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Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) is a form of digestive disorder, which affects the lower oesophageal sphincters or the muscle ring present between the stomach and the food pipe. GERD incorporates the return of the contents of the stomach back to the oesophagus or food pipe. The functioning of the lower oesophageal sphincter is disrupted.
Hiatal hernia is a common cause of GERD. An unhealthy lifestyle and diet may also lead to GERD. Intake of an excess amount of chocolates, fried food, coffee or alcohol triggers the chance of a reflux. GERD also occurs in obese people and pregnant women.
Heartburn, also known as acid indigestion, is the primary symptom of GERD. The affected person may feel a burning chest pain which starts from behind the breastbone and reaches up to the throat. The feeling can be defined as food coming back to the throat with a bitter, acidic taste. The burning sensation may last as long as two hours.
Other symptoms include:
- Excess saliva secretion
- Chronic conditions of sore throat
- Gum inflammation
- Tooth cavities
- Unpleasant breath
In order to diagnose GERD, several tests may be conducted
- An X-Ray of the upper part of the digestive system.
- Endoscopy to examine the inner part of the oesophagus.
- Ambulatory acid test for monitoring the amount of acid within the oesophagus.
- An oesophageal impedance test to measure substance movement inside the oesophagus.
- A person must make several changes to his daily lifestyle and diet plan for treatment of GERD.
- Food and beverages like chocolates, fatty food, coffee, alcohol and peppermint should be avoided in order to reduce the weakening of the lower oesophageal sphincter. Several food items irritate the damaged oesophageal lining and should also be avoided. They include citrus fruits, tomato and pepper.
- Smoking cigarettes results in weakening of the lower oesophageal sphincter and should be stopped to reduce GERD.
- One should elevate the head of the bed on which he or she sleeps on blocks measuring 6 inches. This reduces the heartburn as gravity minimizes stomach reflux to return to the oesophagus.
- Over the counter medicines can be used to cure GERD. Antacids are a good example and neutralize the acid in the oesophagus and stomach, reducing heartburn. Combining antacids with foaming agents is also effective. A foam barrier is formed over the stomach, preventing the occurrence of acid reflux.
- Proton pump inhibitors commonly called PPI are best drugs for control of symptoms. Occasionally prokinetic drugs are also used in combination with PPI.
Medicines for reducing acid in the stomach are prescribed in cases of chronic GERD, which include H2 blockers by the likes of cimetidine, famotidine or nizatidine. GERD is a digestive disorder which causes disruption in digestion, as reflux from the stomach is returned to the oesophagus. Proper treatment measures should be taken. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a doctor.
Ovarian cysts are fluid-filled sacs that develop on a woman's ovary. A patient might experience abdominal and pelvic pain, abnormal bleeding, menstrual irregularities, pain during intercourse or irregular bowel movements. These symptoms indicate an ovarian cyst developing inside you. Ovarian cysts are common in women and may develop during menstruation. In many cases, symptoms are not observed, and you may get ovarian cysts without knowing. Usually being harmless, ovarian cysts may sometimes lead to severe health conditions.
Here are 7 important things you should know about ovarian cysts:
- You should know the reason behind the formation of ovarian cysts. When the follicle does not release the egg, it may grow bigger in size and take the form of a follicular cyst. A corpus luteum cyst may also develop, which is a cavity that gets formed after the egg is ruptured and released from the follicle. The cysts may bleed and cause pelvic pain.
- It is important for you to know if you have an ovarian cyst. Many ovarian cysts do not show symptoms and go away by themselves. Follicular cysts do not change your menstrual cycle, but corpus luteum cysts may cause bleeding.
- You should know how to detect an ovarian cyst. You should visit a gynecologist regularly for diagnosis. Bigger cysts can be diagnosed via a pelvic examination. Ultrasound is also used for detection.
- You should have an idea about all the symptoms associated with ovarian cysts. These include fever, nausea and vomiting. These symptoms indicate that you have an infection. Sometimes, a cyst might twist an ovary, which may cut off blood supply to the ovary, causing permanent damage.
- In case you are at a risk of twisting of the ovaries, you have to undergo a surgery. Surgery is also considered when the cyst lasts longer than three menstrual cycles and it is bigger than four inches in size. The cyst may also pose the risk of being a tumor. The common surgical procedures for ovarian cysts are laparoscopy and laparotomy.
