Bowel diseases, symptoms and signs of the disease are the result of an upset gastrointestinal tract. The main symptoms are lower abdominal pain, diarrhea, or constipation. However, it is worthwhile to find out other symptoms of intestinal disorders, and the most common diseases of the digestive system. Accurate identification of symptomatic symptoms is very important, since it narrows the number of diseases that should be taken into account when diagnosing.
The main symptoms of intestinal diseases
Diseases of the stomach and intestines have many common symptomatic symptoms, however, most of them arise in other clinical conditions that are not associated with problems of digestive tract disorders. Therefore, the diagnosis of intestinal diseases requires a thorough laboratory and instrumental examination. The main symptoms and signs of bowel disease are diarrhea, when the number of bowel movements is more than three times a day, and the stool has a liquid consistency.
The most common causes of diarrhea are:
- Intestinal malabsorption of nutrients - absorption.
- Gastrointestinal reaction to drugs.
- The presence in the body of a gastrointestinal infection.
- A digestive enzyme deficiency, such as lactase.
- Hypersensitivity of the intestine to a certain type of food.
- Functional disorders for example irritable bowel syndrome.
- Clinical disorders of the pancreas or thyroid gland.
In addition, often diarrhea occurs in people traveling to countries with a lower standard of hygiene, which is a separate disease, defined in medicine by the term "travelers diarrhea."
The following signs and symptoms of bowel disease are abdominal pain. However, in addition to intestinal disorders, such symptoms can also indicate clinical problems with the liver, pancreas, blood vessels, urinary system, reproductive organs in women and so on. Such symptoms should be strictly differentiated, since pain localization with inflammation of the small intestine is pain in the middle part of the abdomen, and diseases of the large intestine respond with pain in the lower abdomen, on the right or left side.
Nausea and vomiting are other possible symptoms and signs of bowel disease. However, such manifestations are rare in inflammation of the small or large intestine. Gag reflex and nausea may indicate both diseases of the esophagus and / or stomach, as well as disorders of the central nervous system, balance organs, liver diseases, pancreatic inflammation or urinary system.
Constipation, when the number of bowel movements is less than twice a week, is another symptom of bowel disease in women and men. If the causes of constipation are identified, then most often we are dealing with diseases of the large intestine. However, inflammation of the small and / or rectum, nervous disorders, endocrine disorders and other inflammatory reactions in the body can also complicate the act of defecation.
Diagnose the symptoms of intestinal diseases in women or men using various methods of laboratory and instrumental testing:
- Endoscopy of the small intestine, that is, observation of it from the inside using a special device - an endoscope.
- Gastroscopy, or esophagogastroduodenoscopy, allows you to view not only the esophagus and stomach, but also the initial portion of the small intestine.
- Rectoscopy and colonoscopy, allows you to assess the condition of the colon.
Obviously, in addition to these diagnostic methods, abdominal ultrasound, computed tomography, and magnetic resonance imaging are useful.
Small bowel disease
The human small intestine, located between the stomach and colon, performs the main process of digestion - the absorption and movement of food. Food mass treated with saliva and gastric juice reacts with intestinal secretion, bile and pancreatic juice and then enters the small intestine. Due to the absorption and production of enzymes together with the pancreas and gall bladder, the small intestine breaks down the food mass into separate components. The process of digestion and subsequent absorption is possible due to intestinal villi, which facilitate the task of assimilation of food by the body.
Like the large intestine, the small intestine is constantly moving - a peristaltic wave propagates along the intestine, causing food to move, which is necessary for the proper functioning of the digestive tract. Any deviation caused by inflammation in the small intestine disrupts the overall functioning of the gastrointestinal tract.
Celiac disease, or celiac disease is a multifactorial digestive disorder characterized by damage to the villous layer of gluten. In addition to transporting food masses, the small intestine provides immunological protection in the body. When a failure occurs, the immune system produces antibodies to combat gluten present in wheat or barley, which causes an inflammatory reaction and atrophy of intestinal villi.
Clinical signs of celiac disease occur only if gluten is present in the diet. Typical symptoms of celiac disease:
- abdominal pain,
- weight loss,
- lack of appetite.
This disease can appear on the skin in the form of vesicles and erythema or cause a delay in physiological development in children during puberty. In addition to traditional methods of laboratory and instrumental diagnostics, it is necessary to test for genetic memory, that is, to establish a hereditary causal factor of the disease. Celiac disease treatment is the elimination of gluten from the diet, that is, products containing wheat, rye, barley and oats. Such a diet for intestinal disease is considered the most effective and sufficient therapy.
A disease with a similar course and method of treatment, but with a different mechanism of occurrence, is an allergy to wheat and not detrimental hypersensitivity to gluten.
The causes of duodenal ulcers are an increase in hydrochloric acid in the initial part of the small intestine and damage to the mechanisms that protect the mucous membrane of the duodenum with the formation of losses in the digestive system. Usually, the onset of the disease is preceded by an infectious infection with the bacterium Helicobacter pylori or prolonged use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, for example, acetylsalicylic acid (aspirin). Very often, a duodenal ulcer is determined in people over 60 years of age.
The most common symptoms are:
- pain and discomfort in the upper abdomen, arising, as a rule, after eating or early in the morning, and disappearing after taking antacid drugs or milk,
- lack of appetite.
Nausea and vomiting with a duodenal ulcer are rare, however, there is a place to be.
Treatment of peptic ulcer is primarily a diet and medications that reduce the amount of hydrochloric acid in the stomach, eliminate the infectious component, or surgery.
Short bowel syndrome
CCM is a fairly rare clinic of an intestinal disorder that occurs after bowel surgery. Therefore, short bowel syndrome occurs only in those people who have previously suffered from bowel disease. Symptoms and treatment are determined when most or all of the small intestine is excluded from the food passage, which significantly reduces the absorption of nutrients and water, providing the body with intestinal insufficiency. Natural nutrition for short bowel syndrome is not enough to maintain health.
The patient needs a strict diet for bowel disease, since a physiological disturbance can lead to severe clinical manifestations:
- mental and neurological disorders,
- heart rhythm disturbance,
- renal failure, etc.
A lack of vitamins and a violation of the mineral composition in the body with short bowel syndrome can lead to brittle bones, which is the cause of frequent fractures of the lower or upper limbs.
