Stomach Disorders

Stomach Disorders include any health complaints or medical conditions that originate in or afflict the Stomach. The Stomach consists of powerful muscles whose function is to churn and mix the food, while glands in the walls of the stomach secrete acids and enzymes which chemically break down the food into very small particles and molecules, in order that these can be processed in the later stages of digestion. The stomach is absolutely essential to digestion, and any loss of function of can result in dire health consequences.

The following conditions are included within stomach disorders:

Dumping Syndrome
Dumping Syndrome (also called Rapid Gastric Emptying) is a term that is used to describe the symptoms which may develop in people who have had surgery to remove all or part of their stomach, or people who have had part or most of their stomach bypassed to help lose weight.

Dumping Syndrome occurs when the undigested and unprocessed contents of the stomach are transported or “dumped” into the small intestine too soon for it to be able to properly deal with the material. Ranging from mild to severe, the symptoms of Dumping Syndrome appear within a few hours of eating and include abdominal cramps, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, lightheadedness, belching, bloating, fatigue, and even heart palpitations and increased heart rate.

Gastritis is a term used to describe a group of related medical conditions characterized by inflammation of the stomach lining, which may be caused by bacterial infection, stomach ulcers, traumatic injury, the use or overuse of certain medications such as pain relievers, and other causes. The condition may have a sudden onset (Acute Gastritis), or it may develop slowly over a period of time (Chronic Gastritis).

The main symptoms of Gastritis include a burning pain in the upper abdomen, and sometimes bloating, belching, nausea, and/or vomiting. Depending on the cause of the condition, dietary and life style changes may be sufficient to treat the condition. If not, otherwise a range of medications such as antacids and acid blockers can help.

Gastroparesis is a condition in which stomach muscles don’t function properly which prevents the stomach from fully emptying its contents into the small intestine. This condition can interfere with digestion, play havoc with blood sugar levels, cause problems with nutrition, and also cause nausea, vomiting, heartburn, abdominal pain, and unintentional weight loss.

Gastroparesis is currently incurable, however the impact of the condition can be greatly reduced with a range of treatments. These include dietary and life style changes, medications that increase stomach contractions, and also any treatments required for other conditions caused by the condition, such as Diabetes.

H. Pylori Infection
H. Pylori Infection occurs when conditions in the stomach or the first part of the small intestine allow the bacterium Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) to increase in numbers well beyond the levels in which it is normally found. The increase in Helicobacter pylori numbers can cause inflammation of the lining of the stomach and even stomach ulcers, and may also contribute towards stomach cancers and other digestive system cancers (see Colon Cancer And Other Digestive Cancers for more details).

The main symptoms of H. Pylori Infection include abdominal pain or burning, loss of appetite, weight loss, nausea, vomiting, excessive burping, bloating, bloody vomit, and bloody or black tarry stools. Antibiotics are used to reduce H. pylori bacteria back to safe levels.

Nonulcer Stomach Pain
Nonulcer Stomach Pain (formerly called Nonulcer Dyspepsia) is a fairly common and sometimes long lasting (chronic) gnawing upper abdominal pain that isn’t caused by ulcers or other digestive problems. Nonulcer Stomach Pain is a disorder of the upper gastrointestinal system, which includes the esophagus, stomach, and first part of the small intestine (duodenum).

The symptoms of this condition are similar to those of peptic ulcers and include pain and discomfort in the upper abdomen, bloating, belching, nausea, and flatulence.

Peptic Ulcer
Peptic Ulcers are open sores on the lining of the esophagus, stomach or small intestine (duodenum). At one time doctors used to believe that Peptic Ulcers were caused by stress or eating too much spicy food, but they now know that the condition is instead caused by bacterial infection, the use or overuse of some medications, and the reflux of stomach acid back up into the esophagus.

The symptoms caused by Peptic Ulcers include pain and discomfort in the upper abdomen, bloating, belching, nausea, and flatulence, but may also include chest pain, unexpected weight loss, dark, tarry stools, and vomiting of black fluid. Peptic Ulcers are fairly common, and are usually treated with a range of medications that include antibiotics, acid blockers, and antacids.

Stomach Polyps
Stomach Polyps are small clumps of cells that form on the lining of the stomach. There are three main types of stomach polyps: Hyperplastic Stomach Polyps, Fundic Gland Stomach Polyps, and Adenomas.

Stomach Polyps are very rare and usually do not cause any symptoms or ill effects. As a result, doctors usually only discover them when testing for other conditions. In some rare cases, stomach polyps can develop into cancer.

Zollinger-Ellison Syndrome
Zollinger-Ellison Syndrome is a very rare and complex condition in which one or more tumors form in the pancreas or duodenum (the upper part of the small intestine). The tumors are called gastrinomas because they secrete large amounts of the hormone gastrin, which in turn causes excessive Stomach acid production. This excess acid can cause peptic ulcers.

The main symptoms of Zollinger-Ellison Syndrome include a burning, aching, gnawing discomfort in the upper abdomen, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, bleeding, and weight loss.

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