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GASTRO-INTESTINAL

DISEASE

Fast paced lifestyle, stressful work and irregular meal timings are detrimental to health and may easily cause gastrointestinal disease.

Gastrointestinal Disease refers to diseases involving the gastrointestinal tract and the accessory organs of digestion. The gastrointestinal tract is divided into upper and lower parts, upper part includes the mouth, pharynx, esophagus and stomach while the lower part includes most of the small intestines and large intestines. While the accessory organs of digestion are made up of pancreas, liver, gall bladder and etc.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What are the most common gastrointestinal diseases?

A: Common gastrointestinal diseases include:

  • Gastroenteritis

  • Functional Dyspepsia

  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)

  • Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)

More serious case as follows:

  • Inflammatory conditions, e.g.: gastritis, hepatitis, pancreatitis

  • Gastric ulcer and duodenal ulcer

  • Cancers of the digestive tract and organs (e.g.: esophageal cancer, stomach cancer, liver cancer, pancreatic cancer, colon cancer & etc.)

  • Colon polyps

Q: How to prevent from gastrointestinal diseases?

A: To prevent from gastrointestinal diseases,

  • Diet and lifestyle changes can make a huge difference:

    • Quit smoking

    • Take rest

    • Maintain mental well-being and mind calmness, relieve stress

    • Take grazing diet (frequent small meals)

    • Take balanced diet, eat more fruits and vegetables, drink more water

    • Avoid high fat meal and irritating foods and drinks, such as spicy food, alcohol, caffeine containing or carbonated beverages

  • Regular checkups, such as Faecal Occult Blood Test (FOBT), colonoscopy and etc.

 
Functional Dyspepsia is one of the most common digestive disorders and being the main cause of Dyspepsia. In Hong Kong, the prevalence of functional dyspepsia is around 11% and there are about 730,000 patients suffering from the disease. 1,2
Q: What is Dyspepsia and its causes?

A: The glands in digestive organs will secrete digestive juice which will further breakdown food into smaller molecules for the ease of nutrients absorption. Dyspepsia (also known as indigestion) refers to the epigastric pain or discomfort and symptoms occur in the upper abdomen, which can be divided into 2 categories: 3

  • Functional Dyspepsia 1,4: May due to insufficient digestive juice/enzyme or abnormal peristalsis

  • Organic Dyspepsia: Related to the digestive organs’ disease

Causes of Dyspepsia:

  • Personal lifestyle related:

    • Poor dietary habit: Eating in excess or too fast

    • Frequent/Excessive consumption in high fat and irritating foods or drinks, such as spicy food, alcohol, caffeine containing or carbonated beverages

    • Smoking

  • Psychological factor:

    • Stress

    • Poor sleep/sleeping disorder

    • Emotional fluctuation

  • Side effects of Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAID), e.g.: Aspirin and Ibuprofen

  • Gastrointestinal inflammation, ulcer or infected with Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori)

  • Underwent gastrointestinal surgery before

Q: What are the common symptoms of Dyspepsia?

A: Common symptoms of Dyspepsia include:

  • Loss of appetite

  • Abdominal distension

  • Belching

  • Gastroesophageal reflux

  • Abdominal pain or epigastric burning

  • Diarrhea/constipation

Q: How to treat and prevent Dyspepsia?

A: Controlling and relieving dyspeptic symptoms, for example administration of digestive enzymes or antacids, is considered to be a common approach to treat dyspepsia. Besides, maintaining a healthy diet and lifestyle can improve and prevent functional dyspeptic symptoms.

However, if patient has suffered from gastrointestinal discomfort for more than 2 weeks, they should consult doctor immediately.

References:

  1. Majeed, M., et al. (2018). Evaluation of the Safety and Efficacy of a Multienzyme Complex in Patients with Functional Dyspepsia: A Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Study. Journal of medicinal food, 21(11), 1120–1128. 

  2. 香港中文大學傳訊及公共關係處. (n.d.). Retrieved December 08, 2020, from https://www.cpr.cuhk.edu.hk/tc/press_detail.php?1=1&id=2994&t=cuhk-study-proves-low-dose-tricyclic-antidepressant-tca-effective-in-treating-patients-with-refractory-functional dyspepsia&fbclid=IwAR2ue2_fmguMzBsQ7anj4L_MxgUpTlmkk9X72amhEHNg-zx6XeRE-2YwU-A

  3. Schmidt-Martin, D., et al. (2011). Structural Causes of Dyspepsia. 10.1007/978-1-4419-1730-0_4.

  4. Ran, Z. H. et al. (2009). The efficacy of Combizym in the treatment of Chinese patients with dyspepsia: a multicenter, randomized, placebo-controlled and cross-over study: Shanghai Combizym Clinical Cooperative Group. Journal of digestive diseases; 10: 41–48.

Any medical products for this disease?