Gastrointestinal Disease | Types , Causes & Symptoms
There are a variety of gastrointestinal disease conditions. If you’re not eating properly and have noticed that your bowel movement isn’t quite normal, doctors can look into a number of possibilities. The problem could be as simple as indigestion or as deadly as colon cancer. Hence, it’s time that you visit your doctor to have yourself checked for further signs of trouble and to halt the problem in its tracks. The sooner you address the disease, the faster your recovery will be.
Causes of Gastrointestinal Disease
Doctors have found several reasons for the variety of gastrointestinal diseases. Among which are the following:
Poor diet – If you don’t get enough fiber into your diet, thus making it more difficult for you to pass stools
Childbirth – The trauma that takes place in your lower abdomen could weaken muscles, create lesions and scars, and cause infections.
Chronic Constipation – When you don’t pass through stools regularly, the nerves are required to work extra hard because the stools actually harden over time. The extra strain then damages the nerves and muscles in the area.
Genetic Diseases – People who suffer from Crohn’s disease are more prone to suffer from gastrointestinal problems.
Types Of Gastrointestinal Diseases :
1. Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)
When stomach acid backs up into your esophagus — a condition called acid reflux — you may feel a burning pain in the middle of your chest. It often occurs after meals or at night, says Neville Bamji, MD, a clinical instructor of medicine at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and a gastroenterologist with New York Gastroenterology Associates.
While it’s common for people to experience acid reflux and heartburn once in a while, having symptoms that affect your daily life or occur at least twice each week could be a sign of GERD, a chronic digestive disease that affects 20 percent of Americans, according to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK).
If you experience persistent heartburn, bad breath, tooth erosion, nausea, pain in your chest or upper part of your abdomen, or have trouble swallowing or breathing, see your doctor.
Most people find relief by avoiding the foods and beverages that trigger their symptoms and/or by taking over-the-counter antacids or other medications that reduce stomach acid production and inflammation of the esophagus. But some cases of GERD require stronger treatment, such as medication or surgery.
Gallstones are hardened deposits of digestive fluid that can form in your gallbladder. Your gallbladder is a small, pear-shaped organ on the right side of your abdomen, just beneath your liver. The gallbladder holds a digestive fluid called bile that’s released into your small intestine.
Gallstones range in size from as small as a grain of sand to as large as a golf ball. Some people develop just one gallstone, while others develop many gallstones at the same time.
People who experience symptoms from their gallstones usually require gallbladder removal surgery. Gallstones that don’t cause any signs and symptoms typically don’t need treatment.
Gallstones may cause no signs or symptoms. If a gallstone lodges in a duct and causes a blockage, the resulting signs and symptoms may include:
Sudden and rapidly intensifying pain in the upper right portion of your abdomen
Sudden and rapidly intensifying pain in the center of your abdomen, just below your breastbone
Back pain between your shoulder blades
Pain in your right shoulder
Nausea or vomiting
Gallstone pain may last several minutes to a few hours.
Celiac disease (gluten-sensitive enteropathy), sometimes called sprue or coeliac, is an immune reaction to eating gluten, a protein found in wheat, barley and rye.
If you have celiac disease, eating gluten triggers an immune response in your small intestine. Over time, this reaction damages your small intestine’s lining and prevents absorption of some nutrients (malabsorption). The intestinal damage often causes diarrhea, fatigue, weight loss, bloating and anemia, and can lead to serious complications.
In children, malabsorption can affect growth and development, in addition to the symptoms seen in adults.
There’s no cure for celiac disease — but for most people, following a strict gluten-free diet can help manage symptoms and promote intestinal healing.
The signs and symptoms of celiac disease can vary greatly and are different in children and adults. The most common signs for adults are diarrhea, fatigue and weight loss. Adults may also experience bloating and gas, abdominal pain, nausea, constipation, and vomiting.
