If you live for 70 years , your digestive system will have processed about 100 tons of food , absorbing the nutrients and discharging the residue . This enormous task takes place within the digestive or alimentary canal essentially , this is a tube about 9 m / 30 ft. long , that starts at the mouth and then continues through the oesophagus (gullet) , the stomach , the small and large intestines , the rectum and ends at the anus , the other organs of digestion are the salivary glands the liver and the pancreas
For your food to be broken down physically , by being chewed in the mouth and churned in the stomach and chemically by the digestive juices . These juices are secreted by the salivary glands with in the walls of the stomach and small intestine and by the liver and pancreas .
The lining of the small intestine is constructed with numerous folds and microscopic projections and has been estimated to be the size of a tennis court , this huge area is available to enable the nutrients from the liquid products of digestion to be absorbed into the blood stream . The residue passes into the large intestine where much of the remaining liquid is taken into the body and the solid discharged through the anus as stools or faeces .
Indigestion : Eating can cause a number of symptoms such as pain in the upper abdomen or behind the breast bone (heart burn) nausea and belching (flatulence )
These symptoms can often be alleviated if you avoid foods that are rich , fatty or spicy or if you replace large meals with smaller but more frequent snacks and drink extra milk , antacid indigestion tablets can also help but they interfere with the absorption of iron , if you need antacids regularly , you should consult your doctor so that the underlying cause of the symptoms can be investigated . Indigestion can be particular problem in pregnancy because of hormonal changes and late pregnancy .
The symptom of indigestion are heartburn , wind (gas) and cramping pains . They are usually caused by eating too much too quickly , especially if you are eating very rich food and drinking alcohol .
The most useful remedy is “nux vomica” (homoeopathic medicine) , the digestive system seems stuck , heavy and sluggish and the feeling is that you would feel much better of the undigested food would move up or down or out !
Another remedy that is sometimes helpful is– “lycopodium”
Trapped wind (gas) can cause extreme discomfort . Late after noon or early evening is often the worst time for this and the feeling is sometimes accompanied by anxiety . The remedy often works well on people whose gastric system is the weakest part of their constitution
Gastric Upsets ; The main symptoms of stomach and intestinal infections are pain , wind (gas) , nausea vomiting or diarrhoea , bear in mind that vomiting and diarrhoea are natural processes by which the body rids itself quickly of unwanted material , so these symptoms need to be treated only if they are persistent such problems can arise at any time and may be due to food poisoning or may just be a reaction to unfamiliar food , perhaps while you are on vacation .
Indigestion ; Indigestion or dyspepsia (heart burn) is characterized by a burning pain in the center of the chest . The cause is acid in the stomach backing up into the gullet , usually from eating and drinking too much , too quickly . Symptoms are similar to those for an ulcer , hiatus hernia or heart attack so they must take seriously even though indigestion is the most likely cause of chest pain .
Many digestive and urinary problems have relatively minor causes , but they can cause great pain , there is a wide range of self help therapies , but bear in mind that some conditions (appendicitis for ex-) require urgent medical attention .
Stomach ache ; one of the most common pains stomach ache is most often the result of eating the wrong foods or too much food , it may be accompanied by nausea ,but does not usually last long ,anxiety and tension are also causes .
The digestive system ; These two independent but connected systems are responsible for converting food and liquid into energy and expelling waste , the organs work hard and continuously during the life of a living being and are often abused and over loaded . The digestive and urinary systems consist of a series of about a dozen organs from the mouth to the groin , these organs are subject to abuse when of food and drink , they are not well supplied with nerve endings and pain in these organs can be difficult to identify and treat .
The digestive system from mouth to the gullet food and drink follow the pathway described in the diagram opposite and are broken down and digested in a series of processes by different organs . these organs are also responsible for the excretion of the body’s waste materials such as worn-out tissue cells and of toxins , that is materials which the body can not use . The digestive system is resilient and hard working ,nevertheless .much commonly experienced pain and disease occurs digestive process itself needs energy to complete and too often our life styles prevent us from giving it time to function smoothly . Indigestion and irritable bowel syndrome often stem from this , coupled with stress secondly , people suffer from eating disorders such as anorexia or bulimia or simply eat or drink toxins like alcohol or caffeine that actually damage the organs . One malfunction of the digestive organs which can cause acute pain is the formation of stones , several organs , including the gall bladder and kidney will produce stones if the balance of materials passing through them is upset , gallstones are formed by a crystallization of cholesterol , if the liver and gall bladder can not deal with an excess fat intake . The appendix appears to be a vestigial organ which human beings no longer need . Stray food matter or bacteria can become lodged there and cause appendicitis , this can be mistaken for other digestive or urinary tract disorders .
A change in bowel habit may be an early warning sign of cancer of the bowel . constipation is a condition where the bowels are opened only infrequently and with difficulty , most cases arise from a poor diet , where too much refined food such as white bread and cakes is eaten , an increased intake of fiber in the form of fruit and vegetables , bran ,whole meal bread and brown rice will often relieve the condition , unfortunately , constipation is a common occurrence during pregnancy where it then tends to aggravate piles and varicose veins , if they are present . it is also one of the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome .
Gastro enteritis ; Gastro enteritis is the inflammation of the stomach and intestines that can follow various infections , dietary indiscretions such as too much alcohol or spicy food or certain drugs including antibiotics . Symptoms include pain vomiting and diarrhoea –Homoeopathic medicines can be very helpful in easing the discomfort severe inflammation of the stomach and intestines , usually as the result of a bacterial infection from contaminated food or water is called gastroenteritis , it causes diarrhoea severe intestinal pain , fever , head ache and fatigue , it often occurs when people are traveling abroad , sensible precautions include drinking only bottled water , refusing drinks with ice cubes washing and peeling fruit and avoiding salads and foods that may have been kept warm for a long time .
Constipation ; Infrequency of bowel action often causes unnecessary anxiety as it is not unhealthy to have a bowel action only twice a week if the stool is soft , the symptoms of constipation are infrequent , hard stools that are pain full to pass and may cause bleeding from the anus . If you do have a tendency to constipation it may help to eat a diet that is higher in fiber , try eating more fruits and vegetables , pulses and whole meal flour or bread and whole grains such as brown rice , if you have been used to adapt to the different foods that you are eating , try to drink at least 2 liters / 3 pints of liquid per day and more in hot weather or when you are abroad in a hot climate you should always consult your doctor straight away if you suddenly become constipated for no apparent reason .
Regular bowel movements are vital for full bodily health but regular can vary for each person . Any thing between three bowel movements a day to one every three days is regarded as normal pattern and stools are so hard they are uncomfortable to pass , it is most often caused by a poor diet and lack of exercise , coupled with stress ,constipation allows toxins to seep into the blood stream , from where they spread through the body and cause such symptoms as head ache and fatigue , joint and muscle pain and allergic reactions .
Belching and Flatulence ; The sudden expulsion of gas from the stomach through the mouth known as “belching” often occurs after eating certain foods . Especially highly seasoned foods peas and beans , some vegetables and fruit that have a high carbohydrate content , flatulence is also often present with digestive upsets such as indigestion or when you suffer from a stomach problem if you have swallowed excess air when you are rushing and eat a meal too quickly .
Indigestion and Heart burn : Indigestion is the discomfort that is felt in the upper abdomen which usually occurs after eating too much food which usually occurs after eating too much food , eating too quickly or eating fatty or highly spiced food , emotional stress can also be a factor however the term indigestion is often also used to describe a variety of symptoms including belching nausea and vomiting and also heart burn . Heart burn is a burning pain behind the breast bone that can be caused by the back flow of stomach acid during pregnancy , a hiatus hernia (protrusion of part of the stomach into the chest ) or obesity , it is aggravated by lying flat by bending over and by drinking alcohol .
Diarrhoea and Colitis ; Gastro enteritis is the inflammation of the digestive tract and it is the most frequent cause of diarrhoea , inflammation that is confined to the colon (part of large intestine ) is called colitis and here the diarrhoea usually contains blood and mucus and may also be accompanied by abdominal pain and fever , colitis is a feature of crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis .
Nausea and Vomiting ; Nausea and vomiting rarely last for more than 24 hours , but if you have frequent or prolonged episodes of nausea or vomiting . You should consult your doctor so that the cause can be investigated .
Symptoms / Medicines
Sour belching with vomiting violent stomach pain –Acitic acid
Loss of appetite , a craving for acidic foods , the belch tastes of the food just eaten –Antimonium crudum
Belching accompanies stomach upsets pain over stomach , which radiates to all parts of the abdomen –Argentum nitricum
Belching heaviness , fullness and sleepiness occur together , belching is worse when lying down —-Carbo vegetabilis
Much flatulence that is not relieved from bitter regurgitation , belching is worse after eating fruit —Chima officinalis
Arge quantities of offensive gas are belched –Dioscorea villosa
A burning sensation in the pharynx , food tastes sour , abdomen is bloated –Lycopodium
Flatulent colic accompanied by belching of gas bending double provides relief –-Magnesia Phosphorica
Chronic indigestion , frequent belching sour stomach —Natrum carbonicum
Sour bitter difficult belches —Nux vomica
Belches large qualities of wind straight after eating –Phosphorus
Hot sour belching –Podophyllum
Flatulent indigestion with hiccoughs –Nux moschata
Sour belches and taste , a yellow –creamy coating appears on the tongue –Nat. phos .
Heart burn with loud belching , craving for indigestible things –Calcarea carbonica
Indigestion after eating fruit , acidic foods ice cream or cold drinks –arsenicum alb.
Food tastes sour , distension and indigestion from eating carbohydrates , excessive hunger but the stomach feeds full after eating only a small amount of food –Lycopodium .
Flatulent indigestion with hiccoughs –Nux moschata
Nervous indigestion is relieved by food – Anacardium
Pain in the pit of stomach , heart burn and nausea with belching , chilliness –Ammonium Carbonicum
Flatulent indigestion , craving for stimulants such as coffee , a sinking feeling in the pit of the stomach , great thirst –Capsicum