Bacterial growth syndrome
The disease is characterized by too much reproduction of bacteria that live in the colon, and, in addition, during this disease they move to the small intestine, which is devoid of microorganisms. The result is intestinal malabsorption (loss of nutrients), mainly in relation to fats, because bacterial enzymes affect digestion and vitamin B12, as it is consumed by microorganisms.
Symptoms of the bacterial growth syndrome:
- steatorrhea - excessive release of fat during an act of defecation,
- malabsorption of fat-soluble vitamins: A, D, E, K,
- nervous system disorder
- putrid breath,
- gas, bloating and belching,
- lower abdominal pain,
- lack of interest in food,
In laboratory diagnostics, it is useful to assess the amount of peripheral blood, examination of feces for the presence of fats and the presence of bacteria in the small intestine. Treatment is based on the treatment of the disease, which led to the growth of bacteria and adequate dietary nutrition.
Protein Loss Enteropathy
The disease is characterized by a set of symptoms caused by a deficiency of plasma proteins, lost in the pathological process of penetration into the intestinal lumen. The reason is damage to the lymphatic vessels and obstructing the outflow of lymph, which leads to its accumulation in the intestinal vessels and causes an increase in pressure and penetration of fluid into the intestinal lumen.
Another cause may be inflammation of the intestinal mucosa, leading to exudation, i.e. accumulation of excess fluid within the gastrointestinal tract. Symptoms of enteropathy:
- chronic fatty diarrhea,
- swelling of the lower extremities.
The therapeutic treatment of the disease is based on eliminating the cause of the disease (damage to the lymphatic tissue) and introducing the right diet with a low fat content and high protein level.
The human colon consists of the cecum, colon, sigmoid and rectum. The length of the large intestine ranges from one and a half to two meters. And although the organ of the digestive system does not belong to the most physiologically active anatomical structures of the human body, impaired motility of the large intestine and weakening of its peristalsis negatively affect the general condition of the entire gastrointestinal tract. The main function of the anatomical organ is the absorption of water, beneficial bacteria, the absorption of mineral components and vitamin groups. Like other organs of the digestive system, the human colon undergoes various inflammatory reactions.
The disease is the most frequent clinical condition of the abdominal cavity, characterized by inflammation of the appendix of the cecum of varying severity. Acute appendicitis can occur at any age of a person, regardless of gender.
Among surgical diseases of the abdominal cavity, the acute form of appendicitis is in the first place, and is 5 cases per 1 thousand people per year.
The most common causes of appendicitis are blockage of the appendix by fecal stones and excessive proliferation of bacteria. This condition leads to severe and sudden abdominal pain, usually in the navel. Further pain symptoms move to the lower right side of the abdomen over the next few hours.
In addition, acute appendicitis manifests itself as nausea and vomiting, lack of appetite and a state of fever. There are no specific diagnostic tests for acute appendicitis. The only treatment is surgical removal of the appendix.
Irritable bowel syndrome
This pathology is the most common chronic bowel disease, affecting up to 10% of the world's population. The causes of irritable bowel syndrome are still unknown, however, a psychological basis is suggested, especially since about 80% of patients with this disease have various types of emotional discomfort. During this syndrome, morphological or enzymatic changes in the gastrointestinal tract are not observed.
People suffering from this disease most often complain of spastic pain in the lower stomach. Irritable bowel syndrome with diarrhea can occur after eating, stress, or in the morning after waking up. In another case, the picture is completely different. A person is tormented by constipation, stool is given with effort, and after the long-awaited act of defecation, there remains a feeling of incomplete emptying. Other symptoms of IBS are nausea, vomiting, heartburn. A disease never has serious complications, however, it requires special therapeutic attention. The treatment uses dietary nutrition, psychological support for the patient and medications that reduce the severity of onerous symptoms.
Colonic ulcerative colitis
Ulcerative colitis, as well as Crohn’s disease belong to the so-called inflammatory bowel disease, with the difference that it covers only the colon. During this disease, inflammation and damage to the mucous membrane occurs for unknown reasons. The main symptoms of ulcerative colitis:
- bloody diarrhea
- weakness and weight loss,
The disease has a long course with remissions and various degrees of severity. Diagnostic assessment is based on imaging, laboratory and endoscopic examinations. In the treatment of ulcerative colitis, anti-inflammatory drugs, immunosuppressants are used, as well as surgical intervention after complications or lack of improvement after conservative treatment.
Another type of colon disease is microscopic colitis, which is characterized by a lack of visualization, and the diagnosis is established on the basis of microscopic data from laboratory studies of samples. Symptoms of microscopic colitis include profuse watery diarrhea, weight loss, pain, and bloating.
Meckel diverticulum is a small bulge outside the ileum wall. The frequency of colon diverticulum formation increases with the age of a person, and usually every third inhabitant of the planet older than 60 years has a similar physiological deviation. As a rule, the signs of a colon diverticulum are detected accidentally during a routine examination. Symptoms of a large intestine diverticulum are mild and include abdominal pain, diarrhea, alternating with constipation and bloating. Despite the seemingly harmless state, intestinal diverticulum can cause inflammation and abscess in the abdominal cavity, as well as cause bleeding from the lower gastrointestinal tract.Such complications require hospitalization and intensive care.
Intestinal Oncology: Symptoms and Signs of the Disease
A colon polyp is a bulge in the intestinal wall that has various causes. The structure of polyps in the intestine can develop as a hemangioma, lipoma, or cancer. The most common cause of the formation of polyps in the colon is the excessive reproduction of mucosal cells.
There are several types of colon polyposis:
- non-cancerous: juvenile, inflammatory or so-called Pezza Jagers polyps,
- adenomatous polyps, unfortunately, are prone to malignant circulation and escalation into cancer.
Symptoms of chronic intestinal polyposis are characterized by rectal bleeding, frequent stool with mucus and blood impurities. Colonoscopy can detect asymptomatic polyps in the intestine before they develop into a cancerous tumor.
Colorectal cancer develops 90% of adenomatous polyps and is most often found in the elderly and senile.
Symptoms of an oncological disease depend on its location. If cancer appears on the right side of the colon, then it causes not too annoying and often invisible symptoms - anemia and mild abdominal pain. Left location leads to oily bleeding and irregular bowel movements - constipation, followed by diarrhea.
There are no typical symptoms of colorectal cancer, but the disorder that should cause alertness in a person is lack of stool and frequent bleeding from the lower gastrointestinal tract. In such cases, you should immediately seek help from a doctor.
