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Frequently Asked Questions About Digestive Diseases

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4. How Can Dietary Changes Prevent Digestive Discomfort?

Many digestive problems can be prevented with lifestyle changes. Poor eating habits, such as eating too quickly or skipping meals, can result in digestive discomfort. Be sure to eat food slowly, chewing thoroughly. You might want to try eating several small meals throughout the day to help lessen any symptoms of digestive discomfort.

In addition, eating a balanced diet can help you avoid digestive discomfort. Unhealthy diets can contribute to digestive system difficulties. Eat less processed food and sugar and more fiber, fruits, and vegetables. 

If you are sensitive to certain types of food, such as dairy or gluten, eliminate these foods from your diet or cut back on them. Talk with a nutritionist before eliminating a food from your diet to make sure you still get important nutrients from other sources.

5. How Can I Help a Loved One Cope With Digestive Difficulties?

Encourage your loved one to seek treatment as soon as digestive symptoms appear. Immediate treatment can help in relieving as much discomfort as possible. Diarrhea, vomiting, poor absorption of nutrients, and side effects of drug treatment all may lead to malnutrition. If the 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.

6. What Is Celiac Disease?

Celiac disease (also known as celiac sprue or gluten-sensitive enteropathy) is a digestive and autoimmune disorder that results in damage to the lining of the small intestine when foods with gluten are eaten. Glutens are a form of protein found in some grains, such as wheat, barley and rye. The damage to the intestine makes it hard for the body to absorb nutrients, especially fat, calcium, iron, and folate.

7. What Is Endoscopy?

Endoscopy is a procedure in which a flexible, lighted tube is used to look inside the esophagus, stomach, duodenum (first section of the small intestine), colon, or rectum. The procedure is commonly used to help diagnose:

  • Abdominal or chest pain
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Heartburn
  • Bleeding
  • Swallowing disorders
  • Ulcers
  • Tumors
  • Inflammation
  • Bowel movement difficulties

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