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When A Stomach Ache Is the Sign Of Something More

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ATLANTA, Ga. -

Regina Kouras says the pain began about ten years ago, in her early forties. She sit down for a meal, only to feel like she'd been kicked in the stomach. She says, "Anything that I ate within 30 minutes, I needed to find a restroom."

Soon, the East Cobb real estate agent and interior designer felt like her life had been hijacked. Even her client meetings were scheduled around her intestinal issues, she says, “Not having outside lunches, not going to dinner with people…"

Kouras was diagnosed first with ulcerative colitis - an inflammatory condition of the large intestine, then Crohn’s disease, which runs in her family, and affects the entire gastrointestinal tract. So, how do you tell the difference between a stomach ache, and something more?

Dr. Taz Bhatia, at the Atlanta Center for Holistic and Integrative Medicine, says watch for a pattern, of pain that lasts beyond week. She says, “Anytime you have a stomach ache, if it's lasting a couple of days, if especially if it is a repetitive pattern, goes away comes back again, that’ something to pay attention to. “

Dr. Taz says Chron's and colitis are triggered by an abnormal response in the body's immune system that causes the G-I tract to become inflamed, and damaged. Often, that inflammation can be triggered by certain foods. Bhatia says that cycle of inflammation, “results in a very weak belly that doesn't work that great and triggers inflammation. the number one things is to make sure you are on a diet that's matched for you.

An anti-inflammatory diet like Mediterranean diet is a good place to start.

People with severe symptoms may also need medication, or even surgery.

Regina Kouras, who has a lot of allergies to medication, started taking supplements - and changed the way she eats.

She eats fish and some chicken, but, “No glutens, no sugar, no dairy.” She says, “The key to the kingdom is to eat things that are mostly the way God put them on the earth.” Meaning no processed, or premade foods.

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