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Information about gastroaesophagal reflux, about milk or lactose intollerance and general information about digestive trouble

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About gastroaesophagal reflux disease (GERD)

By gastric reflux disease stomach content is pressed up from the stomach through the aesophagus and will often reach the mouth and can also  be sucked down into the throut. The stomach content is always acidic from the content of HCl and may be more acidic than normally by GERD.

The acid irritates the aesophagus, the mouth and the throut. It causes burning sensations when the reflux occur. It can also cause damage by etching and also cause chronic inflammation in the aesopagus, oral cavity and throut. The acid can also damage the surface of the teeth. The content can also be aspirated down into the windpipe and cause breathing problems and in seldome cases even soffocation.

The mechanism by GERD

There are several anatomical and physical factors contributing to the problem, and the factors differ from case to case.

- The sphincter between the aesophagus and stomach ventricle can be abnormally formed or does not contract strongly enough.

- There can be hiatus hernia where some of the upper part of the stomach ventricle is pressed upwords through the passage in the diafragm for the esophagus.

- The ventricle can contract too much or have cramps, like when one throuws up.

- There can be a too high production of salty acid (HCl) in the ventricle.

- The portal muscle between the stomach ventricle and the duodenum (upper part of the small intesine) can be too narrow or constrict too strongly so that content fills up in the ventricle and makes an over- pressure here.

The primary causes of GERD

The primary causes of GERD can also be many:

- A gongenital abnormality in the hiatus.

- A too high consume of some types of food .

- Drinking too much of coffee, tea or alcoholic beverages.

- Use of certain drugs, like cocaine.

- Frequent physical strain of certain kind, like hevay lifting when bending down, frequent coughing or labor during delivery.

- A history of stomach ulcers or inflammations may gave caused the allready mensioned anatomic abnormalities.

- Nervous problems caused by stress or neurological problems can affect the nervous controle of the stomach and the spincker and this can lead to FERD.

The treatment of GERD

Here is a survey of conventional and alternative measures used to treat GERD:

- Drugs containing acid-neutralizing substances, for example the amino acid glycine.

- Sometimes drugs that modify the acid secretion are used, proton pump inhibitors and H2 receptor blockers. There also exist herbs with these abilities, like Aloe vera.

- Substances that can effectivize the digestion can sometimes help, like supplementing gastric enxymes. Men food is digested more effectively, the stomach empties better and will not so easily get over-filled.

- Reducing the consume of koffee, tea, vine and other alcoholic beverages.

- Sleeping with the head high after heavy meals can often hinder reflux form occuring.

- Relaxing measures like meditation or measures to avoid stress can often alleviate the problem.

- When hiatal hernia causes severe reflux or reflux of other causes that is untreatable otherwise, a surgical procedure called Nissen fundublication is simetimes performed.

By this procedure the stomach and the end part of esophagus is pulled downwards. Then the top of the stomach vetricle (the fundus) is wrapped around the end of the esophagus making a thickened section at the top of the stomach right under the diaphragm. Widened tissue at the place where the esophagus goes through the diafragm (the hiatus) can also be trimmed and the esopgagus resewed more firmly and tightly. Also the the spincter iteslf may be reshaped during the operation.

About milk allergy or intollerance

Milk allergy is caused by exaggerated immune response to proteins found in milk from animals.

This can result in problems such as vomiting, diarrhea, and rash around the mouth. The symptoms can come pretty quickly after consumption of milk but can also occur gradually over several days.

There is no direct treatment of milk allergy, but to cut out dairy products. Milk allergy is the most common form of allergy, and affects between 2% and 3% of all infants.

It is important to be aware that milk allergy is not the same as lactose intolerance which is rather due to a lack of an enzyme in the intestines and usually only gives indigestion.

About Lactose intollerance

Lactose intolerance is the reduced ability to digest lactose, the predominant sugar in milk. It is important to be aware that lactose intolerance is not the same as a milk allergy.

Most people with lactose intolerance can drink about 1 / 4 liters of milk per day without having problems, but at a higher intake will often cause symptoms.

Symptoms air in the stomach with subsequent pain due to the air pressure. Diarrhea is another symptom. Other dairy products like Yogurt has less lactose in it than milk, while hard cheeses can be completely free from lactose.

