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Caregiving and Digestive Diseases

If you are caring for a loved one with a digestive disease, there are many things you can do to help them manage their condition, including:

  • Seek early treatment for symptoms: One of the most important things you can do as a caregiver is to encourage your loved one to seek treatment as soon as symptoms appear. Immediate treatment can help ensure the best possible outcome and reduce unnecessary discomfort.
  • Promote a healthy and balanced diet: A healthy, balanced diet plays an important role in digestive system health. Encourage your loved one to eat a healthy and balanced diet with adequate calories. Diarrhea, vomiting, poor absorption of nutrients, and side effects of drug treatment all may lead to malnutrition. Remind your loved one to eat small meals throughout the day to help lessen their symptoms and minimize their risk of malnutrition. If their symptoms do not get better after a few days or if they are very severe, call a doctor to ensure that your loved one receives proper evaluation and treatment.
  • Know the warning signs: If your loved one begins to show signs of a more serious illness -- losing weight quickly, having repeated bouts of vomiting or diarrhea, or having abdominal, chest or throat pain -- seek immediate medical care.

 

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WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Kimball Johnson, MD on July 07, 2012

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