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weeks—generally has a sudden onset
and while the episodes are brief, the
symptoms include cramps, nausea and
bloating, and can be both distressing
and incapacitating. Chronic diarrhea on
the other hand is a prolonged condition,
lasting more than four weeks. While
acute diarrhea is more commonly
seem among travellers, or as a result
of bacteria in food or poor hygiene,
chronic diarrhea can be caused by stress,
hormones, medication and even dietary
intolerances. ,
As “normal” digestive health can vary
greatly from individual to individual,
it’s important to consult your doctor or
pharmacist for medical advice if you’re
experiencing any of these symptoms
on a regular basis and you think your
digestive health could be improved.
It’s vital to understand the marks of a healthy digestive
system, and also a digestive system in distress. A recent
survey conducted among 1,000 UAE residents found
nearly one in four of those surveyed say their overall
digestive health “could be improved.” Dr. Mazen Al-
Asadi, Chief of the Gastroenterology and Hepatology
Division at Mafraq Hospital in Abu Dhabi explains why
having good digestive health is essential.
unbalanced and foods or liquids
move too quickly through the body
Digestive Health in the UAE
People across the globe, including UAE
residents, have likely been affected
by diarrhea at some point in their
lives. Diarrhea can cause sufferers to
miss school, work, family and social
gatherings. According to a recent survey
conducted among approximately 1,000
UAE residents, 23% of those who
suffered with diarrhea said they did not
treat their condition.
There are a variety of reasons people
don’t receive treatment for digestive
conditions such as diarrhea, and the
reasons range from people believing
that it’s best for diarrhea to “run its
course” to not knowing how to treat the
Symptoms toWatch For
With diarrhea, the severity of the
condition can vary greatly among
individuals— ranging from acute to
chronic symptoms.
Acute diarrhea—characterised by
abnormally frequent and loose bowel
movements lasting less than two
The Link between Overall
Wellness and Digestive
Digestive health is the cornerstone
of overall wellness and can be a good
indication for how other systems in your
body are functioning. The digestive tract
is a system of organs that takes in food,
digests it to extract energy and nutrients
your body needs to thrive, and expels
the remaining waste. Digestive health
and the immune system are inextricably
linked given nearly 70 percent of your
body’s immune system resides in the
digestive tract.
According to Dr. Al-Asadi, when
your digestive system is healthy, you’ll
experience regularity. For example,
having a normal bowel movement
anywhere from three times a day to
three times a week. When your digestive
system is unhealthy, you may suffer
from one of the following common
digestive issues:
• Constipation, a condition
characterised by a person having
fewer than three bowel movements a
• Diarrhea, a condition that occurs
when the digestive system becomes
Apr/May 2014