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Is Experiencing Swallowing Difficulty A Sign Of Cancer?

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January 19, 2021 Blog0

Having trouble swallowing can cause distress, whether from the frustration of not being able to eat and drink smoothly, or from choking or painful sensations. The medical name for a swallowing difficulty is dysphagia. Commonly, difficulty swallowing may occur when eating too quickly and food is not thoroughly chewed. However, persistent dysphagia may be a sign of a serious medical condition which requires treatment.

Experiencing recurring or ongoing swallowing difficulties could be a sign of some cancers such as esophageal cancer or stomach cancer. The tumour may block or narrow the food passage. It is best to see a doctor immediately to rule out the causes.

What causes swallowing difficulty?

There are muscles and nerves that help the body move food through the throat and esophagus. Swallowing difficulty may occur when these muscles and nerves are not working right. In other cases, swallowing difficulty may be caused by a physical obstruction, or pain during swallowing. Some conditions that cause dysphagia include:

  • Acid reflux and GERD: When stomach acid flows up from the stomach back into the esophagus, it can cause symptoms such as heartburn, stomach pain, ulcers, and difficulty swallowing. Having symptoms of acid reflux more than twice a week might be a sign of a condition known as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).
  • Esophageal cancer: Esophageal cancer can happen when a malignant tumour develops in the lining of the esophageal. The deep tissues and muscles of the esophageal can be affected as the tumour grows. During the early stages of esophageal cancer, a person may not experience any symptoms. But as the cancer progresses, some may experience symptoms such as vomiting, heartburn, chronic cough, pain or difficulty swallowing, and food coming back up the esophagus.
  • Stomach cancer: Stomach cancer, also known as gastric cancer, is characterised by a growth of cancerous cells within the lining of the stomach. This type of cancer can be difficult to diagnose as people typically don’t show any symptoms during the early stages. Some of the most common symptoms of stomach cancer are nausea and vomiting, bloody stools, stomach pain, and difficulty swallowing.

When should I see a doctor for swallowing difficulty?

Encountering difficulty swallowing once in a while with no other symptoms is usually not a cause for worry. But you should get it checked out if dysphagia is repeated or prolonged, especially if accompanied by other symptoms, such as drooling, unexpected weight loss, heartburn, and coughing. Dysphagia that results in a person avoiding eating, skipping meals, losing weight or becoming malnourished is also reason to be concerned.

If you are having trouble breathing or think there might be something stuck in your throat, call a doctor immediately.

It is important to consult a doctor to determine the cause of your swallowing difficulty. Talk to your doctor about the symptoms you have and when they began. They will do a physical exam to check for any abnormalities or swelling in your oral cavity. There are a variety of tests they can perform to find the exact cause. Some tests include:

  • Barium X-ray: Use of X-ray to examine the gastrointestinal system
  • Endoscopy: A small camera attached to a long, thin, tube is inserted through the mouth to examine the throat, esophagus, stomach, and part of the small intestine
  • Manometry: A tube is inserted through the nose into the esophagus, which detects the pressure and strength of the esophageal muscles

Conclusion

It pays to be vigilant about your own health and any abnormalities. If a severe condition is the cause of your swallowing difficulty, getting treatment early is key. Your doctor can provide you with medication or recommend you the suitable treatments you need, such as surgery or chemotherapy.


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January 12, 2021 Blog

 

The liver is an organ that is part of the digestive system and sits right under the ribcage on the right side of your abdomen. Not many people realise the importance of the liver. In fact, the liver carries out multiple vital processes in the body each day. For example, it produces bile which aids the small intestine in breaking down and absorbing fats, cholesterol, as well as some vitamins. It also plays a pivotal role in filtering the blood in the body by breaking down compounds like estrogen and alcohol in the body.

With the liver’s many roles being crucial for the body’s wellbeing, it is critical that the liver is taken care of, especially for those who have liver disease. The current COVID-19 pandemic has, without a doubt, made it harder for those with liver diseases. However, this guide will introduce you to 3 tips on taking care of your liver so as to manage common issues like stomach pain or vomiting.

