Heartburn, cramps, bloating, nausea, diarrhea constipation - these are few of the ways that your digestive system lets you know when things aren't quite right. Try as you might to stick to a daily routine, the anxiety and discomfort caused by these signs and symptoms are hard to ignore. You may look to over-the-counter medications for relief however this measure is rarely a long-term solution.
Generally, the signs and symptoms will diminish after a few hours and for some people, digestive distress persists and becomes a constant concern. The problem may have many possible causes, including infection, inflammation or abnormal blockage in the digestive tract. Regardless, the signs and symptoms don't go away, no matter what you may do to relieve them.
It's estimated that about 1 in 3 Americans perhaps even more, experiences some form of persistent digestive problem. You can see evidence of how common these problems are with a visit to your local drugstore or grocery.
Shelves are lined with an impressive array of medicines and supplements to treat digestive conditions, including antacids, acid blockers, laxatives, fiber supplements and anti-diarrheal agents. Each year Americans spend more than $2 billion to purchase these over the counter products.
Although they can often help relieve acute signs and symptoms, over the counter medicaitons may not be the complete answer. When you are regularly bothered by periods of indigestion or nausea or cramps, it's important that you see your doctor.
Knowing the root cause of a digestive problem may reduce anxiety, put you more at ease in social interactions, an allow you and your doctor to work together on a plan to manage the condition and possibly even to cure it. Early action on your part may also prevent a serious digestive condition from becoming a life-threatening.