Tag Archives: Intestine

Bowel control

Other Names: Bowel incontinence,Fecal incontinence

Description:
Bowel incontinence is the loss of bowel control, leading to an involuntary passage of stool. This can range from occasionally leaking a small amount of stool and passing gas, to completely losing control of bowel movements..CLICK & SEE

You have a bowel control problem if you accidentally pass solid or liquid stool or mucus from your rectum.* Bowel control problems include being unable to hold a bowel movement until you reach a toilet and passing stool into your underwear without being aware of it happening. Stool, also called feces, is solid waste that is passed as a bowel movement and includes undigested food, bacteria, mucus, and dead cells. Mucus is a clear liquid that coats and protects tissues in your digestive system.

Among people over age 65, most surveys find that women experience bowel incontinence more often than men. One to three out of every 1,000 women report a loss of bowel control at least once per month.

To hold stool and maintain continence, the rectum, anus, pelvic muscles, and nervous system must function normally. You must also have the physical and mental ability to recognize and respond to the urge to have a bowel movement.

Ringlike muscles called sphincters close tightly around your anus to hold stool in your rectum until you’re ready to release the stool. Pelvic floor muscles support your rectum and a woman’s vagina and also help with bowel control.

Causes:
Bowel control problems are often caused by a medical issue and can be treated.

*Chronic constipation, causing the muscles of the anus and intestines to stretch and weaken, and leading to diarrhea and stool leakage (see: encopresis)

*Chronic laxative use

*Colectomy or bowel surgery

*Decreased awareness of sensation of rectal fullness

*Emotional problems

*Gynecological, prostate, or rectal surgery

*Injury to the anal muscles due to childbirth (in women)

*Nerve or muscle damage (from trauma, tumor, or radiation)

*Severe diarrhea that overwhelms the ability to control passage of stool

*Severe hemorrhoids or rectal prolapse

*Stress of unfamiliar environment

*A disease or injury that damages your nervous system

*Poor overall health from multiple chronic, or long lasting, illnesses

*A difficult childbirth with injuries to your pelvic floor—the muscles, ligaments, and tissues that support your uterus, vagina, bladder, and rectum

Diagnosis:
To diagnose what is causing your bowel control problem, your doctor will take your medical history, including asking the questions listed in “What do I tell my doctor about my bowel control problem?” Your doctor may refer you to a specialist who will perform a physical exam and may suggest one or more of the following tests:

* anal manometry
* anal ultrasound
* magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
* defecography
* flexible sigmoidoscopy or colonoscopy
* anal electromyography (EMG)

Anal manometry. Anal manometry uses pressure sensors and a balloon that can be inflated in your rectum to check how sensitive your rectum is and how well it works. Anal manometry also checks the tightness of the muscles around your anus. To prepare for this test, you should use an enema and not eat anything 2 hours before the test. An enema involves flushing water or a laxative into your anus using a special squirt bottle. A laxative is medicine that loosens stool and increases bowel movements. For this test, a thin tube with a balloon on its tip and pressure sensors below the balloon is put into your anus. Once the balloon reaches the rectum and the pressure sensors are in the anus, the tube is slowly pulled out to measure muscle tone and contractions. No sedative is needed for this test, which takes about 30 minutes.

Anal ultrasound. Ultrasound uses a tool, called a transducer, that bounces safe, painless sound waves off your organs to create an image of their structure. An anal ultrasound is specific to the anus and rectum. The procedure is performed in a doctor’s office, outpatient center, or hospital by a specially trained technician, and the images are interpreted by a radiologist—a doctor who specializes in medical imaging. A sedative is not needed. The images can show the structure of your anal sphincter muscles.

MRI. MRI machines use radio waves and magnets to produce detailed pictures of your internal organs and soft tissues without using x rays. The procedure is performed in an outpatient center or hospital by a specially trained technician, and the images are interpreted by a radiologist. A sedative is not needed, though you may be given medicine to help you relax if you have a fear of confined spaces. An MRI may include the injection of special dye, called contrast medium. With most MRI machines, you lie on a table that slides into a tunnel-shaped device that may be open ended or closed at one end; some newer machines are designed to allow you to lie in a more open space. MRIs can show problems with your anal sphincter muscles. MRIs can provide more information than anal ultrasound, especially about the external anal sphincter.

Defecography. This x ray of the area around your anus and rectum shows whether you have problems with

* pushing stool out of your body
* the functioning of your anus and rectum
* squeezing and relaxing your rectal muscles

The test can also show changes in the structure of your anus or rectum. To prepare for the test, you perform two enemas. You can’t eat anything for 2 hours before the test. During the test, the doctor fills your rectum with a soft paste that shows up on x rays and feels like stool. You sit on a toilet inside an x-ray machine. The doctor will ask you to first pull in and squeeze your sphincter muscles to prevent leakage and then to strain as if you’re having a bowel movement. The radiologist studies the x rays to look for problems with your rectum, anus, and pelvic floor muscles.

Flexible sigmoidoscopy or colonoscopy. These tests are similar, but a colonoscopy is used to view your rectum and entire colon, while a flexible sigmoidoscopy is used to view just your rectum and lower colon. These tests are performed at a hospital or outpatient center by a gastroenterologist—a doctor who specializes in digestive diseases. For both tests, a doctor will give you written bowel prep instructions to follow at home. You may be asked to follow a clear liquid diet for 1 to 3 days before either test. The night before the test, you may need to take a laxative. One or more enemas may be needed the night before and about 2 hours before the test.

