Common Gastrointestinal Problems in India

Updated on 18 August 2022

Gastrointestinal problems are basically disorders related to the digestive system. A low-fibre diet, stress, food intolerances, consuming a large number of dairy products, etc. are some of the factors that cause gastrointestinal problems. Symptoms vary from condition to condition like abdominal discomfort, cramps, fatigue, constipation, acidity, vomiting and nausea.

One must first understand the digestive tract. Digestion begins in your mouth, where saliva helps break down food when you chew. This food then moves to your oesophagus, a tube connecting your throat to your stomach. The food is then pushed to a valve at the bottom of your oesophagus, which opens into the stomach. The stomach further breaks food down using acids and then sends the food to the small intestine. There, digestive juices from several organs, like the pancreas and gallbladder, break down the food more and absorbs essential nutrients. What’s left goes through your large intestine that absorbs water. The waste then moves out of your body through the rectum and anus. So, a digestive problem can happen anywhere along this complex route.

Common Gastrointestinal Problems in India

Let’s know about some common gastrointestinal problems in India,

  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)

IBS is a condition where the contraction in muscles of the large intestine occurs more frequently than normal. The common symptoms include a change in the frequency of bowel movement, frequent abdominal pain, cramps, bloating, gas, diarrhoea or constipation. Though symptoms may vary in severity they mostly last at least three months for at least three days per month.

  • Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)

Commonly known as acid reflux disease or heartburn, it occurs when the stomach contents or acids flow back into the oesophagus, thereby, leading to chest pain and burning sensations. A few symptoms of GERD are chest discomfort, consistent acidity, vomiting, sore throat and trouble swallowing. GERD may be tackled to a great extent with proper food and lifestyle changes.

  • Celiac Disease

Celiac disease is a chronic digestive disease that occurs due to an auto-immune reaction to gluten; a protein found in grains like wheat. It destroys the villi (small-hair-like projections) on the inner wall of the small intestine, making it hard to absorb vitamins and minerals from food which results in malnutrition or malabsorption of essential nutrients. Common symptoms include abdominal pain, bloating, constipation or diarrhoea, nausea, gas, mouth ulcers or consistent headache and fatigue.

  • Chronic Diarrhea

It is defined as a decrease in the consistency of stools. A person with chronic disease experiences runny stools (watery or loose stools) for about 4 weeks or more, which leads to severe dehydration. Common symptoms include nausea, cramps and bloating.

  • Diverticulitis

It is an infection that affects the digestive system. There is a certain formation of small pouches or pockets (diverticula) in the inner lining of the large intestine. When these pockets get inflamed, swollen or infected, it causes diverticulitis. Its symptoms include rectal bleeding, constipation, fever pain in urination or vomiting.

  • Peptic Ulcers

Ulcers in the stomach and duodenum (proximal small intestine) occur due to excess acid or infection of the stomach due to the H. Pylori bacterium. Symptoms of abdominal pain, indigestion and sometimes bleeding may occur. It can be easily diagnosed by endoscopy and is curable.

Most of these gastrointestinal problems aren't that dreadful and can mostly be cured with proper medication and a change in food/lifestyle habits. However, it is vital to not ignore stomach-related issues and diagnose these alarming symptoms in time to avoid any long-lasting complications.






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