The food we eat goes into our stomach through the oesophagus. The gastric glands in your stomach create acid, which is necessary to digest the food. When the gastric glands create more acid than needed for the digestion process, you tend to feel a burning sensation below the breastbone. This condition is commonly called acidity. Acidity, also called acid reflux, is a condition that is characterised by heartburn that is felt around the lower chest area. It is a common condition that occurs when stomach acid flows back up into the food pipe. The most common acid reflux symptom is a burning sensation in the chest, and pain. While most people suffer in pain, they do not realise that poor lifestyle choices are the main reason behind acidity. When acidity symptoms occur more than twice a week, your doctor may diagnose you with Gastroesophageal reflux disease or GERD. Chronic acidity may lead to serious risks that include:

  • Oesophagus damage: Oesophagus is the tube that connects your mouth to your stomach. When acid moves back up and enters the oesophagus, it sets the stage for esophageal ulcers, oesophagitis, esophageal strictures, and Barrett's Oesophagus.
  • Increased risk of oesophagus cancer, which is more likely if you have a history of the condition in the family.
  • Acid reflux can wear down the enamel of your teeth and lead to cavities.

Gastro Esophageal Reflux Disorder

Currently, GERD (Gastro-Esophageal Reflux Disorder) is one of the commonly observed conditions in youths due to various factors, such as faulty diet and lifestyle, excessive smoking or alcohol consumption, stress, etc. Gastroesophageal means a condition relating to the stomach and esophagus. Reflux means backflow.

Normally, when we eat or drink anything, the lower end of the food pipe (lower esophageal sphincter) opens and allows the food to pass into the stomach. Once the process is done, it closes and prevents the backflow of food and stomach juices (acid) to the esophagus.

However, when the lower esophageal sphincter (band-like muscular gateway) weakens or relaxes abnormally, there is a backflow of stomach content to the esophagus or food pipe, and this backflow is known as gastroesophageal reflux. The reflux of acid may irritate the mucosa of the esophagus and may cause symptoms, such as heartburn, acidity, sour or bitter taste, chest pain, coughing, etc.

Everyone experiences such symptoms at some point of time in their life, but, if the symptoms persist and start causing discomfort in day-to-day life, it may be termed as Gastroesophageal reflux disease. It is also known as Acid reflux disease. In many patients, GERD can be managed by dietary and lifestyle changes, but some patients may require stronger medications or surgery.

Irritable Bowel Syndrome

IBS is one of the most common disorder of digestive system producing a spectrum of symptoms such as persistent and recurring abdominal pain associated with passing of motion, change of bowel habit (diarrhoea, constipation, or alternate diarrhoea and constipation), etc. without any apparent cause. The word syndrome means a group of symptoms. IBS is a syndrome because it can cause several symptoms in addition to those mentioned, like cramping, bloating, gas, frequent urge to pass stools, sensation of incomplete evacuation etc.

IBS is the disorder of function, which means that the bowel doesn't work, as it should. If one visualizes the bowel, it appears perfectly normal without any inflammation or other structural changes. In people with IBS, the intestines squeeze too hard or not hard enough and cause food to move too quickly or too slowly through the intestines.

Through the years, IBS has been called by many names-colitis, mucous colitis, spastic colon, spastic bowel, and functional bowel disease, irritable colon, and nervous colon. Most of these terms are inaccurate and refers to understanding of diseases at that particular time frame. Colitis, for instance, means inflammation of the large intestine (colon). IBS, however, does not cause inflammation of the bowel and should not be confused with another disorders like ulcerative colitis.

Hemmoroid / Piles

Piles (Haemorrhoids) are swollen and inflamed blood vessels (veins) in the rectum and anus. Piles are broadly classified as follows:

External: Piles that are outside the anal verge

Internal: Piles that occur inside the rectum

Liver Cirrhosis

The liver is the largest gland in the human body. 'Cirrhosis' of liver is a condition wherein the normal liver tissues get damaged and replaced by scar tissue. Healthy liver cells get substituted with fibrotic scar tissue in a very slow and gradual process. Conditions leading to recurrent inflammation of the liver cells (hepatitis) heal with fibrosis and scar tissue formation.

How does cirrhosis affect the liver?

Cirrhosis can disrupt many vital functions of the liver. Any condition that can damage the liver cells can cause cirrhosis. The liver gets its major supply of blood from the venous system of the intestines. The presence of scar tissues can reduce the effective circulation of blood within the liver. This slows down the transport and elimination of the various products of liver metabolism. The liver breaks down many substances including red blood cells and drugs and toxins. With chronic inflammation & scar tissue formation, the liver function becomes very sluggish leading to accumulation of various harmful substances.

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