Digestive Health

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Everyone experiences upset stomach, gas, bloating, constipation, or diarrhea. Occasional, and even chronic, conditions can be controlled with medications, diet or surgery.

Symptoms can range from  mild annoyances, or more serious conditions affecting the digestive system, which is made up of the stomach, esophagus, intestines, and gallbladder. For instance, appendicitis is a condition that causes the appendix—a small pouch attached to the large intestine—to become inflamed. The most common appendicitis symptoms include pain in the abdomen, appetite loss, nausea, vomiting, and a low fever. Appendicitis is treated with antibiotics, and/or surgery to remove the appendix.

Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is a burning feeling in the chest, which occurs when acid backs up from the stomach into the esophagus. Medicines that block acid production or neutralize existing stomach acid can help with symptoms, but surgery is an option if these conservative treatments don’t work.

Too much stomach acid can also contribute to ulcers—sores in the lining of the esophagus, stomach, or small intestine. Pain, burning, bloating, and vomiting are some hallmark ulcer symptoms. Bacteria called H. pylori cause ulcers; antibiotics can treat the infection. Other medicines reduce the amount of acid in the stomach.

The gallbladder is a small organ in the upper right side of the abdomen. It’s main job is to store bile, a fluid that helps with digestion. A number of problems can affect the gallbladder, including stones and inflammation—called cholecystitis.

Sometimes small pouches, called diverticula, form in the walls of the large intestines. They’re caused by pressure on the intestinal walls, such as from straining while having bowel movements. A condition called diverticulitis occurs if these pouches become inflamed or infected. Diverticulitis is common in older adults, affecting almost everyone over age 80. Antibiotics can clear the infection, but if diverticulitis doesn’t get better, surgery may be an option.

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Cellulose Gum

· · Digestive Health
Q: I see “cellulose gum” on a lot of ingredient labels. What is it and is it safe? A: Cellulose gum is a common ingredient in both food products, such as salad dressings, sauces, yogurts, and ice cream, and in pharmaceuticals, such as tablets and liquid medications. It’s an effective … Read More

Look Beyond the Scale

· · Digestive Health
When you embark on food and lifestyle changes with health in mind, what defines “success?” For many people, weight loss is the primary marker of change they focus on when they are trying to eat better and exercise consistently. But weight change is only one possible outcome of improvements to … Read More
acid reflux at night choking on saliva

Symptoms of Acid Reflux at Night

· · Digestive Health
According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), GERD can cause stomach juices to flow up into your esophagus all the way up to your throat. When this happens at night, you may wake up with the sensation of choking on your saliva, but you are really experiencing nighttime acid … Read More
healthy salad made with gut health foods

Best Foods for Gut Health

When you think about gut health, you are thinking about the last part of your digestive system, called your colon. Both the foods you eat and the foods you avoid affect your gut health. Eating for a healthy colon can help you avoid gut problems like colon cancer, inflammatory bowel … Read More
SIBO treatment

Is There a SIBO Diet That Will Help My Symptoms?

· · Digestive Health
SIBO treatment (small intestinal bacterial overgrowth) is often needed for many people with chronic gas, bloating, and Small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO) is a medical condition caused by abnormal types and amounts of bacteria growing in your small intestine. Your small intestine is the part of your digestive system between … Read More

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