More and more people are suffering from digestive disorders these days. Due to poor diets, unhealthy lifestyles and the abuse of caffeine, cigarettes and alcohol, most people develop different forms of ulcer. There are multiple types of ulcer and some of them are considered to be life-threatening. Even milder forms of ulcer may endanger a person's life if the disorder is not appropriately treated.

Ulcer involves irritation, sores or lesions at different levels of the gastrointestinal tract. The main cause of ulcer is considered to be the infection with the bacteria called Helicobacter pylori, which can be acquired through the ingestion of contaminated food or water. Another cause of ulcer is the excessive production of hydrochloric acid and pepsin. When in excess, gastric acid may damage the protective walls of the stomach or other particular internal organs, enabling the bacteria to cause greater damage. Although the bacteria Helicobacter pylori and excessive gastric secretions are mainly responsible for the development of ulcer, there are also other factors that may contribute to the process: smoking, alcohol consumption, caffeine, etc.

When hydrochloric acid and pepsin are also involved in the development of the ulcer, the disorder is referred to as peptic ulcer. If the ulcer occurs at the level of the duodenum, the disorder is called duodenal ulcer. If the ulcer develops in the stomach, the disorder is called stomach or gastric ulcer. Gastric ulcer is considered to be a serious form of digestive disorder, as it may lead to complications and even cancer. The most severe complications of peptic ulcer are bleeding ulcer and perforate ulcer.

Bleeding ulcer is very dangerous and in some cases it can cause the death of the affected person. Bleeding ulcer requires immediate medical attention and in most cases it can only be corrected through surgery. Operations performed in order to treat bleeding ulcers are mostly done through the means of a gastroscope. General anesthesia is not always required in performing such operations. Fortunately, not all patients who suffer from bleeding ulcer need surgery. Latest experimental medicines have decreased the mortality rate of patients who develop such complications and maybe in the future oral treatment will become a substitute for today's surgery.

The most common symptoms of bleeding ulcer are: vomiting blood, presence of blood in the feces, black stools, nausea and dehydration. Bleeding ulcer can also lead to anemia; due to excessive blood loss, fewer red blood cells remain within the body, failing to provide sufficient oxygen to internal organs. It is vital to try to prevent bleeding ulcers from appearing, as in some cases they may be fatal. The best thing to do when confronted with the symptoms of ulcer is to immediately inform your physician of your problems, in order to receive an appropriate medical treatment, thus avoiding further complications of the disorder.

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Bile is a substance made in the liver and stored in the gallbladder which helps the digestion of fat.
Where is the gallbladder situated?
The gallbladder is situated underside of the liver and releases bile after every meal especially the fatty ones.

Gallbladder disease affects mostly women.

The symptoms are pain of different intensity, jaundice, nausea and fever. Gallbladder disease appears when solid stones are formed in the gallbladder from cholesterol, bile salts and calcium, they are of different sizes-gallstones, they are caused by cholesterol in high quantities which forms crystals.

What are gallstones?

Gallstones appear in people of all ages and the possibility of developing increases with age, obese people, Chrone's disease and ulcerative colitis, people with high cholesterol level in the blood, women that follow contraceptive medication and those with antecents of gallstones are more susceptible to develop gallbladder disease.

Patients may manifest no symptom at all, but when they do is due to chronic cholecystitis (biliary colic) which is a chronic inflammation of the gallbladder manifested with pains in the upper abdomen or in the right side below the ribs, pain which is worse and worse, the pain may spread in the shoulder and sometimes is accompanied by nausea and vomiting. The pain is difficult to be distinguished from other diseases such as: kidney stones, back problems, pneumonia, gastric ulcer, heart pains. The attack is triggered by fatty foods and can last for two to three hours, after it comes to normal.

Acute cholecystitis (acute inflammation or infection of the gall bladder) is a condition manifested with pain and tenderness under the ribs on the right side, temperature lasting more than twelve hours. The pain is getting worse when moving and coughing. There may be gallstones or only the infection. It is treated with antibiotics and in urgent cases emergency surgery is required to remove the gallbladder.

Jaundice (yellow discoloration of the skin and whites of eyes)
Appears when the flow of bile from the liver is obstructed.
Fever and other serious symptoms are suggestive for the infection through the bile duct system. Urine is coloured in dark, the skin and eyes are coloured in yellow and the skin becomes itchy. There may also appear similar symptoms as in cholecystitis.
These symptoms may appear all or only some of them, but at least one will manifest.

