Review of Abdominal & Intestinal Conditions

 

Including SIRCLE® Digestive Flow Chart

 

Introduction: The abdomen (commonly called the belly) is the body space between the thorax (chest) and pelvis. It contains the digestive organs, including the stomach, small and large intestines, pancreas, liver, and gallbladder. Held together loosely by connecting tissues (mesentery), these organs are given room to expand and to slide against each other. The abdomen also contains the kidneys and spleen.

The intestines are a long (25-27’), continuous tube running from the stomach to the anus. The intestines include the small intestine, large intestine, and rectum. The vast majority of nutrients and water are absorbed in the intestines.

Most of the following conditions can resolved by addressing underlying causes, which include unhealed spinal injuries, infections, acidosis, diet & nutrition, cooking methods, food sensitivities, heavy metals, and emotional & psychological factors.

 

Abdominal aortic aneurysm: Weakening of the aorta's wall creates a balloon-like expansion. May burst if expansion continues to grow and if aspirin, warfarin, plavix, statin drugs, and certain other substances are used over long periods.

Abdominal distension: Swelling of the abdomen, usually due to an increased amount of intestinal gas.

Abdominal hernia: A weakening or gap in the abdominal fascia allows a section of the intestine to protrude.

Acute abdomen: A medical phrase doctors use to suggest that peritonitis is present and surgery is likely needed.

Appendicitis: Inflammation of the appendix, in the lower right colon. An inflamed appendix is removed by surgery.

Ascites: Abdominal fluid buildup often caused by cirrhosis of the liver (in necrosis state). Ascites cause significant profusion of the abdomen.

Carcinoid tumor: A benign or malignant growth in the small intestine. Chronic and persistent diarrhea and skin flushing are the most common symptoms. Several medication classes taken in long-term implicated.

Celiac disease: An "allergy" to gluten (a protein in most breads made with wheat, barley, rye flour) causes the small intestine to inflame and not absorb nutrients properly. Abdominal pain and weight loss are usual symptoms. Treatment is a gluten-free diet.

Cholecystitis: Inflammation of the gallbladder, causing severe right-sided abdominal pain as a result of a gallstone blocking the bile duct. Most often it is caused by chronically stomach pH, chronic pancreatitis, and/or reflux meds.

Cirrhosis: Scarring of the liver caused by chronic inflammation—presence of abdominal fluid points to necrosis. Drinking alcohol, long-term prescription medications, and/or chronic hepatitis are the most common causes.

Colitis: Inflammation of the colon. Inflammation often caused by infections, stress, acidosis, and/or medication use.

Colon bleeding (hemorrhage): Multiple potential colon problems can cause bleeding, usually by untreated infection, certain medications, stress, etc. Rapid bleeding is visible in the stool, but very slow bleeding might not be.

Colon cancer: Cancer of the colon affects more than 100,000 Americans each year. Most colon cancer is preventable through avoidance of dehydration, medications, dietary problems, or toxins that cause it.

Colon polyps: Polyps are growths inside the colon. Colon cancer can often develop in these tumors after many years of not addressing the underlying causes.

Constipation: When bowel movements are infrequent or difficult from chronic dehydration or harmful medication use.

Crohn's disease: An inflammatory condition that usually affects the colon and intestines. Abdominal pain and diarrhea (which may be bloody) are symptoms. Causes are usually severe emotional distress, poor diet, untreated celiac disease, long term medications, or any state that keeps the body in acidosis state.

Diarrhea: Stools that are frequent, loose, or watery are commonly called diarrhea. Most diarrhea due to self-limited, mild infections of the colon or small intestine. Also caused by indigestible food, gluten intolerance, food additive sensitivity, acidosis, mild food poisoning, high caffeine, heavy metal toxicity, medication side effects, overuse of antibiotics or magnesium and certain foods, etc. Untreated, causes severe dehydration and electrolyte loss.

Diverticulitis: When diverticuli become inflamed or infected, diverticulitis results. Abdominal pain and constipation are common symptoms. Caused by untreated infections, acidosis, heavy metals, long-term medication use.

Diverticulosis: Small weak areas in the colon's muscular wall allow the colon's lining to protrude through, forming tiny pouches called diverticuli. Can bleed or become inflamed. Muscle loss and other abnormalities are causes.

