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Curb unhealthy habits to ease stomach problems

Digestive Problems

sni“Curb your unhealthy habits to ease stomach problems”,sni

says Dr Afzal Bhatti a gastroenterologist at Surgimed Hospital Lahore

SN: How does our digestive system work?sni

Digestive system is comprised of different parts which secrete various enzymes to break food into small particles. These food particles then pass through areas where they are absorbed and delivered to the rest of the body.sni

SN: Why does everybody have a different metabolism?sni

Metabolism is a series of chemical reactions in the cells to convert food into energy. Our bodies need it to function normally. It varies individually depending on one’s age, gender, muscle to fat ratio and physical activity.

SN: What are the symptoms of indigestion?sni

Early fullness, pain, discomfort or burning in upper abdomen, bloating, nausea and vomiting are some of the symptoms.sni

SN: What are its causes?sni

Indigestion is a feeling of pain or discomfort in upper abdomen which usually happens after eating or drinking. Different factors contribute to it. However, most common are sedentary lifestyle, unhealthy eating habits like consuming spicy food, carbonated drinks and alcohol intake. Certain medicines can also cause the problem.sni

SN: Does posture have anything to do with indigestion?sni

Yes, slouched posture while eating and lying down immediately after meal increases the risk of indigestion. So one should avoid it.sni

SN: Smoking, having fizzy drinks or green tea helps ease indigestion. Your take on this?sni

Smoking and fizzy drinks increase motility of stomach but are injurious to health so avoid them. Instead drink water before and have green tea after meals, eat properly cooked food, walk after eating and avoid carbonated drinks.sni

SN: What is GERD?sni

GERD most commonly known as acid reflux is a digestive disorder and a disease. It affects the ring between esophagus and stomach causing stomach acid to flow back into the food pipe. It causes irritation in the lining of food pipe.sni

SN: What are its causes?sni

Most common causes are having sedentary and unhealthy lifestyle. Smoking, use of alcohol and carbonated drinks, eating spicy food and having irregular meals or heavy meals late night are some reasons to be blamed. Supplements containing heavy metals and pain killers can cause or worsen the condition.sni

SN: What are the symptoms in adults and infants?sni

Crying, irritability, loss of appetite, vomiting, burping and gagging can be symptoms in infants. On the contrary, adults can feel burning/discomfort in chest or upper abdomen, acid taste in throat especially in the morning, vomiting and coughing.sni

SN: How can one differentiate between a mild, moderate and severe case?sni

A scoring system is used to categorize GERD. It uses severity and frequency of different symptoms to identify the level. Patients having score of 0-2 are normal, 3-7 are mild, 8-12 are moderate and 13 and above are categorized as having severe disease.sni

SN: What are sour burps?sni

Getting rid of foul smelling excess air from stomach is termed as sour burps. Staying hydrated, using green tea after meals, avoiding smoking can control them.sni

SN: Why are infants made to burp after feeding?sni

There is a muscle that separates food pipe from stomach. It acts as a valve and usually stays tightly closed to prevent stomach contents from going back into the esophagus. It is not fully developed in infants. Therefore, parents are advised to make children burp after feeding and before making them lay down on their back.sni

SN: How is acid reflux diagnosed?sni

It is done by passing a flexible pipe with camera on its end into the food pipe. It helps in measuring the pH at its lower end. Also allows the doctor to have a look at the lining of food pipe for possible injury made by acid.sni

SN: What lifestyle changes can help with the symptoms?sni

Avoid smoking, using alcohol, fizzy drinks, spicy and junk food. Make a regular eating habit and do some exercise every day.sni

SN: How can it be prevented in infants?sni

To avoid acid reflux in infants: feed in proper position, give small frequent feeds and keep the baby upright after feeding.sni

SN: What are the complications of GERD?sni

It can result in esophageal and stomach ulcers, narrowing of food pipe, inflammation and changing in the lining of esophagus which can even lead to cancer.sni

SN: Symptoms of heart burn and heart attack usually overlap. How can they be differentiated?sni

Heart attack usually comes with crushing pain in chest, jaw and arm. GERD on the other hand presents with burning or discomfort in central chest or upper abdomen. An electrocardiogram (ECG) is used to differentiate these two conditions.sni

SN: How can we maintain a healthy stomach and prevent acid reflux?sni

Healthy diet is important for a healthy stomach. Keep yourself hydrated and eat a balanced diet rich in fiber and protein.sni

SN: Why are processed and junk foods considered bad for health?sni

They are not only rich in fats and sugar but are linked to obesity, diabetes mellitus, high blood pressure and diseases of the heart and brain.sni

SN: What is constipation?sni

Having less frequent bowel movements or hard stool is termed as constipation. A normal stool frequency varies individually. However, on average it ranges from three times a day to three times a week. Stool frequency less than three times a week for a month is referred to as chronic constipation.sni

SN: How can it be prevented?sni

Drinking plenty of water, eating green leafy vegetables and other high fiber diet, having regular fixed meal times and doing exercise daily can prevent

indigestion, constipation, GERD, acid reflux, maiday mai jalan 

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