Posted on: 5 September 2017
Gastrointestinal disorders are one of the most common ailments people develop as they age. Moreover, since digestive disorders cover a wide assortment of conditions, chances are you will develop at least one or more of these problems in your lifetime. However, just because the likelihood of developing a gastrointestinal disease is high does not mean you cannot take measures to minimise the risk of you developing these disorders. One of the categories of gastrointestinal problems is functional disorders. These disorders are characterised by not exhibiting any signs on your gastrointestinal tract but still manifesting by causing you physical discomfort. Below is a couple of types of functional gastrointestinal disorders you could develop plus what you can do to prevent them.
There are several ways that constipation can present itself. The most common would be the inability to pass stool. However, constipation can also significantly decrease the frequency of your bowel movements, or you may find your bowel movements are incomplete, making you feel backed up. The primary reason why individuals develop constipation is insufficient roughage in their diet, but it can also come about if you have a sudden and drastic change to your regular diet.
When you suffer from constipation, you have to strain during your bowel movements. This straining causes the risks of you developing other physical conditions such as haemorrhoids or painful fissures in your rectum. If these conditions are left untreated, you could develop severe medical conditions. Luckily, there are several measures that you could take to prevent developing this gastrointestinal condition. Some of the precautions you could take include:
- Ensuring your diet always has some fibre incorporated in it
- Engaging in routine exercise
- Resisting the urge to limit your bowel movements
If you decide to resort to laxatives as a form of treatment, do so under the supervision of a gastroenterologist.
Irritable Bowel Syndrome, typically abbreviated to IBS, is also referred to as irritable colon or spastic colon condition. It happens when your colon becomes susceptible to excessive contractions, which would then impact your bowel movements. IBS is caused by multiple reasons such as emotional stress, anxiety, some food choices, medications and more.
If you are suffering from IBS, some of the symptoms to expect would be excessive gas, stomach cramps, diarrhoea, constipation, a change in the consistency of your stool and bloating. Since the causes of IBS vary, your treatment would depend on your condition. Some of the treatment options include:
- Identifying your trigger foods and steering clear of them
- Minimizing your caffeine intake
- Increasing the amount of fibre in your diet
- Identifying coping mechanisms to help you deal with stress and anxiety