In most cases, you will be given a light sedative, and possibly pain medicine, to help you relax during a flexible sigmoidoscopy. A sedative is used for colonoscopy. For either test, you will lie on a table while the doctor inserts a flexible tube into your anus. A small camera on the tube sends a video image of your bowel lining to a computer screen. The test can show problems in your lower GI tract that may be causing your bowel control problem. The doctor may also perform a biopsy, a procedure that involves taking a piece of tissue from the bowel lining for examination with a microscope. You won’t feel the biopsy. A pathologist—a doctor who specializes in diagnosing diseases—examines the tissue in a lab to confirm the diagnosis.

You may have cramping or bloating during the first hour after these tests. You’re not allowed to drive for 24 hours after a colonoscopy or flexible sigmoidoscopy to allow the sedative time to wear off. Before the test, you should make plans for a ride home. You should recover fully by the next day and be able to go back to your normal diet.

Anal EMG. Anal EMG checks the health of your pelvic floor muscles and the nerves that control your muscles. The doctor inserts a very thin needle wire through your skin into your muscle. The wire on the needle picks up the electrical activity given off by the muscles. The electrical activity is shown as images on a screen or sounds through a speaker. Another type of anal EMG uses stainless steel plates attached to the sides of a plastic plug instead of a needle. The plug is put in your anus to measure the electrical activity of your external anal sphincter and other pelvic floor muscles. The test can show if there is damage to the nerves that control the external sphincter or pelvic floor muscles by measuring the average electrical activity when you

* relax quietly
* squeeze to prevent a bowel movement
* strain to have a bowel movement

Treatment:
Home Care:
Incontinence is not a hopeless situation. Proper treatment can help most people, and can often eliminate the problem.

Treating bowel incontinence should begin by identifying the cause of the incontinence. There are several ways to strengthen the anal and pelvic muscles and promote normal bowel function.

Rutine pelvic floor exercise  may improve the condition.

FECAL IMPACTION:
Fecal impaction is usually caused by chronic constipation. It leads to a mass of stool that partially blocks the large intestine. If constipation or fecal impaction contributes to fecal incontinence, usually laxatives and enemas are of little help. A health care provider may need to insert one or two fingers into the rectum and break the mass into smaller pieces that can pass more easily.

Take measures to prevent further fecal impaction. Add fiber to your diet to help form normal stool. Use other medications your health care provider recommends. In addition, drink enough fluids and get enough exercise to enhance normal stool consistency.

DIET:
Bowel incontinence often occurs because the rectal sphincter is less able to handle large amounts of liquid stool. Often, simply changing the diet may reduce the occurrence of bowel incontinence.

Certain people develop diarrhea after eating dairy foods because they are unable to digest lactose, a sugar found in most dairy products. Some food additives such as nutmeg and sorbitol may cause diarrhea in certain people.

Adding bulk to the diet may thicken loose stool and decrease its amount. Increasing fiber (30 grams daily) from whole-wheat grains and bran adds bulk to the diet. Psyllium-containing products such as Metamucil can also add bulk to the stools.

Formula tube feedings often cause diarrhea and bowel incontinence. For diarrhea or bowel incontinence caused by tube feedings, talk to your health care provider or dietitian. The rate of the feedings may need to be changed, or bulk agents may need to be added to the formula.

Eating, Diet, and Nutrition:
Changes in your diet that may improve your bowel control problem include

*Eating the right amount of fiber. Fiber can help with diarrhea and constipation. Fiber is found in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and beans. Fiber supplements sold in a pharmacy or health food store are another common source of fiber to treat bowel control problems. The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics recommends getting 20 to 35 grams of fiber a day for adults and “age plus five” grams for children. A 7-year-old child, for example, should get “7 plus five,” or 12, grams of fiber a day. Fiber should be added to your diet slowly to avoid bloating.

*Getting plenty to drink. Drinking eight 8-ounce glasses of liquid a day may help prevent constipation. Water is a good choice. You should avoid drinks with caffeine, alcohol, milk, or carbonation if they give you diarrhea.

*Kegel exercise  or pelvic floor exercise is very much useful. This exercise
consists of repeatedly contracting and relaxing the muscles that form part of the pelvic floor, now sometimes colloquially referred to as the “Kegel muscles”. The exercise needs to be performed multiple times each day, for several minutes at a time, for one to three months, to begin to have an effect.

MEDICATIONS:
In people with bowel incontinence due to diarrhea, medications such as loperamide (Imodium) may be used to control the diarrhea and improve bowel incontinence.

Other antidiarrheal medications include anti-cholinergic medications (belladonna or atropine), which reduce intestinal secretions and movement of the bowel. Opium derivatives (paregoric or codeine) or diphenoxylate (lomotil), as well as loperamide (Imodium) increase intestinal tone and decrease movement of the bowel.

Other medications used to control bowel incontinence include drugs that reduce water content in the stools (activated charcoal or Kaopectate) or that absorb fluid and add bulk to the stools (Metamucil).

