Diseases of the gastrointestinal tract (GIT Diseases): how to recognize signs in time?
Today we discuss GIT diseases. More than two dozen organs take part indigestion, which crushes the food, assimilates nutrients and remove extra from the body. It’s a “full cycle” system – from food absorption and processing to elimination of undigested residues. It’s crucial that every element of it works clearly and does not fail.
How the human gastrointestinal tract(GIT) works and what are the GIT diseases
The digestion process is a bit like going down a slide in a water park. The beginning of the path is the oral cavity, where meals are chewed, crushed, mixed with saliva and turns into a soft food lump.
It is interesting To Rea GIT Diseases
The mucous membrane of the mouth has receptors that help to recognize the taste, temperature and texture of food. These sensors transmit signals to the brain, which turns on the salivary, fundus, and pancreas.
This is followed by the pharynx – a funnel-shaped canal in which the digestive and respiratory tracts intersect.
The journey of food continues in the oesophagus, a cylindrical muscular tube 22–30 cm long. It takes a certain time for food to be digested and absorbed. In this regard, along the entire length of the digestive tract, there are particular closing devices capable of “closing” one or another section of the digestive tract. These devices include sphincters and valves: oesophagal-gastric sphincter, pyloric sphincter, ileocecal valve, colon sphincters, anal sphincters, and others.
The stomach is a saccular muscular organ that connects the oesophagus to the duodenum (Duodenum). It is like a cauldron in which meals is accumulated, blended to a paste, and digested by the action of gastric juice. Stomach juice consists of enzymes and hydrochloric acid, due to which it has a pronounced acidity (about 1.5–2.0 pH).
Gastric juice breaks down proteins and other chemical compounds, after which they are transported to the small intestine for final digestion and absorption. Besides, the stomach performs a protective function, since gastric juice has a bactericidal impact.
The length of the small intestine, consisting of the duodenum, jejunum and ileum and occupying most of the abdominal cavity, is about 4.5 m. The small intestine contains glands that produce intestinal juice for the primary digestion of food and the absorption of nutrients into the blood.
The large intestine is the lower part of the intestine, in which water, electrolytes, fibre are absorbed and unsuitable food residues are formed into faeces. The large intestine is 1.5 m long and is subdivided into the cecum, colon, and rectum. The rectum – the end of the digestive tract – ends with an opening (anus). Serves for the accumulation of faeces and bowel movements. Here the “unprecedented journey” ends – the processed food remains leave the body.
Digestion also involves the pancreas, kidneys, adrenal glands, gallbladder, and liver.
The pancreas is located close to the stomach and duodenum. It secretes pancreatic juice, which contributes to the complete digestion of food and the course of metabolic processes.
The liver takes part in the metabolism of lipids, nutritional vitamins, proteins and carbohydrates, synthesizes blood proteins: globulins, albumin and fibrinogen.
The function of the gallbladder is to store and deliver as needed concentrated bile, which is continuously produced by liver cells. Bile is directly involved in human digestion and acts as a kind of antibacterial agent.
It’s worth mentioning the role of the kidneys and adrenal glands in the digestion of the urinary system. They process the water coming from the colon, filtering it into appropriate for the needs of the physique and into the urine, containing unnecessary impurities and subject to excretion.
At each stage of the passage of meals through the gastrointestinal tract GIT Diseases, disruptions are possible, resulting in incomplete absorption of meals, problems with the elimination of waste material and threatening the development of gastrointestinal pathologies.
Among the causes of problems with the digestive system, malnutrition, which has various forms, is in the lead. These are overeating and eating heavy food, malnutrition and starvation, irregular meals, quick snacks, scarcity and imbalance in the diet. Poorly purified water and harmful meals additives negatively affect the digestive tract.
Other factors: poor ecology, stress, harmful working conditions, addictions, congenital predisposition, autoimmune diseases and disruptions in the endocrine system, side effects of drugs (antibiotics, anti-inflammatory, painkillers, hormonal drugs), violation of sanitary standards in the preparation and consumption of food, capable trigger infectious diseases and parasite infestation.
Disruptions in the digestive system negatively affect the entire body, scale back immunity, disrupt metabolism, lead to deterioration of outside skin, brittle hair and nails. They are fraught with numbness in the extremities, pain in muscles and bones, and sleep disturbances.
Possible complications for the cardiovascular system: hypertension, arrhythmia, angina pectoris, the risk of stroke and heart attack. Against the background of gastrointestinal(GIT)diseases, angular stomatitis, glossitis, bleeding gums, eczema, neurodermatitis can develop. With advanced types of gastrointestinal(GIT) diseases, damage to the pituitary gland, adrenal glands, gonads, the thyroid gland is possible.
