Digestive Disorders and Herbal Remedies

Introduction

Diseases that are associated with the gastrointestinal tract are called digestive disorders. The Digestive System is made up of various organs that work in harmony. Stress and bad lifestyle can easily disrupt this harmony.

Recent studies reveal that half of the American population is affected by some form of digestive disorders. Digestive disorders can be disturbing and can affect one's quality of life. Minor irritations caused by digestive disorders can become unmanageable and compel one to miss work. Major digestive complications can have serious complications and may sometimes turn fatal.

Causes of digestive disorder

Bad diet

  • Processe d Food: Refining foods takes away all the important nutrients and fiber. Consuming refined carbohydrates on a regular basis deprives the body of essential minerals. Depletion of the minerals results in poor digestion of carbohydrates leading to indigestion, bloating and gas.
  • Low fibrous food : Although fiber is a non nutritive food, it helps to pass faeces from the intestine. Avoiding fibrous food leads to slow transit time (constipation). This condition is dangerous as some of the toxins from the faeces may get absorbed in to the blood.
  • High intake of highly cooked food : Food enzymes which facilitate digestion are present in raw food apart from food supplements. Cooking food at high temperatures destroys the food enzymes.
  • Food allergies: Allergy to gluten, dairy products and any of the fruits may also trigger the digestive disorder.
  • Fast food : These are high in calorie, fat and sugar. Moreover, the highly refined carbohydrates lack nutritional value and can cause digestive disorders.

Common Digestive Disorders

Ulcers : The stomach and duodenum lining usually have mucous to avoid the effect of acidic digestive juices. However, if this lining which acts as a barrier is damaged, difficulties can erode the lining and cause inflammation. Eroded areas are referred as peptic ulcers.

Peptic ulcer is found in the lining of the stomach and duodenum where stomach acids such as hydrochloric and pepsin are present. Peptic ulcers found in the duodenum are known as duodenal ulcers and peptic ulcers found in the stomach are called gastric ulcers.

Constipation : This is one of the digestive disorders caused when you strain to pass faeces. When the faeces are small and hard, it is difficult to pass and one needs to strain. Infrequent bowel movement is also considered as constipation. Chronic constipation is a bad condition as it causes discomfort and would make one feel heavy, bloated and sluggish Laxatives help to pass stool in such cases. Try to use the natural laxative to pass stools as they do not make one's bowel dependent on it.

Heart burn : Burning sensation, discomfort, feeling of tightness and pain in the chest is called as Heart burn. This condition can result in Acid reflux, a medical condition that damages the oesophagus. Imagine swallowing acid and keeping it in the lining of the oesophagus. This is exactly how you would feel when affected by heart burn. The pain is unmanageable when you bend or lie down. If heart burn is occasional, it is not considered serious. However, when it occurs regularly, seek the help of your medical practitioner.

Acidity : The food we eat gets digested with help of acids secreted from the stomach. These acids enhance the digestion process, when there is an excess production of these acids, it is called acidity. Eating lots of junk and spicy foods is the foremost reason for acidity. Beside this, eating fast, not chewing the food properly, skipping breakfast, smoking, alcohol consumption and heavy meals are the other reasons of acidity.

Complications:

  • Regular incidence of heart burn is considered as gastroesophageal reflux (GERD) disease. If GERD is untreated, it can lead to serious conditions like scarring and stricture of oesophagus.
  • Many Americans suffer from the pain associated with peptic ulcer. Gastrointestinal bleeding is one of the major complications of peptic ulcer. Black stools, blood in stools and vomiting with blood are the symptoms of the gastrointestinal bleeding.
  • Chronic constipation can cause bloating and pain in the stomach. Haemorrhoids or piles is the first complication of constipation. Impaction (tools that are accumulated and are hard to pass naturally) and lazy bowel syndrome (bowels will stop functioning without laxative) are the other complications. To avoid lazy bowel syndrome, start using natural laxative like bananas and other fibrous fruit.

Remedies and Home Remedies:

  • Sip chamomile tea to relieve stress that inflames the stomach lining.
  • Take Amla or also known as Indian Gooseberry to reduce dyspepsia and stomach burning.
  • Ginger extract can be taken in the form of tea to ease acidity.
  • Asparagus is good for stomach cramping.
  • To ease stomach upset, chew fennel seeds
  • Avoid drinking coffee and chocolate beverages, instead opt for milk.
  • ripe banana taken with milk is a good laxative
  • Take licorice powder and mix with honey and ghee. This mixture can be taken two times a day before meal.

Herbal Remedies to improve Digestion

  • Ayucid is a Herbal Antacid, a natural dietary supplement that helps to neutralize excess acidity and heals ulcers.
  • Triphala – or three fruits is a herbal preparation consisting of three essential ayurvedic pure herbs – Amalaki, Bibhitaki and Haritaki. Triphala is primarliy used as a digestive stimulant.
  • Alsarex is a natural herbal supplement that works as an antacid and also helps as an anti-ulcerant
  • Amlant is a very effective product for gastric hyperacidity. It can treat existing duodenal ulcers and prevent formation of new ones.
  • Kabja-Har granules acts as a herbal laxative and helps relieve natural and occasional constipation.