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Kombucha, Kefir, Kimchi – Probiotics Beyond Your Trendy Food

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April 16, 2021 Blog

Constipation Symptoms

Kombucha drinks have been gaining popularity, with a rise in both store-bought and homemade Kombucha. But more than a trendy drink, do you know how probiotics like Kombucha can be beneficial to your gut?

The role of probiotics in your gut

Your body has a balance of good and bad bacteria. But when your immune system is low, bad bacteria increases and disrupts this balance. In this case, probiotics can help to restore a mixture of good living bacteria and yeast, to fight off the bad bacteria and establish the balance again.

And what foods are good sources of probiotics? They are commonly found in cultured drinks like Yakult and Vitagen, and other popular fermented foods and drinks such as Kombucha, Kefir and Kimchi. These fermented food are hosts of good bacteria and easily introduce probiotics in your diet.

Typically, the probiotics in fermented food boost the health of your intestinal cells, preventing or relieving chronic constipation and other digestion problems. Having said that, if you have not been taking fermented food regularly, it’s best to start with small amounts because certain constituents in probiotics can worsen abdominal symptoms in some people.

Top Probiotic foods to introduce in your diet

  • Kombucha

By fermenting bacteria, yeast, sugar and tea, you get this sweet and fizzy drink called Kombucha. On average, the fermentation needs at least seven days before you can drink the Kombucha. If you would like your Kombucha to be less sweet and more acidic, you can ferment the Kombucha for up to thirty days.

But besides bacteria, the tea is actually another highly gut-friendly ingredient with strong antioxidants. During the fermentation process, the antioxidant level increases and reduces your chances of inflammation.

  • Kefir

Kefir is a yoghurt-like fermented milk drink. You might be thinking, is this drink the same as your common Yakult and Vitagen drinks?

Apart from containing less sugar, Kefir also has far more good bacteria variations (more than regular yoghurt and yoghurt-like drinks). While promoting bowel movement, Kefir relieves digestive problems such as gastric and acid reflux. On top of that, the enzymes in Kefir efficiently break down nutrients, allowing them to be more readily absorbed by your body.

  • Kimchi

Making Kimchi has been traditionally known as an effective way to preserve vegetables. But this spicy pickled dish is, in fact, another gut-friendly dish.

Making Kimchi involves fermenting cabbage, peppers, garlic, ginger, together with lactic acid bacteria. Throw the ingredients into a sealed container and let it ferment at room temperature for a few days. After which, store the container in the fridge to continue the fermentation. Like Kombucha and Kefir, Kimchi is rich in antioxidants that give the same anti-inflammatory effect, reducing your chances of abdominal pain.

Conclusion

As much as introducing probiotics into your diet offers your body many benefits, remember that probiotics are supplements and not substitutes. Couple gut-friendly food like Kombucha, Kefir and Kimchi with your essential high-fibre fruits and vegetables. This will create a healthy environment for probiotics to thrive in your gut.


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April 5, 2021 Blog0

对于腹胀问题,其实大家都习以为常了。腹胀可以是一顿饱餐后引起的腹部不适,但有些时候可能是其他腹部疾病的症状所引起的。腹胀问题通常与肠胃疾病有关联。

腹胀主观上感觉腹部的一部分或全腹部胀满,一般是因为肠胃道空气或气体积聚所引起。其他会伴随着腹胀的症状包括腹痛、肠胃胀气、便秘腹泻。对于经常面对腹部不适的人,腹胀可能也因为其他病状如胃酸倒流或肠易激综合症所引起。

在一些情况下,腹胀在简单的改变饮食和生活习惯下就能缓解。对于肠胃道里的气体与粪便的排泄,您的饮食习惯扮演者主要的角色。以下是一些有效减轻腹胀问题的食物:

  1. 益生菌

益生菌是把肠胃里导致消化问题及症状的坏细菌给排除掉,即帮助维持肠道平衡的益菌。您可以透过进食带有益生菌的食物如酸奶、德国酸菜和克非尔(又称牛奶酒)来提高体内的益生菌。另外,您可以摄取益生菌补品来改善您的腹胀问题。

  1. 薄荷

薄荷富含薄荷醇,具有解痉及健胃消食的功效,是较常用于缓解消化问题的草药。当您面对腹胀问题时,不妨喝杯薄荷茶来缓解。薄荷有助于分泌胃酸与胆汁,促进排泄气体及能迅速缓解腹胀问题。

