20 October 2011

Nutrition and Gastrointestinal disorders

The majority of the diseases of the Gastrointestinal tract are not fatal but are significant causes of poor health, responsible for significant proportions of patients attending hospitals and local medical services.
Some Gastrointestinal disorders, common symptoms and nutritional consequences:

Dyspepsia:   Some of the common symptoms include upper abdominal discomfort, bloating especially after meals. Increased concerns about diet, possible decreased intake of food in general or selected foods are some of the nutritional consequences.

Duodenal cancer: several hours after meals pain occurs, may be relieved by eating.Food intolerances may occur.

Gastric ulcer: Vague epigastric discomfort associated with eating. Decreased intake in general or selected foods.

Dumping syndrome: Bloating , nausea, satiety later symptoms such as reactive hypoglycemia and possibly cramping , diarrhea may occur. Decreased intake , malabsorption of nutrients , weightloss, micronutrient deficiencies.

GERD: Acid taste, increased belching, dry cough, burning sensation in upper middle of chest, sometimes spasm, difficulty swallowing , bloating may occur. Possible nutritional consequences include altered food choices, not eating evening meals, avoidance od acid foods, reduced quality and quantity of dietary intake.

Cancer of oral cavity, stomach or esophagus: Asymptomatic or difficulty chewing , swallowing, epigastric discomfort, delayed gastric emtying are some of the symptoms. Anorexia, decreased amount or number of foods, weight loss, change in food texture may require surgery, radiation, chemotherapy , enteral feeding.
General Nutritional guidelines of gastrointestinal disorders:
• Alcohol should be avoided.
• Smoking should be avoided.
• Allergic foods should be avoided.
• Very hot or very cold foods should be avoided.
• Foods should be thoroughly chewed.
• Heavy meals should be avoided. small frequent meals are good.
• Daily 8 to 10 glasses of water if good for health.
• Regularity in meal timings is essential.
• Spicy foods should be avoided.
• Consume adequate fiber.
• Avoid or restrict intake of fructose and sorbitol.
• Minimize consumption of caffeine.