MEDICATION EVALUATION: With your health care provider, review all the medications you take. Certain medications can cause or increase bowel incontinence, especially in older people. These medications include:

*Antacids
*Laxatives

OTHER THERAPIES:
If you often have bowel incontinence, you can use special fecal collection devices to contain the stool and protect your skin from breakdown. These devices consist of a drainable pouch attached to an adhesive wafer. The wafer has a hole cut through the center, which fits over the opening to the anus.

Most people who have bowel incontinence due to a lack of sphincter control, or decreased awareness of the urge to defecate, may benefit from a bowel retraining program and exercise therapies to help restore normal muscle tone.

Special care must be taken to maintain bowel control in people who have a decreased ability to recognize the urge to defecate, or who have impaired mobility that prevents them from independently and safely using the toilet. Such people should be assisted to use the toilet after meals, and promptly helped to the toilet if they have the urge to defecate.

If toileting needs are often unanswered, a pattern of negative reinforcement may develop. In this case people no longer take the correct actions when they feel the urge to have a bowel movement

You may click & See : Toileting safety

SURGERY
People who have bowel incontinence that continues even with medical treatment may benefit from surgery to correct the problem. Several different options exist. The choice of surgery is based on the cause of the bowel incontinence and the person’s general health.

RECTAL SPHINCTER REPAIR
Sphincter repair is performed on people whose anal muscle ring (sphincter) isn’t working well due to injury or aging. The procedure consists of re-attaching the anal muscles to tighten the sphincter and helping the anus close more completely.

GRACILIS MUSCLE TRANSPLANT
In people who have a loss of nerve function in the anal sphincter, gracilis muscle transplants may be performed to restore bowel control. The gracilis muscle is taken from the inner thigh. It is put around the sphincter to provide sphincter muscle tone.

ARTIFICIAL BOWEL SPHINCTER
Some patients may be treated with an artificial bowel sphincter. The artificial sphincter consists of three parts: a cuff that fits around the anus, a pressure-regulating balloon, and a pump that inflates the cuff.

The artificial sphincter is surgically implanted around the rectal sphincter. The cuff remains inflated to maintain continence. You have a bowel movement by deflating the cuff. The cuff will automatically re-inflate in 10 minutes.

FECAL DIVERSION
Sometimes a fecal diversion is performed for people who are not helped by other therapies. The large intestine is attached to an opening in the abdominal wall called a colostomy. Stool passes through this opening to a special bag. You will need to use a colostomy bag to collect the stool most of the time.

Regular Yoga exercise & Meditation under the supervision of an expart  will defenitely help a lot to get rid of the problem.

Disclaimer: This information is not meant to be a substitute for professional medical advise or help. It is always best to consult with a Physician about serious health concerns. This information is in no way intended to diagnose or prescribe remedies.This is purely for educational purpose.

Resources:
http://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/health-topics/digestive-diseases/bowel-control/Pages/ez.aspx
http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/003135.htm

Pyloric stenosis

Alternative Name : Infantile hypertrophic pyloric stenosis

Definition:
Pyloric stenosis is a condition that causes severe vomiting in the first few months of life. There is narrowing (stenosis) of the opening from the stomach to the intestines, due to enlargement (hypertrophy) of the muscle surrounding this opening (the pylorus, meaning “gate”), which spasms when the stomach empties. It is uncertain whether there is a real congenital narrowing or whether there is a functional hypertrophy of the muscle which develops in the first few weeks of life. Babies with this condition may seem to always be hungry
click to see the pictures……..(01)...…(1)..….…(2).……..(3)....……
Pyloric stenosis also occurs in adults where the cause is usually a narrowed pylorus due to scarring from chronic peptic ulceration. This is a different condition from the infantile form.

Prompt treatment of pyloric stenosis is important for preventing complications. Pyloric stenosis can be corrected with surgery.

Males are more commonly affected than females, with firstborn males affected about four times as often, and there is a genetic predisposition for the disease. It is commonly associated with people of Jewish ancestry, and has multifactorial inheritance patterns. Pyloric stenosis is more common in Caucasians than Hispanics, Blacks, or Asians. The incidence is 2.4 per 1000 live births in Caucasians , 1.8 in Hispanics, 0.7 in Blacks, and 0.6 in Asians. It is also less common amongst children of mixed race parents.  Caucasian babies with blood type B or O are more likely than other types to be affected

Symptoms:
Signs of pyloric stenosis usually appear within three to five weeks after birth. Pyloric stenosis is rare in babies older than age 3 months.

Signs and symptoms are:
*Frequent projectile vomiting. Pyloric stenosis often causes projectile vomiting — the forceful ejection of milk or formula up to several feet away — within 30 minutes after your baby eats. Vomiting may be mild at first and gradually become more severe. The vomit may sometimes contain blood.

*Persistent hunger. Babies who have pyloric stenosis often want to eat soon after vomiting.

*Stomach contractions. You may notice wave-like contractions that move across your baby’s upper abdomen (peristalsis) soon after feeding but before vomiting. This is caused by stomach muscles trying to force food past the outlet of the pylorus.

*Dehydration. Your baby may cry without tears or become lethargic. You may find yourself changing fewer wet diapers or diapers that aren’t as wet as you expect.

*Changes in bowel movements. Since pyloric stenosis prevents food from reaching the intestines, babies with this condition may be constipated.