- You can prevent ovarian cysts be taking birth control pills, which help in suppressing ovulation and prevent the formation of a cyst. Birth control pills may help only if you are not pregnant.
- Ovarian cysts are more common in premenopausal women. However, these are possible in postmenopausal women as well, especially in the early postmenopausal stage.
Sometimes, there might be chances of an ovarian cyst being cancerous in nature, which may lead to ovarian cancer. The risk of cancerous ovarian cysts increases with age. It is recommended to consult a gynecologist for the proper diagnosis and treatment of ovarian cysts in women. Pain medications and heating pads are used as alternative treatment methods for less serious ovarian cysts.
Hernias are mostly treated by surgeries as definitive care. Post-operative period has become comfortable with the invention of minimal-invasive surgeries. Postoperative recovery is smoother and faster after laparoscopic and robotic surgeries.
Yes, the patient has to go for a surgery, if hernias spreads to quite an extent. In such cases, there are several steps that need to be taken as a part of the post-operative care for this surgery. Hernia surgery is quite common in today’s medical world. All you need to have is a good medical practitioner who would operate on you and you need to have complete trust on the expert and their methods of treatment. There are several ways to take care of yourself after the surgery. Some of these are explained below:
- Diet includes liquids at first: During the first few days after the surgery, the patient is offered only liquids. Due to the anaesthesia, it becomes difficult to consume solid food initially. Only when the doctor sees that the patient is fit enough to consume solids, will solid foods be given to the patient. This is also an indicator that the patient is recovering well and might be let off soon from the hospital.
- Patient is discharged only after anaesthetic effects are completely gone: For some time after the surgery, the patient is under the effects of the anaesthesia. If it is a local one then it would take a few hours for its effects to completely subside. But if it is a complex one, then it might take some more time for its effects to completely withdraw. Only after the patient is completely out of the effects of anaesthesia, will he/she be allowed a discharge.
- Avoid headache: Patients are made to lie down flat on their back for at least a few hours after the surgery so that they do not experience anaesthetic headache. This can be painful and unbearable at times. But this can be avoided if the patient lies down for quite some time till the effects of it have worn off.
- Shower: Usually there is a restriction in getting the operated area wet. But a shower can be carefully taken after at least two days of the operation.
Thus, these are some of the most important post-operative hernia surgery care tips. If you adhere to these points, your recovery process will speed up and it would prevent you from getting affected by any other health problems in your recovery period.
What are the things should be followed for under going bariatric surgery. I'm 20 years old. I've been suffering from diabetes for 7 years.
Recently I have diagnosed with enlarged ovaries due to hormone imbalance, test shows right ovary: 4.7*2.2 cm, left ovary: 3.2*2.2 cm, both are enlarged, mixed echogenic, no focal lesions, minimal free fluid seen in PID.
Being overweight is becoming a common sight. However, opting for bariatric surgery is not the first option for everyone who is obese. Also to remember is that morbid obesity is not an isolated condition. It affects a person’s overall physical and mental health in various ways, and therefore bariatric surgery becomes an option only as a last resort.
Some defining criteria for this surgery would be:
- A male who is at least 100 pounds overweight for his height or a female who is at least 80 pounds overweight for her height. This puts them at a body mass index (BMI) of more than 40.
- If the BMI is in the range of 35 to 39 and if there are significant health issues like metabolic syndrome, then bariatric surgery can be done. For BMI less than 35, other conservative measures are usually tried before resorting to a surgical approach.
- Most people with BMI in the range of 35 and above will have health issues like sleep apnoea, heart disease, lipid disorders, and metabolic syndrome.
- Conservative measures to lose weight including diet changes and exercise have failed to produce any desired results.
- The person, in addition to physical health, should also be emotionally strong to undergo the demands of bariatric surgery. There are changes involving almost all body systems including digestive, respiratory, cardiac, and musculoskeletal, and so the person needs to be prepared for a lifestyle change.
- Strict lifestyle changes including diet and exercise are required, so the person needs to be counseled and convinced about these. A person who can see the long-term benefits will be willing to take the effort.
- It is also essential that the person has a strong social support system. For immediate post-op care when skin flaps need to be managed, and for long-term emotional support to manage emotional issues, it works wonders if there is a strong social network. The results are usually better in such people.