The most important diagnostic test for the detection or exclusion of colon cancer is colonoscopy, which allows you to examine biological samples and confirm the diagnosis of cancer after examination.
Medical experts advise colonoscopy at least once every 10 years, starting from 45-50 years. The main treatment methods are chemotherapy, radiation therapy and surgical treatment. The choice of medical effect depends on the severity of colon cancer.
Other diseases of the small and large intestine
Intestinal ischemia is an acute pathology that occurs due to a sharp inhibition of blood flow in the vessels that feed the intestines. Illness is the most common cause of thrombosis or embolism. With a sudden closure of the artery, symptoms of intestinal ischemia manifest in severe abdominal pain and vomiting. A person's condition can be fatal, so an immediate operation is required after diagnosis. However, if the ischemic process is slow, the symptoms of the disease occur due to insufficient blood flow into the intestines and appear only when the flow is very limited and prevents the collection of all digested substances. The most common signs of intestinal ischemia:
- weight loss,
- abdominal pain after a hearty meal.
Treatment of intestinal ischemia usually involves intravascular arterial clearance, that is, rapid purification of body fluid in the intestine.
The disease refers to the so-called inflammatory processes in the gastrointestinal tract, which affects any part of the digestive tract. However, Crohn's disease most often spreads in the final part of the small intestine - the terminal segment of the ileum. During this disease, systemic symptoms are characteristic:
- general weakness of the body,
- weight loss
- abdominal pain,
- diarrhea with blood
- ulcers in the anus,
- perianal abscess.
The latest symptoms most express diagnostic confirmation of Crohn's disease. The treatment of clinical pathology is long with periods of intensity and remission of symptoms, but, unfortunately, is not always effective. In drug therapy, anti-inflammatory drugs, immunosuppressants, and the so-called biological drugs are used, and in case of complications, surgical treatment is necessary.
Pathological syndrome is characterized by a partial or complete violation of the transport of intestinal contents through the digestive tract, and is a particularly dangerous condition for human life, requiring immediate medical attention, since there is a risk of peritonitis. A characteristic triad of symptomatic signs with bowel obstruction: severe abdominal pain - nausea and vomiting - constipation.
There are many causes of obstruction, for example, adhesive bowel disease, pancreatitis, appendicitis, intestinal swelling, hernia, and so on. Medical care for intestinal obstruction is a surgical operation.
Regardless of the gender and age of the person, an allergic or non-allergic abnormal reaction of the body to certain products is possible. Hypersensitivity of the intestine to food products is determined when pain symptoms are reproduced after eating a certain food or any food ingredient.
The most common sensitizing products are: cow's milk proteins, eggs, fish, seafood and nuts.
It happens that in the intestine there is a so-called cross-reaction, that is, the appearance of unpleasant symptoms after eating, which is distinctive from the one after which hypersensitivity is detected. Clinicians distinguish between two forms of this disease:
- anaphylactic gastrointestinal reaction,
- eosinophilic gastroenteritis.
The first symptoms are nausea, vomiting, pain in the lower abdomen and diarrhea. As a rule, an inflammatory reaction is accompanied by a skin rash and shortness of breath. With eosinophilic gastroenteritis, a lack of appetite and anemia are added to the characteristic signs. It is very difficult to diagnose intestinal hypersensitivity to food, since its symptoms can occur with other inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract, skin diseases and disorders of the respiratory system. Symptomatic signs of bowel disease are similar to asthma, allergic rhinitis and other allergic diseases. Therapeutic treatment primarily includes the exclusion of allergens from the diet and the use of antiallergic drugs.
Food intoxication caused by the use of food containing pathogenic bacteria or their toxins is a very common pathology among gastrointestinal disorders. It is especially common hot weather food poisoningwhen common human complaints are diarrhea, weakness of the body, vomiting syndrome and nausea, spasmodic abdominal pain and fever.
It should be noted that the first symptoms of food poisoning can occur several hours or even days after eating.
In the treatment of food intoxication, care should be taken, first of all, about proper hydration and the delivery of electrolytes to the body. In addition, it is worth paying attention to the diet and in case of poisoning, refuse for 2-3 days from eating any food except water. Further easily digestible products are recommended:
- boiled rice and other cereals,
- natural yogurt
- boiled meat in small portions.
In addition, the use of fried foods and milk is strictly prohibited. Prevention of food poisoning is, first of all, hand hygiene and the use of food and water from proven sources.
Among parasitic intestinal diseases, the most common are giardiasis, pork tapeworm, and ascariasis. Girdiasis, or giardiasis, is caused by simple giardias that parasitize the duodenum and jejunum. An infectious agent enters the intestines through contaminated food, water, and dirty hands. And although infection with giardiasis is mainly found in developing countries, our compatriots still sometimes bring this disease from long trips. Therapeutic prophylaxis of parasitic infection will be personal hygiene and the use of boiled water. Symptoms of giardiasis can manifest as diarrhea, upper abdominal pain, fatigue, and anorexia.
Pork tapeworm, or pork tapeworm, is a species of tapeworms whose eggs and larvae can penetrate the human body after eating raw and infected pork, beef, and fish. Teniosis (parasite infection) is usually asymptomatic, and abdominal pain, nausea, and weight loss are rare. Folk remedies for the treatment of teniosis - pumpkin seeds, extract from the rhizome of male fern.
Ascaridosis is an intestinal infestation, the causative agent of which are roundworm parasites in the small intestine. The larvae and eggs of the nematode penetrate the human body along with dirty vegetables or unwashed fruits. In the clinic of ascaridosis, toxic-allergic reactions predominate, that is, skin rashes and burning, itching in the nose, dry cough, low-grade fever, lethargy, drowsiness and constant fatigue. Ascaridosis treatment is the use of anthelmintic drugs, for example, Piperazine® and Mebendazole®.
Intestinal Disease Prevention
Bowel disease can be prevented with therapeutic prophylaxis, which is known to everyone:
- Follow the principle of a healthy diet by eating only high-quality foods with a sufficient content of mineral and vitamin components.
- To lead a healthy lifestyle, giving preference to regular physical exertion, active outdoor recreation, etc.
- Avoid stressful situations.
- Timely prevent constipation.
- Follow personal and sanitary hygiene.