Reduce your alcohol intake
With the COVID-19 pandemic taking the world by storm, almost everyone, no matter their industry, is affected. More people are trying to adapt to the sudden switch of working from home. This has led to an increase in people turning to bad habits like smoking or drinking alcohol excessively.

Although it is acceptable to consume alcohol moderately, excessive consumption can be detrimental to the body. As the body metabolises alcohol, it converts alcohol into acetaldehyde, which is toxic. Normally, acetaldehyde will be further converted into acetate, and then water and carbon dioxide, for disposal by the body. However, overconsumption can slow down the metabolisation process, leading to an accumulation of toxic acetaldehyde in the body. This compound is responsible for much of alcohol’s negative impacts on the body. It can damage the liver and other nearby organs by causing inflammation and scarring.

One of the by-products of alcohol in the body are fat compounds, which can lead to a build-up of fatty deposits in your liver, inflammation, as well as a higher chance of liver cancer. Hence, it is best to limit alcohol consumption. One suggestion would be to replace that habit with a healthier activity like reading or even baking.

Don’t fall for fad diets
With more people staying home and not being able to visit the gym conveniently, staying in shape has been one of the main concerns for many. This has led to many looking up easier alternatives for staying in shape and falling for appealing fad diets. A fad diet is essentially a weight-loss plan or strategy that promises dramatic results. Fad diets typically come and go like trends, and the COVID-19 pandemic has seen the surge of fad diets like the fully liquid diet which is said to help in weight-loss.

However, such fad diet methods that cause your weight to fluctuate rapidly in short periods can put excessive stress on your liver. Most people enter into fad diets because of the promised dramatic results with little to no effort. However, the damage that it can cause your liver is often more harmful than beneficial. Instead of taking the easy way out with these diets, a healthier and more long-term alternative would be to implement healthy diets gradually and supplement it with regular exercise.

Commit to a balanced diet
One of the most common reasons for fatty liver disease is obesity. People who are above the optimal or healthy BMI range are at higher risk of other liver diseases or further affecting their current liver condition.

Therefore, you should aim to keep between the BMI range of 18.5 and 22.9. This can be achieved over time through regular exercise sessions and a healthy diet.

Conclusion
Although the COVID pandemic has caused an inconvenience for many, it should not stop you from taking care of vital organs like your liver. Especially during a time like this, it should be essential to visit your doctor for check-ups regularly as well apply the tips above in your daily activities.


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January 7, 2021 Blog

Have you been experiencing more abdominal pain during the COVID-19 pandemic? There is a scientific reason – it might be stress!

With the constant news coverage on the number of infected patients, death counts, and businesses shutting down, there is no doubt that everybody is feeling stressed out. Perhaps, it is even safe to say that almost no one is immune to the stress and anxiety caused by the pandemic.

The stress can affect one’s mental and emotional health, as well as take a toll on their body physically. On the note of digestive health, stress can trigger contractions in the gastrointestinal tract which could lead to stress-related digestive symptoms such as nausea, heartburn, and stomach pain.

Why does stress cause stomach pain?
When a person is stressed, the body releases a hormone called cortisol into the bloodstream. This causes a fight-or-flight response and, amongst other effects, can directly trigger abdominal discomfort, or other symptoms such as stomach cramps, constipation, and nausea.

Cortisol levels are meant to rise in the morning and decrease throughout the day. This hormone’s purpose is to maintain blood sugar levels to keep the brain and muscle functioning and suppress non-vital systems like digestion. But, when triggered by stress, the cortisol levels that spiked can take hours to dissipate. If the stress is continuous and the levels do not drop, it could lead to malfunctions in the body and an increased risk of inflammation, infections, and illnesses.

Aside from the direct results of cortisol, our reaction to stress can also indirectly contribute to poor digestive health. For example, some people experiencing chronic stress may turn to unhealthy coping mechanisms like overeating, consuming unhealthy foods, smoking, or drinking alcohol. These new habits can cause stomach discomfort or other gastrointestinal health issues.

