Bright red blood in the toilet bowl when you move your bowels could be a sign of hemorrhoids, which is a very common condition. In fact, 75 percent of Americans over the age of 45 have hemorrhoids.
Hemorrhoids are an inflammation of the blood vessels at the end of your digestive tract. They can be painful and itchy. Causes include chronic constipation, diarrhea, straining during bowel movements, and a lack of fiber in your diet.
Treat hemorrhoids by eating more fiber, drinking more water, and exercising. Over-the-counter creams and suppositories may provide temporary relief of hemorrhoid symptoms. See your doctor if at-home treatments don’t help; sometimes a hemorrhoidectomy is needed to remove hemorrhoids surgically.
We met the friendly staff and management of the Four Seasons Hotel in Las Vegas at their annual health fair.
Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)
When stomach acid backs up into your esophagus — a condition called acid reflux — you may feel aburning pain in the middle of your chest. It often occurs after meals or at night, says Neville Bamji, MD, a clinical instructor of medicine at The Mount Sinai Hospital and a gastroenterologist with New York Gastroenterology Associates.
While it’s common for people to experience acid reflux and heartburn once in a while, having symptoms that affect your daily life or occur at least twice each week could be a sign of GERD, a chronic digestive disease that affects 20 percent of Americans, according to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK). If you experience persistent heartburn, bad breath, tooth erosion, nausea, pain in your chest or upper part of your abdomen, or have trouble swallowing or breathing, see your doctor.
Most people find relief by avoiding the foods and beverages that trigger their symptoms and/or by taking over-the-counter antacids or other medications that reduce stomach acid production and inflammation of the esophagus; however, some cases of GERD require stronger treatment, such as medication or surgery.