Gastrointestinal tract (GIT) has an important function in the digestion and absorption of nutrients needed for the growth and development of a human body. GIT is a long tube extending from the mouth to the anus. The function of the GIT is to process nutrients and energy from food that gets into the body. When GIT is not working, disorders may occur.
Causes of gastrointestinal disorders
- Problems linked to diet, stress, allergy, sedentary lifestyle or change in routine
- Swelling of the large intestine due to some foods or bacterial infections
- Ulcers in the stomach or small intestine
- Swelling of the stomach and small intestine due to viral or bacterial infection.
- Other inflammatory bowel diseases such as Crohn’s disease
- Disorders like depression, diabetes and Parkinson’s disease
- Previous bowel surgery
- Cancer of the digestive system
Signs and symptoms of gastrointestinal disorders
- Weight loss
- Abdominal cramps
- Abdominal pain and bloating
- Hard and dry stool
Common gastrointestinal disorders
- Diarrhea – This is the condition that causes to pass waste from the body in liquid form. Diarrhea may be either acute or chronic. Acute diarrhea is common. It is caused by viral or bacterial infections, and parasites. While chronic diarrhea happens on-and-off at least one month. It is caused by a thyroid issues, injury to the colon, medication side effects, long-standing infection, Crohn’s disease, IBS or even cancer.
- Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) – This condition is also called nervous stomach, irritable or spastic colon. The colon muscle contracts often and triggered by certain foods, medicines, and emotional stress. IBS is a change in bowel habits such as looser, harder, or more urgent stools than normal.
- Constipation – Constipation is the condition of having a hard bowel movement caused by poor fiber in the diet. A person with constipation strain during a bowel movement.
- Heartburn – This condition is also known as acid reflux. Certain foods, medications, alcohol, and pregnancy can cause this type of disorder. It is a burning sensation or hot feeling that begins in the center of the abdomen area and moves into the chest.
- Ulcerative Colitis – This condition may affect the large intestine or colon. Symptoms may include frequent and urgent bowel movements, pain with diarrhea, blood in stool and abdominal cramps.
- Crohn’s Disease – This condition affects the terminal ileum that connects the end of the small bowel and the beginning of the colon.
Complications of GIT problems
If the conditions become chronic, problems like peptic ulcers, weight loss, weakness, bleeding and cancer in the stomach may happen.
Preventive measures of GIT problems
Stomach issues can be prevented with healthy lifestyle habits as follows:
- Drink plenty of water or sterilized water
- Include more fruits and vegetables in your diet
- Avoid caffeinated drinks
- Eating a small amount of food at a time
- Maintaining hand and utensils cleanliness
Gastrointestinal problem medicines
The following are a list of common drugs used to cure gastrointestinal problems:
- NS Aid
Gastrointestinal problems diagnosis
The following tests can be done to diagnose gastrointestinal problems:
- Physical Test
- Upper GI is a series of x-rays
- Medical Test
- Stool Sample Tests
- Blood Tests
- EGD or Upper Endoscopy
- Intestinal Biopsy
- Ultrasound, CT or MRI Scans
Gastrointestinal problem s treatment
The treatment of these problems depends upon the kind of problem. It is very important to take medicines and treatment options based on the doctors’ suggestions. The following are treatment options for different GIT problems:
- Eating more fiber
- Drinking plenty of fluids
- Regular exercise
- Taking laxatives to aid passage of stools
- Take oral rehydration salts and intravenous fluids
- Taking prescribed medicines
- Undergo surgery as suggested by the physician