How to soothe my abdominal pain?
If you are experiencing abdominal pain, there are a few home remedies you can try. They include:

  • Heat: Warming your stomach with a heat pack can help the muscles to relax and reduce stomach pain. You can also use a hot water bottle and apply it to your stomach for 20 minutes or until it goes cool.
  • Medication: There are over-the-counter medications available at the pharmacy that can help alleviate stomach pain. Be sure to consult the pharmacist and follow the instructions indicated for the given medication.
  • Herbal tea: Some teas have a calming effect that may help your stomach feel better. You can try ginger, chamomile, or peppermint tea.
  • Avoid smoking and consuming alcohol: Smoking can irritate the throat and increase the likelihood of an upset stomach. Alcohol is hard to digest and can cause damage to the liver and stomach lining. It is best to avoid these when you are experiencing abdominal pain.

Conclusion
When you experience stomach or gastrointestinal discomfort, it would be best to visit your doctor to find out the cause of your symptoms. In some cases, your doctor might refer you to a gastroenterologist for further diagnostic tests. Besides stress, some stomach problems can also be a sign of other medical issues such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), Crohn’s disease, and pancreatic cancer.

If the reason behind your abdominal pain turns out to be stress, a few simple things you can do to overcome stress include exercising regularly, staying socially connected to friends and family, and also meditation or yoga to ease tension!


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December 31, 2020 Blog

Pancreatic cancer begins in the tissues of the pancreas, an organ that lies behind the lower part of your stomach. The pancreas produces enzymes that the body needs for digesting fats, proteins, and carbohydrates. It also produces hormones that regulates the body’s blood sugar levels. Often, the cancer does not cause any symptoms until later stages, which is precisely why many refer to pancreatic cancer as the ‘silent killer’.

When diagnosing pancreatic cancer, the doctor determines how advanced the cancer is by observing how big the cancer tumour has grown, and whether these cells have spread beyond the pancreas. This process, called staging, helps to categorise how severe the cancer is and guide the choice of treatments. There are some occasions where the doctors can only identify the stage of the cancer by performing surgery.

Here is what you need to know about the different stages of pancreatic cancer.

Stage 1
Initially, the tumours only exist in the pancreas and can usually be removed by surgery. After surgery, there is a possibility that small cancer cells may remain in the body. Therefore, doctors would recommend patients to get treatments such as chemotherapy even after surgery to prevent these cancer cells from spreading or forming new tumours.

Stage 2
At this stage, the tumours have spread to nearby abdominal tissues and lymph nodes. It is still possible to remove the tumour by surgery. Those with borderline resectable pancreatic cancer may undergo treatments such as chemotherapy, targeted therapy, or radiation therapy to shrink the tumour before surgery.

Stage 3
During stage 3, the tumour has spread to major blood vessels and lymph nodes. Most of the time, stage 3 tumours cannot be removed by surgery. Some of the symptoms pancreatic cancer patients experience at this stage are pain in the back, pain in the upper abdomen, and loss of appetite.

While stage 3 pancreatic cancer can be difficult to cure, there are treatments to reduce the chances of the cancer further spreading and ease the symptoms. The treatments include surgery to remove part of the pancreas, anti-cancer drugs, and radiation therapy. It is common to have a recurrence during this stage of cancer due to tiny areas of undetectable cancer growth.

Stage 4
Pancreatic cancer is categorised under stage 4 when cancer cells have spread to other organs, such as the liver, brain, or lungs. Many times, pancreatic cancer is only diagnosed during the later stage as there are rarely symptoms until it has spread to other organs. Some of the symptoms a person might experience during this stage include pain in the upper abdomen, bloated stomach, pale stools, loss of appetite, or jaundice.

While no treatments as of yet have been successful in curing stage 4 pancreatic cancer, there are treatments one can undergo to relieve the symptoms and prevent other complications. These treatments include chemotherapy, palliative pain treatments, bile duct stent or bypass surgery, and gastric bypass surgery.

Conclusion
Understanding the stages of pancreatic cancer recognises that everyone’s pancreatic cancer journey is different, and can reduce fear and uncertainty by helping one be aware of what is happening in their body.

However, other factors can also affect one’s prognosis and experience, from their age, health condition, to the grade of cancer cells. Close communication with one’s doctors is key, so that they can provide the best possible treatment at the given stage and health condition.


