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Digestive Disorders 101: Symptoms & Treatment

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Digestive disorders are conditions that happen in the digestive tract, also known as the gastrointestinal (GI) tract.  Unfortunately, such disorders are common today and have various causes and symptoms. They can either be caused by wrong food or as a side effect of another disease. 

Ayurveda doctors recommend a holistic Ayurvedic approach to treat such disorders. Here are some common digestive disorders and the Ayurvedic ways of treating them:

Gastro-Esophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)

GERD happens when the stomach acid flows back into the food pipe. This causes heartburn and irritation of the pipe’s lining. Left untreated, it wears away the food pipe, leading to bleeding and severe chest pain. 

Symptoms

Common symptoms of GERD are:

  • Heartburn (burning sensation in the chest)
  • Food or sour liquid coming up in the mouth
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Chronic cough
  • Insomnia

Causes

The main cause of GERD is acid reflux. When you swallow food, the muscle at the end of the food pipe relaxes to let it into the stomach and closes back again. If it’s weak or functions improperly, the acid from the stomach can flow back up into the pipe and cause burning. Overeating, obesity, smoking, drinking caffeinated drinks, etc., can worsen it.

Treatment

Ayurveda doctors recommend certain dietary changes to help treat GERD, like:

  • Avoid caffeinated, alcoholic, and carbonated drinks.
  • Avoid acidic foods like curd, ginger, garlic, vinegar, tomatoes, onions, etc.
  • Avoid rich gravies and spicy foods.
  • Slowly chew digestive spices like cloves, holy basil (tulsi), fennel seeds (saunf), etc. to aid digestion.
  • Drinking buttermilk helps reduce the irritation and soothe the stomach.
  • Eat well-placed meals in the right amount.

Furthermore, Ayurvedic Panchakarma detoxification procedures with Ayurvedic medicinal products help a lot with GERD.

Diarrhea

Diarrhea is described by loose, watery stools and more frequent bowel urges. It usually lasts a few days. But if it lasts longer than a week, it can even cause other conditions like IBS and IBD.

Symptoms

Common symptoms of diarrhea include:

  • Abdominal pain or cramps
  • Blood and/or mucus in stool
  • Fever
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting

Causes

Diarrhea can be caused by various factors, like:

  • Infection by viruses or bacteria
  • Eating bad food
  • Medication/antibiotics side effect
  • Poor digestion of dairy products, sugar, etc.

Treatment

Ayurveda doctors prescribe the following for Diarrhea:

  • Drink sufficient water to avoid dehydration
  • Favor sweet fruits like apples, berries, cherries, dates, limes, mangos, melons, raisins, etc.
  • Avoid sour fruits like tamarind, green grapes, lemons, peaches, etc.
  • Avoid heating vegetables like garlic, onions, radishes, green chilies, etc.
  • Dry grains like cereal, barley, oats, wheat, etc., are nourishing for diarrhea patients.
  • Ghee, unsalted cheese and butter, homemade yogurt, etc. help as well.

Constipation

People with constipation have fewer bowel movements, generally less than 3 in a week. Their stools are hard and difficult to pass. In severe cases, it becomes chronic, interferes with their daily tasks, and hampers the quality of life.

Symptoms

Constipation shows the following symptoms:

  • Having hard or lumpy stools
  • Having fewer bowel movements
  • Feeling a blockage in the back passage (rectum)
  • Straining in bowel movements

Causes

  • Blockage in the intestines
  • Small tears in the anal lining
  • Tissue buildup in the bowel due to inflammation
  • Colon cancer
  • Rectal cancer

Treatment

One of the best Ayurvedic medicinal products for constipation is Triphala. It is a blend of dried Indian Gooseberry (Amalaki), Myrobalan (Haritaki), and Bedda Nuts (Bibhitaki). Ayurvedic herbal enemas under Panchakarma processes too are effective for constipation. Furthermore:

  • Consume raw and fiber-rich fruits and vegetables like pear, carrots, spinach, oats, lentils, beans, etc. 
  • Drink enough water.
  • Exercise regularly
  • Avoid conventional medicines like opioids, antihistamines, antacids, etc.
  • Get the right online Ayurvedic consultation to know the right medication and dosage required for you.

Inflammatory Bowel Diseases (IBD)

IBDs happen due to inflammation in the bowel. It has two major types:

Ulcerative Colitis: Sores (ulcers) and inflammation along the lining of the rectum and large intestine.

Crohn’s Disease: Inflammation in the digestive tract’s lining. 

Symptoms

Both, Ulcerative Colitis and Crohn’s Disease show symptoms like:

  • Abdominal cramping and pain
  • Rectal bleeding 
  • Diarrhea
  • Weight loss
  • Appetite loss
  • Fatigue

Causes

The exact cause of IBD is unknown. A possible cause is a malfunction in the immune system, where it attacks its healthy cells by mistake. Furthermore, IBD is common in people who have a family history of the condition.

Other factors like stress, depression, smoking, and medication side effects can also trigger IBD in people.

Treatment

For alleviating IBD, Ayurveda recommends: 

  • Avoiding spicy, salty, and sour foods.
  • Avoiding fermented, non-vegetarian, and junk food as well.
  • Reducing exposure to hot climate.
  • Avoiding too much exercise, alcohol, and smoking.
  • Favoring light and easily digestible meals with proper intervals.

Moreover, Ayurvedic medicinal products and herbs like mulethi, rakta chandan, durva, lotus, etc. help cool the colon and alleviate the condition.

Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)

IBS is a digestive disorder affecting the large intestine. It shows a group of symptoms happening together that severely impact one’s quality of life.

Symptoms

IBS patients show painful and uncomfortable abdominal symptoms like:

  • Abdominal pain or cramping
  • Bloating
  • Constipation
  • Diarrhea
  • Gas
  • Bowel movement changes

Causes

Factors that play a role in developing IBS are:

  • Too strong or weak muscle contractions in the intestines
  • Poor coordination between the brain and the nerves in the digestive system
  • Bacterial or viral infection
  • Excess stress

Treatment

IBS can be easily managed with Ayurvedic dietary and lifestyle changes. But severe symptoms need the right online Ayurvedic consultation to know the right medication and dosage.

Ayurveda recommends avoiding junk food and favoring easily digestible foods. It also encourages meditation, yoga, and pranayama to reduce the stress that causes IBS. Other home remedies also help, like:

  • Drinking water mixed with ginger and cumin
  • Drinking buttermilk
  • Eating smaller, balanced, and well-spaced meals
  • Getting sufficient sleep and regular exercise

To know more about treating such digestive disorders with Ayurveda, contact Hempstreet and get the best online Ayurvedic consultation.

References

https://www.tanner.org/the-scope/6-common-digestive-disorders

https://www.healthgrades.com/right-care/digestive-health/10-common-digestive-disorders

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