Quarantine and Digestive problems

Quarantine and Digestive problems

Quarantine and digestive issues

 

Still in shielding? Digestive troubles?

Don’t let digestive issues bog you down.

 

A conversation with Dr Ali (General Practitioner and Clinical Director of AccessDoctor)

 

With lockdown now over for most of us, there is a semblance of normality slowly returning to our lives. However, for some who are still shielding, there is no relief in sight yet. Many people who are still shielding are increasingly reporting various digestive problems such as heartburn, acidity, Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease and even gastroenteritis. We have simple strategies that can help you overcome some of these ailments.

 

Acid reflux

Acid reflux happens when the lower oesophageal sphincter (LES) cases to function correctly. The sphincter is a ring of muscle between the oesophagus and the stomach.

 

When it is functioning correctly the sphincter opens to allow food bolus into the stomach that has been swallowed, it the closes to stop acid from the stomach seeping into the oesophagus.

 

If the LES loses its normal integrity, acid from the stomach refluxes into the oesophagus.

The oesophagus (food pipe) is not use to the corrosive chemicals that normally reside in the stomach and therefore it leads to irritation and inflammation.  This inflammation leads to the symptoms of pain and what is referred to as heartburn. Heartburn is only one symptom of acid reflux. Other symptoms of acid reflux are abdominal pain, sore throat, bloating, upset stomach, nausea, difficulty in swallowing and an acidic taste in the back of the throat.

 

 

Diarrhoea

Frequent loose motions are defined as diarrhoea.

 

The causes of diarrhoea are:

 

-Infection

-Stress

-Medications

 

Diarrhoea is associated with abdominal pain, cramping, an urgency to go to the washroom, vomiting and tiredness.

 

Constipation

The prolonged changes to our daily habits and a more sedentary lifestyle may lead to constipation. Constipation can be described as fewer bowel motions per week compared to your own normal bowel habits. Symptomatically, the individual has hard stools and inability to pass stools.

 

Haemorrhoids (piles)

They are engorged swollen veins in the lower part of the anus and rectum. When the walls of these vessels are stretched, they become irritated and even bleed. Dealing with haemorrhoids is very important as you can potentially suffer from a large volume of blood loss and even rectal prolapse.

 

Tips to tackle digestive problems

 

Tip 1

 

Know the triggers!

Make a note of the foods and beverages that you consume and in particular the ones that make you symptomatic, keep a food diary.

 

It is also important to remember food triggers are different from person to person. For this reason I tis important to avoid self-medication and consult a doctor. Avoid self-medication and consult a doctor.

 

Tip 2

 

Stick to a healthy and well-balanced diet get rid of faulty eating habits; speak to your doctor regarding a tailored diet plan. Portion control is important to avoid overloading. Consume fibre-rich foods, these will bulk up your stool and help regulate the digestive process. You will immediately benefit from reduced gas, diarrhoea and bloating.

 

Tip 3

 

Adhere to healthy habits!

Avoid lying down after eating, limit your eating; do not overeat, highly pungent spices such as mint, citrus products and spicy foods should be limited if not avoided all together.

 

Eat small, frequent meals. Say no to alcohol and smoking. Stay hydrated by drinking a lot of water.

 

Exercise at home on a daily basis.

 

Struggling?  Why not speak to one of our doctors…

 

Email [email protected]

 

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