*Weight problems. Pyloric stenosis can prevent a baby from gaining weight, and can sometimes even cause weight loss.

*Less active or seems unusually irritable

*Urinating much less frequently or is having noticeably fewer bowel movements

Causes:
The cause of the thickening is unknown, although genetic factors may play a role. Children of parents who had pyloric stenosis are more likely to have this problem.

Normally, food passes easily from the stomach into the duodenum (the first part of the small intestine) through a valve called the pylorus. In pyloric stenosis, the muscles of the pylorus are thickened. This thickening prevents the stomach from emptying into the small intestine.

Risk Factors:
Risk factors for pyloric stenosis include:

*Sex. Pyloric stenosis occurs more often in males than in females.

*Birth order. About one-third of babies affected by pyloric stenosis are firstborns.

*Family history. More than 1 in 10 babies with pyloric stenosis has a family member who had the disorder.

*Early antibiotic use. Babies given certain antibiotics, such as erythromycin, in the first weeks of life for whooping cough (pertussis) have an increased risk of pyloric stenosis. In addition, babies born to mothers who were given certain antibiotics in late pregnancy also may have an increased risk of pyloric stenosis.

Complications:
Pyloric stenosis can lead to:

*An electrolyte imbalance. Electrolytes are minerals, such as chloride and potassium, that circulate in the body’s fluids to help regulate many vital functions, such as heartbeat. When a baby vomits every time he or she eats, dehydration and an imbalance of electrolytes eventually occurs

*Stomach irritation. Repeated vomiting can irritate your baby’s stomach. This irritation may even cause mild bleeding.

*Jaundice. Rarely, infants who have pyloric stenosis develop jaundice — a yellowish discoloration of the skin and eyes caused by a buildup of a substance secreted by the liver called bilirubin.

Diagnosis:
Diagnosis is via a careful history and physical examination, often supplemented by radiographic studies. There should be suspicion for pyloric stenosis in any young infant with severe vomiting. On exam, palpation of the abdomen may reveal a mass in the epigastrium. This mass, which consists of the enlarged pylorus, is referred to as the ‘olive,’ and is sometimes evident after the infant is given formula to drink. It is an elusive diagnostic skill requiring much patience and experience. There are often palpable (or even visible) peristaltic waves due to the stomach trying to force its contents past the narrowed pyloric outlet.

At this point, most cases of pyloric stenosis are diagnosed/confirmed with ultrasound, if available, showing the thickened pylorus. Although somewhat less useful, an upper GI series (x-rays taken after the baby drinks a special contrast agent) can be diagnostic by showing the narrowed pyloric outlet filled with a thin stream of contrast material; a “string sign” or the “railroad track sign”. For either type of study, there are specific measurement criteria used to identify the abnormal results. Plain x-rays of the abdomen are not useful, except when needed to rule out other problems.

Blood tests will reveal hypokalemic, hypochloremic metabolic alkalosis due to loss of gastric acid (which contain hydrochloric acid and potassium) via persistent vomiting; these findings can be seen with severe vomiting from any cause. The potassium is decreased further by the body’s release of aldosterone, in an attempt to compensate for the hypovolaemia due to the severe vomiting.

Pathophysiology
The gastric outlet obstruction due to the hypertrophic pylorus impairs emptying of gastric contents into the duodenum. As a consequence, all ingested food and gastric secretions can only exit via vomiting, which can be of a projectile nature. The vomited material does not contain bile because the pyloric obstruction prevents entry of duodenal contents (containing bile) into the stomach.

This results in loss of gastric acid (hydrochloric acid). The chloride loss results in hypochloremia which impairs the kidney’s ability to excrete bicarbonate. This is the significant factor that prevents correction of the alkalosis.

A secondary hyperaldosteronism develops due to the hypovolemia. The high aldosterone levels causes the kidneys to:

*avidly retain Na+ (to correct the intravascular volume depletion)

*excrete increased amounts of K+ into the urine (resulting in hypokalaemia).

The body’s compensatory response to the metabolic alkalosis is hypoventilation resulting in an elevated arterial pCO2.=[pp\][[\=0808i[po9il;

Treatment:
Infantile pyloric stenosis is typically managed with surgery; very few cases are mild enough to be treated medically.

Prior to surgery and surgery alternatives:
The danger of pyloric stenosis comes from the dehydration and electrolyte disturbance rather than the underlying problem itself. Therefore, the baby must be initially stabilized by correcting the dehydration and hypochloremic alkalosis with IV fluids. This can usually be accomplished in about 24–48 hours.

Intravenous and oral atropine may be used to treat pyloric stenosis. It has a success rate of 85-89% compared to nearly 100% for pyloromyotomy, however it requires prolonged hospitalization, skilled nursing and careful follow up during treatment. It might be an alternative to surgery in children who have contraindications for anesthesia or surgery.

Surgery
The definitive treatment of pyloric stenosis is with surgical pyloromyotomy known as Ramstedt’s procedure (dividing the muscle of the pylorus to open up the gastric outlet). This is a relatively straightforward surgery that can possibly be done through a single incision (usually 3–4 cm long) or laparoscopically (through several tiny incisions), depending on the surgeon’s experience and preference.
CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES
Today, the laparoscopic technique has largely supplanted the traditional open repairs which involved either a tiny circular incision around the navel or the Ramstedt procedure. Compared to the older open techniques, the complication rate is equivalent, except for a markedly lower risk of wound infection.[9] This is now considered the standard of care at the majority of Children Hospitals across the US, although some surgeons still perform the open technique. Following repair, the small 3mm incisions are hard to see.

