chronic diarrhea has a number of other causes, such as Crohn's disease, ulcerative colitis, celiac disease, microscopic colitis and irritable bowel syndrome.
Diarrhea can cause dehydration, which can be life-threatening if untreated. Dehydration is particularly dangerous in children, older adults and those with weakened immune systems.
If you have signs of serious dehydration, seek medical help.
Indications of dehydration in adults
• Excessive thirst
• Dry mouth or skin
• Little or no urination
• Weakness, dizziness or lightheadedness
• Dark-colored urine
Indications of dehydration in infants and young children
• Not having a wet diaper in three or more hours
• Dry mouth and tongue
• Fever above 102 F (39 C)
• Crying without tears
• Drowsiness, unresponsiveness or irritability
• Sunken appearance to the abdomen, eyes or cheeks
Preventing viral diarrhea
Wash your hands to prevent the spread of viral diarrhea. To ensure adequate hand-washing:
• Wash frequently. Wash your hands before and after preparing food. Wash your hands after handling uncooked meat, using the toilet, changing diapers, sneezing, coughing and blowing your nose.
• Lather with soap for at least 20 seconds. After putting soap on your hands, rub your hands together for at least 20 seconds. This is about as long as it takes to sing "Happy Birthday" twice through.
• Use hand sanitizer when washing isn't possible. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer when you can't get to a sink. Apply the hand sanitizer as you would hand lotion, making sure to cover the fronts and backs of both hands. Use a product that contains at least 60 percent alcohol.
You can help protect your infant from rotavirus, the most common cause of viral diarrhea in children, with one of two approved vaccines. Ask your baby's doctor about having your baby vaccinated.
Preventing traveler's diarrhea
Diarrhea commonly affects people who travel to countries where there's inadequate sanitation and contaminated food. To reduce your risk:
• Watch what you eat. Eat hot, well-cooked foods. Avoid raw fruits and vegetables unless you can peel them yourself. Also avoid raw or undercooked meats and dairy foods.
• Watch what you drink. Drink bottled water, soda, beer or wine served in its original container. Avoid tap water and ice cubes. Use bottled water even for brushing your teeth. Keep your mouth closed while you shower.
Beverages made with boiled water, such as coffee and tea, are probably safe. Remember that alcohol and caffeine can aggravate diarrhea and dehydration.
• Ask your doctor about antibiotics. If you're traveling to a developing country for an extended time, ask your doctor about starting antibiotics before you go, especially if you have a weakened immune system. In certain cases, taking an antibiotic might reduce your risk of traveler's diarrhea.
• Check for travel warnings. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention maintains a travelers' health website where disease warnings are posted for various countries. If you're planning to travel outside of the United States, check there for warnings and tips for reducing your risk.
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