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December 24, 2020 Blog

When it comes to gut health, colonoscopy is something we can’t leave out mentioning. It is a very useful tool for detecting abnormalities in the intestines, including pre-cancerous growths and tumours.

The procedure is a type of endoscopy in which a long, thin, flexible tube is inserted into the body through the rectum. At the end of the tube is a tiny camera that enables the doctor to examine the colon’s interior. Surgical tools can also be inserted through the tube to perform polyp removals or biopsies.

But, unlike some other screening tests that can be undergone annually, colonoscopy is not recommended for frequent testing. So, when is a colonoscopy actually necessary?

Here are some reasons why a doctor may recommend a colonoscopy:

  • To investigate abnormalities in the intestines: When a person experiences gut symptoms like constipation, abdominal pain, rectal bleeding, a doctor may use colonoscopy to examine the intestines for possible causes, such as perforations, growths, blockages, or inflammation.
  • To screen for colon cancer: For a person with no colon cancer symptoms, colonoscopy is sometimes used as a routine screening test. It can also be used to diagnose cancer in patients in which disease is already suspected.
  • Locate and remove polyps: Doctors are able to locate and remove any abnormal growths in the intestine during colonoscopy. Some of these growths may be detected on the spot during routine screening, or by means of other examinations like virtual colonoscopy – in which case, an actual colonoscopy follow-up is needed to remove the detected polyps.

Recommended frequency for colonoscopy

As the risk for colon cancer rises with age, most experts recommend that colonoscopy be performed once every 10 years for those above the age of 50 years. But for persons who have a higher risk of contracting colon cancer (e.g. those with a family history or past experience with polyps), the frequency can be increased to once every 5 years.

The interval between colonoscopies may be reduced in the event that a follow-up colonoscopy is needed. One case that may warrant this includes an incomplete colonoscopy.

Alternatives to colonoscopy

Colonoscopy is widely considered the best screening tool for colon cancer, as it has more reliable detection rates. However, factors like the tedious preparation process, risk of perforation, and discomfort during the procedure are key reasons why colonoscopy is not done more often. So, what about the long 5-10 years in between colonoscopies?

Doctors may recommend other tests and examination methods, depending on your current health concern. A CT colonography can view your intestines ‘virtually’ using X-ray imaging. For suspected rectal bleeding, tests like the faecal immunochemical test (FIT) or the faecal occult blood test (FOBT) can be done. These alternatives are also recommended for those who are not suitable for colonoscopies.

Conclusion

Knowing when to get a colonoscopy done can be key to detecting early cancer or other intestinal health issues. If you have any gut health concerns or are nearing the age where colonoscopy is recommended, do consult your doctor on when’s the best time to get screened.


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December 18, 2020 Blog0

Most people know the feeling of being bloated. Your stomach feels full, and your clothes feel tight around the midsection. It could simply be the result of eating too much during the holiday season or munching on lots of junk food. For most people, bloating is harmless as most cases can be treated at home. However, unusual cases of bloating could be alarming when it starts being painful or disruptive to your daily routine.

It is important to know the signs of abnormal bloating that could be a serious medical condition, as some may be life-threatening if not treated.

What is abdominal bloating?

Abdominal bloating happens when the gastrointestinal tract is filled with air or gas. Most individuals characterise bloating as feeling full, tight, or swollen in the abdomen. The tummy can also feel hard and painful. Bloating can sometimes be accompanied by frequent burping or abdominal rumbling.

Majority of the causes for bloating are not serious. Some of the common causes include diet, swallowing air, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), and menstruation in ladies. But bloating can become serious when it starts to interfere with your ability to work and participate in social or recreational activities.

What are some home remedies for bloating?

The best treatments for bloating depend on the underlying cause of the symptom. In many cases, bloating can be minimised or even prevented by making a few basic lifestyle changes. Some things that may help include:

  • Taking over-the-counter medications for gas and bloating
  • Avoiding chewing gum
  • Limiting the intake of carbonated drinks
  • Eating slowly
  • Taking a laxative to relieve constipation

If the bloating does not subside or gets worse, it could be a sign that it’s time to consult a professional.

