Myths About Digestion

The Truth About IBS, IBD, Ulcers, And Other Digestive Diseases

Have you heard any of these myths about digestion:

These are just a few of the myths about digestive disease that have been passed from person to person over the years. Are any of them true?

Are Stomach Ulcers Caused By Stress And Diet?

Stress can certainly do a number on your digestion, and it can absolutely make the symptoms of just about any medical condition worse. Spicy food sure can be tasty, but it could also lead to a case of indigestion or diarrhea if you're not used to eating it. But taking that idea one step further -- Is there any truth to the idea that stress and a diet of spicy food can lead to ulcers (holes) in the lining of your stomach?

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Does Smoking Cigarettes Lessen Heartburn Discomfort?

We now know that smoking cigarettes is not just a benign way to relieve stress and to look cool. Cigarette smoke has been linked to many diseases, more than can be listed here, but lung cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), heart disease, and stroke are just a few. However, some people think that smoking a cigarette can have some benefits, including helping to calm your nerves and to settle an upset stomach. Could a cigarette really help the symptoms of heartburn?

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Can Celiac Disease Be Outgrown?

You may have noticed foods in the grocery store or dishes on restaurant menus labeled as "gluten-free." In recent years eating gluten-free has become more popular as a diet plan, although the benefits are considered controversial. Those who must truly avoid gluten in their food and in their environment are people who are diagnosed with celiac disease. But chances are that you haven't heard of celiac disease, or if you have, you have been told that "celiac sprue" is rare and that it only occurs in children. Do children with celiac disease eventually outgrow it? Can adults be diagnosed with celiac disease?

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Should You Have a Daily Bowel Movement?

Some people are taught right from the very beginning while toilet training that they should have a bowel movement every day, and if you don't, you should drink some prune juice and get things moving. Not having a movement each day may even cause some people to be stressed or worried. But do you really need to have a bowel movement every day to be healthy?

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Is IBD Caused By Mental Disorders?

People who have IBD are often told that they are depressed or anxious, or that they may have an undiagnosed mental condition. Friends and family members may think that the person with IBD should just "calm down" and they will start to feel better. Is it true that IBD can be caused by a mental condition?

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Do Men Become Impotent After Colostomy Or Ileostomy Surgery?

This is one of those questions that does have a very small basis in fact, which is probably why it just won't go away. Having ostomy surgery -- for whatever reason -- is not an automatic path to impotence. There are certain circumstances that may lead to erectile dysfunction (which is the term that is now more commonly used), and it is usually not a permanent condition.

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