Giving the gut its due glory   

Keeping your gut healthy is important for the overall fitness of your body. Here are diseases to look out for and immediate treatment

Published: 14th July 2022 06:37 AM  |   Last Updated: 14th July 2022 06:37 AM   |  A+A-


For representational purposes

Express News Service

KOCHI: It is the constant temptation from food delivery apps, enticing food reels, discount codes from our favourite vloggers, and the pain of battling in the kitchen, which makes us choose fast food over a nutritious home-cooked meal. Yes, sometimes it’s okay to blame the world around us for ruining our fitness goals. 

express Illustration 

But while making these unhealthy choices, we often forget that our tummies are tender and can scream at us if we don’t take care of it. “Gut health — the physical condition and physiological operation of the various components of the gastrointestinal system — determines your overall health and immunity.

A healthy gut is a healthy you,” shares Dr Shubha Vivekan, consultant Gastroenterologist, liver disease specialist and endoscopist, Lifeline Hospital, Kilpauk, and Apollo Medical centre, Anna Nagar.With inputs from Dr Shubha, here is a curated list of the prevalent gut diseases, diagnosis, their symptoms, the common foods to avoid and include for a healthy gut.


Cancers of the gastrointestinal tract 
What is it? All malignancies of the digestive tract, including those of the stomach, large and small intestines, pancreas, colon, liver, rectum, anus, and biliary system, are referred to as gastrointestinal (GI) cancers. If there is a family history, then early surveillance is important.

Alarm signs for cancer 

“These are red flags which should not be ignored. Consult with your gastro enterologist if you have the following, at the earliest,” says Dr Shubha.

Unintentional weight loss
Appetite loss
Any bleeding from your stools
Blood in vomitus
Alterations in bowel pattern 
Difficulty swallowing
Abdomen bloating or distention
Jaundice or anaemia in routine health checks


Inflammatory Bowel Disease
What is it? An autoimmune mediated condition, which can present as Crohn’s disease or Ulcerative colitis.
Symptoms: Altered bowel habits, bleeding in stool, weight loss, anaemia and abdominal pain. In such patients, a detailed evaluation along with endoscopy, colonoscopy, and scans may be required to get a proper diagnosis. Such patients need to be monitored life long for getting into remission.


Gastroesophageal reflux disease or GERD
What is it? The junction between the oesophagus and stomach is lax causing reflux of acid and food into the food pipe or oesophagus.
Symptoms: Heartburn, dry cough, breathing difficulty.


Peptic Ulcer disease
What is it? Diagnosed with endoscopy, in this condition, there is an ulcer in the gastric mucosa or lining of the stomach, which can be due to several reasons, but the most common being infection with 
H.pylori, painkiller or steroid intake, and stress.
Symptoms: Depending on the site, the individual can experience abdomen pain either before or after meals, weight loss, and anaemia, if there is bleeding. Every condition needs detailed evaluation as it can progress to malignancy.


Irritable bowel syndrome
What is it? Digestive issues related to psycho-somatic issues, stress or sleep disturbance
Symptoms: Change in bowel frequency and consistency. Can present with a range of symptoms like diarrhoea or constipation along with abdomen pain. Often diagnostic tests are normal and the patient’s symptoms get relieved with lifestyle changes along with medication.


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