When should I see a doctor?

While bloating is common, abnormal cases of bloating that persists or is accompanied by other symptoms might be an indication of more serious conditions. You should consider seeing a doctor if you are:

  • Experiencing other chronic symptoms: If you’re experiencing bloating by itself, it probably isn’t a big deal. However, if it is persistent and comes along with other symptoms such as fever, vomiting, and bloody stools, make an appointment with your doctor immediately.
  • Having unexplained weight changes: It is important not to disregard bloating that is accompanied by significant weight loss or weight gain. Rapid weight changes could be a sign of something wrong hormonally.
  • Always feeling fatigued: Feeling fatigue constantly could be a sign of liver disease, which could be related to cancer, alcohol use, or hepatitis. If your bloating is due to liver disease, you might feel tired, bruise easily, or develop jaundice – a yellowish tinge to the skin and eyes.
  • Experiencing pain in the abdominal area: Pain and bloating could be a sign of fluid retention (ascites) or other blockages in the gastrointestinal system. Bowel obstruction is a dangerous condition that can occur, involving a blockage in the small or large intestine. This may come with other symptoms such as constipation.

Conclusion

If you notice that your abnormal bloating is accompanied by any of these signs, visit your doctor immediately. Be sure to mention all your symptoms and let your doctor know how long you have been experiencing them as these can provide important clues that guide diagnostic testing. Never ignore a bloated stomach as it could be a symptom of something more severe.


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December 8, 2020 Blog0

Having trouble going to the loo? Being affected by the discomfort and pain of a bloated stomach is something many have experienced before, and when it happens, all we want is a quick fix to relieve that stuffy feeling.

Popping an over-the-counter laxative is usually effective, but reaching for medications too often can also have adverse side effects on the body. All too often, nature has the right solution for your non-serious episodes of constipation.

Everyone has their own ways of dealing with the occasional bout of constipation, but if you haven’t found one that works for you, here are some things you can try:

  • Eat more fibre: Most people don’t get enough fibre in their diet, which is a big contributor to constipation. Fibre increases the bulk of stools and makes them easier to pass; hence, adding more whole grains, nuts, vegetables, and oats to your diet could promote easier bowel movement. However, fibre might not work if the cause of constipation is not due to low fibre intake, or may worsen symptoms in people with IBS.
  • Get moving: Being too sedentary can cause constipation, which is why getting some exercise can aid in stimulating bowel movements. Try out mild to moderate exercise like brisk walking, swimming, or stretching. For some people, too-vigorous exercises may cause symptoms to worsen instead.
  • Drink up: One extremely common cause of acute constipation is dehydration. Drinking more fluids has a lubricating effect on the bowels, and softens stools, making them easier to pass. Some reports find that drinking carbonated water may have a better effect, but sugary drinks should be avoided in people with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), as these may worsen constipation or irritate the bowels instead.
  • Eat probiotic foods: Certain cases of constipation are caused by an imbalance of gut bacteria. Probiotic foods recalibrate the balance of bacteria in the gut, facilitating the prevention and relief of chronic constipation. Some healthy and yummy sources of probiotics are yoghurt, kefir, kombucha, pickles, kimchi, and sourdough bread.
  • Have a cuppa: Your favourite morning pick-me-up could be the answer to your constipation woes. Caffeine stimulates the gut muscles, which helps in relieving constipation. However, people with IBS or sensitivity to caffeine might want to give this a miss, as this could exacerbate their gut symptoms instead.

As seen, not everyone reacts the same way to these remedies, as some may even make your constipation symptoms worse! The key is to find out what works for your body. If possible, discovering the cause of your constipation can help you chart out the best course of action to relieve constipation.

If you are unsure of what’s causing your constipation, or are suffering from persistent constipation, it is advisable to seek a doctor’s opinion. In some cases, constipation may be a symptom of a more serious underlying issue. A gastroenterologist can perform examinations to diagnose the problem and recommend you suitable treatments.


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November 30, 2020 Blog

We all have experienced hiccups from time to time. They can be uncomfortable or even embarrassing, but they are typically short-lived. However, sometimes they can indicate a more serious health issue.