- A person’s overall health would be screened to make sure the lab tests are well within acceptable limits before surgery. It would be unreasonable to get these numbers within limits, if they are way too beyond acceptable limits.
- Not the least consideration, but bariatric surgery is an expensive affair. It requires not just surgical costs, but also post-op costs. The good thing, however, is that overall healthcare costs would come down, once the results are visible.
Identifying the right candidate for a bariatric surgery is very essential, as doing this extensive surgical approach on an unsuitable candidate would be a failure.
In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!
Homeopathy can very well dissolve gall stones of small and medium sizes, and relieve the gall bladder and body permanently from the pain, suffering and complications coming from gall stones. One of the benefits of homeopathic treatment for gall stones is that your gall bladder does not need removal, and being an important organ for producing digestive enzymes, it is better to keep it in your body. The other benefit is that you get a side effect-free treatment, which is completely efficient and practical, and costs really low compared to other modes of treatments and surgeries.
But before one goes for a homeopathic treatment, a complete evaluation of the patient’s case history must be done so that the right medicine can be given as per the case, history, severity etc. Here is a quick look at the commonly used homeopathic medicines, which doctors, depending on your case history, may prescribe for your gall stone.
Homeopathic medicines used for treating gall stones
- Calcarea carbonica: If you have a family history of kidney and gall stones, are anxious and slow, overweight with high deposits of triglycerides and cholesterol, then you would be given this medicine.
- Chelidonium: If you get pain in any or both of the two patterns pain originating under your right shoulder blade and pain in the upper right abdomen, which spreads to the back, you will be prescribed this one.
- Lycopodium: This medicine is usually recommended in case you have a family history of stones in kidney and gall bladder, along with other complications like, chronic digestive disorders, high cholesterol, gastric problems, constipation, peptic ulcers, gas and bloating. The patient may usually get biliary colic pains late in the afternoon. He or she may also get irritated easily, and hate contradicting opinions.
- Natrum sulphuricum: The patient may have any or some of the problems like chronic diarrhea, gall stone pain, asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, depression, obesity and problem in joints. On top of that the patient may be too sensitive to changes in humidity and weather. In such a case, Natrum sulphuricum is given.
- Nux vomica: If a patient suffers from nausea, colic pains, spasmodic pains, heartburn and acidity, gas and bloating, and takes too much of rich and oily food and drinks, then this medicine is used to treat gall stones for him or her.
As you can see, there is a remedy for all types of patients. Hence in case of small to medium sized gall stones, you can always retain the gall bladder, avoid surgeries, and keep patience with systematic homeopathic treatment from an expert doctor. You will get positive results soon.
Bariatric surgery is unlike other surgeries, the success is defined after 6-18months later. It is not without its complications. But complications managed well by Bariatric surgeons and the introduction of Laproscopy, it gives advantages of reduced post-op pain to less incisional hernias and less post-operative hospital stay.
Sometime problems may happen like-
- Post-operative bleeding: Managed well by the surgeon.
- Dehydration: Chances of dehydration, therefore, one of the main post-op instructions, would be to increase water intake significantly, after the first week of course, when water is included in the diet. For someone who is not used to drinking lots of water, this can be difficult.
- Indigestion: Difficulty digesting food after the surgery is very common. There could be a burning sensation in the stomach. This is often managed by dietary changes like avoiding fatty foods, eating small frequent meals, avoiding too much sugary food items, etc. Too much fruits and vegetables should not be introduced early on, as fibre can be difficult to digest. Avoid fruits like nuts, seeds, fried foods, processed foods, etc. Gradually moving from water to pureed diet to semi-solids to solids can help in getting the stomach used to it.
- Vitamin and mineral deficiency: With the drastic cut in the amount of food consumption, there could be multiple problems including skin rashes, weak bones, dental issues, hair loss, gallstones, kidney stones, etc. All these are due to deficiency of various essential minerals like calcium, potassium, etc. This can be managed through minor diet modifications to ensure the body gets the required minerals and vitamins, even if they are in the form of supplements.
