Digestive Health

Your Digestive Health Guide

Digestion involves mixing food with digestive juices, moving it through the digestive tract, and breaking down large molecules of food into smaller molecules. Digestion begins in the mouth, when you chew and swallow, and is completed in the small intestine. Common digestive system disorders include ulcerative colitis, gastritis, constipation, diarrhoea, hiatus hernia, worms, Crohn’s disease, diverticulosis and diverticulitis, haemorrhoids and colon polyps. Diarrhoea can be caused by a wide variety of factors and agents. Spoilt food that has either started to ferment or gone sour, or is infected with microorganisms (both bacteria and viruses) is a common cause of diarrhoea. Constipation occurs when stools become hardened and difficult to pass. Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) or spastic colon is one of the most common gastrointestinal disorders. Learn more about digestive health and treatment options like probiotics, diet and medical tests and procedures.

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Digestive Health Expert

Dr. Estelle Wilken is a Senior Specialist in Internal Medicine and Gastroenterology at Tygerberg Hospital. She obtained her MBChB in 1976, her MMed (Int) in 1991 and her gastroenterology registration in 1995.

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