Of great importance in the prevention of intestinal disorders is the periodic examination of the gastrointestinal tract by a gastroenterologist. Take care of yourself and be always healthy!
Everything about the intestine: its structure and functions
The intestine is the longest organ in humans. It has the form of a hollow tube, the thickness of which varies in different departments. It consists of:
- 12 duodenal ulcer, which is located in the chain of digestive organs just behind the stomach,
- of the small intestine - the longest section in which all the useful and vital substances are absorbed from food,
- colon, where water is absorbed from food debris, feces are formed.
Digestion begins even within the oral cavity, when food begins to break down under the influence of saliva enzymes. At the same time, the brain receives a command about the ingestion of food into the body and instructs the digestive organs to get ready for work - to begin the production of digestive enzymes.
In the stomach, food breaks down to a mushy state, is disinfected by hydrochloric acid, which is part of the gastric juice. At this stage, the primary breakdown of protein foods occurs.
The ducts of the gallbladder and pancreas open through the duodenum, through which bile and digestive juices flow. Here fats are digested and absorbed (through bile), food is broken down into its main components.
In the small intestine, all nutrients are absorbed.. Food is promoted by the contraction of its walls, which is called intestinal motility.
In the large intestine, the most indigestible, but necessary for the human body component is absorbed - fiber. It also assimilates vitamins, the final breakdown of proteins occurs, toxins are produced. Then the remnants of the food along with the toxins enter the rectum, through which they are excreted from the body.
The digestion process is completed in the colon: in the rectum, no components are absorbed.
Causes of Bowel Disease
One of the most common causes of intestinal pathology is improper and unbalanced nutrition.
Excess of one or another component, lack of fiber, constant overeating or prolonged starvation, the use of poor quality or poorly washed foods cause both acute and chronic forms of ailments.
Also, intestinal disease in women, men and children can cause:
- Intestinal infection - microbes that are found in spoiled, dirty foods or get through unwashed hands.
- Helminthic infestations - infection with intestinal parasites that stick to the intestinal mucosa. Symptoms vary depending on the type of parasite.
- A sedentary lifestyle, due to which intestinal motility is impaired. One of the main symptoms is persistent constipation.
- Stress, a nervous strain that causes spasm of the intestinal muscles. The absorption of nutrients and the entire digestion process are disrupted.
- Diseases of other organs (liver, gall bladder, pancreas), due to which digestive enzymes are produced in insufficient quantities.
- Imbalance of intestinal microflora.
- Hormonal changes.
- Hereditary causes.
- Disturbances in the functioning of the nervous system when the relationship between the brain and intestines is destroyed.
In adults, bowel diseases are triggered by stress, as well as bad habits. Alcohol and nicotine, especially on an empty stomach, can cause serious changes in the functioning of the entire digestive system.
Bowel diseases in women can occur as a result of adhesions against the background of gynecological inflammatory diseases. Disturbances in the digestive system appear during pregnancy due to the fact that the enlarged uterus presses on the intestines. Such pathologies usually occur if a woman previously had prerequisites for the development of the disease. Pregnancy in this case acts as a catalyst.
Signs of bowel disease in women
Symptoms of the disease may vary depending on the location and nature of the disease. But there is common symptoms that indicate abnormalities in the digestive tract:
- Abdominal pain. How the stomach hurts - depends on the degree of inflammation, the nature of the course (acute, chronic), the presence of mucosal damage, etc.
- Stool disorder (constipation or diarrhea).
- Flatulence (bloating, increased gas formation).
- "Hard stomach." On palpation, you can feel the tense abdominal wall.
- Nausea, belching.
- Abdominal discomfort - heaviness, a feeling of transfusion.
- An increase in the abdomen in the volume that causes bowel edema. In a woman, the stomach can be enlarged on the eve of menstruation, during ovulation, in the presence of gynecological diseases. All these conditions can be accompanied by pain, upset stools, nausea - this is important to consider when making a diagnosis.
What types of bowel diseases are there?
Bowel diseases are different, depending on the causes. The main groups of diseases:
- Infectious appear when harmful microorganisms enter the body, which cause acute inflammation of the intestinal walls, accompanied by intoxication. These intestinal diseases cause bacteria, viruses, protozoa.
- Hereditary, or congenital, are associated with insufficient production of certain enzymes, due to which intolerance to certain products develops.
- Non-infectious inflammatory infections are usually chronic. The inflammatory process occurs without the participation of pathogens, the main reason is autoimmune pathologies.
- Neurogenic diseases are associated with disturbances in the functioning of the nervous system, low stress resistance, and impaired conduction of nerve impulses.
- Parasitic - caused by the activity of intestinal parasites. Parasites can be found in any part of the intestine, as well as affect the liver and bile ducts. Their presence leads to constant inflammation of the mucosa, intoxication.
- Tumors are associated with the appearance of neoplasms (benign or malignant).
- Adhesions often occur in women, are a consequence of inflammatory processes in the uterus and ovaries.
How to recognize infectious intestinal inflammation?
You can diagnose inflammatory bowel disease:
- cumulative symptoms
- through examination and palpation of the abdomen,
- according to the results of laboratory and hardware studies (feces and blood tests, computed tomography of the intestine), which will help determine the nature and cause of the disease most accurately.
Intestinal inflammation is accompanied by pain, impaired stool, flatulence.
Can there be a temperature with intestinal inflammation?
If the inflammation is acute, which provoked an intestinal infection, accompanied by vomiting and diarrhea, temperature can rise up to 38-39 degrees. It usually decreases on the second or third day of the disease, after cleansing the body of pathogens. When using antibacterial drugs, lowering the temperature and improving well-being comes faster.
An increase in temperature also occurs with appendicitis (pain is localized in the right side of the abdomen).
In women, abdominal pain against a background of high temperature requires additional differential diagnosis.
Chronic intestinal diseases can occur without any increase in temperature or against the background of its increase to subfebrile values.
Diseases of the small intestine: diagnosis and symptoms
Pain in the small intestine can occur due to an acute or chronic inflammatory process. They arise for a number of reasons, ranging from an infectious nature to a violation of microflora and a lack of enzymes.
Problems with the small intestine are accompanied by the following symptoms:
- Pain sensations of a spastic nature, accompanied by flatulence, diarrhea (loose stools more often 4-5 times a day).
- Nausea, vomiting.
- Weight loss.
- Vitamins deficiency.