Diseases of the gastrointestinal tract: (GIT Diseases) what the statistics say
Gastrointestinal tract GIT diseases are among the commonest pathologies in the world. According to the forecasts of specialists from the World Health Organization, by the middle of the XXI century, diseases of the digestive system will occupy one of the leading places. This is largely due to the lifestyle of a modern person (stress, poor nutrition, physical inactivity, bad habits), environmental pollution, an increase in the proportion of low-quality and genetically modified food in the diet.
dysphagia (impaired swallowing, accompanied by pain and a feeling of stopping the food lump), impurities in the faeces (blood, mucus, undigested meals residues), swelling of the tongue, bitterness in the mouth, itching and other allergic reactions. Diseases of single pathogenesis have both general and specific features.
Diseases of the stomach
Pain in the epigastric (epigastric) region and dyspeptic syndrome (sour belching, heartburn, vomiting and nausea) might point out a number of ailments of the abdomen, oesophagus and duodenum.
With a peptic ulcer, which is a wound of the wall of the duodenum or stomach, there are sharp periodic pains in the left hypochondrium, which can radiate to the left half of the chest and left scapula, as well as to the thoracic and/or lumbar backbone.
Depending on the location of the ulcer, pain can occur either immediately after eating or in the interval from half an hour to 3 hours. “Hungry” and “night” pains appear in six to seven hoursaces after eating and disappear after eating. Seasonal – arising in spring and autumn – exacerbations of the disease are typical.
With an exacerbation, sour eructations, nausea, and constipation are noticed. Ulcerative bleeding is manifested by vomiting resembling “coffee grounds” and/or black (tar-coloured) stools. In this case, weakness, lack of consciousness, tachycardia, and decreased pressure may occur.
Gastroduodenal disorders are manifested similarly:
Inflammatory processes of the stomach (chronic Helicobacter pylori gastritis) and the duodenum (duodenitis).
Diseases in some cases are asymptomatic, but more often accompanied by signs of functional dyspepsia. These are sharp, aching or pulling pains in the upper abdomen that are not localized in other parts of the abdomen and do not decrease after a bowel movement.
There is also a burning sensation and a feeling of fullness in the epigastric region after eating, early satiety and heaviness in the abdomen, even with little meals intake. These syndromes can be combined and accompanied by nausea.
Unfortunately, these diagnostic criteria are not specific for functional dyspepsia (and accordingly, for gastritis) and can occur in many other diseases. Therefore, the diagnosis of “functional dyspepsia” is made only after a thorough examination of the affected person to exclude more serious diseases.
Hernia of the oesophagus, the consequence of which is gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), is manifested by heartburn – this is the most characteristic symptom noticed in 83% of sufferers. The severity of heartburn increases with errors in diet, intake of alcohol and carbonated drinks, bodily exertion, bending and in a horizontal position.
Another symptom is belching, which is worse after eating and drinking soda, with physical exertion. It also offers off the pain in the epigastric region when changing posture and after eating. Back pain and girdle pain may occur. In 20% of patients (mainly over 60 years old), pain in the region of the heart is noted against the background of concomitant cardiac diseases.
They are localized in the chest and along the oesophagus and can give the impression of coronary ache. There are additionally extraesophageal manifestations of GERD, which include bronchopulmonary, otorhinolaryngological, and dental syndromes – chronic cough associated with reflux, chronic laryngitis, bronchial asthma and tooth enamel erosion.
The intestine often suffers from inflammatory processes, infectious lesions. These are inflammation of the large and small intestines – enteritis (malabsorption syndrome) and colitis. Most frequently, these diseases are combined – gastroenteritis, enterocolitis or gastroenterocolitis.
Normally, if the picture of acute colitis or enterocolitis comes to the fore, dysentery is identified. When gastroenteritis predominates, the disease is diagnosed as food poisoning.
Acute enteritis is first manifested by upset stool (up to 15 times a day), nausea, vomiting, pain in the umbilical region. Then general symptoms join fever, weakness, sweating, headache.
Chronic enteritis develops over a long period of time, often against the background of concomitant gastritis. Bloating, cold sweat, trembling limbs, tachycardia, as well as a loud rumbling in the abdomen, splashing noise and tenderness on palpation are noted. During and instantly after defecation, the affected person experiences severe weakness, dizziness, nausea, and a pressure drop.
Symptoms of acute colitis are severe cramping abdominal pain, frequent loose stools mixed with mucus and/or blood, painful urge to defecate, general malaise, weakness, and often fever.
Signs of paraproctitis (fistula of the anus), or abscess (purulent inflammation) of the rectum, are the presence of an external abscess or fistulous opening near the anus, severe ache in the rectum or perineum.
Against the background of an increase in an abscess in size, serous, bloody, purulent discharge appears, the pain intensifies, the urge to defecate becomes painful, the temperature rises, and chills are doable.
Dysbacteriosis (dysbiosis) can have both a latent (compensated) form, occurring without pronounced clinical manifestations, and clinical, which is manifested by diarrhoea, bloating, cramping pains, dyspeptic disorders and allergic reactions (itching and rashes on the skin).
Haemorrhoids (varicose veins of the rectum) are characterized by pronounced symptoms.
This is a feeling of discomfort and moisture in the anus, bleeding or smearing with blood after the act of defecation; the presence of enlarged external haemorrhoids and/or their prolapse through the anus (as a rule, associated with a violation of stool, diet, in women – with pregnancy and childbirth).