The vertical incision, pictured and listed above, is no longer usually required. Though many incisions have been horizontal in the past years.

Once the stomach can empty into the duodenum, feeding can commence. Some vomiting may be expected during the first days after surgery as the gastro-intestinal tract settles. Very occasionally the myotomy was incomplete and projectile vomiting continues, requiring repeat surgery. But the condition generally has no long term side-effects or impact on the child’s future.

Prognosis:
Surgery usually provides complete relief of symptoms. The infant can usually tolerate small, frequent feedings several hours after surgery.

Prevention
There are no known ways of preventing pyloric stenosis, although it is possible that breastfeeding might reduce the risk.

Disclaimer: This information is not meant to be a substitute for professional medical advise or help. It is always best to consult with a Physician about serious health concerns. This information is in no way intended to diagnose or prescribe remedies.This is purely for educational purpose.

Resources:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pyloric_stenosis
http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/pyloric-stenosis/DS00815
http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/000970.htm
http://www.bbc.co.uk/health/physical_health/conditions/pyloricstenosis.shtml
http://www.empowher.com/media/reference/pyloric-stenosis

Bailahuen

Botanical Name :Haplopappus baylahuen
Family :  Asteraceae
Subfamily: Asteroideae
Tribe : Tribe :  Astereae Astereae
Gender :  Haplopappus
Cass. 1828
Species :  H.  baylahuen
Kingdom :  Plantae
Subkingdom:  Tracheobionta
Division :  Magnoliophyta
Class :  Magnoliopsida
Subclass: Asteridae
Order :  Asterales
Common Name :Bailahuen

Habitat :It is an herb that occurs in the mountainous areas from I to the Fourth Region of Chile .

Description:Belongs to the same group as Solidago and is closely related to Grindelia.Plant type: Shrub
Flower: Yellow, 14 petals and more, also includes asteraceae  Height: 40 cm.

Click to see the pictures.

Click to see the picture

Medicinal Uses:
Since ancient times has been used medicinally mainly to relieve stomach problems, but they have also discovered other properties for this, as for example that may help improve cold, flu, pneumonia, other property is that it helps digestion of fats and proteins, is used as an aphrodisiac and antiseptic, it also has an effect antiflatulent and purifying properties, this not only used but also the leaves and stems of the flowers.

The medicinal properties lie principally in its resin and volatile oil, the resin acting chiefly on the bowels and urinary passages, and the volatile oil on the lungs. It does not cause disorder to the stomach and bowels, it is a valuable remedy in dysentery, chronic diarrhea specially of tuberculous nature and in chronic cystitis. Internally is it used as a tea for loss of appetite and non-ulcer dyspepsia with fullness, flatulence, change of bowel habits, etc. associated with minor disorders of the hepatobiliary tract (chronic cholecycstitis, nonobstructive gallstones, chronic hepatitis and for inflammations of the upper respiratory tract.  Also as a diaphoretic hot tea for the common cold and to enhance the effects in problems of the genitourinary tract, the fluid intake should be more than 2 liters per day. Externally it is used as a wet compress or poultice for minor skin inflammations and wounds.

Disclaimer:
The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

Resources:
http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_AB.htm
http://www.chileflora.com/Florachilena/FloraEnglish/HighResPages/EH1937.htm
http://es.wikipedia.org/wiki/Haplopappus_baylahuen

Enhanced by Zemanta

Excess Wind or Stomach Gas

Definition:
Wind is a natural product of the action of the digestive system in the bowel, as enzymes and bacteria break down carbohydrates and proteins in the diet.

Many people think wind passes right through the gastrointestinal system. However, gas produced in the top end of the gut (in the stomach, mostly) travels upwards as burps or belches. Wind generated in the intestines or bowel (commonly known by the slang term ‘fart’) passes down and out through the rectum and anus, or back passage.

click to see the pictures

You may click to see

pictures

Digestive system

Our gut is a muscular tube stretching from the gullet (oesophagus) to the back passage (rectum) and is about 40 feet long when stretched out. It usually contains about 200ml of gas and every day we pass 400–2000ml of this gas out through the back passage as wind (or flatus, as it is technically known).

Over 90% of flatus is made up of 5 gases – nitrogen, oxygen, carbon dioxide, hydrogen and methane: the remaining 10% contains small amounts of other gases.

The nitrogen and oxygen come from air which is swallowed; the carbon dioxide is produced by stomach acid mixing with bicarbonate in bile and pancreatic juices. These gases get into the small intestine where most of the oxygen and carbon dioxide are absorbed into the blood stream; the nitrogen is passed down the large bowel (colon).

The small intestine is the place where the food we eat is digested and absorbed; the residues, such as dietary fibre and some carbohydrates, pass on to the large bowel. The colon contains different kinds of bacteria which are essential to good health and which ferment material from the small intestine, producing large volumes of hydrogen, methane, carbon dioxide and other gases. Most of these gases are absorbed into the blood stream and eventually excreted in the breath: the rest is passed as flatus.
You may click to see :Digestive Health & Digestion

Symptoms:
One symptom of a bloated stomach or wind is tight fitting cloths even if you have not gained weight. Another symptom is passing excessive amounts of gas. You could also be experiencing a noticeably bloated abdomen and having abdominal craps. Your stomach will feel very full even though you have not eaten recently. It could also be due to water retention.

