Stomach problems are one of the most medical conditions in Pakistan, mainly due to unhygienic conditions and poor lifestyle choices. To inquire more about common stomach problems, we invited Dr. Mujahid Israr, a Gastroenterologist based in Lahore to share his professional advice on the subject.
He is an FCPS in gastroenterology and provides a broad range of services for any stomach related concerns with 13 years of experience in his field. In his interview with oladoc, he explains the stomach problems in general and specific examples of the common issues.
Q.1. What are the main causes of stomach problems?
Well, the biggest cause of stomach problems, is of course diet. The trend in our culture is to gorge down foods that are excessively oily and spicy. Unfortunately, eating traditional foods like “parathas doused in oil”, are considered an indicator of good health. The truth is the exact opposite, though.
Foods that contribute the most to stomach problems include overly spicy and oily foods, sweetened foods, raw onions, french fries, pakoras, samosas, and even some dairy products like milai, cream or butter. Anything that has oil or cream must be avoided for good gastrointestinal health.
Smoking must also be avoided for good gastro-health. Not only does smoking cause cancer, but it also creates acidity in the stomach leading to stomach ulcers.
Q.2. What is endoscopy and what is its procedure?
Well, an endoscopy is a general test that is used to examine a person’s digestive tract through the lens of a camera. There are different types of endoscopy such as gastroscopy, that examine the stomach, and colonoscopy, that examines the large intestine.
Q.3. What are the different reasons to perform an endoscopy?
Gastroscopy, a form of endoscopy, is used to treat Gastroesophageal reflux disease, also known as GERD, gastritis, Acid Peptic Disease ( APD) and Chronic HeartBurn.
Another reason why a gastroscopy might be done is to treat black stools and chronic diarrhoea.
A colonoscopy, on the other hand, is used to explore possible causes of abdominal pain, rectal bleeding, chronic constipation, chronic diarrhoea and other intestinal problems.
Q.4. What is peptic ulcer and what are its symptoms?
Peptic ulcer is known as a stomach ulcer and one of the biggest and most surprising causes of stomach ulcers is the use of painkillers. We all have a stash of painkillers that we rely on time to time for joint pain to headaches.
Another reason for a stomach ulcer is H.pylori, a type of bacteria that lives in the digestive tract and can cause ulcers. Moreover, an unhealthy diet and smoking are also major indicators of stomach ulcers.
Severe stomach pain in the stomach and bleeding in the stool, black stools, are big giveaways of a stomach ulcer. In addition, nausea and bloating are also experienced.
Q.5. Any suggestions on how one can be sure they have a major stomach concern?
I believe that severe or moderate stomach pain is a major indicator and you should visit a doctor. And secondly, be very precise when talking about your symptoms and where exactly the pain is concentrated. The region of the pain usually signals what kind of a stomach issue one has. The doctor will do other preliminary tests to determine the root cause of your problem as well.
For any stomach related problems, consult a top gastroenterologist. Book an appointment with a top gastroenterologist through oladoc.com, or call our helpline at 042-3890-0939 for assistance to find the RIGHT professional for your concerns.