All You Need to Know about the 4 Common Digestive Issues


The food we eat contains nutrients. The whole process of digestion right from chewing to defecating is meant for the absorption of these nutrients. However, when there is even a minute alteration to this sequence, digestive issues arise. They can be as harmless as burps to serious ones like peptic ulcers. 

Common Digestive Issues

Here we will be discussing some of the digestive issues, their signs, and symptoms, causes, and prevention:


Gastroesophageal reflux disease affects about 20% of the western population. It occurs when the stomach contents begin to flow reversibly causing complications.

Signs and Symptoms

GERD is characterized by

  1. Heartburn, especially after meals or upon reclining
  2. Dysphagia or difficulty in swallowing food or drinks
  3. Discomfort in the upper abdomen


Here are a few causes of GERD:

  1. Injury to the esophagus, which leads to reverse peristalsis
  2. Obesity 
  3. Smoking
  4. Certain medicines like antihistamines and antidepressants


GERD can be prevented by taking these precautions:

  1. Managing body weight: Research shows that proper body weight puts less pressure on the esophagus.
  2. Raised head while sleeping: Sleeping by raising the head slightly prevents the regurgitation.
  3. Managing lifestyle: Taking proper meals, timely sleep, regular exercise, and stress-free lifestyle also reduces GERD.

2. Diverticulitis

Diverticula are pouches inside the intestines. Diverticulitis is the condition when these pouches get inflamed or infected.

Signs and symptoms

  1. Blood in stool
  2. Cramping on the left side of the stomach that goes away after defecating or passing gas
  3. Fever


Here are a few causes of diverticulitis:

  1. Smoking
  2. Obesity
  3. High indulgence in red meat and lack of fiber in the food


Diverticulitis can be prevented by:

  1. Taking fiber-rich food
  2. Regular exercises
  3. Managing bodyweight

3. Acid Reflux

The stomach produces acid in the process of digestion. This acid can travel upwards if the left esophageal sphincter opens or does not close as soon as the food passes into the stomach. This causes the burning chest sensation called acid reflux.

Signs and symptoms

  1. Heartburn
  2. Bloating
  3. Regurgitation


Acid reflux is caused by:

  1. Eating trigger foods like citrus fruits, caffeine, chocolate, spicy food, etc.
  2. Lying down immediately after meals
  3. Taking heavy and spicy meals


Acid reflux can be prevented by:

  1. Taking small and less spicy meals
  2. Taking meals at least 3 hours before bedtime
  3. Controlling obesity

4. Lactose Intolerance

The inability to digest lactose from the food is called lactose intolerance. It is caused by the lack of enzyme lactase in the body. About 60-100% of the east Asian population suffers from this condition.

Signs and symptoms

Lactose intolerance shows the following signs and symptoms on the consumption of lactose-containing food:

  1. Abdominal pain
  2. Diarrhea after consuming lactose-containing food
  3. Bloating


Lactose intolerance is caused by the lack of lactase enzyme in the body. This enzyme breaks down lactose from food. In its absence, all the discomfort happens.


Lactose intolerance can be treated by:

  1. Eliminating lactose-containing foods from the diet
  2. Adding liquid lactase replacement to the dairy products
  3. Looking out for lactose in medicines.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.