Belching or burping (air eructation) :
Every time we swallow we take some air into the stomach. A belch is an involuntary expulsion of wind (gas) by the stomach when it becomes distended from an excess of swallowed air. Eating rapidly or gulping food and drink, drinking a lot of liquid with meals, chewing gum, smoking or wearing loose dentures promote air swallowing. Some people swallow saliva to relieve heartburn and swallow air at the same time. Other people swallow air without noticing it, especially when they are tense. Fizzy drinks including beer cause belching because they release gas (carbon dioxide) into the stomach.

Chronic or repetitive burping (aerophagy) :
In this case air is not swallowed into the stomach but sucked into the gullet and rapidly expelled. Repetitive belching like this can last for minutes at a time and is very embarrassing. There is no medical treatment and the cure lies in realising the cause. Air cannot be sucked in when the jaws are separated, so repetitive belching can be temporarily controlled by firmly clenching something like a pencil between the teeth. Some people develop aerophagy because of discomfort in the chest. If you develop belching associated with chest discomfort – especially discomfort associated with exertion – or if you have difficulties in swallowing – you should seek medical advice.

Bloating :
Abdominal bloating is a common complaint that is often blamed on excess gas in the bowel. In people with irritable bowel syndrome, in which the gut is more sensitive to distension, that is not the case and the normal amount of gas causes discomfort. Because the muscular contractions of the gut are not co-ordinated, its contents do not pass along in an orderly fashion and this causes additional discomfort. Research has shown that when small amounts of gas are passed into the intestine, people with irritable bowel syndrome experience bloating and pain, whereas other people tolerate the same or even larger amounts of gas without any discomfort. Bloating may also be caused by rich, fatty meals which delay stomach emptying.
click to see
Bloating is often associated with abdominal distension so that clothing has to be loosened. This is usually due to relaxation of the abdominal muscles in an unconscious attempt to relieve discomfort. The distension usually disappears on lying flat or on contracting the abdominal muscles.

Bloating is difficult to treat. A high fibre diet can cause bloating in some people, but in  others may relieve bloating, because fibre absorbs water in the gut and gently distends it, helping to prevent the uncoordinated contractions that are partly responsible for bloating. Irritable bowel syndrome may be made worse by stress or anxiety so that stress may also be responsible for your bloating. Some people find that activated charcoal or defoaming agents (containing simethicone) are helpful. Avoiding gassy drinks may help. If the bloating is severe your doctor may prescribe drugs that help to coordinate the contractions of the gut or prevent spasms.

Bloating due to a build up of gas also occurs in some intestinal diseases such as Crohn’s disease or bowel tumour. These conditions cause other symptoms such as weight loss, abdominal pain or diarrhoea and require prompt medical investigation.

Rumblings/grumblings or noisy guts (borborygmi):
Bowel noises or borborygmi are produced when the liquid and gas contents of the intestine are shuffled backwards and forwards by vigorous movements of the gut. They may be produced by hunger, or by anxiety, or a fright: they are very common in irritable bowel syndrome.

Loud borborygmi or rumblings result from contractions of the intestines caused by diseases like Crohn’s disease or bowel obstruction. These conditions are associated with other symptoms such as severe abdominal pain and should be reported to your doctor.

Flatus :
The complaint of excessive flatus is made when a person believes he/she passes wind more often than their friends or more often than in the past. Often this is because an embarrassing incident like a loud or smelly break of wind in public has led to the belief that something is wrong.

A normal individual passes wind through the rectum an average of 15 times per day (ranging between 3 and 40 times), depending on diet. A high fibre diet produces more wind than a low fibre diet or a low carbohydrate diet. So if you think you have excessive flatus, count every time you break wind – even the little silent ones – for a day or so. If you break wind fewer than 40 times a day then you are normal.

But whatever your count you may wish to reduce it. Most flatus is generated by the normal bacterial fermentation of food residues in the colon. On the principle ‘no bugs – no gas’ you might think that antibiotics would work. But they don’t. Although the bacteria are killed off by the antibiotics, they quickly re-establish themselves. Besides, antibiotics produce more flatus in most people.

A high fiber diet has mixed blessings. It produces a satisfying stool, protects against colon cancer, may protect against stroke and heart disease, may help people to lose weight and improves symptoms in irritable bowel syndrome. The downside is that a high fibre diet produces a lot of flatus. However, it is possible to reduce flatus production even on a high fibre diet by avoiding the big gas producers. Beans are notorious gas producers – “beans are good for the heart: the more you eat the more you break wind”. They contain certain carbohydrates called oligosaccharides which cannot be digested in the small intestine but are like food to bacteria in the colon. Cabbage, brussel sprouts, cauliflower, turnips, onions, garlic, leeks and some seeds such as fennel, sunflower and poppy all produce a lot of gas in the colon. Reducing the amount of these foods in the diet will reduce flatus. Sometimes activated charcoal seems to reduce the amount (and smell) of flatus.