Painful attacks are to be treated with painkillers. Keeping a low fat diet and placing something warm on the pain spot are also helpful methods. If you have gallbladder and no symptoms appear then no treatment is required, there are also many alternative treatments which can be applied, if they are not effective surgery is highly recommended.

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Psoriatic arthritis, a chronic disease, is characterized by inflammation or swelling of skin (psoriasis) and joints (arthritis). It features patchy, red areas of human skin with inflammation and scaling. Psoriasis frequently affects the tips of our elbows and knees, the scalp, around the genital areas and the navel. Approximately 30% of patients who get psoriasis also develop an inflammation of joints. And patients having inflammatory arthritis and psoriasis are mostly diagnosed for having psoriatic arthritis.

The beginning of psoriatic arthritis is generally found in the fourth and fifth decade of human life. Gents and ladies are equally affected. The skin disease and the arthritis often appear separate. In fact, the psoriasis precedes the joint disease in about 80% of patients. But sometimes the arthritis also precedes the psoriasis in 15% of patients. In some people, the diagnosis of this arthritis may become difficult if the joint disease precedes psoriasis by long years. In fact, some patients have arthritis for more than 20 years before psoriasis actually appears! But also, patients have psoriasis for more than 20 years prior to arthritis development, leading to the diagnosis of psoriatic arthritis. This type of arthritis is nothing but a systemic rheumatic disease that can cause inflammation in body tissues other than the skin, such as in eyes, lungs, heart, and kidneys. It shares several other arthritic conditions, like ankylosing spondylitis, reactive arthritis (formerly known as Reiter's syndrome), and also arthritis associated along with Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis. All these conditions may cause inflammation or swelling in the spine and other joints also, and the eyes, mouth, skin, and various other organs. According to their similarities and tendency to give rise to inflammation of spine, these conditions are conjointly called as "spondyloarthropathies."

Genetic problems, disorder in immune system as well as atmospheric changes are the most important causes of this disease. In patients with the above cited disease who have arthritis of spine, a gene named HLA-B27 is frequently found. Blood testing is now available to test this. Several others are also found to be more common in patients with this arthritis. Some changes in immune system may be important sometimes in its development. For example, the decline in the number of helper T cells in AIDS patients plays a role in the development and progression of the disease psoriasis in patients. Now-a-days the importance of these infectious agents and also other environmental factors in the cause of this arthritis is investigated by researchers.

Pustular psoriasis is also one of the several types of psoriasis which causes parts of our skin to redden, expand and covered by pus-filled blisters called as pustules. There are also several subtypes of this psoriasis. It may stay confined to small areas of patients' body; some times, just on the palms of our hands, the soles of our feet, or the fingers and toes are harmed and this is called the focal form of this disease. But It also can cover larger areas of the body as well. The generalized form which is also called as von Zumbusch psoriasis is more serious, and this form can also be fatal. For its cure we have to follow the same steps as in normal psoriasis like, reducing stress, smoking, drinking and dealing a healthy life. Its treatment also follows the three processes that are, topical, light therapy and systemic.

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You have probably heard people repeat over and over about the benefits of using fish oil but you have probably never known the full reason why this is so. The first quality that you should know about fish oils is that they supply the body with Omega 3 fats which are full of healing properties. Omega 3 is a special type of fatty acid that is polyunsaturated in nature. These beneficial oils mostly occur in fish. With respect to all the types of polyunsaturated fats that are available in nature there are only two that are of essence to the body.

These are the linoleic and linolenic acids. These acids are required to maintain the cell membranes, to maintain the body nerves and arteries in trim condition, and to regulate the normal growth patterns. The essential oils that have been mentioned above are indeed vital in keeping the skin lubricated and smooth. They also keep the joints well-oiled and flexible. These essential oils are required to facilitate the breaking down and subsequent metabolisms of cholesterol.

Fish oils do the body much good by supplying sufficient levels of the omega 3-fatty acids. One of the main reasons why it is important for you to have sufficient omega 3 oils is that the body needs them to reduce the amounts of both LDLs (low density lipoproteins) and triglycerides in the blood. If these substances are in excessive quantities they may as well bring about various cardiovascular diseases. Triglycerides are the true fats. They are deposited in the muscles and the fat tissue. Too much triglyceride in the body is counterproductive to health.