- In chronic forms of diseases of the small intestine, vegetative symptoms appear: dizziness, apathy, weakness before defecation or immediately after it.
Duodenitis - inflammatory disease of the upper section - 12 duodenal ulcer. It arises as a result of an infectious disease, gastritis (including Helicobacter-associated), due to irritation of the mucosa with a large amount of bile. It is accompanied by pain in the upper abdomen, belching, heartburn, nausea, weight loss. If duodenitis is not treated, it can develop into a peptic ulcer.
Enteritis - a disease in which the small intestine is inflamed throughout or in a separate area. The acute form is associated with the activity of pathogenic microorganisms; chronic may be non-infectious in nature. Symptoms: upset stool, severe bloating, pain, which decreases after exhaustion of the gases.
Crohn's disease - specific inflammatory disease. Its symptoms: acute paroxysmal pain in the navel, diarrhea, vomiting. The patient is rapidly losing weight. Damage to the nails is observed, the skin is dried out, and jamming appears in the corners of the mouth.
Dysbacteriosis It is associated with an imbalance in the microflora that occurs after an acute infection, as a result of malnutrition, chronic inflammation, while taking antibiotics and other medications. It is accompanied by flatulence, upset stools, constant pain of low intensity, impaired absorption of nutrients. With dysbacteriosis of the small intestine, treatment is carried out using a diet, antibacterial and probiotic agents.
Bowel obstruction It is associated with narrowing of the lumen, due to which the process of passage of food is disrupted. The main causes are malnutrition, parasitic infection, severe inflammation of a separate section of the intestine. The patient first has a sharp pain, which is localized in a specific part of the abdomen. Over time, it becomes permanent. Vomiting also occurs, usually without prior nausea. Bowel obstruction is a complex disease that can be treated in a hospital setting.
Celiac disease - Usually a congenital pathology, which is associated with the inability to digest products containing gluten. It manifests itself in childhood, during the introduction of a variety of complementary foods. Symptoms - loose stools, pale skin color, exhaustion, lack of appetite. Violation of the digestive tract in this case is lifelong, therefore, it is necessary to adhere to a gluten-free diet.
Tumors can be both benign and malignant. Small intestine cancer occurs quite rarely - in only 2% of cases of gastrointestinal oncology, and more often in men. Tumors can occur against the background of chronic poisoning, malnutrition with the content of food additives, in the presence of chronic intestinal inflammation and polyps. One of the common problems with this diagnosis is impaired patency. In this case, an urgent operation is required.
Diseases of the colon: what are the varieties?
The large intestine is the place where most of the vitamins and minerals are absorbed. When the large intestine is affected by a disease, a person develops vitamin deficiency, exhaustion, and disturbances in the functioning of other organs appear.
List of symptoms that occur with colon disease:
- Pain - sharp, spastic or aching, often in the lower abdomen. In women, a similar occurs with gynecological diseases.
- The patient is concerned about the pressure in the abdomen from the inside, the intestines are bursting. It causes increased gas formation and fecal density. Bloating intensifies in the evening. After bowel movement, relief may not occur.
- Incontinence of gas or feces.
- Change in stool consistency, offensive odor.
Ulcerative colitis - A disease in which ulcers form on the mucous membrane. It is predominantly bacterial in nature, often a precursor to cancer. Symptoms: pain to the left or right of the navel, loose stools, intestinal bleeding, weakness.
Chronic colitis - A disease caused by an inflammatory process on the mucous membrane of the colon. It appears as a result of food allergies, infections in the large intestine, parasitic diseases, poisoning with toxic substances or heavy metals. The main symptoms are:
- bloating and cramping
- frequent urge to defecate, to no avail,
- stool disorders - diarrhea, constipation, their alternation,
- the presence of blood in the stool,
- decreased appetite and weight,
- headache, irritability, insomnia.
Dyskinesia, or irritable bowel syndrome. There are no characteristic signs of pathology, but a person is disturbed by stool disorders, bloating, rumbling, cramps associated with emotional experiences. It has a nervous nature. Often a person himself notes that he fell ill after serious stress or worries. The disease appears in an adult, more often in women, because they are more emotional and sharply react to stress. For treatment, sedatives are used, as well as medications that help relieve symptoms.
Appendicitis - acute, purulent inflammation of the appendix - the cecum. It is located to the right of the navel. The main pain is localized there, with pressure it is given throughout the abdomen and even in the thigh. Accompanied by vomiting, fever. Acute appendicitis cannot be cured without surgery. But the operations are often performed erroneously, with inaccurate diagnosis, because similar symptoms can indicate inflammation of the ovary and women and acute prostatitis in men.
Colon cancer is much more common than thin cancer. The main reasons: nutrition with an excess of light carbohydrates (flour, sugar), fried foods, alcoholism, untreated inflammation, chronic poisoning, food allergies, stress. It is difficult to determine it in the first stages, since the symptoms resemble chronic colitis. Unlike most intestinal diseases, cancer often causes constipation.
Modern medicine allows high-quality treatment of intestinal diseases and prevent serious complications. But the main guarantee of successful therapy is a strict diet, which you need to adhere to throughout the treatment, and in some cases - all your life.
Bowel Disease: Some Anatomy and Statistics
To begin with, we will briefly talk about the structure and work of the intestine, as well as provide information on epidemiology.
The intestines are represented by two sections: thick and thin. The small intestine, consisting of the duodenum, jejunum and ileum, originates from the pylorus of the stomach and ends with the ileocecal valve. The latter connects the small intestine with the colon. In the large intestine, three departments are also distinguished: the cecum, colon and rectum. In the wall of the duodenum (in its submucosal membrane) there are glands whose functions are the secretion of digestive enzymes, hormones, mucus. The intestine performs vital functions: splitting food into digestible elements, absorbing nutrients into the blood, removing toxins from the body.
Numerous factors play a role in the occurrence and development of intestinal diseases:
- the presence of other diseases of the digestive system (gastritis, pancreatitis),
- intestinal infections
- taking certain medications (for example, prolonged and uncontrolled antibacterial therapy can disrupt the composition of microflora),
- nutritional errors (abuse of fatty, fried foods, convenience foods, lack of fiber, etc.),
- lack of vitamins and minerals,
- bad habits,
- lack of exercise
Some factors, such as genetic predisposition, are not dependent on the person, and it is impossible to eliminate them. On the other: nutrition, lifestyle - we are quite able to influence.
