Stomach and digestive disorders
Ulcer is a chronic recurring condition which is characterised by the periodic occurrence of ulcers in the mucosal membranes in the stomach and the duodenum. This disease is caused by H.Pylori infection, certain medicines (for example, aspirin, non-steroid medicines against inflammation), and stress. The main symptoms of an ulcer are: pelvic pain at night, on an empty stomach (in the case of duodenal ulcer), or after eating (in the case of stomach ulcer). It should be noted that functional dyspepsia syndrome which is very frequent can have the same symptoms. Only endoscopic examination can answer this question accurately.
Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GORD) is a digestive disorder that arises when reflux damages the oesophagus and other organs, such as the throat and bronchi. GORD is becoming more and more common in developed countries. The main symptoms are burning behind the sternum, feeling of acidity in the stomach, discomfort and upper abdominal pain. People can find relief by eating regularly, avoiding overeating before going to bed, quitting smoking, and losing weight (if they are overweight). Only a healthcare specialist can prescribe suitable medicines and examinations.
Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) is a functional disorder affecting the digestive system. It is common, around 20% of adults will experience symptoms at some point in their life. Symptoms are very variable and can include stomach cramps, bloating, diarrhoea, constipation, nausea and tiredness. Many causes have been suggested but none have been proven to directly lead to IBS. There are things you can do to help symptoms. It helps to eat a healthy diet with less processed food, stay hydrated, exercise regularly and manage stress levels. There is no test for IBS but other conditions can be excluded with blood tests and stool samples. Sometimes medications are given to help with bloating, diarrhoea or constipation.
Constipation is a condition characterised by difficulties with defecation, rare defecation, or feeling that the evacuation was not complete. Constipation can be a symptom of another disorder in the nervous, endocrine, or digestive systems. If it is impossible to establish the cause, it is classified as functional constipation. People can help themselves by exercising, drinking more liquids, and eating more fibre rich foods.
Hepatitis is the name for inflammation of the liver. It has several causes, including; viruses which can be spread through food and water (hepatitis A, E) and body fluid contact (hepatitis B, C, D), alcohol excess, auto-immune conditions, and medications (paracetamol, steroids, some antibiotics). Often acute (short term) hepatitis has no, or very mild symptoms. Chronic (long term) hepatitis has many symptoms including; pain, fever, fatigue, vomiting, dark urine, pale stool, itchy skin, yellowing of the eyes and skin and these are often not apparent until the liver stops working properly. Signs of liver failure are jaundice, swelling of the legs and abdomen, blood in stools or vomit, confusion and collapse. Hepatitis is diagnosed with the help of blood tests, ultrasound scans, endoscopy (camera test) of the stomach, and liver biopsy.