Some otherwise healthy people lack the enzyme necessary to digest lactose, the sugar in cow’s milk. As a result the lactose is fermented by the colon bacteria with the production of large amounts of carbon dioxide and hydrogen. The condition is called lactose intolerance and besides gas production may cause abdominal cramps. It occurs most commonly in people born in the Mediterranean area, but can occur anywhere. The ‘cure’ is to reduce milk intake to a level at which symptoms are controlled. Your doctor may carry out special tests to confirm the diagnosis. CORE produces a separate factsheet on lactose intolerance , available on our website.

Sorbitol, a sweetener used in diabetic diets and present in jams, sweets and sugarless chewing gum, is also not digested in the small intestine and can give rise to flatus for the same reason as lactose.

Certain medical conditions such as Crohn’s disease, coeliac disease and other disorders which interfere with small bowel absorption of nutrients cause excess flatus because of impaired digestion. These conditions are usually associated with symptoms such as abdominal pains, weight loss, anaemia and/or persistent diarrhoea with pale, smelly stools that tend to float in the toilet pan. These symptoms require medical investigation. CORE produces separate leaflets on both Crohn’s disease ,Coeliac disease and irritable bowel syndrome.

Loud wind
Loud wind is produced by powerful contractions of the bowel wall forcing gas out through a narrow anus – the muscle at the bottom of the rectum that keeps the intestinal contents in their place. There is not much you can do about this except grin and bear it, but measures to reduce flatus production may help.

Smelly wind
This is not your fault! It is caused by smelly substances like indoles, skatoles and hydrogen sulphide that are produced by bacterial fermentation in the colon. Garlic and onions, many spices and some herbs of the fennel family, particularly asafoetida which are used in Indian cooking, produce smelly gases. Beer, white wine and fruit juices give rise to smelly hydrogen sulphide in some people. Worse still, some of these smelly gases are absorbed into the blood stream and excreted in the breath as well, so that you may smell at both ends: be warned. Eating a lot of fatty food can cause smelly wind, and it is worth cutting down on fat if this is a problem.

Causes &  Risk  Factors:
Part of the reason why some people seem windier than others is simply a matter of habit and personal preference.

Some people are super-sensitive to gas in the stomach and get used to relieving the symptoms by belching or burping.

Others dislike the sensation of bloating lower in the gut and prefer to expel this as flatulence.

Studies have shown we all release gas from the back passage more than a hundred times a day. It’s just that most of us do it quietly or in such small amounts that we don’t even notice.

Excess wind may be a symptom of several conditions, including:

•Swallowing air – we all swallow air, especially as we eat, but some problems can increase the amount. These include anxiety and hyperventilation, chronic nasal stuffiness and mouth or dental problems.
•Stomach ulcers.
•Constipation.
•Irritable bowel syndrome.
•Inflammatory bowel disease, such as Crohn’s.
•Food intolerances, such as lactose intolerance.
Anything that stops food being broken down and absorbed in the small bowel causes the food to travel into the lower bowel before it’s properly digested, where it’s more likely to make wind.

In lactose intolerance, for example, the gut lacks the enzyme needed to break down the sugar in milk called lactose, so it passes into the colon. Here it is fermented by the large number of friendly bacteria, leading to gas production and painful cramps.

Dietary factors:-
Some foods can increase the amount of gas produced or make it smell so it’s more noticeable. These include:

•Pulses, such as peas, beans and lentils – these contain complex carbohydrates that aren’t broken down or digested high in the bowel but are left to the action of bacteria lower in the gut.
•Spicy foods.
•Brussels sprouts, cabbage and artichokes – these are from the brassica family and produce particularly unpleasant smells when digested.
•Fizzy drinks.
•Sudden increases in the amount of high-fibre foods, such as bran.

Treatment & Recovery:
The following may help to aid digestion and reduce wind:

•Eat slowly with small mouthfuls, avoid heavy meals and try not to gulp liquids.
•Cut down on fizzy drinks.
•Add herbs and spices to meals, especially fennel seeds, thyme, sage and caraway.
•If you must have dried pulses, ensure they’ve been soaked overnight and cooked in fresh water to cut down the difficult-to-digest sugars.
•Eat live yoghurt every day to help provide adequate supplies of the bacteria that aid digestion.
•Drink herbal teas, such as fennel and mint. Peppermint tea also relaxes the muscles of the bowel and stops the discomfort that makes many people feel the need to pass wind.

Anxiety can play a part in wind. For some people, the more they burp, the more they feel the need to burp. Try to relax about it as much as you can, and you may find the problem fades away.

One remedy for bloated stomach is proper diet and exercise. You should get the recommended minimum of 30 minutes of exercise at least 5 days a week.
click to see
This will keep your body running the way it should. A diet rich in lean protein, whole grains and plenty of fruits and vegetables will keep your digestive system running like a well tuned auto mobile.

Your digestive track really is a like a car in that you have to put in the right type of fuel or you will have problems. The fibre in the whole grains, vegetables and fruits will keep you regular and decrease bloating. You should avoid processed and packaged foods whenever possible. Make easy switches in your diet such as a baked potato for French fries. There are many herbs that can be used to treat a bloated stomach. Peppermint is a good remedy because of its ability to sooth the digestive track.