  1. 富含水分的蔬果

除了富含水分,富含水分的蔬果也含有关键的电解质与有益的酵素,是属于有效缓解腹胀的天然配方。

  1. 含钾高的食物

过量摄取钠也会是引起您腹胀的其一因素。多吃含钾高的食物是为了应对所摄入的过量钠,以便您的肾能够把多余的钠盐排出,并确保血液中的钾和钠保持平衡。绿叶蔬菜、豆科植物、香蕉及牛油果都是一些富含钾的食物。

  1. 草药、香料和茶

富含健胃消食功效的草药除了能舒缓肠胃不适,也附加其他复原效果如放松肠胃道肌肉、纾解便秘问题和饱胀问题。为了提升您的肠胃道健康,您可以尝试吃些现磨的草药如迷迭香、现剥姜根及喝凉茶。

为腹胀问题咨询医生

若以上的方案都无法缓解您的腹胀症状,而且还持续不解,尽快咨询医生。引起腹胀的因素有很多,最好的方法就是让专业人士为您进行检查,以便能够索取更准确的诊断,并辩证潜在的因素。

在新加坡gutCARE,我们是提供全面消化与肝疾病护理的专业肠胃病专家团队。我们的医生会为您进行实践的实验与检测来提供针对您的腹胀问题的最佳治疗方案。

想了解更多有关腹胀风的问题与解决方案,可以与gutCARE联络!


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March 31, 2021 Blog0

桩或痔疮是一种位于肛门部位的常见疾病。大约有75%的成人都会面对痔疮的问题。常见的痔疮症状有肛门周围痒、便血、排出黏液、肛门周围肿痛。然而,有些病患并没有展现任何症状,甚至都没发现有痔疮的存在。

当肛门内的血管异常肿胀,就会形成痔疮。这些肿胀的血管会带给人们不适或在排便时流血。内痔是肛管上部的血管肿胀而形成的;而外痔指的是肛管下部和肛门口皮层下的血管肿胀。

导致痔疮的因素

在本地的痔疮案例并不稀有,而导致因素有多种可能性。医生一般都无法断定导致痔疮的明确因素,但是痔疮通常与肛门周围的血管压力增加有关。

然而,有许多痔疮病例都与以下的因素有关:

  • 摄入的纤维含量不足

摄入纤维含量不足会提高排便困难的风险或排便量很少的问题。因此,在排便时您会使出更多的压力,也就导致肛管内与周围的血管压力增加,进而使得血管肿胀。

  • 怀孕

怀孕是较常见的痔疮元凶。当子宫里的宝宝越来越大时,就会逐渐增加腹部、直肠和肛门的压力,因而增加了静脉的压力并促使静脉肿胀。孕期的荷尔蒙变化也会导致肛门周围的肌肉衰弱,促使肛门的结构不稳固,增加了血管压力。

  • 老化

当一个人慢慢老化,体内的组织就会慢慢的衰弱,从而提升痔疮的产生,特别是在45岁至65岁之间的人士。

排便时持久及频率的过劳也会导致痔疮,因为肛门上的压力增加了。当您坐在马桶上是,您可以尝试使用踏脚凳来帮助更顺畅的排便。

  • 肥胖症

痔疮和肥胖症有很大的联系。那些多于的重量会增加肛门肌肉的压力,因而引起肿胀与发炎。如果摄入的纤维量不足也会促使情况更严重。

  • 繁重的举重

举重及其他会过劳举繁重物品的活动也会导致痔疮的产生,这是因为血管里的压力有明显的增加。当您举重时,学会使用呼吸技能及屏气,来把气压推到口腔部位而不是把气压往下推,以便能够减轻腹部与肛门部位的压力。

痔疮的治疗

痔疮的治疗方式取决于痔疮类型和严重程度。初期的痔疮,通常会自行康复或只需要调整饮食习惯就能康复。如果您经常面对痔疮困扰,例如出现便血问题,您应该接受医生的检查。医生可能会一一排除症状,以便能更准确地断定您没有患上更严重的病症;或医生也会建议您接受一些医疗程序来缩小或切除痔疮


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March 30, 2021 Blog

Hemorrhoids Symptoms, Hemorrhoids Treatment Cost Singapore

Haemoglobin is the protein molecule in red blood cells that carries oxygen from the lungs to body cells. It plays a critical role as oxygen is needed for cells to repair and maintain itself. Haemoglobin is also responsible for maintaining the shape of red blood cells, which resembles a donut with a biconcave centre. This enables them to fold and flex to flow through blood vessels easily.