Statistics say that certain diseases of the digestive system are present in 90% of the population of developed countries. So, inflammatory bowel diseases, which include Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis, are diagnosed in approximately 200 people out of 100,000 examined. Mostly they are young people. Men and women get sick at about the same frequency.
Increasingly, patients with symptoms of bowel disease are diagnosed with IBS. Its prevalence in the world reaches 20%. According to various sources, women suffer from IBS 2–4 times more often than men, with the highest incidence rates being 30–40 years old.
Causes of intestinal pathologies
Intestinal diseases usually develop gradually. Usually, the effect of several causative factors is noted at once. The more of them, the more difficult the disease is and the more parts of the intestine are involved in the pathological process. This condition is more amenable to drug therapy, there is a high probability of transition to a chronic incurable form of the disease.
The risk of developing intestinal diseases in women is increased due to:
- genetic predisposition
- violation of the immune status,
- errors in diet
- chronic stress, overwork,
- lack of physical activity,
- smoking and other bad habits,
- previous intestinal infections, the presence of chronic infectious gastrointestinal pathologies,
- prolonged use of drugs, for example, antibiotics.
Failure to diet is a common cause of bowel disease.
Some of the factors listed above are unavoidable, for example, hereditary predisposition. However, most of the causes that can lead to intestinal disease can be eliminated if desired. At the same time, it is believed that variable factors play a large role in the development of the disease - the contribution of lifestyle to the formation of pathology is at least 80%.
The highest incidence of gastrointestinal diseases in women is observed in developed countries. Approximately 90% of the adult population suffers from such pathologies. The incidence depends little on the gender of the patients - according to statistics, the diseases are found equally often in men and women.
Some types of intestinal pathology are widespread, others are more rare. For example, at least a quarter of the population suffers from irritable bowel syndrome. And Crohn's disease is diagnosed no more often than in 200 patients per 100,000 population.
Symptoms of intestinal diseases
All intestinal pathologies are manifested by approximately the same symptoms. The differences lie in the predominance of some manifestations over others and their severity. There are several groups of clinical signs:
- defecation disorders - diarrhea or constipation, in some cases, their alternation is possible,
- pain in the abdomen
- impaired appetite
- the presence of impurities in the feces, for example, blood, pus or mucus,
- violation of the assimilation of nutrients and vitamins, which is manifested by a decrease in weight, the body's defenses, and a deterioration in overall health.
Abdominal pain is a common symptom of bowel disease.
Depending on the cause, localization of the pathological process, as well as its severity, the patient may experience one or another combination of symptoms. Consider the common manifestations of intestinal pathologies in more detail.
The nature of the appearance of pain in diseases of the digestive system can be varied. The symptom can be localized in different parts of the abdomen, have a different nature and intensity. When making a diagnosis, it is important to pay attention to the relationship of pain with food intake or defecation.
Pathological processes of the small intestine are characterized by the localization of pain in the navel. It is possible that it will have a pulling character, constantly disturbing the patient, only occasionally subsiding and again intensifying. On the contrary, the acute, stitching nature of the pain syndrome is noted with intestinal cramps, a violation of the passage of contents through it.
Pathological processes of the small intestine are characterized by localization of pain in the navel
Diseases of the colon are less severe pain. Often the patient cannot accurately localize it; he complains of diffuse soreness on the right or left, depending on the source of anxiety. After the passage of gases, bowel movements, the severity of the clinical picture decreases. At the same time, eating does not affect the manifestations of the disease.
According to modern concepts, the presence of this symptom is indicated in cases where the frequency of bowel movements is at least four times a day. Diarrhea accompanies any inflammatory bowel process, regardless of location.
The level of organ damage can be determined by the nature of feces. If they are plentiful, watery, then most likely the cause of the disease is localized in the small intestine. In this case, particles of undigested food, foam and other impurities may be present in the stool.
Diarrhea accompanies any inflammatory bowel process
Colon diseases are less often accompanied by diarrhea. Usually this symptom is determined only during exacerbations. Moreover, it is characterized by a small amount of feces, but the presence of pathological impurities such as mucus or blood is possible.
The reverse situation, when there is no bowel movement for several days, is more often characteristic of diseases of the colon.This symptom may occur in cases where the pathological process is due to functional disorders of the intestine (for example, in the case of irritable bowel syndrome).
When there is no bowel movement for several days, this indicates a colon disease
Important!The appearance of constipation does not always indicate the presence of intestinal diseases. Quite often they are associated with malnutrition. An increase in bowel movements and a change in the nature of the stool can occur with the use of a large number of laxative foods, foods rich in fiber, milk, etc. Sometimes this condition develops with disorders of the endocrine and nervous systems.
Many pathological conditions in which the colon or small intestine is affected are accompanied by flatulence. This symptom is characterized by increased gas formation, bloating. The reason for it is often in violation of the digestion of food, which is why fermentation processes occur in the intestine.
In women, flatulence often occurs in diseases of the biliary tract, when a sufficient amount of digestive enzymes does not enter the duodenum. A frequent cause of functional bloating in patients is irritable bowel syndrome. In this case, there is an increase in symptoms in the evening. But at night, the manifestations of the disease disappear.
Colonoscopy is often necessary to diagnose intestinal diseases.
With the development of malabsorption syndrome, when the process of absorption of nutrients and vitamins is disrupted, patients develop signs of metabolic disorders. Usually they are manifested by a decrease in body weight, dry skin, small hemorrhages, cracks in the corners of the mouth.
Important!In women, this syndrome can manifest itself as a change in the duration of the menstrual cycle, a decrease in the volume of blood loss during menstruation. In this case, reproductive dysfunction is also possible; such patients cannot become pregnant.
Irritable bowel syndrome
Intestinal walls with irritable bowel syndrome
According to statistics, female patients most often have functional disorders of the digestive system. The most important among them is irritable bowel syndrome. A characteristic feature of IBS is the variety of manifestations, as well as the absence of inflammatory changes in the digestive system.
The causes of the disorder are not exactly known. The occurrence of IBS is associated with emotional stress, an unhealthy diet. An important role is also played by the patient's predisposition and the state of intestinal microflora.
Wall of the inflamed intestine
IBS can manifest as follows:
- increased peristalsis of the colon - this leads to diarrhea,
- its inhibition, resulting in constipation,
- in some cases, the alternation of these two pathological conditions is possible.
