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Caregiving and Digestive Diseases

Medically Reviewed by Minesh Khatri, MD on August 18, 2021

If you are caring for a loved one with a digestive disease, there are many things you can do to help them manage the 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 symptoms and minimize the 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.
  • Try exercize: Even moderate exercize can help keep the digestive system working better. Judge your loved ones capabilities, and try to find ways to keep them from being sedentary when possible.
  • 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.