Some of the most common digestive complaints include:
A. Pain in the Upper Abdomen before or after meals.
- Gastritis or ulcers of the stomach and small intestine. A bacterium known as Helicobacter Pylorii can cause this through infection.
- Gallstones are another common cause, related to fat and cholesterol rich diets.
- Oesphageal reflux disease, where acid from the stomach irritates the food gullet and causes "heartburn", belching and water brash.
- Irritable bowel syndrome is usually a condition assigned once other causes are excluded. It can be associated with gas bloating and may be relieved by bowel movements. Constipation and diarrhea can be a predominant feature.
B. Changes in Bowel Habit
This may present as frequent loose stools or difficulty passing motion for longer than month in duration as compared to previous habits. Possible causes include:
- Infective Diarrhoea
- Chronic Constipation
- Volvulus of the colon
- Inflammatory Bowel Disease
- Polyps of the colon and rectum which if untreated are premalignant
- Cancer of the colon or rectum especially if bleeding or mucous discharge is noted. Needs to be excluded in patients above 40 years of age.
C. Perianal Conditions
Pain during passage of stool, an abnormal lump or blood stained discharge may be some of the complaints related to this. Possible causes include:
- Piles (haemorrhoids)
- Anal fissure
- Fistula in ano
- Perianal abscess
- Perianal warts