Digestive Disturbances

Author: David Crawford
For many years indigestion has been considered the number one disturbance of American businessmen. Heartburn, the belching of sour material, nausea, vomiting, a feeling of fullness or pressure, are the symptoms that trouble most.

The same symptoms in varying degree may be associated with exceedingly serious disorders. The severity of pain, and the agony of the pain is not really a measure of the condition that is wrong. If the symptoms come on one or two hours after eating, they may be due to uncomplicated ulcer of the stomach or duodenum and the doctor will have to make extra studies, including use of the X-ray to be sure of the diagnosis. Similar symptoms may occur in conditions related to the appendix or the gall bladder, or to a weakness in the diaphragm, the large muscle of breathing which separates the abdomen from the thorax.

Indigestion maybe associated with psychological problems, excessive use of tobacco, coffee, or alcohol, rapid eating with insufficient chewing, constipation with the cathartic habit, sensitivity or allergy to certain food substances, eating of such foods may arouse gastrointestinal distress.

Nausea And Vomiting
Vast  amounts of research have been devoted to study of the mechanism of vomiting. Usually nausea, or a feeling of sickness, precedes vomiting. It is intimately connected with the whole nervous system. Any severe pain can bring on these symptoms, such as a sharp blow in the center of the abdomen, or bruising of the male sex glands. Disagreeable sights, odors or tastes, or, in sensitive people, even thinking of disagreeable incidents may set up the reaction.  Painful sensations coming from the urinary tract, as by the passing of a stone, can set up this series of reactions. Vomiting can result from the action of drugs.

Sometimes vomiting occurs without any preliminary warning of nausea, particularly when there is increased pressure inside the skull. Vomiting occurs in diabetic acidosis, in congestive heart failure, in cases of insufficient oxygen to the brain, in air sickness and sea sickness or other conditions that disturb the sense of balance or equilibrium.

Obviously the doctor has to find out promptly why anyone vomits. He has to rule out the beginning of acute infectious diseases, and then make sure there is no acute surgical emergency like an inflamed appendix or gall bladder or peritonitis or obstruction of the bowel.

High blood pressure, pregnancy in women, severe indigestion, drugs and poisons, disorders of the nervous system, are other possible sources of difficulty in holding down food and water. Severe emotional upsets or  such rare and extraordinary problems as cancer, uremia, diabetes must be investigated.

When the bowels do not move with their accustomed frequency or when waste material is passed in small, hard masses, sometimes with pain, the symptom is called constipation. Accompanying the condition one may have a sense of fullness or tightness in the abdomen, and sometimes pain. Other associated symptoms include headache, weakness, indigestion, belching, aching muscles, and even painful urination.
Constipation is not a disease - it is a symptom indicating that the fundamental difficulty lies in improper diet, wrong eating habits, a variety of diseases or abnormalities of structure, and, quite frequently, emotional difficulties or disorders of personality.

Most people have one or two actions of the bowel daily, usually after breakfast or after the largest meal of the day. Irregularity of eating or sleeping brings on irregularity of bowel action. Travel, stress, complete changes in nature of food, also disturb regularity of bowel action.

In old people blocking of the lower bowel may occur, due to inefficiency of the bowel musculature and lessened sensitivity of the nervous system. Exceedingly old people, who spend much of their time in bed, note particularly the tendency to less frequent action of the bowel. Most people under sixty years of age may be trained to proper rhythm by teaching good habits aided by a carefully selected diet.
The simplest materials for use in ordinary cases are the lubricants such as paraffin oil or mineral oil, which must not be used routinely because it picks up vitamin A; also useful are bulk materials, such as agar or cellulose, which are available in special preparations.

When the actions of the bowel are too frequent, the amount of material large, loose, frequently foamy and full of mucus, the condition is diarrhea. Abdominal discomfort and pain at the end of the bowel are often associated with severe diarrhea.  Infections with dysentery germs, ameba and staphylococci bring on diarrhea. In cities with good sanitation diarrhea is most often due to abuse of cathartics, irritant foods, nervous or emotional disturbances, fevers and infections, or just plain fatigue. Diarrhea is more frequent in hot than in cold weather.

In making his investigation the doctor will want to know first whether or not diarrhea is regular, frequent, related to certain foods, or other habitual activities. Most acute diarrheas clear up if you do without food for a day or two, taking simply hot tea or water. Well-cooked rice, applesauce or even meat may be taken when twelve hours have passed without any loose movement. Milk, fruit juices, and soft eggs should not be given until recovery is complete.

In the laboratory, examination may always be made of the waste material; from it a great deal of information may be gained as to the cause of the diarrhea. In severe chronic conditions the doctor may find it necessary to examine the bowel from below directly with the proctoscope, and also study by the X-ray.

Bleeding From The Stomach And Bowel
Bleeding is frightening. Bleeding from the nose is fairly frequent, as is bleeding from a tooth socket or a cut. But a sudden hemorrhage from the lungs or the vomiting of fresh blood or the passing of blood in the urine or in the bowel movements is a cause of anxiety. Because the appearance of blood from the interior of the body is shocking, the statements of people as to the amount of blood lost are seldom dependable. A teaspoonful may seem like a pint. Blood in the stomach or intestines when it appears in the stools has a black or tarry appearance, but it takes at least an eighth of a pint to make the coloration visible.

The severity of the shock that may come from internal bleeding depends on the amount lost and the suddenness with which it occurs. Fever may occur after a hemorrhage, particularly a large one.
The most common cause of vomiting of blood-in forty to eighty per cent of cases-is ulcer of the stomach, or duodenum. Usually the person concerned will have had a previous diagnosis of ulcer. The bleeding usually comes from erosion of a blood vessel in the ulcer. In about five per cent of the cases the cause of vomiting of blood is cancer; that is the reason for having a complete and scientific diagnosis as promptly as possible when this symptom occurs.

 Hardening of the liver and enlargement of the spleen may back up the circulation so that there are varicose veins in the esophagus or swallowing tube; like other varicose veins these may break and cause the person afflicted to vomit blood. Among miscellaneous and less frequent causes are diseases of the blood like hemophilia and thrombocytopenia in which bleeding is easy.
The first step after vomiting of blood or large hemorrhage from the bowel is to control shock and save life; then comes a careful scientific study to determine the cause and prevent additional bleeding.

In jaundice the skin and the whites of the eyes and, in fact, even the mucous membranes have a slightly yellowish tinge due to discoloration from bile. The amount of jaundice may vary from a deep yellow color to such slight staining that only blood tests will reveal the abnormality. Jaundice develops when the bile passages are blocked. Since the bile comes from destruction of red blood cells, jaundice also appears when there is excessive breakdown of these cells, or when the function of the liver which takes part in the process is impaired by disease or other damage.

About 1/120 of the blood vessels  are destroyed every day. This means that the life of a red blood cell is about 120 days. When an ordinary bruise turns black and blue the change in color is due to breakdown of the red cells to bile salts. The liver usually disposes of this material and jaundice is a sign that the liver is not functioning as it should.

The liver has been called the warehouse, the chemical factory, the unit for controlling waste, and other titles. It is a vital organ and we are fortunate that we were created with seven times more than we usually need.
Article Source: http://www.articlesbase.com

About the Author
David Crawford is the CEO and owner of a Male Enhancement Reviews company known as Male Enhancement Group which is dedicated to researching and comparing male enhancement products in order to determine which male enhancement product is safer and more effective than other products on the market. Copyright 2010 David Crawford of http://www.maleenhancementgroup.com This article may be freely distributed if this resource box stays attached.

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