Best Hospital for Gastrointestinal Treatment, Symptoms & Causes
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
- Urinary incontinence
- Low fever
- Nausea and vomiting
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: Hemorrhoids, fissures, fecal incontinence, rectal prolapse, perineal abscesses, rectal pain, proctitis, etc
There are many causes of gastrointestinal disorders that 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: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.
- Aging: 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.
Risk Factors of Gastrointestinal
The following are some of the most common risk factors for digestive disorders:
- Excess alcohol consumption
- Genetic factors
- Taking certain drugs
- 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
- 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.
- Ultrasound test: This test is used to assess the gallbladder, liver, bile ducts, pancreas, and pancreatic duct for any abnormalities.
- 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.
- 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.
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