Over half of us occasionally struggle with bloating, stomach cramps, slow or loose stomachs. This may be the explanation. Here are types of stomach diseases.
Many of us have a lot of stomach trouble. Problems such as bloating and heartburn include the symptoms nearly known as folk disorders. Moreover, drugs are among the most used in Norway for gastrointestinal problems.
How do you know if something is wrong with your stomach? & when do you really start to get your stomach “on track” again?
The gastrointestinal is The second brain
– A healthy condition in the stomach and intestines means a lot to our health in general, including our mental health, says Anders Krogfoss, head of the Department of Functional Medicine in Oslo.
He argues that individuals frequently talk like the other brain regarding the digestive system.
The gut actually contains more neurotransmitters than the brain – and the brain and gut communicate together through the vagus nerve. This nerve is often called the 10th cerebral nerve which contains stimulating motor and parasympathetic fibers from the brain to the intestines, organs of the head and neck, heart, lungs, and abdominal cavity.
A few years ago, Danish researchers suggested that it might be time to look at the body as a complex system with many subsystems that affect each other. Since then, research in the field has increased and medical research has become increasingly concerned with seeing the body as a whole.
But to stick to the stomach and intestines, it can be stated that the intestine contains large amounts of bacteria and that these microscopic creeps are of great importance to health. One of the most important tasks of bacteria is to digest the food that the intestine is unable to digest.
The bacteria produce important nutrients, such as vitamins K and B12, they regulate the immune system and protect against harmful substances that pass through the intestines daily. Although some bacteria can cause disease, it is still clear that an intestine with a large variety of bacteria is good.
Good digestion and intestinal health not only mean fewer stomach ailments; by “cleaning up” the intestinal microbiome, one can also treat a number of chronic health problems.
The immune system in the gut
Conditions in the stomach and intestines, and the microorganisms that live there, affect us both physically and mentally. Among other things, we know that conditions such as anxiety, worries, as well as stress, dissatisfaction, and depression can lead to digestive problems – and vice versa.
– We know that about 80 percent of our immune system is linked to the gastrointestinal tract. In the colon are cells that form antibodies against invading viruses, parasites, bacteria, and microorganisms. Therefore, a proper balance in the gut flora is vital if a good immune system, excellent digestion, and health are to be maintained.
Stress and hypersensitivity
It is not uncommon for stomach problems to be due to a form of hypersensitivity or that the body has been exposed to stress over time. Stress damages down the normal component of the gut flora, which provides bacteria and fungus with a breeding ground and causes a so-called pathogenic imbalance. Stress can also limit the synthesis of food-breaking enzymes that are necessary.
The fact that some people may react to substances in their food, such as gluten or lactose, is a known cause of stomach ailments. The same applies to so-called food allergies. Getting to the bottom of these conditions can, however, be a laborious and time-consuming process, and blood tests, spot tests, and elimination tests are methods of investigation.
Dietary guidance is important when the problem is irritable bowel syndrome (IBD) and so-called leaky gut syndrome, both conditions that indicate that the ecological intestinal flora is disturbed.
Typical signs are the feeling that the stomach is in discomfort, bloating, pinching, and alternately lose stomach and constipation, which is due to the fact that there is a constant struggle between microorganisms in the intestine.
There are many varieties of various digestive problems, such as irritable bowel syndrome, leaky gut, reflux, ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease, food intolerance, and gastritis.
Symptoms of the ailments can be different, but often you experience that the problems worsen when you eat. This may, for example, be due to increased activity or level of tension in the digestive system, combined with hypersensitivity and increased attention to nerve signals in the area. The stomach is almost chronic on the alert.
The importance of bacteria
Perhaps the importance of the intestinal bacterial content has previously been underestimated.
Researchers at the Rogel Cancer Center at Michigan University recently found out how gastrointestinal-living micro-organisms can influence inflammation and colon cancer.
– If the good intestinal bacteria are in deficit, it can lead to the mucous membrane in the intestine being worn down, says a specialist in digestive diseases in Jonas Koch at Volvat Medical Center in Oslo.
– Our gastrointestinal tract is made up of a thick wall of mucous membranes that protect us. When the protective membranes and intestinal tufts “wear down”, it can cause proteins from food, undigested particles, microbes, and toxins to penetrate the intestine and into the underlying tissue, where they hit immune cells. All of these particles are interpreted by the immune system as dangerous invaders – and in the worst case, it can lead to serious conditions, Koch explains.
He points out that knowledge about the connection between intestines and physical/mental ailments, as well as autoimmune diseases has increased considerably in recent years. Genes and genetics are also recognized to be significant for stomach and bowel issues. But we don’t know much about it.
Stomach ailments should be treated
Stomach ailments should not remain untreated, especially if you experience a sudden change in bowel movements, blood, and mucus in the stool, pain, fatigue, and poor general condition. This may imply something severe is happening.
Cancer of the colon and rectum is the most frequently growing form of cancer in Norway, especially among women.
Every year, about 2,700 new cases of colon cancer and 4,000 new cases of colorectal cancer are detected. Uncertain for what reason, Norway is the country in Europe with the most cases of bowel cancer in relation to the population, according to the Norwegian Cancer Society.
– We do not quite know the cause, but genetics, lifestyle, diet, and inactivity are considered important factors, says gastroenterologists and internal medicine.
– Vigilance on symptoms, early assessment, and treatment can, however, give a high cure rate. Certain lifestyle and dietary measures can also prevent ailments. If you perform colonoscopy screening tests, as is done in other countries, the chance of detecting the disease increases at an early stage, before it has developed into cancer, says Ali.
– If bowel cancer is detected in time, the cure percentage is 60-80 percent, provided that cancer has not caused metastasis, ie spread.
If you can detect the disease at an early stage, in other words before the tumor has grown through the intestinal wall, you can remove cancer surgically.
– In that case, nine out of ten patients survive five years after the cancer is discovered, he says.
Symptoms should be regarded seriously from the stomach and intestines. This is true for both chronic and insidious and acute diseases. Early diagnosis can enhance the quality of life in certain instances. In other situations, life and death will have a difference.
In general, when patients come for an examination of disease of the stomach and intestines, they are referred by the GP to internal medicine and gastroenterologist.
Blood samples and stool samples are taken, and if something serious is suspected, one can possibly be examined with endoscopy or colonoscopy of the intestine or the upper part of the digestive system and stomach by gastroscopy. Possibly also with CT and MRI.
During colonoscopy and gastroscopy, the doctor can see the intestines and stomach inside a monitor by inserting a thin tube with a camera. In this way, you can check everything from mucous membranes, inflammatory conditions, polyps, and possibly tumors.
– Although much can be revealed by examining mucous membranes in the gastrointestinal tract, it is also important to study how the microorganisms that live there can affect inflammation and increase the risk of tumor development, Krogfoss believes.