Perhaps the most important role that is played by the omega 3 fatty acids has to do with the amounts of LDLs (low density lipoproteins) and HDLs (high density lipoproteins) in the blood. For a fact, cholesterol may occur in the blood in either of the two formats. If it appears in the form of LDLs it implies that the quantity of cholesterol involved is too high. As such this cholesterol are deposited on the arterial walls in effect making them narrower and more constricted.

The LDLs are the worst type of cholesterol that you can have and they have negative impacts on the heart and the general cardiovascular system. On the other hand, HDLs contain lesser amounts of cholesterol. Their role is that of scrapping off the cholesterol that is deposited on the arterial walls and shipping these back to the liver for further breakdown. After this reprocessing, the products can be safely ejected from the body.

It is in this concept that the benefit of fish oil is heralded. The main reason as you may now know is that the Omega 3 fatty acids inherent in the fish oil are important for the well being of the arteries and the general cardiovascular system at large. Fish oils are also beneficial in helping recover from ulcerative colitis and rheumatoid arthritis. Fish oil is indeed an important supplement for any bodybuilder.

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There are a lot medical aids offered in South Africa and all of them follow a set of rules that are created by the CMS (Council for Medical Scheme of South Africa) and they have also come up with a list of chronic diseases covered by the PMB's (Prescribed Minimum Benefits). This list contains 25 - 27 chronic illnesses. Each type of chronic disease needs a different amount of medicine prescribed per month that ensures continuous treatment. The list includes the following:

Addison's Disease

A type of renal insufficiency that targets the kidneys or adrenal glands.

Asthma

A lung disorder that causes difficulty in breathing by narrowing the airways, sometimes due to allergic reactions.

Bronchiectasis

A type of condition that causes destruction of the airway walls due to infection or inhalation of foreign objects.

Cardiac Failure

A disorder that causes the heart to maintain a sufficient amount of oxygen needed to support tissues.

Cardiomyopathy

A disease that destroys heart muscles.

Chronic Renal Disease

This disease renders the kidneys unable to excrete wastes.

COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease)

A disease that affects the lung's ability to inspire and expire properly.

Coronary Artery Disease

The thickening of artery walls in the heart.

Crohn's Disease

A disease that causes the large intestines and some parts of the small intestines to become inflamed.

Diabetes Insipidus

A disease that causes excessive urination and thirst due to imbalances of ADH (antiduretic hormones)

Diabetes Mellitus Type 1

A Diabetes that is caused by the lack of insulin secretion.

Diabetes Mellitus Type 2

Almost the same as Diabetes Mellitus Type 1, this disease is due to the relatively lack of insulin secretion of the pancreas

Dysrhythmias

This disease is caused by abnormal cardiac rhythms.

Epilepsy

A condition that causes seizures due to brain disorders.

Glaucoma

A disease that causes damage to the retina.

Haemophilia

A disease that renders the blood to clot properly.

Hyperlipidaemia

A disease caused by massive amounts of fatty acids in the blood.

Hypertension

This type of condition increases the blood pressure.

Hypothyroidism

This disease is caused by a relatively low amount of thyroid hormones.

Multiple Sclerosis

A disease that damages the protective layer of the brain and the spinal cord.

Parkinson's Disease

This condition causes involuntary shaking or tremors.

Rheumatoid Arthritis

A disease that causes joint deformity due to the inflammation of joints.

Schizophrenia

A condition affecting the brain resulting to psychotic thoughts and disturbing behavior.

Systemic Lupus Erythematosus

A disease that causes inflammation of the skin.

Ulcerative Colitis

A disease that causes inflammation of the large intestines and the rectum.

Most chronic diseases cannot be cured, however, this list ensures that the person suffering from any type of condition contained in the list, get medical coverage including consultations and tests. Getting the right information, ensures that proper handling and treatment of these chronic diseases are well observed.

There, however, are diseases that are included in the list but are only available to comprehensive and exclusive plans only. This is why it is better to gather information like medical history before signing up for any medical aid.

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Lymphocytic colitis is a type of bowel inflammation that affects the colon. In order to detect this disease, the doctor would need to perform a biopsy, which is a process where a piece of your tissue would be removed from the lining of your intestine.

