The body is a complex organism that consists of different parts that perform a various specific function. The digestive system includes mainly of the mouth, esophagus, stomach, small intestine, and large intestine. Gastro-intestinal disorders are medical conditions that affect the digestive process of the body.
Digestion starts to form the mouth, when you take the first bite of those cookies or favorite snacks, the teeth, masticatory muscles, and salivary enzymes assists in the digestion process of all classes of food. The stomach, small intestine, and large intestine play a vital role in breaking down and absorbing food molecules. These types of medical disorders are treated by the gastroenterologist. Basically, any discomfort, medical condition that affects your feeding process can be classified as a gastrointestinal disorder.
The gastrointestinal disorder often interferes with the normal digestive process of the body \and leads to various gastrointestinal tract symptoms. There is nothing more annoying than a rumbling stomach running your finger or family get together.
Most people have memories of ruined prom night, date, family gathering, or dinner due to gastrointestinal problems or stomach upset. The causes could range from simple poor diet choice to severe medical conditions.
Common GI Disorders Signs and Symptoms
There are numerous signs and symptoms of gastrointestinal disorders depending on the type of medical disease, and body parts involve. The gastrointestinal system. Can be divided into upper and lower parts. The upper gastrointestinal tract (GIT) consists of the buccal cavity, pharynx, esophagus, stomach, and duodenum. The lower GIT consists mainly of the small and large intestine.
The small intestine consists of 3 parts namely: duodenum, jejunum, and ileum, however, the; large intestine consists of:
- Ascending colon
- Kleft colic flexure
- Right Colic Flexure
- Transverse colon
- Sigmoid Colon
- Descending colon
The signs and symptoms present in a patient depend on the part of gastrointestinal tract affected. When any part of the upper digestive tracts is affected, the following signs and symptoms can be present:
- Chest pain
- Recurrent Abdominal pain that lasts for an extended period of time: This pain is often chronic and lasts for a prolonged period of time. Cysts and endometriosis are the most common etiologies of recurrent chronic abdominal pain. It is often treated with non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and cognitive treatment.
- Vomiting: This is the forceful expulsion of gastric content .it is most accompanied by It is of misdiagnosed or confused with regurgitation. Regurgitation often occurs without nausea. It is usually caused by drug, toxins or gastroenteritis. It is considered dangerous when there is the presence of complication s such as neurological symptoms, hypervolemia, or shock. However, pregnancy is the primary diagnosis suspected in women of childbearing age. It is often treated with rehydration, anti-emetics, or normal saline.
- Frequent Rumination: Rumination is the involuntary regurgitation of gastric contents into the esophagus. It is more common in infants and not considered dangerous in adults, because the regurgitated contents are not enough to cause significant weight loss.it is often caused by achalasia and zerkels It is often diagnosed with endoscopy or esophageal manometry.Frequent rumination can be treated with various behavioral therapy such as relaxation and diaphragmatic breathing techniques.
- Dyspepsia: This is often used to describe abdominal discomfort due to indigestion, poor dietary choices, or excessive gas. It becomes dangerous when combined with other red flags or accompanying symptoms such as Respiratory problems, weight loss, anorexia, fever, hematochezia, and failure to thrive. It is mostly diagnosed with endoscopy especially in people older than 55 years. The most common medications for dyspepsia include H2 blockers, pro-kinetics, proton-pump inhibitors, and cytoprotectives.
- Hiccups: This is an uncontrolled diaphragmatic spasm that produces an unusually sound due to the sudden closure of the glottis. It can be caused by numerous etiologies such as gastro-esophageal reflux disease (GERD), ingestion of extremely hot or cold substance, Excessive alcohol consumption, and distention of the stomach. It is a common gastrointestinal symptom but considered dangerous when combined with neurological symptoms. It can be treated with various homemade remedies such as breathing in and out into a bag, ingesting granulated sugar, crushed ice, or dry bread. Etiological treatment is also performed by using proton pump inhibitors and dilators for gastro-esophageal reflux disease and esophageal stricture respectively. In some severe cases, it can be treated with chlorpromazine, metoclopramide, and baclofen.
- Feeling of lump in the throat: This is also called globus hysterics and characterized by the feeling of throat lump in the absence of an obstruction. Moreover, it is often difficult to differentiate this from another related disease such as dysphagia and esophageal web. It can be caused by gastroesophageal reflux disease, dysfunction of esophageal sphincter, grief, and pride. It is dangerous when combined with weight loss, regurgitation, dysphagia, and present in people older than 50 years. Diagnostic tests are often ignored except when symptoms are related to swallowing or feeding. It is more of a psychological problem and often treated by reassuring the patient without medications.
The signs and symptoms of lower gastrointestinal disorders include:
- Constipation: This is medically defined as difficulty or reduced defecation. It can be caused by a diet low in fiber or other medical conditions such as wolves, hernia, and adhesion. It is more severe when combined with red flags such as weight loss, distended abdomen, bloody stool, and vomiting. It can be treated with laxatives or increased dietary fibers.It is often misdiagnosed with dyschezia which is a medical condition that describes the difficulty in defecation, despite sensing or feeling the presence of stool .it is usually due to an abnormality of the pelvic floor and muscles.
- Abdominal pain
- Rectal Bleeding
When to Seek Treatment
The best time to seek treatment after experiencing any of the gastrointestinal symptoms above is when they do not respond to simple medication, or there is the presence of red flags or accompanying symptoms. The following red flags are indications for seeking treatment firm the nearest gastroenterologist:
- Weight loss
- Chronic symptoms
- Bloody stool
Gastroenterologist Near Me
Gastrointestinal disorders are a party and anniversary runners. They are often misdiagnosed or left untreated. However, they can lead to different complications when left untreated. If you experience any gastrointestinal symptoms that won’t go away, contact the gastroenterologist near you.
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Common GI Symptoms | ACG Patients. (2018). Retrieved from http://patients.gi.org/topics/common-gi-symptoms/
Overview of GI Symptoms – Gastrointestinal Disorders – MSD Manual Professional Edition. (2018). Retrieved from https://www.msdmanuals.com/professional/gastrointestinal-disorders/symptoms-of-gi-disorders/overview-of-gi-symptoms