The amount of haemoglobin in one’s body varies from person to person. But when haemoglobin levels dip significantly, it could signal a health concern. Here is what you need to know about low haemoglobin levels in your body!

Low haemoglobin levels

A slightly low haemoglobin level may not necessarily be a sign for a serious health condition. In certain cases, especially women with menstrual cycles and pregnant women, this can be normal. However, it is important to make an appointment with your doctor if you have persisting signs and symptoms of a low haemoglobin count.

Low haemoglobin levels often indicate that a patient has anaemia, a blood disorder. There are a few different types of anaemia. Some only cause mild health problems, while others can be much more severe. Some causes of anaemia are:

  • The body’s inability to produce enough haemoglobin
  • Impaired functions of haemoglobin
  • Blood loss from your body
  • Shortened lifespan of red blood cells

Causes

Low haemoglobin levels can be caused by any condition or disease that affects the body’s ability to produce red blood cells or decrease the number of red blood cells in the bloodstream. Some health conditions that may contribute to low haemoglobin levels include:

  • Lack of iron: The lack of iron in your body makes it harder for your bone marrow to produce haemoglobin. This could result from blood loss, an iron-poor diet, or an increase in the body’s need for iron such as women during pregnancy.
  • Nutritional deficiency: Vitamins that are linked to vitamin deficiency anaemia include folate, vitamin B-12, and vitamin C. This can be treated with some vitamin supplements and adjustments to your diet.
  • Loss of blood: The loss of blood could be caused by an injury, surgery, or bleeding in your digestive tract such as from ulcers, cancers, or haemorrhoids.
  • Blood cancer: Blood cancer is one of the common cancers linked to anaemia. This is because blood cancer affects how the body produces and uses red blood cells.
  • Thalassemia: Thalassemia is an inherited condition that causes individuals to have lower levels of haemoglobin than normal. This could cause the person to be easily fatigued. Extreme cases may require blood transfusions to upkeep healthy levels of haemoglobin in the body.

Symptoms

As there are many causes for anaemia, the symptoms vary widely. Some of the common symptoms experienced include:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Exhaustion
  • Dizziness
  • Headache
  • Cold hands and feet
  • Abnormal or rapid heartbeat

Conclusion

Doctors might recommend patients a complete blood count test to determine whether you have low haemoglobin level. If the test shows that you have a low haemoglobin count, you will likely need further tests to determine the cause. The sooner you notice the symptoms of low haemoglobin levels and have the cause diagnosed, the more likely you will have successful treatment.


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March 23, 2021 Blog0

The liver is a vital organ with several functions. Some of its essential functions are forming proteins for bodily functions such as repairing of cells, bile production for the digestion of fats, and removal of waste products from our blood.

Sometimes, when health issues are suspected with the liver, a liver function test may be recommended to check on one’s liver health. This test is essentially a blood test, where your blood sample is examined for any abnormal substance levels in your liver, signaling possible liver disease. These substances include: proteins such as albumin, enzymes such as alanine aminotransferase (ALT) & aspartate aminotransferase (AST) and a waste product called bilirubin.

When receiving the test results, you might feel fearful or confused trying to interpret it, especially if you have just received an abnormal liver function test result. But rest assured, not all abnormal test results indicate a serious issue in your liver. Some results are isolated cases, while others can easily be treated when discovered and addressed early.

Typically, such a reading is given because your liver is inflamed. To aid you in understanding the abnormal reading, here are 5 common causes that may explain your abnormal liver function test outcome.

Alcohol abuse

One of the most common causes would be heavy alcohol consumption. As the liver is responsible for breaking down alcohol, excessive alcohol intake causes the liver to struggle and become overworked, eventually causing damage to it. Moreover, toxins are produced in the process of breaking down alcohol molecules, and they add to the damage in the liver.

Also, it is a myth that certain types of alcohol would cause more harm to your liver. It is not the type of alcohol you consume but the amount of alcohol consumed that leads to liver damage.

Hepatitis B

Hepatitis B is an infection of the liver caused by the hepatitis B virus (HBV). During a virus infection, the damaged liver leaks the liver enzymes into the bloodstream. During a more severe infection, a larger number of liver enzymes would be detected in your blood, in some cases raised bilirubin level causes jaundice to your body.