Important!The presence of irritable bowel syndrome can significantly reduce the patient's quality of life. This is especially pronounced in the case of chronic diarrhea.
Symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome
In contrast to inflammatory bowel diseases, discomfort in the abdominal cavity disappears after defecation. Another important feature of diarrhea syndrome in IBS is that it usually appears in the morning immediately after breakfast. An increase in the severity of clinical manifestations is also noted after psycho-emotional experiences.
Therapy for IBS is long, requiring a significant lifestyle change from the patient. Diet correction is necessary, consultation of a psychotherapist. In cases of the psychogenic nature of the disease, sedatives are prescribed.
Diet for irritable bowel syndrome
Treatment of irritable bowel syndrome
Another common bowel disease in women is dysbiosis. This condition is associated with a change in the normal microflora of the digestive tract, which leads to the growth of unwanted microbes. Like IBS, this disease is rarely diagnosed and treated, as many patients simply do not go to the doctor with this problem.
Dysbacteriosis is not considered an independent disease. More often it is considered as a syndrome associated with other pathologies of the digestive and other systems. It can occur with the development of allergic reactions, immunodeficiency, vitamin deficiency, intoxication and other pathologies. However, in most cases, dysbiosis is the result of improper use of antibacterial agents, non-compliance with the recommended dosage and duration of antibiotic use.
Factors causing dysbiosis
Imbalance in microflora is manifested by a variety of nonspecific symptoms. Most often, patients complain:
- for diarrhea, bloating,
- appetite often decreases, body weight decreases, and unpleasant taste sensations in the oral cavity occur.
With a long course, manifestations of neurological disorders join. Patients become irritable, their performance decreases, headaches appear, sleep is disturbed.
The main symptoms of dysbiosis
First of all, it is necessary to influence the cause of the disease, to correct the pathology that caused dysbiosis. Probiotics are prescribed to restore normal microflora, for example, Bifiform or Linex.
Combined therapy for dysbiosis
Inflammatory bowel disease
Among all the intestinal pathologies that can disturb women, inflammatory diseases also occupy an important place. They are classified by the level of intestinal damage (enteritis, colitis, enterocolitis), as well as by the course (acute and chronic).
This term refers to a large group of pathologies that are associated with the presence of inflammatory phenomena in the small intestine. Often, enteritis develops along with other inflammatory processes of the digestive system - often doctors make such diagnoses as enterocolitis, gastroenteritis, etc.
Location of the small intestine
The disease can occur in the form of an acute and chronic process. The first usually occurs due to food poisoning, acute infectious diseases - salmonellosis, cholera, etc. It is also possible the appearance of signs of enteritis with the use of a large number of mucosal irritating products (spicy foods, alcohol).
Chronic enteritis is often the result of insufficiently effective treatment of the acute form of the disease. In some cases, it develops in the presence of chronic gastritis and other inflammatory pathologies of the gastrointestinal tract.
Symptoms of acute enteritis
Acute enteritis begins with the appearance of the following symptoms:
- pain around the navel
- decreased appetite
- nausea and vomiting.
Over time, it is possible to attach common features:
- temperature increase
- neurological symptoms
Symptoms of Chronic Enteritis
In severe cases, diarrhea may appear up to 15 times a day. Liquid stool with inclusions of insufficiently digested food, gas bubbles. If the patient is untreated for a long time, there are signs of general exhaustion, malabsorption syndrome. A general deterioration in well-being, the presence of symptoms of hypovitaminosis are also characteristic.
The chronic form of enteritis is less symptomatic, prolonged course, alternating periods of remissions and exacerbations. With the timely treatment of acute pathology started, recovery occurs rather quickly.
Enteritis therapy depends on the cause of the disease. If the pathology is associated with an infectious process, antibiotic therapy is necessary (for example, Ciprofloxacin), after which a probiotic is prescribed to restore normal intestinal microflora.
Enteritis Nutrition Principles
If the disease is caused by other causes, for example, irritation of the mucous membrane by certain types of food, it is necessary to adhere to a sparing diet. In cases where enteritis develops as a complication of other inflammatory bowel pathologies, complex therapy is carried out, which is aimed at eliminating the initial source of inflammation.
Enteritis treatment methods
Inflammation in the colon can be a separate pathology or a complication of other diseases of the intestine. More often, the cause is dysentery or other infection. In some cases, colitis can develop with food poisoning, a violation of the diet, eating spicy foods.
Chronic colitis can be a consequence of other inflammatory diseases of the gastrointestinal tract, failure to follow a healthy diet.
Severity of bowel disease with colitis
Symptoms of acute colitis:
- sharp pains
- diarrhea - liquid stool with mucus,
- deterioration of general well-being, malaise,
- fever, fever.
Manifestations of chronic colitis are less pronounced compared with the acute form of the disease. During exacerbations, aching pains in the abdomen, flatulence, diarrhea occur. With a long course, the patient's body weight decreases, menstruation and the development of infertility are possible.
Symptoms of Chronic Colitis
Therapy for colitis does not differ from that shown with enteritis. It is important to determine the true cause of the disease in order to choose the most effective drug.
Food after entering the gastrointestinal tract undergoes a multi-stage process of splitting and absorption:
- Oral cavity. Grinding, the beginning of the breakdown of simple carbohydrates, starch, partial absorption of glucose.
- Esophagus. Advancing food, wetting it with mucus.
- Stomach. Partial breakdown of proteins, emulsified fats, carbohydrates due to the production of gastric juice, the absorption of certain amino acids, a small amount of glucose, dissolved mineral salts.
- The duodenum (the initial part of the small intestine). The ducts of the pancreas and liver flow out, secreting pancreatic juice and bile to break down proteins, complex carbohydrates and fats.
- Small intestine. Absorption of the final digestion products (amino acids, monosaccharides, dipeptides, fatty acids).
- Colon. The formation of feces, the absorption of water, small amounts of broken components, as well as fat-soluble vitamins.
- Rectum. Hardening of feces.
It should be noted that some substances, once in the oral cavity or rectum, are well absorbed through their mucous membranes. This is the basis for the action of a number of medicinal components and enemas.
Symptoms and signs of bowel disease
Symptoms of intestinal problems are diverse and, for convenience, are combined into two groups (aggregates) according to the similarity of manifestations.
