Stomach Diseases: Types, Symptoms, Causes and Treatments

The stomach is your body’s fuel factory.

The stomach, one of the main organs of the digestive system, acts as the fuel factory for your body. It helps in breaking down large pieces of food into small enough particles that they can be easily absorbed into the bloodstream for energy extraction.

Any disturbance or malfunction in this part of the body means that the fuel supply to the remaining parts is going to be cut off, seriously affecting the overall functioning of the body. Therefore, if you want to stay healthy, active, fit, smart and energetic, it is essential to take special care of this organ.

Stomach diseases, how to stay away from them?

Medical researchers have identified dozens of conditions that affect the structure and function of the large elastic bag in the abdomen, commonly called the stomach. Some are mild, while others can be very painful and seriously affect your routine life.

The first and foremost requirement to stay away from stomach disorders is to get a good awareness about such conditions.

How can you deal with a hazard when you have no idea about it?

If you are committed to avoiding any possible disorder, before your stomach attacks you simply must learn about all these abnormalities with a special focus on their causes, symptoms, preventive measures and treatment strategies before it is too late.

Common stomach conditions

Although some of the stomach conditions are generally very rare, there are a large number of them that are very common.

The main causes include malnutrition, overeating, excessive use of toasted foods, and poor meal times. Too much consumption of fatty foods and alcoholic beverages can also be very dangerous.

Here is a brief overview of some of the more common stomach ailments.

Stomach diseases

Reflux

Sometimes the lower esophageal sphincter opens, causing the acid produced in the stomach to flow back into the esophagus. As a result, the individual experiences chest pain and heartburn. If the problem occurs too often, the condition is called gastroesophageal reflux disease.

It is also briefly denoted as GERD. Currently, more than 15 million adults in the US experience heartburn on a daily basis, while more than 60 million people face the same condition at least once a month.

Common symptoms:
  • Mild to severe stomach acidity.
  • Gastric indigestion.
  • Burning chest pain sensation that begins behind the breastbone and spreads to the throat and neck regions.
  • Regurgitation of food from the stomach into the esophagus.
Suggested treatment

Healthcare providers often recommend dietary and lifestyle changes to treat the disease, advising to avoid those foods and drinks that can weaken the LES or lower esophageal sphincter.

Gastric ulcers

Also known as stomach ulcers or peptic ulcers, it is one of the most serious diseases of the stomach. It develops holes in the stomach walls due to excessive secretion of digestive acid, that is, hydrochloric acid or HCL.

In addition, an improper diet, bacterial infections, frequent consumption of alcohol and tobacco can also contribute to the development of gastric ulcers.

Common symptoms
  • Burning pain in the middle or upper part of the stomach that occurs either at night or between meals.
  • Swelling.
  • Vomiting or vomiting
  • Black or dark color of the stool due to bleeding.
  • Severe pain in the abdominal region.
  • Loss of body weight
  • Blood in vomit
  • Orifice development through the stomach wall.
Suggested treatment

Peptic ulcers must be treated in time or else the victim would have to face serious health problems.

Mild cases can be treated with appropriate lifestyle changes, while severe cases require medication or surgery.

Proton pump inhibitors or PPIs are used to lower acid levels in the stomach so that ulcers can heal.

Gastric cancer

Commonly known as stomach cancer, it is another one of the deadly stomach disorders and is caused by exposure to carcinogens or carcinogens. This disease is characterized by abnormal division of stomach cells, resulting in the development of malignant tumors.

This disease is very dangerous and has a slow growth that can take several years to reach maturity.

Common symptoms
  • Burning sensation and pain in the chest region.
  • Food indigestion.
  • Loss of appetite and weight loss.
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Stomach pain and bloody stools.
  • Bloated feeling and difficulty swallowing.
  • Feeling tired and weak
  • Yellowing of the skin and eyes.
Suggested treatment

After diagnosis through blood tests, upper endoscopy, CT scan, and biopsy, your healthcare provider would recommend an effective treatment measure.

The choice of treatment method also depends on the history of the patient. Commonly applied methods of healing include chemotherapy, radiation, chemoradiation, drug administration, and surgery, etc.

Dyspepsia

It is more commonly known as indigestion. Dyspepsia can be caused due to a number of factors, including bacterial infection, overeating, and a high intake of junk food. The most common symptoms include bloating, nausea, vomiting, acid reflux, and abdominal pain.

Other common symptoms
  • Discomfort or pain in the belly
  • Bloating and uncomfortable feeling of fullness after meals.
  • Regurgitation of food or liquid.
  • Nausea and heartburn.
  • Loss of appetite
Suggested treatment

Diet changes and lifestyle modifications are often helpful in eliminating the symptoms of this disorder. Doctors advise patients to avoid smoking, chewing tobacco, and lying down immediately after eating. Losing weight can also be helpful, as can avoiding wearing tight clothing in between.

Constipation

Normally, a human defecates his stool once a day which shows that the stomach is working well, but if a person has less than three bowel movements a week, the condition is known as constipation. The movement of food in the colon becomes slower than normal causing such stomach problems.

Common symptoms
  • Straining or difficulty defecating.
  • Hardening of stool.
  • Irregularity in bowel movements.
  • Swelling and pain in the abdominal area.
  • Threw up.
Suggested treatment

As insufficient intake of water and fiber leads to constipation, patients are advised to drink an additional two to four glasses of water daily and add fruits and vegetables to their diet. Drinking hot liquids in the morning can also be helpful. If the condition persists, doctors may recommend the use of mild laxatives or stool softeners.