If suspected to have been infected, you are advised to follow up with a hepatitis test immediately. Hepatitis B infections can be acute or chronic and the treatments differ accordingly. Treatment for acute hepatitis B focuses on managing the symptoms, whereas close monitoring and treatment are needed for chronic hepatitis B.

Fatty liver (non-alcoholic)

The presence of fatty buildup in the liver is another cause for an abnormal liver function test. But, did you know that fatty liver can form even without excessive alcohol consumption? This is more common among overweight people.

When excess calorie from our food consumption accumulates in the body as fat, it leads to non-alcoholic fatty liver, and therefore, an abnormal liver function test in some patients. When not treated, fatty liver can lead to cirrhosis or liver cancer.

Isolated raised bilirubin (from Gilbert syndrome)

When the liver breaks down old red blood cells, a yellow by-product called bilirubin is secreted. However, if your liver cannot properly process bilirubin and remove it from the body, they accumulate and result in an increase in bilirubin levels. This condition is coined as Gilbert syndrome, a genetic disorder.

This mild disorder can be observed as a yellowing of the whites of the eyes or more commonly, it does not present any symptoms and just incidentally detected to have raised bilirubin from your medical check, with all other liver enzymes are normal. The good news is that Gilbert syndrome is a benign condition and it will not cause harm to your body.

Pregnancy-induced

Some pregnant women are also prone to having abnormal liver function test results from pregnancy related fatty liver or other pregnancy complications. These issues need to be monitored closely, and most of the time, they will resolve after delivery of the baby.

Conclusion

Knowing how to read your liver function test is essential in maintaining your liver’s health. While the above presents 5 common explanations for an abnormal liver function test result, it is always still advisable to speak to a professional to diagnose and offer personalised treatment solutions for yourself.


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March 21, 2021 Blog0

 

在新加坡,胰腺癌是男性与女性常见癌症凶手,分别排名第五和第六名。超过80%的病例都无法在诊断后完全医治好。大约5%的胰腺癌病患能够存活超过5年,但只有1%的胰腺癌病患能够存活超过10年。那什么是胰腺癌,而为什么它那么致命?

什么是胰腺癌?

胰脏位于左上腹部,胃和腰椎之间。胰脏主要有两种功能分别为外分泌和内分泌功能。外分泌功能就是分泌多种酵素,帮助消化脂肪、蛋白质和糖;而内分泌功能就是分泌胰高血糖素和胰岛素来调控血糖。

胰腺癌是指胰腺细胞发生癌变而产生的肿瘤,这些肿瘤会影响胰脏的正常功能。通常在病状的晚期,肿瘤的生长可能会转移(传播)到其他身体部位,这就形成切除癌细胞的成功率很低。

胰腺癌主要根据肿瘤细胞的位置可分成两种。比较常见而且侵略性较高的胰腺癌是外分泌胰腺癌,是当癌细胞阻碍胰脏的外分泌功能。比较罕见的就是内分泌胰腺癌,是当癌细胞阻碍胰脏的内分泌功能。

为什么胰腺癌那么致命?

胰腺癌被断定是个侵略性及致命性高的疾病,因为大部分被确诊的患者,存活率并不高。以下是患有胰腺癌的病患为何康复希望渺茫的原因:

  • 病因尚不十分清楚:胰腺癌的病因尚不十分清楚,使得发现其疾病并不容易。虽然有些因素如家庭病史、抽烟和肥胖症都被认为与导致患上胰腺癌有关,然而这些普遍的因素无法有效诊断或缩小患上胰腺癌的机率,甚至无法找到早期检测胰腺癌的方法。
  • 尚无明显的症状:医生已列出胰腺癌的症状包括上腹部疼痛、黄疸、食欲不振、恶心、呕吐、体重暴跌、营养不良、粪便呈油性及浅色等等。但是,每个病例的症状都有所不同,而且无法确定是因胰腺癌所引起。这导致医生无法根据症状诊断胰腺癌。
  • 症状在晚期才会呈现:大部分的胰腺癌病例都是在晚期才被诊断出的。这是因为胰腺癌的症状一般都在癌细胞扩散或肿瘤恶化后才呈现。在这种情况下,癌细胞已扩散至临近的器官如胆管、肝脏、周围的淋巴结、血管甚至骨头,而诊断后要进行切除手术也很难了。
  • 尚无可靠的检测方法:不像乳癌或结肠癌的检测程序那么可靠又容易索取,胰腺癌却缺乏一个可靠又容易购到的检测,以便能够进行定期检查。因此原因,这就使胰腺癌无法在早期,患者还有几率治疗的时候被诊断。