There is pain during a bowel movement, which continues for some time (when walking, in a sitting and lying position) .
Symptoms of appendicitis are determined by the age of the patient, the area of a position of the appendix in the abdominal cavity and the presence of complications.
It is suggested to consider any persistent manifestation of pain in the right lower quadrant of the abdomen as suspicion of acute appendicitis.
Generally, the pain “radiates” to the umbilical region, in some cases – to the hip joint. Often accompanied by nausea and vomiting, anorexia (complete lack of appetite). The temperature rises and stays within 37–38 degrees.
One of the most common bowel pathologies, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), which occurs at least once a week and is accompanied by the following symptoms, should not be overlooked:
Abdominal pain, which is of a transient nature, is localized mainly in the iliac regions, often on the left. The pain usually increases after taking food, decreases after the act of defecation, passing gas, taking antispasmodic drugs. In women, the pain increases during menstruation.
An important distinguishing feature of pain syndrome in IBS is the absence of pain in the night.
Feeling of bloating, less pronounced in the morning, increasing during the day, worse after eating.
Stool disorders in the form of constipation, diarrhoea, or alternation. Violations of the act of defecation in the form of an imperative urge to defecate or a feeling of incomplete emptying of the intestines.
IBS harms the entire body:
The affected person complains of headache, insomnia, increased fatigue, heart palpitations, even at complete rest. There is also a pain in the lumbar region, other muscle and joint pain, urological symptoms, nausea, heartburn. Dyspareunia (ache during intercourse) is possible in women.
According to most specialists, IBS has a psychosomatic nature and appears as a result of stress, severe emotional overload. However, to get rid of the problem, it is important not only to come to peace of mind but also to apply complex drug treatment.
At the moment, there is specialized medicine designed to deal with irritable bowel. They successfully eliminate various symptoms and normalize bowel function.
Hepatitis (autoimmune hepatitis, viral hepatitis B, C, D, unspecified chronic viral hepatitis, cryptogenic chronic hepatitis and others) is marked by a whole range of symptoms.
Among them are general weakness, fatigue, decreased appetite, efficiency and mood, emotional lability, irritability, sleep disturbance, and aversion to meals. Dyspepsia, a feeling of heaviness in the abdomen, pain in large joints, rash, fever. There is also darkening of urine, yellowing of the skin, sclera and other tissues.
Hence another common name for the disease – jaundice, this condition is associated with an excessive amount of bilirubin in the blood.
The yellowness of the sclera and skin becomes evident when the bilirubin level exceeds 3 mg / dL. Cholestatic jaundice is accompanied by pronounced itching of the skin.
In some cases, enlargement of the liver and spleen is present. Pain in liver diseases is localized in the right hypochondrium, sometimes in the epigastric region and has a different character.
Chronic hepatitis is accompanied by the following systemic manifestations: polyarthritis, polymyositis, pneumonitis, fibrosing alveolitis, pleurisy, pericarditis, myocarditis, ulcerative colitis, diabetes mellitus, hemolytic anaemia, blood clotting disorders, and others.
In many cases, cirrhosis of the liver can develop asymptomatically for some time and is detected by chance during a clinical examination. But generally, some or all of the following symptoms are present: weakness, anorexia, discomfort in the epigastric region and right hypochondrium, weight and muscle loss.
At the stage of expanded manifestations, encephalopathy (confusion, large-sweeping tremor, liver odour from the mouth), bleeding gums, “spider veins”, jaundice, itching and more appear. The disease is accompanied by serious systemic manifestations.
Diseases of the gallbladder and biliary tract
Signs of cholecystitis (inflamed gallbladder) – acute pain in the right hypochondrium after eating, especially when eating fatty and fried foods, bloating, bouts of nausea, vomiting, persistent bitter taste in the mouth.
The pains can become permanent, intensify with a change in body position, tilt the trunk forward and radiate to the right lumbar region, right shoulder blade, right shoulder.
Also, the pain intensifies with a deep breath while probing the gallbladder zone. Many patients note a slight (up to subfebrile numbers) increase in temperature .
Diseases of the pancreas
Patients with pancreatitis initially complain of acute abdominal pain, which can have different intensity and localization. In the right upper half of the abdomen – with damage to the head of the pancreas.
In the epigastric region – with a predominant lesion of the bodies and the pancreas. In the left hypochondrium – with the defeat of the “tail” of the gland.
Dyspeptic symptom complicated (feeling of fullness of the stomach and discomfort, bloating, nausea, belching) in most cases seems with a prolonged course of the disease.
Most common and life-threatening diseases of the gastrointestinal tract GIT diseases are caused by inflammatory processes related to a bacterial or viral infection. Digestion is a single interconnected system, and diseases of its organs can consistently develop according to the domino principle.
Therefore, in the treatment of gastrointestinal tract pathologies, an integrated approach is effective:
Correction of diet and lifestyle, contacting a doctor to select a treatment strategy, including pharmacological agents designed to relieve spasm of smooth muscles of the alimentary canal, bile and urinary tract.
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