The stomach is responsible for three different functions in the body. It takes in and stores the food we swallow, mixes it with stomach acids to aid in the digestive process and then ships the mixture on through to the small intestine. Common stomach disorders can stem from a variety of things that can range from mild to severe discomfort within the gastrointestinal tract. Since the disorders are located in this area, most of the symptoms involve nausea, vomiting, cramping and diarrhea.
When busy work schedules and stressful situations in life get in the way of a balanced diet and exercise, our stomach often pays the price. Mild stomach disorders include heartburn and indigestion. These problems can be calmed with over-the-counter medicines and certain lifestyle changes that involve eating a nutritious diet in smaller portions, exercising on a regular basis and maintaining a healthy weight. Being overweight or overeating adds pressure to the stomach, pushing food back into the esophagus, causing pain and problems associated with heartburn and indigestion.
If the food is constantly pushed back into the esophagus from the stomach, this weakens the esophageal sphincter muscle. Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), often referred to as acid reflux, can develop when the esophageal sphincter muscle is weakened and does not work properly. Symptoms of a person suffering with GERD can include a burning sensation in the chest and throat, pain in the chest area and sometimes belching up acid. Prescription medications can help someone suffering with acid reflux so they can live a normal life.
Dumping syndrome occurs when a person has had surgery to bypass the stomach in order to lose weight. This procedures dumps the undigested food into the small intestine too quickly. Abdominal cramping and nausea are usually a result of this process.
Gastritis is a condition in the stomach where the stomach lining becomes inflamed. This occurs from the same bacterium that causes stomach ulcers but can also be caused by an injury to the stomach or by consistently taking pain relievers. Common symptoms for this stomach disorder include bloating, belching, nausea and a burning pain in the upper abdomen area.
Peptic ulcers develop on the inside lining of the stomach. These open sores cause abdominal pain and are not only caused by stress and lousy eating habits, but can also be caused by different medications or a bacterial infection. An ulcer that goes untreated can eventually lead to a bleeding ulcer which may end up fatal. Ulcers should be medically diagnosed and treated by a physician.
Most of the common stomach disorders that effect our body can be changed with proper lifestyle changes that include diet and exercise. When these changes do not help ease the discomfort caused by these stomach disorders, it is necessary to see a physician for medical attention. The physician will be able to diagnose the problem and treat it effectively.