不幸的是,胰腺癌继续在没有警告、来得太突然的情况下夺走了许多生命。您唯独能够避免患上胰腺癌的方法就是保持健康的生活习惯来降低患上胰腺癌的风险因素,再仔细留意是否呈现任何相关的症状。若您想更了解有关胰腺癌的详情,您可以向肠胃科医生咨询,医生会与您分享胰腺癌的症状、检查程序以及治疗方案。


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March 17, 2021 Blog

Hepatitis B is a liver infection caused by the hepatitis B virus (HBV). At times, hepatitis B infection can become chronic and increase a person’s risk of developing liver failure, liver cancer, or cirrhosis, which can eventually lead to death. This can be prevented by early detection and treatment.

If you or anyone close has been diagnosed with hepatitis B, remember that you are not alone. In Singapore, about 1 in 25 persons of the population have chronic hepatitis B infection. It can be confusing and overwhelming when someone receives their diagnosis of hepatitis B. Here is what you should do if you are tested positive for hepatitis B.

1. Understanding your test results

Understanding the hepatitis B test results can sometimes be confusing. To understand your test results and your hepatitis status, it is important to consult with your healthcare provider and clear any doubts. Are you infected? Are you at risk? Is it an acute or chronic infection? A simple blood test called an abnormal liver function test can help answer some of those questions.

You can get infected with viral hepatitis B through sexual transmission from your partner or exposure to blood from an infected person. For example, drug abusers can get infected by sharing contaminated needles. Majority of healthy patients who have an acute infection can leave the body to get rid of the infection itself with ample rest and hydration. However, if a person still tests positive for hepatitis B even after 6 months, it is called a chronic infection. In Singapore, most people get the infection from mother to child transmission during pregnancy. In that situation, most infections will end up as chronic infections. Understanding the severity of your hepatitis B condition can allow you and your doctor to assess your next move.

2. Discuss treatment options

When diagnosed with chronic hepatitis B, it is essential to consult a doctor who has experience treating liver disease to discuss your treatment options. Most patients with chronic infection do not need antiviral medication as they are just a carrier of the virus without any evidence of the virus causing damage to the liver. In the situation that antiviral medication is needed to treat chronic hepatitis B and help fight the virus, several antiviral medications such as entecavir (Baraclude), tenofovir TDF (Viread), and tenofovir TAF (vemlidy) are commonly used. They can also reduce the risk of future liver complications. With multiple prescription combinations available, your doctor can advise you on an effective and suitable drug regimen depending on the type of infection you have, your liver function, and any other medical conditions you may have.

For certain cases, a liver transplant may be needed if a person’s liver has been severely damaged. During the liver transplant, a surgeon will remove your liver and replace it with a healthy donor liver. Most transplanted livers come from deceased donors, while a small percentage of them come from living donors.

3. Make lifestyle changes

Patients diagnosed with hepatitis B should avoid consuming alcohol and other medications that further cause damage to the liver. Discuss with your doctor about your prescribed medications, herbs, and supplements you can take. Consuming a more balanced and nutritious diet can rid the body of toxins and help cope with chronic hepatitis. Exercising regularly and getting plenty of rest can help improve the immune system, helping the body naturally remove the virus and heal the liver.

It is important to note that hepatitis B can be transmitted through blood and bodily fluids. Patients should be aware of how to protect others and avoid passing the infection to their close contacts.

Conclusion

It is important to educate yourself on the facts about hepatitis B. Here at gutCARE, we are here to help you through this challenging time and answer the questions you have.


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March 10, 2021 Blog

Before you cook a plate of fried rice, pause to think, will Uncle Roger approve? You might not have used a colander to drain the rice, but how did you prepare it?

In September 2017, there was a case of Fried Rice Syndrome in a school canteen, where 14 students fell sick after their meal of fried rice. While typically mild in its impact, this syndrome can also be fatal and should not be easily dismissed.

As the name goes, this syndrome has been proven to be closely associated to the dish of fried rice. As ordinary as the dish sounds, improper preparation methods can cause dangerous effects. This is due to the presence of Bacillus cereus, a bacterium that multiplies in cooked food left at room temperature.