If you have recurring or long-term hiccups, do seek medical help. Early diagnosis can open doors to treatment which can prevent future complications. Here are some causes of hiccups and how you can make them stop!

What are hiccups?

Hiccups are involuntary contractions of the diaphragm – the major muscle of respiration. Each contraction is followed by the sudden close in the vocal cords, which makes the distinct “hic” sound from your mouth. Hiccups are generally harmless as they resolve themselves after a few minutes.

Hiccups that lasts longer than 48 hours are defined as chronic hiccups. Chronic hiccups can cause gastroesophageal reflux which may lead to symptoms like heartburn, pain when swallowing, or bloating.

Why do hiccups happen?

Hiccups can happen because of many reasons – both physical and emotional. The common reasons include:

  • Eating or drinking too much or too fast: The stomach, which lies right underneath the diaphragm, expands after eating. This could trigger hiccups by pressing on or irritating your diaphragm.
  • Emotional triggers: Emotions like stress, anxiety, or excitement can trigger hiccups. This is due to the disturbance in the nerve pathways that lead from the brain to the muscles between the ribs.
  • Temperature changes: A change of temperature in your esophagus can cause hiccups. It is related to the irritation or stimulation of the nerves that cause the diaphragm to contract. For example, eating very spicy and acidic foods or drinking very cold liquids can sometimes trigger hiccups.

Hiccups are rarely a cause for concern, but if it is affecting your quality of life, it is time to get it checked. Persistent and frequent hiccups could point at serious health issues, including cancer. For example, some types of cancers where individuals may experience hiccups are stomach cancer, pancreatic cancer, and lung cancer. This can happen when a tumour is pressing against the diaphragm. Persistent hiccups could also be due to a problem with the brain, blood composition, or the stomach.

If you are experiencing symptoms like severe abdominal pain, vomiting, fever, shortness of breath, or spitting up blood, do consult a doctor for an in-depth examination.

What are some ways to stop hiccups?

There is no one cure for hiccups that works for everyone. However, there are several well-known home remedies you could try. These include:

  • Holding your breath for a short time
  • Taking a few sips of ice-cold water
  • Having a taste of lemon or vinegar
  • Experiencing a sudden fright

For more severe hiccups that cannot be cured by home remedies, visiting a doctor would be recommended, especially if the hiccups persist for more than 3 hours. Specialists can diagnose the cause of hiccups and give you the best possible medical treatment. A doctor may prescribe medications such as Thorazine, Haldol, or Reglan. Thorazine and Haldol are sometimes used for hiccups related to stress or anxiety. Reglan is an anti-nausea medication that may help some people with hiccups.

Conclusion

The occasional hiccup attacks are normal, but when it becomes frequent and longer-lasting, it could be a sign for a serious medical condition. Remember to take persisting hiccups seriously and visit a professional who can help you. Prevention is better than cure!


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November 26, 2020 Blog

Having a few occasional burps after a full meal is normal. But if it happens frequently and way more than usual, it could be a sign of health problems.

Burping is the body’s way of getting rid of excess air in your digestive tract. So why does it happen? When you swallow food, it goes through your oesophagus and into the stomach. The acid, bacteria, and chemicals inside your stomach will break the food down into nutrients and convert it into energy. So when you swallow air along with food and drinks, those gasses can come back up – this happens, for example, after drinking a carbonated beverage or beer.

Swallowing air is the most common reason for burping, but there are many more possible causes that you might not be aware of. Read on to find out the other possible causes for burping!

What causes us to burp?

Besides swallowing an excessive amount of air when you are eating or drinking, there are some medical conditions that include burping as a symptom. Some of these may require you to get immediate medical attention. 