- Dumping syndrome: With a reduced size of the stomach, the food moves from the stomach into the smaller intestine much faster. Therefore, the sugar levels increase rapidly, producing various symptoms like bloating, diarrhoea, nausea, weakness, and anxiety. This is managed by eating less amount of sugars and fats and spacing out the meals through the day. Five to six small meals are preferred over 2 to 3 large meals. Some people also get relief from lying down after eating.
- Hernias: Less after laproscopic surgery but sometime it may happen.
- Diet changes: Whether it is medications or foods, some substances have to be knocked off your list. A detailed diet plan should be made with the doctor, as some can affect the stomach in an adverse manner.
- Altered bowel habits: Some people may have diarrhoea, others have constipation. Looking into one’s diet and making suitable changes will help. Therefore, it is very important that you must keep regular follow-up and consultation with your surgeon, in order to avoid complications.
In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!
Achalasia is a very rare disease. Normally, your esophagus squeezes food down by making the muscular valve in between the stomach and esophagus relax. Achalasia occurs when this muscular valve is unable to relax and thus the esophagus is unable to squeeze the food down. The most common reason why this happens is because the nerves in your esophagus are damaged. The nerves most commonly get damaged because of abnormalities in the way your immune system responds. Till now, there is no cure to achalasia; however, surgery or minimally invasive therapy can make the symptoms of achalasia more manageable. Here are all the causes and symptoms of achalasia:
- Difficulty swallowing: The difficulty you face when swallowing food is the most common symptom of achalasia. Both liquid as well as solid food will be hard to swallow.
- Regurgitation: If the food is regurgitating in the night, then the lungs may have been inhaling some food. This is very serious and you should see the doctor immediately if this occurs.
- Chest pain: You may suddenly experience chest pain from a completely unknown cause.
- Weight loss: You may also suffer from sudden weight loss if you have achalasia. This is due to the reduced amount of food you will be consuming.
- Heartburn: Heartburn is when you have a very intense burning pain in your chest just behind your breastbone which is most commonly caused by regurgitation in your esophagus.
The exact cause of achalasia is not yet known. However, there are some theories on what causes achalasia. Here they are.
- Genes: The most common cause of achalasia is genes.
- Autoimmune disease: An autoimmune disease is when your immune system attacks your body's own cells. Achalasia is a type of autoimmune disease.
- Infection: There have also been a lot of claims that infections are the cause of achalasia. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a Gastroenterologist.
Colon cancer refers to the uncontrolled growth of cancer cells in the region of your large intestine. It is often associated with rectal cancer and is termed as colorectal cancer, since the process of metastasis (a process through which cancer cells pass rapidly to the other organs of your body) is very rapid for this particular medical condition. Colon cancer is prevalent among both men and women irrespective of their age, but is generally noticed in people above forty years of age. Though the causes of colon cancer cannot be specifically identified, there are certain factors that can increase your chance of developing colon cancer.
The risk factors are mentioned below:
- Family history of colon cancer
- Chronic diseases of the intestine(like inflammation of intestine)
- A regular diet with low fibers but high calories
- Consuming high amount of alcohol
If you are diagnosed with colon cancer, you may show the following symptoms:
- Inconsistency of bowel movements. (diarrhea and constipation)
- Passage of blood through stool
- Pain in your abdominal region
- Sudden weight loss
- Body fatigue
Colon cancer can be fatal if not treated at an early stage. Ayurveda offers effective remedies for colon cancer. Some of the remedies are mentioned below:
According to ayurveda, unbalanced physiology leads to malfunctioning of the system seen upto genetic level. Therefore, a balance of mental, emotional, physical and spritual health is very important. Herbs like turmeric, garlic, Ashwagandha, tulsi, etc. helps in preventing the development of cancer.
- Consuming Aloe Vera is another useful technique. It cleans the digestive tract and colon region by removing harmful toxins and can thus help to cure cancer faster.
- Turmeric is also very potent in fighting cancer. It contains curcumins which can destroy the cancer cells formed in the colon region.
- Ashwagandha is known to have certain properties that can control the growth of cancer cells and is thus instrumental in treating colon cancer.
- The juice of garlic has certain medicinal properties that can combat the growth of cancer cells in your colon region. Intake of garlic juice can thus be very helpful.
Since colon cancer has limited survival rates, it is highly recommended for you to seek advice from an Ayurveda practitioner if you wish to get healed naturally.