With fried rice as a typical Asian dish, it is crucial to know more about the Fried Rice Syndrome to care for our gut health. Here are some insights into the context of the bacteria, the symptoms of the syndrome and, of course, crucial tips to avoid contracting it!

What is Bacillus cereus?

Bacillus cereus is a bacterium that produces toxins in the form of spores. Although typically found in soil, vegetables, raw and processed food, it can remain and even multiply in cooked food at room temperature.

Moreover, heat is not able to remove this infectious bacteria. Hence, even after food previously left at room temperature is reheated, the bacteria continue to thrive and becomes a culprit for food poisoning.

Fried Rice Syndrome

This type of food poisoning has been coined as such because it often happens after the consumption of contaminated fried rice.

To understand how a plate of fried rice becomes contaminated, you would need to understand the process of cooking it. The crux of Fried Rice Syndrome lies in how the dish is prepared.

A standard process of preparing fried rice goes like this: rice is first pre-cooked and then either left to cool at room temperature or kept overnight, a step that is crucial to remove moisture and let the grains firm up. After that, the cooled rice grains are fried with other ingredients to complete the dish.

In this whole process, the heat-resistant Bacillus cereus survives past both the cooling and frying stages. As such, the bacteria remain on the plate of fried rice up until it is served.

Symptoms of the syndrome

Fried Rice Syndrome can show itself almost immediately. The development of symptoms is dependent on the time of toxin release by the bacteria. The bacteria either releases toxins in the food or releases toxins into the body after the food has been consumed.

If the toxins have already been released into the food before consumption, nausea and vomiting symptoms might be experienced almost immediately. If toxins are released directly into the body, after consumption of bacteria-containing food, you might contract diarrhoea, cramps and nausea after an average of six hours.

How to treat Fried Rice Syndrome

Mild cases can be treated by hydrating the body, leaving it to fight the infection. However, the more severe Fried Rice Syndrome cases would require treatment using antibiotics.

Like with any type of food poisoning that results in prolonged diarrhoea, vomiting or abdominal cramps, seeking a professional for proper diagnosis and treatment is advised.

Conclusion

To prevent the Fried Rice Syndrome, cooked food should either be refrigerated at 4 °C and below or kept warm above 60 °C.

Storing food well is crucial as bacteria can persist and thrive at room temperature. Specifically, to prevent the occurrence of Fried Rice Syndrome, food should not be left at room temperature to cool for more than two hours.


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March 8, 2021 Blog0

辛辣食物不是唯一让您体内感觉烧灼的东西。胃灼热是一种在上腹部、胸口甚至到喉咙的灼热感。胃灼热是当胃酸和食物逆流至食道和喉咙后,引起胸部的灼热感,而这很可能会是胃食管反流疾病(GERD)的症状。

怎样及为什么会发生?

原因落在于食管下括约肌(LES),位于您的胃和食道之间的肌肉。正常情况下,LES就像一个阀门,开口让食物进入胃部或让气体排出(打嗝现象)并关闭,以防止食物和消化液流回食管。但是,如果括约肌松弛或者变得虚弱,胃酸就会倒流进入食管,引起烧灼感,也就是所谓的胃灼热。

引起胃灼热的原因有几项,大多是因暴饮暴食所引起的。患有肥胖症或孕妇也提高经历胃灼热的风险,因为这种情况都对您的胃无形增加了压力。特定的食物和饮料也会导致胃灼热,如咖啡(咖啡因)、酸性果汁(葡萄柚、橙子、凤梨)、辛辣食物、汽水以及酒精,促使您的括约肌过于放松或增加胃里的胃酸。有研究证明抽烟也会导致括约肌松弛。

胃灼热有多严重?

饭后或夜晚期间胸口有烧灼感、躺下或弯腰时烧灼感恶化甚至口腔有酸味或苦味都是常见的胃灼热症状。若胃灼热经常发生,这只会带给您的生活许多不便,影响您的每日活动以及您的睡眠。

您能够到大众药房索取抗酸剂或其他处方如质子泵抑制剂(PPI)都是有效抑制胃酸分泌,缓解烧心的方案。其他处方包括喝姜茶、穿宽松衣着以避免压缩您的肠胃以及抬高身体的上半部以减轻对食管下括约肌的压力。

胃灼热的严重程度是根据发生的频率来断定。屡次发生胃灼热就被认为是胃食管反流疾病,而很可能食管下括约肌已无法正常运作,导致大量的胃酸逆流。这种情况会导致更严重的病情如喉炎、食管溃疡或发炎、食道损伤和患上巴雷特食道(一种会引起恶性食管癌的前病)。

何时该寻求治疗?

