The digestive system is the energy house of the human body. It is a group of organs working together to convert the food consumed into energy.
But, it is not as simple as it sounds. There are a lot of complex processes that occur in the digestive system. Any change to one or more of these processes can result in a digestive issue – mild or severe, depending on the intensity of the change.
Most people don’t understand the importance of the digestive system until they experience some discomfort.
Important Facts About The Digestive System
Let’s take a look at some important facts about the digestive system that all of us should be aware of.
1. Diarrhea Should Never Be Overlooked
Diarrhea is a digestive issue that most people experience in their life. It may be caused by microorganisms like a virus, bacteria, or parasites. It may also be caused due to anxiety, food allergies, or even alcohol. Whatever the cause may be, diarrhea is not a digestive condition that should be overlooked.
Diarrhea deprives the body of the fluids and salts that are required for it to function normally. Leaving diarrhea unchecked can lead to more serious health conditions. If you have symptoms of diarrhea, it is important to visit the doctor as soon as possible.
2. Spicy Food And Stress Don’t Cause Stomach Ulcers
Most people believe that stress and/or spicy food can cause stomach ulcers. However, this is not true. Stomach ulcers are caused by bacteria – Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) bacteria. They may also be caused by certain medications.
It is true that spicy food and/or stress can worsen the symptoms of stomach ulcers but can never be the cause of them.
3. Colon Cleansing Is Not A Necessity
Most people think that it is important to cleanse the colon to improve digestion and other processes after it. However, a colon cleanse is only required if you have to undergo a procedure called colonoscopy (a test that allows the doctor get a closer look at your intestine).
Your body already has a system in place to get rid of the wastes and toxins that are present in it. For normal functioning, it is not necessary to get your colon cleansed. In fact, colon cleanse is not recommended if you suffer from an infection, diverticulitis, inflammatory bowel disease, hemorrhoids, blood pressure, heart, or kidney problems.
4. Piles Isn’t Caused By Cold Surface Temperatures
Piles or hemorrhoids are caused due to pressure while having a bowel movement. This is most often caused due to severe constipation or diarrhea. It may also be caused if you sit for a long duration.
Though hemorrhoids may be caused due to prolonged sitting, there is a misconception that they can be caused when an individual sits on cold surfaces. This is not true because surface temperatures do not play any role in the cause of hemorrhoids.
5. Irritable Bowel Syndrome Is A Common Digestive Issue
If you think that irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a rare digestive issue and that you cannot be affected by it, then you are wrong. IBS is a relatively common issue and is usually a long-term one.
The most common symptoms of IBS are abdominal pain and cramping, diarrhea or constipation, bloating, excessive flatulence, etc.
6. Diets Cannot “Cure” Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) can be caused due to food intolerances. So, something you eat or drink can trigger the syndrome. However, no diet can help cure this health condition.
For example, if dairy products are causing the condition in your body, you may follow a dairy-free diet. But by doing so, it only eliminates the triggers that can make the condition worse and does not cure it completely.
7. Irritable Bowel Syndrome And Inflammatory Bowel Disease Are Not The Same
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) are often confused and misunderstood as the same health condition. However, these are two very different health issues.
While IBS is a long-term digestive issue involving bowel irritations and irregularities, IBD is a term that is used to describe two conditions – ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease – that causes inflammation in the gut.
So, these are two different health conditions and should never be interchanged.
8. There Is No Rule For Bowel Movements
A lot of people believe that it is unhygienic if you don’t unload yourself at least once a day. But, this is not true. There aren’t any rules for regular bowel movements.
Different people have different bowel movements; while some empty their bowels once a day, there are others who do the same probably two or three times in a day. Most doctors consider both conditions normal.
9. If Your Stomach Rumbles, It Doesn’t Always Mean You’re Hungry
It is common to assume that if your stomach rumbles or makes funny noises, it means that you are hungry. However, this is not always true.
A stomach that rumbles is not always an indication that you need food. Experts say that your gut movements are stimulated or activated at the thought or even the sight of food. When this happens, signals are sent to the digestive system organs, including the stomach and intestines. The rumbling sound is the contraction of the stomach muscles and is not necessarily a sign of hunger.
10. Swallowing Gum Can Be Dangerous – That’s A Myth
You probably remember your parents telling you to be careful while chewing your gum and swallowing it meant that it’d remain in your stomach for more than seven years!
Well, none of it is true. It is true that gum cannot be digested, but what is not digested by the body is generally excreted within seven days. So, now you know that swallowing your gum isn’t really that dangerous.