Makati Medical Center, the Philippines’ premier healthcare institution, talks about what people need to know about the gastrointestinal or digestive system, and how to keep it healthy.
“Some of the most common digestive tract disorders we encounter are gastroenteritis, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) or acid reflux disease, peptic ulcer, diarrhea and constipation,” according to Ernesto Olympia, head of MakatiMed’s Endoscopy Unit.
Acid reflux is a condition in which acid backs up from the stomach into the esophagus and at times reaching the throat, causing pain in the chest called heartburn, or a sensation of a lump in the throat. Heartburn may be mistaken for a heart attack.
Peptic ulcers are wounds or sores found in the stomach and duodenum. It can be caused by excessive acid, infection and intake of substances damaging to the lining of the digestive tract such as anti-inflammatory drugs, alcohol, or some antibiotics.
People suffering from inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD) may experience abdominal pain, diarrhea and sometimes anemia and rectal bleeding.
How do we avoid all these complications and keep our digestive tract healthy? It’s simple: we need to eat well. According to Olympia, “Since the digestive tract is the food portal of the body, we must make sure that everything we digest is healthy, preferably fresh and not processed, and not rich in unsaturated fat and excess sugar.”
He continues, “Make sure to have a balanced diet of carbohydrates, proteins, fibers, fruits, vegetables, or what we’re taught in school as ‘go, grow and glow’ food. Drink an ample amount of water. It’s also best to avoid smoking, and if one enjoys alcohol, then the advice is to use it in moderation. Exercise is also very essential in maintaining our health. It should be ingrained in our lifestyle. ”
For those in need of medical services, the MakatiMed Endoscopy Unit is a modern facility offering gastrointestinal endoscopy and colonoscopy procedures which evaluate the esophagus, stomach and the large intestine. The recommended age for a colonoscopy procedure is 50 according to international guidelines.
“An upset stomach—or an unhealthy gastrointestinal system—can definitely make you upset, or worse, cause damage to your bodily functions. Avoid this by eating right and getting checked regularly,” Olympia concludes.
Call 8888999; e-mail [email protected] Visit www.makatimed.net.ph.