However, more than half of adults with celiac disease have signs and symptoms that are not related to the digestive system, including:
Anemia, usually resulting from iron deficiency
Loss of bone density (osteoporosis) or softening of bone (osteomalacia)
Itchy, blistery skin rash (dermatitis herpetiformis)
Damage to dental enamel
Headaches and fatigue
Nervous system injury, including numbness and tingling in the feet and hands, possible problems with balance, and cognitive impairment
Reduced functioning of the spleen (hyposplenism)
Acid reflux and heartburn
4.Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
Abdominal pain, constipation and diarrhea are all typical symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Other names for this disorder include irritable colon, mucous colitis, spastic colon or spastic colitis, and nervous stomach. Although IBS is not dangerous, the symptoms can be very painful and bothersome. Most people who have IBS have a mild form, which they can cope with quite well without getting any treatment. But sometimes the symptoms are so strong that they significantly affect people’s everyday lives and can cause distress. There is no cure for IBS. Over time, though, many people find out what makes them feel better, and what makes them feel worse. And various things can relieve the symptoms.
The typical symptoms of IBS include constant stomach ache or lower abdominal pain, abdominal cramps, as well as a change in the consistency of the stool. It tends to cause constipation in women and diarrhea in men, but both sexes can have either form.
Also called piles, are swollen veins in your anus and lower rectum, similar to varicose veins. Hemorrhoids have a number of causes, although often the cause is unknown. They may result from straining during bowel movements or from the increased pressure on these veins during pregnancy. Hemorrhoids may be located inside the rectum (internal hemorrhoids), or they may develop under the skin around the anus (external hemorrhoids).
Hemorrhoids are very common. Nearly three out of four adults will have hemorrhoids from time to time. Sometimes they don’t cause symptoms but at other times they cause itching, discomfort and bleeding.
Occasionally, a clot may form in a hemorrhoid (thrombosed hemorrhoid). These are not dangerous but can be extremely painful and sometimes need to be lanced and drained.
Fortunately, many effective options are available to treat hemorrhoids. Many people can get relief from symptoms with home treatments and lifestyle changes.
Signs and symptoms of hemorrhoids may include:
Painless bleeding during bowel movements — you might notice small amounts of bright red blood on your toilet tissue or in the toilet
Itching or irritation in your anal region
Pain or discomfort
Swelling around your anus
A lump near your anus, which may be sensitive or painful (may be a thrombosed hemorrhoid)
Hemorrhoid symptoms usually depend on the location.
Internal hemorrhoids. These lie inside the rectum. You usually can’t see or feel these hemorrhoids, and they rarely cause discomfort. But straining or irritation when passing stool can damage a hemorrhoid’s surface and cause it to bleed.Occasionally, straining can push an internal hemorrhoid through the anal opening. This is known as a protruding or prolapsed hemorrhoid and can cause pain and irritation.
External hemorrhoids. These are under the skin around your anus. When irritated, external hemorrhoids can itch or bleed.
Thrombosed hemorrhoids. Sometimes blood may pool in an external hemorrhoid and form a clot (thrombus) that can result in severe pain, swelling, inflammation and a hard lump near your anus.
Anal fissures are tiny, oval-shaped tears in the lining of the very end of your digestive tract called your anus. The symptoms are similar to those of hemorrhoids, such as bleeding and pain after moving your bowels. Straining and hard bowel movements can cause fissures, but so can soft stools and diarrhea.
A high-fiber diet that makes your stool well formed and bulky is often the best treatment for this common digestive condition. Medications to relax the anal sphincter muscles, as well as topical anesthetics and sitz baths, can relieve pain; however, chronic fissures may require surgery of the anal sphincter muscle.
An anal tear (fissure) causes pain around the back passage (anus). The pain can be really bad and tends to be worse when you pass stools (faeces) and for an hour or so after passing stools. You may also get some bleeding when you pass stools – usually bright red, in the pan or on the toilet paper. Bleeding from the back passage should always be checked by a doctor. In most people, the fissure heals within 1-2 weeks or so but it can take much longer.