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In this video, Dr. Huntoon discusses digestive issues, the underlying cause of these concerns and what you need to know if you are going to overcome yours.
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What are digestive problems?
Digestive symptoms include a wide variety of symptoms that affect the digestive or gastrointestinal system. The gastrointestinal system includes the throat, esophagus, stomach, small intestine, large intestine, anus, pancreas, liver, and gallbladder. Digestive symptoms can be due to a wide variety of mild to serious diseases, disorders and conditions. They can occur in all age groups and populations.
Common digestive symptoms include:
Abdominal swelling, bloating or distention
Burning in the throat
Gas and flatulence
Digestive symptoms can vary greatly in character and severity depending on the underlying disease, disorder or condition. Depending on the cause, digestive symptoms can last briefly and disappear quickly, such as symptoms that occur during a single episode of indigestion. Digestive symptoms can also persist or recur over a longer period of time, such as when due to colorectal cancer or inflammatory bowel disease.
Digestive symptoms that are associated with dizziness, fainting, shortness of breath, bloody stool, or major rectal bleeding can indicate a serious, potentially life-threatening condition. Seek immediate medical care (call 911) if you, or someone you are with, have any of these symptoms. Seek prompt medical care if your symptoms are persistent, recur, or cause you concern.
What other symptoms might occur with digestive symptoms?
Digestive symptoms may be accompanied by symptoms in other body systems depending on the underlying disease, disorder or condition. Other symptoms that may occur along with digestive symptoms include:
Chest pain or pressure
Easy bleeding or bruising
Flu-like symptoms (fatigue, fever, sore throat, headache, cough, aches and pains)
Jaundice (yellowing of skin and eyes)
Referred shoulder pain
Weakness (loss of strength)
Weight loss, malabsorption, and vitamin deficiencies
Serious symptoms that might indicate a life-threatening condition
In some cases, digestive symptoms may occur with other symptoms that might indicate a serious or life-threatening condition that should be immediately evaluated in an emergency setting. Seek immediate medical care (call 911) if you, or someone you are with, have any of these symptoms:
Change in level of consciousness or alertness, such as passing out or unresponsiveness
High fever (higher than 101 degrees Fahrenheit)
Pulsating mass in abdomen
Respiratory or breathing problems, such as shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, labored breathing, wheezing, not breathing, or choking
Severe abdominal pain
Vomiting blood, major rectal bleeding or bloody stool
Yellow skin and eyes (jaundice)
What causes digestive symptoms?
Digestive symptoms have many possible underling causes. General conditions that can cause digestive symptoms include infection (bacterial, viral, parasitic), malignancy, inflammation, trauma, obstruction, and other abnormal processes. The most common underlying cause for digestive symptoms is the ingestion of antibiotics as a result of medical treatment for infection, as a preventative when seeing a Dentist or from eating many animal foods such as beef, chicken, eggs and fish since most of these food sources have been treated with antibiotics. Upon consumption this will lead to digestive problems. By working closely with a Holistic Chiropractor who can help you develop a well-rounded multifaceted approach to addressing your digestive concerns and cravings is warranted.
Digestive symptoms can result from gastrointestinal or digestive conditions or from conditions of other body systems, such as the endocrine system, the nervous system, the reproductive system, and the urinary system. Many times emotions will create digestive symptoms and by working with a Holistic Chiropractor who practices Neuro-Emotional Technique (NET) is warranted. For more information on NET, go to www.netmindbody.com
Gastrointestinal causes of digestive symptoms
Celiac disease (severe sensitivity to gluten from wheat and other grains that causes intestinal damage)
Colorectal cancer, gastric cancer, and pancreatic cancer
Diverticulitis and diverticulosis
Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)
Inflammatory bowel disease (includes Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis)
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS; digestive discomfort that does not cause intestinal damage or serious disease)
Lactose intolerance and other food intolerances
Liver disease (hepatitis, cirrhosis, liver failure)
Other causes of digestive symptoms
Other causes of digestive symptoms include:
Exposure to smoke or toxic fumes or substances
Kidney disease (kidney stone, kidney failure, pyelonephritis)
Medication side effects
Narcotic use or withdrawal
Pregnancy and labor
Stress or anxiety
Type 1 or type 2 diabetes
Life-threatening causes of digestive swelling
In some cases, digestive symptoms may accompany a serious or life-threatening condition that should be immediately evaluated in an emergency setting. These include:
Acute pyelonephritis (kidney infection)
Bleeding esophageal varices
Bleeding peptic ulcer
Diabetic ketoacidosis (serious complication of diabetes)
Dissecting abdominal aortic aneurysm
Peritonitis (infection of the lining that surrounds the abdomen)
What are the potential complications of digestive symptoms?
In some cases, digestive symptoms can lead to serious complications, especially if the underlying disease or condition is untreated or poorly managed. Once the underlying cause is identified, you can help minimize your risk of serious complications by following the treatment plan you and your health care professional design specifically for you. Complications include:
Dehydration due to vomiting, diarrhea, or a decreased desire to drink fluids
Poor nutrition due to vomiting, diarrhea, or a decreased desire to eat
Sepsis (life-threatening bacterial blood infection)
Severe discomfort or pain
Treatments and Solutions
By working closely with a Holistic Chiropractor who can help you develop a well-rounded, multifaceted approach to addressing your digestive concerns and cravings is warranted. Make sure to address any negative effects caused by antibiotic therapy by getting on a proper probiotic. Your Holistic Chiropractor can advise you of this.
Also consider working with an Acupuncturist, Homeopath or Naturopath to develop a lifestyle that can support and manage your digestive problems.
Medicines Two Choices for You
Click the link for a description of this week's show and a link to the podcast from:
Advanced Alternative Medicine Center
Serving All Your Heath Care Needs ... Naturally!
Dr. Richard A. Huntoon