Make your poster colorful and attractive be sure to

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health. Make your poster colorful and attractive. Be sure to include tips for stress-management techniques. Present your stress-management poster to the class. Consider displaying the posters in the cafeteria or other areas of the school. What You’ll Need What You’ll Do Constipation is a condition in which feces become dry and hard and bowel movements are difficult. Constipation can be caused by not drinking enough water or consuming enough fiber to move wastes through the digestive system. Some medications can also cause constipation. Following a diet that includes fruits and vegetables, drinking at least eight 8-ounce glasses of water each day, and getting regular physical activity are the best ways to avoid constipation. When recommended by a health care professional, laxative drugs may be used to treat constipation. Laxatives can cause diarrhea, abdominal cramps, and gas. Some types of laxatives coat the intestine. fiber For more information on how fiber affects the digestion of food, see Chapter 5, page 115. 449 Lesson 2 Care and Problems of the Digestive System Apply and Conclude HS_HEALTH_U05_C17_L2 12/8/03 12:27 PM Page 449
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The coating may prevent vitamin absorption. The body may also become dependent on laxatives and fail to function on its own. Nausea is the feeling of discomfort that sometimes precedes vomiting. Motion sickness, pathogens, some medications, and dehydration can cause nausea. Vomiting is a reflex in which the contents of the stomach are brought back up the esophagus and out of the mouth. Powerful contractions of the abdominal muscles compress the stomach, while the esophageal sphincter relaxes to allow the contents to exit the stomach. Diarrhea is the frequent passage of watery feces. When digested food passes too quickly through the large intestine, water cannot be absorbed and diarrhea results. Diarrhea may result from changes in eating style, overeating, emotional turmoil, or nutritional deficiencies. Bacterial or viral infections and certain medications can cause diarrhea. One of the greatest concerns about diarrhea, especially when it occurs in infants and young children, is dehydration. To avoid dehydration during an episode of diarrhea, drink plenty of water and other fluids. Fluids that contain electrolytes help maintain the body’s fluid and chemical balance. Medical attention should be sought if diarrhea persists for more than 48 hours. Structural Problems of the Digestive System Although some digestive system problems are temporary or easily treated, others are very serious, requiring immediate medical attention. GALLSTONES Gallstones are formed when cholesterol in bile crystallizes and blocks the bile duct between the small intestine and the gallbladder. Symptoms include pain in the upper right portion of the abdomen, nausea, vomiting, and fever. Treatment includes taking medication that dissolves the stones or having the stones broken down by high- intensity ultrasound waves. Surgical removal of the stones and pos- sibly the gallbladder itself is an option when symptoms are severe.
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