Symptoms

You may experience chronic, watery, non-bloody diarrhea, and abdominal pain or cramps if you have lymphocytic colitis. However, there are times when the symptoms for the disease do not show.

The medical community is still unsure about what causes lymphocytic colitis. It is assumed that certain bacteria, toxins or viruses trigger the inflammation and damage to the colon. It is also theorized that the disease is caused by autoimmune response, where the body's immune system destroys healthy cells for reasons yet to be discovered.

No one is actually safe from lymphocytic colitis. Both men and women are often diagnosed with this condition, although statistics show that there are more women affected by this disease compared to men. The majority of the people affected are between 60 to 80 years of age, but there have been reported cases where the victims are adults who are less than 45 years old. There have also been reports of lymphocytic colitis in children.

Treatment

The first step to treating lymphocytic colitis is to overhaul your lifestyle. Reduce the consumption of fat in the diet and eliminate the intake of caffeine, lactose and over-the-counter pain relievers.

If this still does not remedy the situation, medications can be taken to help control the symptoms. Anti-inflammatory medications and steroids are used to reduce the inflammation, but steroids are only recommended to reduce the occurrence of diarrhea. Intake of steroids should be regulated to avoid detrimental side effects.

Immunosuppressive agents can also reduce inflammation, but this medication is rarely necessary. In extreme cases, the doctor may suggest removal of the colon. However, this is not really necessary as long as lymphocytic colitis is treated early and does not evolve to become colon cancer.

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If you have Crohn's Disease something that you may not be aware of is what a fistula is. Even though I have had Crohn's for many years I am very lucky to have never have had a fistula. A fistula is an abnormal tunnel connecting two body cavities that are not normally connected, such as the rectum and the vagina. A fistula can also be a body cavity to the skin such as the rectum to the outside of the body.

One way that a fistula may develop is through an abscess, which is a pocket of pus in the body. If the abscess is always filled with bodily fluids, like urine or stools this can prevent healing from taking place. Fistulas are more common in Crohn's Disease than in Ulcerative Colitis, about 25% of people with Crohn's will develop a fistula.

Some of the symptoms that you can get if have a fistula are things like pain, fever, tenderness, itching, and generally not feeling very well. It may also drain pus or a foul smelling discharge, these symptoms vary depending on the severity and the location of the fistula.

A common place to get a fistula when you have crohn's is in the perianal region. They can be internal, around or between the intestine and other organs such as the bladder and abdominal wall. A fistula in the colon or rectum may cause the contents of the intestine to seep into the bladder, vagina or even drain through the skin. Fistulas can be common causes of sepsis in Crohn's disease, in some cases sepsis can be life threatening.

Fistulas are usually treatable and the treatment varies depending on the location. Around half of fistulas can heal themselves, but if you think that you have a fistula then it would be best for you to see your doctor and follow the recommendations that they give you to remedy the problem.

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If you are one of those many people suffering from Ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease and are tired of taking numerous different medications day in a day out with very little effect, there are a lot of things you can do to make your health better. You can go for several complementary and alternative therapies which are known to have very good effect with no side effects. Both Ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease are sometimes together called irritable bowel syndrome which is actually a milder version of both the diseases and is greatly impacted by the food that one consumes. You can choose to go for the biologically based products and practices which are found to be very effective in fighting Ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease.

The food that you take in will help you ease the discomfort caused by the bowel diseases. Even though there are no certain foods which will cause the conditions, there are a few foods which will make the symptoms more severe. By getting a good knowledge about the nutrition and its effect on bowel diseases, you will be able to deal with them more aptly.

Food and nutrition are the main things that the doctor will try to change in an effort to help you fight these conditions. The nutrition plan will have to be tailor made just for you keeping in mind the condition that you have, the part of the intestine that is affected and several other parameters. You will have to focus on consuming a healthy and well balanced diet if you wish to overcome Ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease.

You will have to take special care to ensure that you do not consume any kind of contaminated food. The contaminated food that you intake will result in food poisoning and dysentery which will make the condition even worse. It is hence recommended that you consume healthy and clean food to keep irritable bowel syndrome at bay.

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First of all, don't panic. Don't immediately start to worry about the future and what this will mean for your life. Yes your life will change but probably not to the exaggerated extent that your racing mind is suggesting.

