Gastrointestinal Disease

Gastrointestinal diseases are health problems that affect the digestive tract, also known as the gastrointestinal tract (GI tract). The GI tract includes the stomach, oesophagus, small and large intestine, rectum, and the accessory organs of digestion, gallbladder, liver, and pancreas.


Symptoms of gastric problems

The symptoms of gastric problems vary according to the type of disorder a patient is suffering from. The common symptoms include

There can be many digestive problems, and their intensity can vary from mild to severe. The following are some of the most prevalent gastrointestinal disorders:

Stomach problems

Gastritis, gastroenteritis, gastric ulcers, gastroparesis, stomach cancer and lactose intolerance.

Esophageal problems

Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), stricture, esophagitis, and achalasia.

Gallstone disease

Gallstone disease, cholangitis, cholecystitis, and stricture

Rectal disorders

Haemorrhoids, fissures, faecal incontinence, rectal prolapse, perineal abscesses, rectal pain, proctitis, etc

Pancreas problems

Pancreatic cancer, pancreatic pseudocyst, and pancreatitis.

Liver disorders

Cirrhosis, liver cancer, hepatitis infections A, B and C, liver failure, fatty liver, alcoholic hepatitis, and liver cyst.

Intestinal problems

Diverticulosis, celiac disease, intestinal infections, Crohn's disease, polyps, inguinal hernia, cancer, ulcerative colitis, irritable bowel syndrome, malabsorption, diverticulitis, intestinal ischemia, and short bowel syndrome.

When to see a doctor?

Consult a gastroenterologist if you notice any symptoms of gastric problems.
Get the best treatment for your digestive problems from our gastroenterologists and gastro surgeons at Medicover Hospitals.


The causes of gastrointestinal disorders include

Drinking less water

Water is important for the proper functioning of the digestive system. It helps break down food, and facilitates nutrients' absorption faster and prevents constipation. Drinking less water invites all sorts of digestive problems.


Stress and GI issues are interlinked with each other. The stress can give rise to multiple digestive disorders such as loss of appetite, stomach pain, inflammation, bloating, cramping, and changes in the microbiota.

A low fiber diet

Fiber, a sort of indigestible carbohydrate, is important to maintaining good digestive health. The insoluble fibre facilitates the food's to easily pass through the digestive system, promotes bowel movements and prevents constipation.

Dairy foods

Individuals having lactose intolerance cannot completely digest the sugar (lactose) in milk. Hence, they have gas, diarrhoea, and bloating after consuming dairy products. Milk and cheeses are filled with proteins and fats that are difficult to break down. Therefore, consuming a large quantity of dairy products can cause stomach or intestinal discomfort.

Inactive lifestyle

Physical inactivity can slow down the digestive process and also slow bowel function, resulting in gas, bloating, and constipation.


During old age, factors like decreased digestive gland activity and the use of medications affect gut motility, causing reflux, constipation, and a few digestive disorders. The risk of gastrointestinal cancers also increases with age.

Unhealthy lifestyle

It includes smoking, and chewing tobacco products that can result in cancer. Excess alcohol consumption and eating unhealthy foods can cause GI disorders.

Risk Factors of Gastrointestinal

The following are some of the most common risk factors for digestive disorders:

  • Obesity
  • Smoking
  • Excess alcohol consumption
  • Genetic factors
  • Taking certain drugs
  • Travelling
  • Change in the normal routine

Diagnosis of gastrointestinal diseases

The doctor will note down the patient's medical history and symptoms to help diagnose a GI disease. A physical examination may also be done to help assess the problem more accurately.
The doctor may also suggest a few diagnostic tests, such as -

Laboratory tests

Stool culture

A stool culture examines the digestive tract for the presence of abnormal bacteria that might cause diarrhoea and other ailments.

Faecal occult blood test

This test is done to examine for hidden (occult) blood in the stool.

Medical Imaging tests

Colorectal transit study

This examination determines how well food passes through the colon.

Barium beefsteak meal

It is a diagnostic test used to detect irregularities of the stomach, oesophagus, and small intestine using X-ray imaging.

Computed tomography scan (CT or CAT scan)

Computed tomography scan (CT or CAT scan): It is an imaging procedure that uses X-rays and computer technology to generate images of the inside of the body.

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI): It is an imaging test to give detailed pictures or information about the gastrointestinal tract system.

Magnetic resonance cholangiopancreatography (MRCP)

This test is used to assess the gallbladder, liver, bile ducts, pancreas, and pancreatic duct for any abnormalities.

Oropharyngeal motility (swallowing) study

This test is used to monitor swallowing disorders.

Radioisotope gastric-emptying scan

Also known as gastric emptying study or test. This scan uses radioisotopes to find out how quickly food leaves the stomach.

Ultrasound test

This test is used to assess the gallbladder, liver, bile ducts, pancreas, and pancreatic duct for any abnormalities.

Barium swallow

Also known as upper GI series, is an x-ray test to monitor the upper gastrointestinal tract.

Endoscopic procedures

Endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP)

It is a diagnostic procedure that uses both x-rays and endoscopes to examine and manage problems in the liver, gallbladder, bile ducts, and pancreas.


Colonoscopy: In colonoscopy procedure, the doctor uses a colonoscope to inspect the rectum and colon.

Esophagogastroduodenoscopy (also called EGD or upper endoscopy)

It is done to investigate the upper GI tract, including the stomach, oesophagus, and duodenum.


Sigmoidoscopy:It is done to inspect the rectum and lower part of the large intestine.

Other diagnostic procedures are

  • Esophageal manometry
  • Anorectal manometry
  • Gastric manometry
  • Esophageal pH monitoring
  • Capsule endoscopy
  • Magnetic resonance cholangiopancreatography (MRCP)


The GI disease management varies according to the type of the disease and the severity of the condition. However, some of the common treatment methods used are given below

  • Taking rest and drinking plenty of healthy liquids
  • Eating easily digestible foods
  • Avoiding spices, carbonated drinks, fried foods, alcohol, and other foods that are gastric irritants
  • Taking prescribed gastrointestinal medications
  • Opting for surgery if recommended

Consult a gastroenterologist if your symptoms are severe

Dos and Don’ts

Gastrointestinal disorders refer to any health problem that occurs within the gastrointestinal tract system. It can affect any digestive organ in the body, leading to symptoms like abdominal pain, bloating, nausea and vomiting, diarrhoea, etc. The GI disease treatment comprises of medications, eating easily digestible foods, and taking rest.
Since digestive system has a lot to do with what you eat and drink, following the do’s and don’ts will help in managing the symptoms and getting cured easily.

Do’s Don’ts
Drink plenty of liquids Drink alcohol or smoke
Take rest Be irregular with your meal time
Take GI medications on time Eat spicy foods
Eat slowly and chew your food properly Go to bed right after you eat
Eat fibre-rich food Consume the same type of food every day

Follow the do’s and don’ts to prevent gastrointestinal problems and also to stop them from intensifying. By observing them, it is possible to keep gastrointestinal infections and diseases at bay and lead a healthy life.

Care at Medicover Hospitals

At Medicover hospitals, we have the most trusted medical team, comprising gastroenterologists, gastric surgeons, and other specialists who to provide the best management for gastrointestinal diseases. We are dedicated to providing excellent medical treatment to our patients in a holistic manner. Our team adopts a multi-faceted approach in managing gastric diseases with the active participation of healthcare experts from different specialities. We also use the most advanced diagnostic tools and techniques for accurate diagnosis of the condition to initiate the right treatment.


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