如果您发现自己经常到药房购买抗酸剂,但病情都未改善,您就应该尽快咨询肠胃科医生。一个星期多于两次发生胃灼热现象、咽下困难、反复觉得恶心或呕吐以及因为食欲不振体重暴跌都是给予您警告的一些症状。

医生会询问有关您的病史及所体验的症状,并进行体检。若医生怀疑您患有胃食管反流疾病,他就会为您进行诊断测验如食管24h动态pH监测胃镜检查。这是因为特定的疾病拥有特定的治疗程序与药物。

改变饮食习惯及生活习俗也是其中有助于缓解胃灼热的方案。减少食用引起胃灼热的食物、避免暴饮暴食以及睡前两个小时应该避免吃大餐。学会舒缓压力、适量减肥以及戒烟也能逐渐改善胃灼热的烦恼。


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March 1, 2021 Blog

Stools are a normal part of the digestive process, and it consists of waste products that are being removed from the body. On some days, you may notice a change in the colour or texture of your stools. But what does this mean?

Different coloured stools can mean many different things, mostly affected by what you have eaten. These variations are usually harmless and considered normal. After all, we don’t eat the same thing every day.

But sometimes, a change in colour can be a sign of a health issue. In rare cases, it could also mean a serious issue with your digestive system. Read on to find out what the colour of your stools may be revealing about your digestive health!

Brown

The natural colour of stool is brown, due to a substance called bilirubin which is present in bile. As bile passes through the intestines and gets broken down by enzymes, the colour changes from a light yellow-brown to dark brown colour. If your stools are any shade of light to dark brown, you have no reason to worry!

Green

If you are having green stools, think about what you ate recently. Eating excessive amounts of green foods such as leafy vegetables or green food colouring can result in green stools. (Interestingly, some purple food colourings cause green stools too!) Green stools from food pigments are not usually a cause for worry.

However, having loose, green stools could mean that food may be moving through the large intestine too quickly, giving greenish bile insufficient time to be broken down. If this happens chronically, it may lead to malabsorption and malnutrition. It could also indicate an underlying problem in the intestine.

Yellow

Yellow stools are normal for many people, especially for babies. But if the yellow or pale stools are accompanied with a bad smell, look greasy, and they float on water, it could be a sign that the stools contain too much fat. This may be the result of diseases of the pancreas that reduce delivery of fat-digesting enzymes to the intestines. Some pancreatic disorders that lead to yellow stools include pancreatitis,  pancreatic cancer, and cystic fibrosis. If the colour persists, visit a doctor to get it checked out.  

Bright red

Bright red or maroon-coloured stools can be the result of consuming scarlet-coloured foods such as beetroot or dragon fruit. But occasionally, it could be a sign of bleeding. This happens when blood gets mixed with or covers the stools as it passes through the large intestine or rectum. Some of the possible causes are haemorrhoids, colon polyps, or colon cancer. If you realise the red stools are probably not caused by your diet, visit a doctor immediately. 

Black or tar-coloured

Black stools can occur when you eat something very dark coloured or take a supplement that causes it. Foods and supplements that cause black stools include blueberries, black liquorice, or iron supplements.

However, black stools can be a sign of a more serious problem. It could result from bleeding in the upper part of the digestive tract which can be caused by stomach ulcers, noncancerous tumours, or cancer. It is best to get checked and talk to a doctor if you notice dark-coloured stools that are not caused by food. 

Pale or clay-coloured

Whitish, pale, or clay-coloured stools could be a result of causes ranging from certain medications you have taken, to certain nutritional deficiencies. If you’ve recently had a barium test, you may also pass out chalky looking stools.

However, if the clay-coloured stools are accompanied by jaundice, a liver or bile problem is usually suspected, which could be bile duct obstruction, hepatitis, or liver cirrhosis.

Conclusion

Often, day-to-day variations the appearance of your stools is normal and isn’t something to worry about. Your diet plays an important part! However, if any changes persist without any known cause – like foods in your diet, then you shouldn’t hesitate to head down to your doctor for an examination.


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