Dyspeptic syndrome includes all signs of indigestion:
- Decreased appetite - A universal manifestation of most intestinal diseases.
- Nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea - Typical signs of the presence of toxins, for example, after poisoning, as a result of the release of metabolic products by pathogenic bacteria or parasites (helminths).
- Flatulence (bloating) - a signal of digestive disorders with inflammation of the pancreas (pancreatitis) or small intestine (enteritis). As a result, there is a lack of degrading enzymes, and the nutrient components go to the microflora that produce gases.
- Constipation occurs with intestinal motility or inflammation of the colon (colitis).
Pain syndrome - a set of pains of any nature in the intestinal zones:
- Dull or sharp pain in the upper abdomen is a sign of gastritis or a stomach ulcer.
- The umbilical area with the manifestation of aching pain is an indicator of enteritis.
- Pain in the lower left abdomen is a symptom of inflammatory processes in the sigmoid colon, and on the right, especially with an acute character, is a sign of appendicitis.
Knowing the signs of gastrointestinal diseases, even a lay person can make a preliminary diagnosis and correctly describe the symptoms to the doctor. This information is especially useful for women taking care of children.
In addition to direct manifestations, intestinal diseases cause indirect (secondary) consequences that affect the state of the body as a whole or individual organ systems. Toxins that accumulate during disruption of the digestive tract and penetrate the body, lead to allergic reactions. There are signs of accelerated aging of the body, damage to the skin (acne, liver spots, psoriasis), general weakness. The cardiovascular and respiratory systems, as well as the musculoskeletal system, suffer pain in the heart, shortness of breath, muscle weakness, arthritis.
All intestinal diseases are associated with inflammatory processes caused by a number of factors: infections, parasites, autoimmune processes, dysbiosis, genetics, serious eating disorders, atherosclerosis of the intestinal vessels.
Intestinal inflammation classified according to the location of the focus, which can develop in one or more zones. In addition to the well-known appendicitis, the following types of diseases are distinguished:
- The small intestine (enteritis), its departments: the duodenum (duodenitis), the jejunum (jejunit) and the ileum (ileitis).
- Departments of the colon: colon (colitis) and sigmoid colon (sigmoiditis).
- Rectum (proctitis).
- Cecum (Tiflitis).
On the affected membrane of the intestinal mucosa observed: overflow of blood vessels, the formation of edema, purulent discharge. In severe forms, bleeding ulcers that cause peritonitis are formed. As a result, there is a violation of the breakdown and absorption of nutrients, as well as the formation of feces.
Symptoms: pain in the affected area, flatulence, persistent problems with stool, weight loss due to poor absorption of nutrients, anemia due to a lack of iron.
Reason irritable bowel syndromeis not an inflammatory process, but a violation of the control of the intestines by the brain. For example, as a result of an imbalance of some neurotransmitters (serotonin, histamine, etc.). Defective regulation causes: a decrease in pain sensitivity, a significant change in peristalsis in the direction of deceleration or acceleration.
Symptoms: pain after eating, localized in the navel and lower abdomen, disappearing after being released from feces or gas, daily diarrhea (usually in the morning), alternating with constipation, a feeling of incomplete bowel movement, flatulence, heaviness in the stomach, sometimes accompanied by belching and nausea . Symptoms become pronounced during periods of excitement and nervous strain, severe stress, and additional symptoms (headache, lack of air, dry throat and sensation of a coma, fatigue, tinnitus) may occur.
Cleaning and fasting days
The proper functioning of the digestive system in the modern rhythm of life is almost impossible. If you monitor your diet, you will still experience situations of violation of the regime. The easiest way to improve the intestines is to cleanse it. Periodically, you need to arrange yourself fruit and vegetable days, while the effect is achieved if such a diet is observed for several days. Fiber and pectin help cleanse the slagged intestines.
Herbs and plants
If the problem requires more serious treatment, then in pharmacies special herbal preparations are sold to normalize the functioning of the intestines.
The following plants have a cleansing effect: alfalfa grass, senna leaves, buckthorn bark, knotweed, horsetail, nettle. Regular use of leafy green tea and a decoction of chamomile flowers, which have anti-inflammatory effects, have a beneficial effect on the intestinal state.
For the treatment of intestines, there are many useful recipes that have actually proven their effect.
Cabbage and potato juice, beets, semolina, pulp of pumpkin and watermelon normalize the intestines. Watermelon has a good analgesic effect.
Slow bowel syndrome (with low motility) can be treated with honey and aloe. Heat 2 parts of honey to 40 ° C and add 1 part of chopped and peeled aloe leaves, mix and let stand for 1 day. Take in the morning, an hour before meals, 1 tbsp. l., washed down with a glass of warm water. The course of treatment is 14 days. Store the mixture in the refrigerator.
Massage and Exercise
Massage the abdomen reduces pain, normalizes peristalsis and eliminates colic. Enough 10 times with your hand to hold on the stomach, clockwise. The method is designed to quickly improve the condition.
Exercises that restore the activity of the lazy intestine:
- Lying down: foot movement that simulates a bicycle, swinging the lower part of the press by raising bent or straight legs, mixing / raising the knees.
- Standing: retraction and relaxation of the abdomen, walking in place with a high raising of the knee, rotation of the body to the left side.
Medicines for bowel diseases
Probiotics and prebiotics are key medications used to treat the intestines. Probiotics contain beneficial bacteria that displace pathogens from the mucosa; prebiotics contain substances that stimulate the development of microflora that normalize the intestines. With advanced forms of dysbiosis, for example, in the case of candidiasis, antifungal drugs are additionally prescribed.
Irritable bowel syndrome requires complex treatment with the appointment of an individual course. As the main components, antispasmodics are used (to eliminate pain symptoms), sorbents (with bloating or diarrhea), dietary fiber (with constipation).
Antibacterial or antiparasitic drugs are the main component of drug therapy for infectious diseases. Anti-inflammatory agents and various sorbents with an astringent-enveloping effect are used to treat colitis and enteritis. In case of malfunctions of the immune system, when exposure to its antibodies leads to destruction of the intestinal wall, hormonal drugs and immunosuppressants are used.
In case of severe and / or long lasting bowel pain, you should immediately consult a doctor or call an ambulance at home. As in the case of constant violations of the consistency of the stool, bloody discharge and vomiting.
Take care of your intestines and be healthy!