  • Gastrointestinal reflux disease (GERD): Gastrointestinal reflux disease, also known as acid reflux, is a disorder that causes acid from the stomach to flow upwards into the oesophagus, causing heartburn. This can be treated with over-the-counter medicines, but if the symptoms of heartburn are frequent and severe, it is best to get it checked.
  • Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS): Irritable bowel syndrome is a chronic disorder that affects the digestive system. Certain foods can trigger it, so can stress, anxiety, and infections. Symptoms of IBS include burping, constipation, and abdominal pain. While there is no cure for this medical condition, a change in lifestyle and medications can help reduce the symptoms.
  • Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) infection: Helicobacter pylori is a type of bacteria that causes infections in the stomach. It could sometimes cause inflammation that allows acid to eat away at the digestive tract, leading to the formation of stomach ulcers. You may feel a burning sensation in your stomach, burping, bloating, or abdominal pain. 

How can I stop burping?

Here are a few lifestyle changes that will help reduce burping:

  • Eat and drink slowly: Taking your time can help you swallow less air.
  • Don’t smoke: When you inhale cigarette smoke, you are also swallowing air.
  • Talk a walk after eating: Physical activities will help with digestion.
  • Avoid chewing gum: Chewing gum or even sucking on hard candy causes you to swallow air.
  • Take an antacid: This helps neutralise stomach acid and prevent heartburn.

Conclusion

If you experience excessive burping that does not stop after a week, talk to a doctor. It could be an underlying medical condition that needs immediate care. This is especially true when it is accompanied by other symptoms, such as abdominal pain or heartburn. A specialist can determine the most effective treatments and medications for you.


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November 17, 2020 Blog

Many reasons can cause pain in the lower right abdomen. Some of these causes are severe and may need immediate medical attention. The abdomen is the body space between the chest and pelvis. It contains all the digestive organs, and the lower right portion of the abdomen contains a part of the colon, right kidney, and the appendix.

Abdominal pain is never normal, so it is vital to get it checked out when you have serious symptoms. The presence of different symptoms can help identify the cause or decide whether you need immediate care. Read on to learn more about the causes for pain in the lower right abdomen!

The common causes of lower right abdominal pain

Most of the time, lower right abdominal pain comes from minor and temporary conditions. Here are some common causes of them:

Indigestion

The pain in the lower right abdomen could be a result of indigestion, which may be accompanied by other symptoms such as heartburn and flatulence. Over-the-counter medicine from your local pharmacy could help you manage occasional cases of indigestion. However, if the symptoms last for more than 2 weeks, you may need more serious medical attention.

Gas

Gas can build up in the intestines when food is not digested properly. This may cause feelings of discomfort and bloating. Other symptoms include burping and passing gas.

Constipation

Constipation is infrequent bowel movements or having difficulty passing stools that persists for a few days. In more serious cases, chronic constipation can last for several weeks. In addition to feeling pain in the lower right abdomen, some other symptoms include having hard or lumpy stools, straining to have bowel movements, or feeling blockage in your rectum.

Serious causes of lower right abdominal pain

In some cases, lower right abdominal pain can indicate a more serious medical condition. These conditions require immediate medical care:

Appendicitis

Appendicitis is the infection of the appendix. This happens when the appendix is blocked by waste, a foreign object in your body, or cancer. It is a medical emergency and mostly requires you to have immediate surgery to remove the appendix. Appendicitis typically comes with symptoms like vomiting, loss of appetite, fever, and pain in your lower right abdomen.

 Kidney stones

Kidney stones are hard deposits made of minerals and salts that form inside the kidney. When it passes through the urinary system, some of the larger stones may get stuck and cause severe pain to the abdomen, lower back, and groin. Some other symptoms experienced may include blood in the urine, pain when urinating, vomiting, and feeling nauseous.

Kidney infection

The kidney can become infected due to bacteria in the urinary system. Although it is less severe than kidney stones, it can cause pain that is felt in the lower abdomen, and medical attention is required to prevent any permanent damage.

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)

IBS is a chronic condition of the digestive system that has to be managed long-term. The symptoms include abdominal pain, cramping, bloating, diarrhea or constipation. It should be taken seriously when you notice a persistent change in bowel habits or other symptoms as they may indicate a more serious condition, such as colon cancer.

Conclusion

Mild abdominal pain that goes away on its own may not require any medical treatment. However, if you have any persisting, severe, stabbing, or sudden pain, you should talk to a medical professional, as you never know when it might be a life-threatening condition.


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