The symptoms that you maybe suffering from could well not be colitis. Don't get inflammatory bowel syndrome (IBS) mixed up with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). With IBS, you will experience a mild version of IBD. Yes you may have some discomfort in your bowel when going to the toilet and you will probably have some very small evidence of passing blood. It is imperative to seek your doctor's advice for colitis (IBD) to be discounted and if you are fortunate that you are given the all clear then just celebrate. Why did I just say this? Well, you have been spared the difficult journey that more people each year have to endure when they are diagnosed with colitis.

So what should you look out for as the early signs of colitis? You may notice a slight discomfort of feeling in your lower abdominal area. It can be brought about by the movement of walking. Normally, for example when an infection begins you feel its strength slowly building up. You are aware of its gradual influence over your body's health and how it influences then takes control over it. It is normally gradual. Colitis can often be very different. From very mild symptoms, such as the burning sensation in the abdominal area, to the onset of diarrhea, things can start to change very quickly.

Colitis is no respect of time, whatever is going on in your life, you can't just take a tablet or two to delay the symptoms. If you are going to get a colitis attack, it is going to happen no matter how you may wish to delay it or think "I will be okay to keep going for another week before it hits me" to the point where you will have to slow down and stop what you are doing. Furthermore, it is essential to understand that you can't assume that it will "just go away" if you ignore it. You must understand that ulceration of the colon is very serious and once occurred, it certainly will not "just disappear". If someone took this stance, they would be storing up a lot of trouble and discomfort for themselves.

If the colitis attack is not treated with the appropriate prescribed medication, the ulceration of the colon will go unchecked and the symptoms will worsen. The bleeding will intensify and coupled with an increase in the need to go to the toilet and the resultant pain, the sufferer will inevitably be faced with the no choice scenario of going to their doctor for a diagnosis and then undergoing treatment. Unfortunately, the patient might have endured a longer period of greater discomfort that could have been reduced had assist been asked for sooner. At this time, it is also important to seek the experience and knowledge of others who have experienced exactly what it is like to live through their first colitis attack and learned how to live life as normal as possible with ulcerative colitis. Little pieces of advice really can make a big difference.

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All of us are know about the benefits of colon cleansing. But another fact which we may not be aware of is that side effects also tend to occur while using the colon cleansing methods. It is important to understand what the normal side effects are and what the serious side effects are.

Colon cleansing side effects tend to occur even when you use herbs in order to clean the colon. The main reason for these adverse effect is the herb which is a part of these herbal colon cleansing products. These herbs only possess the properties which help in the relief of constipation besides enhancing the cleansing of colon. The adverse effect which tend to occur while using them include drowsiness as well as fatigue while a detoxification is in progress. Other common adverse effect include nausea, bloating as well as loss of appetite. And in case the herbal cleansing product contains the herb Senna, then the product should not be consumed for more than a week. Usually, urine discoloration also tends to occur while consuming Senna.

Colon cleansing side effects include chronic diarrhea also which can be dangerous. This is because it results in the loss of electrolytes like potassium. This loss can even be life-threatening. And in case of long term mineral loss, there can be even more severe effects like cardiac arrests, and kidney failures leading to death.

In case of overuse of Senna, it can lead to over-dependency. This means that the colon would lose its natural ability to defecate. Thus it is advisable to consult a doctor prior to taking Senna. This should also be done in case you suffer from any inflammatory bowel disease like ulcerative colitis. Senna tends to affect the body in a way that the colon will not be able to absorb water. This can lead to dehydration as well as electrolyte imbalance.

Thus, pregnant, nursing women as well as children should not take Senna. Similarly, the herb Cascada Sagrada also produces similar adverse effect. It is not advisable to consume it for more than a week. In case of mothers who are breastfeeding, Cascada Sagrada gets excreted along with the breast milk.

Certain herbs can trigger off an allergic reaction. The allergic symptoms would include lip swelling, tongue as well as face swelling, besides difficulty in breathing and hives. In such a case, it is best to stop consuming the product immediately as well as seek prompt medical attention. But generally, Senna as well as Cascada Sagrada is tolerated quite well by the general population.
Colon hydrotherapy can also be dangerous in case it is administered by personnel who are not trained well-enough.

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