Lemon balm is another member of the mint family that has soothing properties. It is often combined with other soothing herbs such as chamomile. Evening primrose has an essential fatty acid that aids digestion. Astragalus has anti-inflammatory properties and can help the body fight of physical stresses as well as treat digestive discomfort.

Fennel Seeds (a natural remedy to stop excessive burping)->

Disclaimer: This information is not meant to be a substitute for professional medical advise or help. It is always best to consult with a Physician about serious health concerns. This information is in no way intended to diagnose or prescribe remedies.This is purely for educational purpose.

Resources:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/health/physical_health/conditions/excesswind.shtml

Bloated Stomach / Trapped Wind – Causes, Symptoms & Remedies


http://www.corecharity.org.uk/Windy-symptoms-Flatulence-belching-bloating-and-breaking-wind.html

http://www.mydigestivehealth.com/

Bloated Stomach / Trapped Wind – Causes, Symptoms & Remedies

Enhanced by Zemanta

Cup of Magic

 

Probiotics, prebiotics, antibiotics. The words often cause confusion because they sound similar. But, of course, they mean very different things, although all three are derived from the Greek word “bios”, meaning “life”.

CLICK & SEE

Most people would love a magic pill that would put an end to all their health problems. Preferably one that contains prebiotics (meaning “before life”) and probiotics (“helping life”), along with a few trace elements, minerals, antioxidants and vitamins.

Probiotics are defined by the World Health Organization as microorganisms, which when administered alive in adequate amounts, confer a health benefit to the host. They are advertised by the pharma industry as protective, anti-infection agents that give the body’s natural reserves a boost against disease. They are sold as capsules and powders containing organisms like Lactobacillus bulgaricus and Streptococcus thermophilus. The products are much hyped, and have fancy names and expensive packaging.

However, what advertisements do not mention is that to be effective, there should be at least 75 million live organisms in each capsule. Food and chlorine in water kill these organisms. They therefore have to be swallowed with non-chlorinated water on an empty stomach
.
The intestines need to be populated with these organisms. So initially, the capsules have to be swallowed four to six times a day. The minuscule numbers contained in commercially available capsules are insufficient and do not confer any real health benefit.

Probiotics are not new products; they have been around for centuries. Fermented dough and curd (yogurt) contain natural, healthy probiotics. Commercially available yogurt may not contain live lactobacillus (probiotics) unless specifically mentioned on the package.

Natural probiotics like curd have many medicinal properties that are being rediscovered now. Curd starts to act in the mouth itself. It reduces the number of plaque forming bacteria, and prevents bad breath, tooth decay and mouth ulcers.

In the stomach, curd helps neutralise gastric acidity, reducing belching, burning and dyspepsia. It prevents infections, particularly the growth and multiplication of H. pylori, which is implicated in gastric ulcers and stomach cancer.

In the intestine, probiotics live with other protective intestinal flora, reducing gas formation and diarrhoea. The immunological effects reduce the incidence and symptoms of Crohn’s disease (inflammatory condition of the intestines that may affect any part from the mouth to the anus) and ulcerative colitis. Bowel habits become regular and the incidence of colon cancer reduces in those who eat curd regularly.

The action of the probiotics on digested food results in the synthesis of B-complex vitamins. This reduces vitamin deficiencies. Children who are given curd in addition to milk have less diarrhoea than those given milk alone.

Many Indians are relatively lactose intolerant and develop bloating, abdominal pain and diarrhoea when given to drink milk. They thus tend to curtail their milk intake and in the absence of calcium supplementation become susceptible to osteoporosis. In curd, however, the milk is already partially digested, and this reduces the symptoms of intolerance. As little as one cup of curd a day is beneficial in the prevention of osteoporosis.

Studies have also shown that eating curd regularly prevents the development of candidiasis, a common vaginal fungal infection. Other studies have shown conflicting results with no real benefit. But this has not prevented pharmaceutical companies from advocating lactobacillus capsules and vaginal pessaries for candidial infection. Curd also boosts the immune system. Regular eaters swear by it, saying it reduces infections as well as the duration of illnesses.

Prebiotics, on the other hand, are soluble fibres and non-digestible food ingredients that remain in the colon. They selectively stimulate the growth and activity of beneficial microorganisms already present in the large intestine. Prebiotics are found in oats, wheat, onions and garlic. When probiotics and prebiotics are combined, they form “synbiotics”. This probably confers the best health benefits with probiotics acting in the small intestine and prebiotics in the large.

Antibiotics are used to kill harmful microorganisms in the intestine, bloodstream and the various organs. They should be used appropriately in the correct dosage and duration. Unlike probiotics and prebiotics, antibiotics are specific for a particular infection. They are not health supplements.

Antioxidants are found in coloured fruits and vegetables. Oxidation is essential for cell metabolism. During this process a few cells die releasing harmful free radicals. This is prevented by antioxidants.

All said and done, health does not come packaged as an expensive magic capsule containing probiotics and antioxidants to be drunk with a glass of artificial fibre. For good health,

Eat four to five helpings of fresh fruits and vegetables daily. The green, yellow, orange and red ones contain antioxidants

Curd reduces infections as well as the duration of illnesses

Eat one tablespoon of homemade curd first thing in the morning on an empty stomach

Eat chappatis four or five times a week

Give these health ingredients an extra boost by exercising one hour everyday.


Source
: The Telegraph (Kolkata)

Enhanced by Zemanta