What are they?
Gastrointestinal conditions are disorders of the digestive system
Certainly these are the most common disorders in our society, considering the fact that our GI system is extremely sensitive to stress, environmental changes, lifestyle changes, but above all nutrition.
Most common disorders
Among the most common GI system disorders we have:
- Pain and spasms on the left side, a condition characterized by the probable presence of diverticula in the intestine, or protrusions that form on the intestinal mucosa of the colon. The asymptomatic presence of these diverticula is called diverticulosis, but the inflammation and the onset of associated symptoms is a condition that takes the name of diverticulitis.
- Constipation. It is a very common condition that affects more than 10 million Italians. It is an extremely painful condition for the patient, to the point of making him exhausted, tired and irritated.
Constipation can have genetic or environmental causes, or it can be associated with poor lifestyle and nutrition.
- Irritable bowel syndrome. This is another very common condition, characterized by alternating constipation and diarrhea, with chronic pain in the belly and perennial swelling. The cause could be associated with a functional alteration of the intestine, due to dysbiosis, stress, anxiety, poor diet, sedentary lifestyle or colds.
- Diarrhea. Occasional diarrhea episodes should not cause much concern. However, when they continue to persist, it is necessary to investigate the triggering cause, which in most cases is given by lactose intolerance or celiac disease. Two conditions that can be diagnosed with the breath test or the genetic test respectively.
- Indigestion describes certain symptoms, such as abdominal pain and a feeling of fullness soon after you start eating. The causes can depend on pancreatitis, dysbiosis, stress, digestive enzyme deficiency, reflux or gastritis.
- Meteorism is characterized by the presence of excess gas in the intestine and its symptoms are swelling and/or abdominal tension. It can be caused by abuse of carbonated drinks, food intolerances, hiatus hernia and gallstones.
- Leaky-gut syndrome is a pathological condition that has been very widespread among people in recent times. In leaky gut syndrome, gaps in the intestinal walls allow bacteria and other toxins to pass into the bloodstream. This leads to phenomena such as intestinal absorption of toxic material or incompletely digested peptides, which are recognized as foreign by the immune system.
Gastroenterologists are doctors who are trained to diagnose and treat problems in your gastrointestinal (GI) tract. The specialist will decide on the specific therapy or tests to be prescribed, in order to understand the type of disorder.
- The most useful methods of determining the presence and extent of diverticulosis are colonoscopy, abdominal ultrasound or computed tomography.
- Gastroenterologist or a nutritionist can diagnose and find the cause of constipation by using a medical and family history, a physical exam, and lab and imaging tests.
- Irritable bowel syndrome can be diagnosed by examining patient’s family history and through stool analysis, colonoscopy, abdominal or pelvic CT scan.
- Lactose intolerance can be diagnosed with a breath test or a genetic test, while celiac disease with blood tests, genetic tests or gastroscopy with biopsies.
- Meteorism can be diagnosed with an ultrasound examination of the abdomen or analysing the patient’s medical history, based on the symptoms described.
- Leaky-gut can be diagnosed by testing for calprotectin and fecal zonulin.
An healthy diet and a correct lifestyle should be the bases for good gut health, which in turn contributes decisively to an optimal level of overall well-being.
- A sedentary lifestyle is negative for the digestive system an can lead to various issues like heartburn and constipation. In fact, yoga seems to be an excellent practice, both in terms of activating intestinal functions and intestinal cleansing.
- It is important to avoid canned foods, as the added chemical additives or preservatives are extremely harmful and toxic to enterocytes.
- It is advisable to reduce the consumption of foods of animal origin rich in saturated fats, such as red meat, cold cuts, cheeses and eggs, that have a strongly pro-inflammatory action.
- Avoid excessive consumption of salt, that has a corrosive and inflammatory action on the intestinal mucosa.
- Avoid the consumption of alcohol and carbonated drinks, that have a corrosive and anti-inflammatory action on the intestinal mucosa.
- Almond oil has soothing and anti-inflammatory actions for the intestine;
- Vegetable soups or centrifuges are a natural therapy for bowel detoxification.
- Daikon is a tuber that has purifying functions for the intestine.
- Herbal teas based on mallow or fennel, or aloe vera-based drinks have a purifying and anti-inflammatory action on the intestine.
- Probiotics supplements, low-fat white yogurt 0.1% fat, natto, miso or kefir are all good for the restoration of bacterial flora.
Prefer the consumption of whole grains, rich in fiber with a soothing action for the intestinal mucosa.