Gastrointestinal Diseases: What are they? Signs, Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis, Treatment and Prevention

They are those that affect any section of the gastrointestinal tract.

They can affect from the esophagus to the rectum and the digestive organs that comprise it ( liver , gallbladder and pancreas).

The term encompasses acute, chronic, recurrent, or functional disorders and covers a wide range of diseases, including inflammatory bowel disease and functional dyspepsia .

There are a variety of gastrointestinal disease conditions. If you are not eating properly and have found that your bowel movements are not quite normal, doctors may consider a number of possibilities.

Gastrointestinal diseases include conditions such as:

  • Constipation .
  • Irritable bowel syndrome.
  • Hemorrhoids .
  • Anal fissures.
  • Perianal abscesses.
  • Fistulas anales.
  • Perianal infections.
  • Gallbladder stones.
  • Diverticular diseases.
  • Colitis .
  • Colon polyps.
  • Cancer.
  • Other

The problem could be as simple as indigestion or as deadly as colon cancer.

So, it’s time for you to visit your doctor to get checked for more signs of problems and to stop the problem. The earlier you address the disease, the faster your recovery will be.

What are the signs and symptoms of gastrointestinal disease?

There are several signs and symptoms to look for. Among which are the following:

  • Difficulty in the movement of stools.
  • Irregular bowel habits
  • Rectal bleeding.
  • Fistula.
  • Cramps in the stomach
  • Flatulence.
  • Incontinence.
  • Hemorrhoids.
  • Diverticulitis.

These are just some of the most common signs. However, it is best to get checked regularly because some types of gastrointestinal diseases are asymptomatic. Many have discovered that they have a problem that they went to for their routine checkup.

What Causes Gastrointestinal Disease?

Doctors have found various reasons for the variety of gastrointestinal diseases. Among which are the following:

  • Poor diet – If you don’t get enough fiber in your diet, making it difficult for you to pass stool.
  • Childbirth – Trauma to the lower abdomen can weaken muscles, create injuries and scars, and cause infections.
  • Chronic constipation – When stool is not passed through regularly, it requires the nerves to work harder because stool actually hardens over time. The extra stress damages the nerves and muscles in the area.
  • Genetic diseases : People with Crohn’s disease are more prone to gastrointestinal problems.
  • Bacteria and parasites.

How is gastrointestinal disease diagnosed?

Doctors now have a way to diagnose the problem, see the extent of the damage, and find the most likely solution so that it doesn’t affect your body further.

Of course, the first thing to do is schedule a meeting with your doctor so that he can discuss your history, the medications you have been taking, and the symptoms you have experienced.

Before your doctor can tell you what the problem is, you will be asked to run a series of tests:

  • Ultrasound : A probe may be inserted into your anal area to see if the nerves are responding and if there are scars around the area.
  • X-ray : take a picture of the inside of your body. This is especially useful if you want to detect signs of malformations.
  • MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) : a deeper look inside your body.
  • Colonoscopy or endoscopy : A probe is inserted through the mouth or through the anus, depending on where the problem is. The camera then takes note of any irregularities in the passage so the doctor can make the diagnosis.

What are the treatment options for gastrointestinal disease?

There are so many treatment options to choose from. Again, these will depend on the type of gastrointestinal disease you have. It can be any of the following:

  • Antibiotics : to prevent the spread of infection.
  • Surgery – to remove the problem or implant a device that helps your body cope with the disease.
  • Diet: Eat foods that give your body the nutrients it needs to fight disease.

How to prevent gastrointestinal disease?

A good way to prevent any problems is by changing your diet. Enjoy foods made by mother nature. So, start appreciating fruits and vegetables to make your digestive system healthier.

Of course, it is best to undergo regular health checks to see if you are more prone to a number of diseases and stop any of these in their tracks. Sometimes it can even reverse the problem completely.


To avoid suffering from a gastrointestinal illness, listen to the advice of experts. Eat right, exercise regularly, and avoid foods that wreak havoc on your system. This simple change goes a long way.