By MH Staff - Posted on 6th November 2013
Trouble brewing behind that six-pack? Quit your belly-aching. Use this guide to ID your GI issues – and digest some treatment advice.
The pain: A burning sensation, often moving up your chest. The fix: If your heartburn is infrequent and respond to antacids, don't sweat it. But if it hits more than twice a week, you could have gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), which can damage the oesophagus over time. Weight loss and food "sticking" on the way down can indicate GERD or something more serious; see your doctor.
The pain: Abdominal cramps, diarrhoea, fever, nausea and headaches. The fix: Drink plenty of fluids and wait it out. Call your doctor if you show signs of dehydration, you still can't keep anything down after two days, or your fever hits 40°C.
The pain: Nausea; hunger one to three hours after eating; steady, dull pain. A peptic ulcer can occur in your stomach or intestine. The intestinal type, called a duodenal ulcer, is more common in men. The fix: Manage pain with antacids and see a doctor. Because most ulcers are caused by H. pylori bacteria, you may need antibiotics. Don't ignore it, though - you risk internal bleeding as well as intestinal perforation.
The pain: Pressure, swelling, tightness; sharp, stabbing pains. The fix: Eat a steak. Low-carb diets may help reduce gas. So may probiotics, often found in yoghurt. But first you need to determine that you're not lactose intolerant. So if you typically feel gassy after having dairy, omit it and see if your gas subsides.
The pain: Sharp pain that hits quickly in your upper abdomen and then redirects to the lower right side; possible nausea, vomiting and fever. The fix: See your doctor or go to a hospital. The symptoms worsen dramatically over a 24-hour period. If appendicitis is left untreated, your appendix can rupture and spread infection throughout the abdominal cavity.