From birth, produce the enzyme lactase in the small intestine in humans and other animals. This enzyme is necessary for digesting milk. It produced less lactase after weaning and the transition to a more adult diet.

In large parts of the world the amount of lactase produced sinks in children from two to eight years of age. Among teenagers and young adults are the production reduced to 1 / 10 of the infant level. The value remains so stable throughout life. In many areas of the world adults therefore do not drink milk normally.

In the United States it is estimated 50% of all of Spanish descent and at least 75% of those of African, Asian and Native American descent have problems of digesting lactase.

The level of lactase remains typically high for population groups that previously had limited ability to cultivate land due to climate or other causes, and thus been dependent on milk from animals to survive. In Scandinavia, the proportion of lactose intolerance in about 5%, in central Europe it increases to about 15% and is over 50% in southern Europe. It is at 70-90% in Africa (with the exception of the many nomadic groups), 80% in Central Asia, 90% in East Asia, 30% in North India, 70% in South India and 65% in south - America.

A few studies have also shown that by drinking a small quantity of milk several times during the day over several weeks you can train the bacteria to digest milk more efficiently.

What causes digestive problems

The exact causes of digestive ailments or functional digestive problems, vary between the different conditions. However, some factors are a part of the cause of meny types of digestive problems. these are:

Dietary faults - Lack of fiber in the diet,  too little fat in the diet or drinking too little water can cause hard intestinal content, over-filles intestines, swallen stamack, hard stool  and constipation. Too much fat in the diet can cause loose stool or diahrrea.  Irregular meals or orver-eating will cause irregularities in the intestinal movements and functions.

Reaction against food - Some types of food can cause inflammation or allergic reactions in the digestive system. Unnatural fat types, trans-fat, often found in margarine, processed food and bakery products often cause such reactions. Over-consume of omega-6-fat, found in soy oil or corn oil, also can contribute to intestinal inflammations. Over-consume of corn, bread  or cereals can further cause inflammatory reactions. Some persons react against the protein gluten i wheat by a disease called celiac disease. Other persons react against the sugar type called lactose found in milk and thereby react against milk and diary products.

Nervous or neurologica problems - Depression may cause lazy intestines, over-filled colon and constipation. Anxiety, and stress can cause digestive cramping or irregular intestinal movements, but generally stress slows down the actions in the digestive system. Chronic stress at work and in the daily life can cause a syndrome where the sympathetic nerve system is over-active and the parasymathetic nerve system is less active than normally and with a similar state in the hormonal system with much secretion of epinephrine and cortisol. The body is constantly ready for fight and flight by this syndrome. Since the sympatetic nerve system slows down digestive activity and the parasympatetic system increases this activity, this syndrome will cause a lazy digestion.

Auto-immune reactions - If the immune system is reacting towards the intestinal tissue, this can contribute to more or less serious diseases, like ulcerative colitis or Chron's disease. Auto-immune reaction often attacks several orag systems at the same time. By rheumatic diseases that often are autoimmune, the digestive organs can be afflicted in addition to the joints, bones and muscles.

Lack of exercise - If you do not regularly exercise your body, the intestines will get lazy and  over-filled, and the result is swallen stomack, hard stool and constipation.

Microbial poisoning - Microbes found in food that are not fresh can cause trouble in the digestion because poisons accumulate in the food and affects the intestines causing pain, voimiting and diarrhhoea. Sometimes the poisons are absobred into the blood-stream and causes a general poisening of the body, sometimes serious. Those microbes can also sometimes live for some times in the digestive tract and produce poisons there. A dangerous kind of bacterial poisoning is botulism, with paralysis as a prominent symptom,  caused by the bacterium clostridium botulinum. The food laid out in the alimantary shops are often of bad quality, and poisoiseng from unwanted microbial flora in the food is probably much more common than people generally think, even though serious cases are rare.

Infection - An infection occure when microbes colonize the inside of the digestive tract or the tissues in the digestive system and remains there. Infection of the colon is perhaps the most common. Chronic yeast infection is probably a very common cause of digestive trouble.

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This information is nutritional in nature and should not be construed as medical advice. This notice is required by the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act.