About 25% of the U.S. population has a digestive health condition, but symptoms may be left ignored and untreated, which can cause increased discomfort and negatively impact quality of life. Our gastroenterologists can help. These conditions can be diagnosed through minimally invasive tests that assess your GI condition so it can be properly treated.
Some of the most common GI conditions include:
- Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS): If you’re suffering from discomfort like abdominal cramping, pain, bloating, constipation and/or diarrhea, you may have IBS. This condition can be disabling, but it can be controlled through diet, stress management, and prescription medication.
- Pancreatic conditions: Pancreatic inflammation (pancreatitis) and pancreatic cancer are 2 conditions affecting the large gland behind the stomach called the pancreas.
- Acid reflux, heartburn, and GERD: Acid reflux and heartburn are two interchangeable terms, but a more serious version of reflux is called “GERD,” which stands for “gastroesophageal reflux disease.” It occurs when food or fluid can be tasted in the back of the mouth after the stomach content rise up the esophagus. If you have acid reflux more than twice a week, you might have GERD.
- Gallbladder disease or gallstones: Gallbladder disease includes gallbladder inflammation and gallstones, which are often related. Symptoms include abdominal pain or discomfort, nausea/vomiting, or jaundice.
- Ulcerative colitis: Also called inflammatory bowel disease, ulcerative colitis causes inflammation and ulcers in the lining of the large intestine. Symptoms include rectal pain and/or bleeding, diarrhea, and abdominal pain or discomfort.
- Crohn's disease: This chronic GI disease involves digestive tract inflammation primarily in the small intestine and/or colon, although it can affect any part of the digestive tract. Common symptoms include diarrhea and/or constipation, weight loss, and bleeding.
- Celiac disease: Also called gluten intolerance, celiac disease is an autoimmune disorder that can cause abdominal pain or discomfort, diarrhea, anemia, and weight loss. It occurs when the affected person consumes gluten, the protein found in wheat, barley, rye, and sometimes in oats.
- Colon cancer: This type of cancer affects the large intestine and rectum. Because most people don’t have any symptoms until the disease is quite advanced, doctors recommend routine colonoscopy testing to check patients for colon problems or diseases that may indicate cancer.
- Diverticulitis: When one or more of the small, bulging pouches (diverticula), developed in the GI tract, the condition is called diverticulitis. Although the pouches typically aren’t harmful, they can become infected or inflamed. The condition can be acute or chronic.
- Constipation: As one of the most common GI problems nationwide, constipation involves hard, dry bowel movements. It is often caused by lack of dietary fiber and insufficient water intake. Underlying medical problems may also be to blame, such as IBS or diverticulosis.
- Diarrhea: The bowels are supposed to keep feces from becomes stronger and more forceful. As the rectum fills with more volume that it can contain, then a large amount of gas accompany diarrhea, which is liquid fecal matter.
- Lactose intolerance: Lactose is a type of sugar that cannot be broken down sufficiently in those with lactose intolerance because they lack enough of the enzyme called lactase to help them digest the sugar. Symptoms include gas, bloating, cramps, or diarrhea after ingesting lactose-containing foods.
- Hemorrhoids: These swollen veins stretch so thin and become irritated, especially during defecation. This makes hemorrhoids most common cause for rectal bleeding. They are most common in straining while carrying something every, being obese, being pregnant, or eating a diet low in fiber.
- Gas: Although everyone experiences gas, it can be abnormal in circumstances. You should see a doctor if your abdominal distress includes cramping, bloating, or gas and won’t resolves on its own. Treatment may include several approaches, including adapting to a healthy diet and making certain lifestyle changes.