Dyspepsia: The feeling of an upset stomach or indigestion, and can result from benign or more serious conditions. Underlying causes are usually lack of hydrochloric acid, food sensitivities, chronic infections, aversive food choices.

Gastritis: Inflammation of the stomach, often causing nausea and/or pain. Gastritis can be caused by alcohol, steroid use, NSAIDs and other medications, H. pylori infection, food sensitivities, chronic pancreatitis, etc.

Gastroparesis: The stomach empties slowly due to nerve damage from diabetes, chronic pancreatitis, or similar causes as gastritis. Nervous stomach, nausea and vomiting are symptoms.

Hepatitis: Inflammation of the liver, usually due to viral infection exposure (sometimes caused by bacteria in vaccination) . Drugs or immune system problems can also cause hepatitis.

Inflammatory bowel disease: A name for either Crohn's disease or ulcerative colitis. Both conditions can cause colon inflammation (colitis). (See Crohn’s disease for most of the avoidable causes) Intestinal obstruction: A section of either the small or large bowel can become blocked or twisted or just stop working. Belly distension, pain, constipation, and vomiting are symptoms. Calming herbal/essential oils treatment, medical massage, and deep cold laser are reportedly the most effective approach to resolve non-disease cases.

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS): Irritable bowel syndrome, also known as IBS, is an abdominal pain or discomfort, cramping or bloating, and diarrhea/constipation. Underlying causes need addressed or risks being lifelong.

Intususception: Occurring mostly in children, the small intestine can collapse into itself like a telescope. It can become life-threatening if not treated. Chronic dehydration, developmental issues, toxicities, poor diet common causes.

Pancreatitis: Inflammation of the pancreas. Alcohol, diabetic medications and other classes of long term medications, and development of gallstones are the most common causes. Other causes include illegal drugs and trauma.

Peptic ulcer disease: Ulcers are erosions and peptic refers to acid. Peptic ulcers are ulcers in the stomach and duodenum. Usual causes are infections with H. pylori, insufficient stomach acids, diet high in over-processed food, high caffeine intake, regular use of steroids, NSAIs (ibuprofen, naproxyn) & use of osteoporosis meds.

Peritonitis: Inflammation of the covering of the abdominal structures, causing rigidity and severe pain. Usually, this is due to a ruptured or infected abdominal organ from trauma or any of the forementioned underlying causes.

Rectal cancer: Colon and rectal cancer are similar in prognosis and treatment. Doctors often consider them together as colorectal cancer. Avoidable in every respect if causal factors (mentioned above) are addressed in time.

Rectal prolapse: Part or all of the wall of the rectum can move out of position, sometimes coming out of the anus, when straining during a bowel movement. Usually resolves on its own, but may require medical correction.

Salmonellosis: Salmonella bacteria can contaminate food and infect the intestine. Salmonella causes diarrhea and stomach cramps, which usually resolve without treatment. Increasing dramatically today, requiring more careful food handling, covering when at room temperature, and more thorough cooking and cleaning of food.

Shigellosis: Shigella bacteria can contaminate food and infect the intestine. Symptoms include fever, stomach cramps, and diarrhea, which may be bloody. Ditto above advice.

Small intestine cancer: Rarely, cancer may affect the small intestine, because of its high pH environment. Only low pH intestinal environments are conducive to cancer growth. Causing about 1,100 deaths each year.

Stomach flu (enteritis): Inflammation of the small intestine. Infections (viruses, bacteria, or parasites) are the common cause. Technically, this has been a very rare illness, as most cases today are actually mild or moderate food poisoning cases. Appears to result from breach of the acid-bacteria barrier when not enough stomach acids, use of anti-reflux meds and other medications, weakened immunology, in general.

Traveler's diarrhea: Many different bacteria commonly contaminate water or food in developing countries. Loose stools, sometimes with nausea and fever, are symptoms. It is advisable when traveling to drink only bottled water, and when not possible, to squeeze a fresh lemon slice into the water to kill bacteria and stimulate hydrochloric acid in the stomach to serve as a acid barrier to foreign bacteria. Have all food well cooked, and note if vegetables was washed in filtered or native bacteria-laden water. Use of reflux medications increases risk of serious infections.

Ulcerative colitis: An inflammatory condition that usually affects the colon and rectum. Like Crohn's disease, bloody diarrhea is a common symptom of ulcerative colitis. Ulcerative colitis is a very serious condition that requires one to search for and address underlying causes, not merely patch over the symptoms.