Stomach Illness

Reasons For A Stomach Illness

If you are feeling discomfort in your abdominal area, you might have a stomach illness. There are several reasons why a person can experience problems with the stomach and most are not considered dangerous or life threatening. But occasionally, a stomach illness can be a symptom of something more serious. If you have unpleasant symptoms that go away after a few days than it might not be anything to worry about. But if you experience discomfort in the stomach area for more than a week, you should seek medical help.

Stomach illness can be a result of taking prescription medications for other conditions. For example, arthritis sufferers have to take pain medications consistently. Drugs that include aspirin, anti inflammatory meds and ibuprofen are known to cause side effects and most of them bother the gastrointestinal tract. If these drugs are taken for a long period of time it can lead to upset stomachs, gastritis, bleeding ulcers and esophageal reflux disease. Vomiting blood and a substance that appears to look like coffee grounds and eliminating dark black stools with blood present, are all signs of a bleeding ulcer. But sometimes there are no symptoms and the bleeding is internal and goes unnoticed. This is when a stomach illness can become life threatening.

Gastroenteritis of the stomach flu happens when the gastrointestinal tract becomes inflamed. The small intestine can also become inflamed and this causes severe diarrhea in the sufferer. Infections, viruses, bacteria and toxins are some of the things that can cause the stomach flu.  Most of the time, this condition can be completely cured but it is considered a dangerous illness for people who are elderly or for young children under the age of 5. Approximately 8 million people worldwide die every year from the stomach flu.

Digestive tract disorders range from a virus to irritable bowel syndrome and a digestive disorder can cause pain and discomfort in the abdominal area. The gastrointestinal tract is a tube that starts at the esophagus and ends in the intestine. It includes many organs like the stomach, liver, pancreas and the gall bladder. Any problems that arise from any of these organs are considered a digestive tract disorder and they can all have their own unique problems and symptoms that include stomach illness and pain.

Food poisoning can cause such symptoms as abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, fever and diarrhea. Is it considered food contamination and it can be caused by bacteria, parasites or toxins. Food borne illness comes about because of improper handling, preparation and storage of food. Most of the time, a person can go through a short period of discomfort and return to normal after a few days. But elderly people and young children are in a high risk group when it comes to this illness because of their weakened immune systems. Salmonella and Escherichia coli are two of the most common substances that cause food borne illnesses.

Lactose intolerance can cause bloating, gas, stomach cramps, nausea and diarrhea. This condition is the inability to metabolize milk or diary products. The enzyme needed to break down the lactose is not found in people who suffer with this illness. The lactose remains in the intestine and cannot pass through it to the blood stream. The result is a fermentation of the lactose that can make the sufferer experience severe gas. People who are suffering with either Crohn’s disease or irritable bowel syndrome are also missing the enzyme needed to break down the lactose. Certain prescription drugs can cause temporary lactose intolerance by interfering with the intestinal functions. There is no known treatment to cure lactose intolerance but a sufferer can avoid the symptoms by not consuming diary products.

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