Food is known as the universal love language, being at the center of celebrations. However, it is not enjoyable for everyone. Problems with eating and digestion can make it difficult to make the most of food and beverages. These medical conditions cause pain and suffering but are often overlooked. If you are having difficulty with eating and digestion, make sure to reach out to a medical professional to discuss causes and treatments.
When stomach acid travels up towards the throat and causes a burning sensation in the chest and an unpleasant sour taste in the mouth, this is referred to as heartburn. Or for recurring symptoms, gastro-esophageal reflux disease. Sufferers can also experience a cough or hiccups that keep coming back, a hoarse voice, bad breath, bloating, and nausea. Typically, heartburn symptoms are exacerbated after eating and when lying down or bending over. Heartburn is rarely life-threatening but can cause significant discomfort. Heartburn should not be overlooked, as it can be simple to identify aggravating lifestyle factors to effectively reduce symptoms. For instance,
- Inflammatory food and drinks
- Being overweight
- Stress and anxiety
- Anti-inflammatory painkillers
- A hiatus hernia
If there is no obvious cause, it can be helpful to speak to a pharmacist to discuss soothing medicines like antacids that can help to ease symptoms, or to a medical professional for an examination.
Swallowing difficulties, medically known as dysphagia, can make eating and drinking painful and uncomfortable. This can be due to persistent coughing and choking, bringing food back up, sensations of food being stuck, and overproduction of saliva. As dysphagia can make it difficult to eat and drink, complications of the condition can include malnutrition, dehydration, aspiration pneumonia, and choking. Therefore, symptoms must be investigated by a qualified professional to rule out underlying issues or receive treatment. Depending on the cause, treatments can include speech and language therapy, liquid thickening using SimplyThick gel, for example, feeding through tubes, and surgery.
Irritable Bowel Syndrome
One of the most common digestive conditions is irritable bowel syndrome, causing stomach cramps, bloating, diarrhea, and constipation which comes and goes but can cause discomfort for days, weeks, and months at a time. Typically, irritable bowel syndrome lasts a lifetime and can impact everyday life for sufferers. People often overlook the symptoms of the condition, stopping them from exploring the lifestyle and diet changes and medicines effective at helping to control symptoms.
Inflammation of the lining of the stomach is a shared symptom of multiple conditions grouped as gastritis. Most often the result of an infection, gastritis can occur suddenly or appear over time and causes indigestion, nausea, vomiting, and a feeling of fullness in the upper abdomen after eating. Gastritis is generally not severe, but it can lead to complications, so it is important to discuss it with a medical professional. There are prescription and over-the-counter medications available to help with recovery and reduce pain.
Common medical conditions make it difficult to enjoy food and beverages, causing daily pain and discomfort for sufferers. It is important not to overlook symptoms, as treatments are available and can restore the ability to eat and drink without impairment. If you think you might have heartburn, dysphagia, irritable bowel syndrome, gastritis, or another medical condition interfering with eating and digestion, do not disregard your experience. Seek medical attention from a professional to identify the cause and the ideal treatment for you.