Gastroenterology is the medical speciality dedicated to the digestive system. Because this system is so elaborate and includes such a large number of organs, gastroenterology is one of the most comprehensive and wide-ranging medical specialties. The digestive system can be divided into two parts:
- The digestive tract – mouth, throat, stomach, small intestine, large intestine, rectum, and anus.
- The liver, pancreas, gallbladder, biliary tract and peritoneum.
A digestive endoscopy is a nonsurgical procedure to examine a person’s digestive system. An endoscope is a flexible tube with a light and camera attached to it, and it allows physicians to see inside the body. The procedure is very common and helps make precise diagnosis, treatment and prevention of diseases.
As with many health issues, prevention and early detection are vital for curing digestive disorders that in 2017 caused the death of 20,096 people in Spain (a figure that represents 4.9% of total mortality).
Link to the Colonoscopy page
Digestive health tips
Tips for maintaining a healthy digestive system:
- Olive oil: It improves the functioning of the pancreas and allows for a better absorption of minerals. In addition, this vegetable substance reduces stomach acidity and has anti-inflammatory effects.
- Fruit and vegetables: These foods are rich in water, vitamins, minerals and fiber, as well as being a primary source of antioxidants.
- Vegetable fiber: Insoluble vegetable fiber manages to store water in the final part of the large intestine, thereby facilitating the desired process of defecation. About 30gr per day is recommended.
- Water: It is estimated that the human body requires 1.5 to 2 liters of water a day. Water not only prevents constipation, but it is also essential for the proper functioning of the body’s organs.
- Low fat: A healthy diet is incompatible with the over-consumption of fat (especially animal fat). Processed foods as well as excessively burned foods are not recommended either.
- Small meals: Food intake should ideally be distributed among five meals throughout the day. This prevents the digestive system from becoming overburdened and insulin levels from rising. In addition, the caloric distribution will ensure our bodies have the necessary energy at all times.
- Reduce gas: Bloating is most often due to the swallowing of air, typically by chewing poorly, chewing gum or drinking through a straw.
Digestive system health issues
- Barrett’s esophagus
- Helicobacter Pylori (H. pylori) infection
- Celiac disease
- Intolerance to lactose, fructose, sorbitol and bacterial overgrowth
- Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis
- Diverticular disease
- Hemorrhoids and anorectal disorders
- Cholelithiasis and biliary tract disorders
- Cirrhosis of the liver and hepatitis B and C
- Helicobacter Pylori study
- Breath test
- Abdominal ultrasound