Gastrointestinal problems or commonly known as GI problems limit you. Not only are they difficult to discuss in polite company but they can prevent you from doing normal day to day activities like going to work or spending quality time with family.
American Gastroenterological Association fellow and Virginia Commonwealth University professor Stephen Bickston points out that GI problems are becoming a “growing burden” on Americans. According to his research, they are the leading cause of unprecedented clinic visits and hospitalizations. This means that GI problems are more common than you think.
What are Gastrointestinal Problems?
Gastrointestinal problems are disorders that occur within the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. These problems affect the following internal organs: accessory organs for digestion, esophagus, gallbladder, liver, pancreas, rectum, small intestine and large intestine. Although the mouth is considered as part of the GI tract, diseases affecting it are not considered as gastrointestinal problems.
Individuals suffering from functional disorders have bowels that look normal but are not functioning properly. Functional disorders are perhaps the most common gastrointestinal problems that affect the colon and rectum. Typically, they are caused by the following factors:
- Eating a low-fiber diet
- Not being physically active
- Changing daily routine
- Consuming large amounts of dairy products
- Being under stress
- Resisting the urge to relieve a bowel movement
- Overusing laxatives
- Using antacid medicines that contain calcium or aluminum
- Taking particular medication such as antidepressants, iron pills and strong pain medicine
- Being pregnant
Constipation is described as the difficult passage of stool. It also causes a person to have bowel movements less than three times a week. One of the major causes of constipation is inadequate fiber in a person’s diet. It is also a result of a change in regular routine or diet. It can be painful but is seldom the sign of a more serious medical condition. However, a person with constipation can develop anal problems such as fissures and hemorrhoids.
Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) is also called spastic colon, irritable colon or nervous stomach. It is a condition which the colon muscle contracts more readily compared to people who do not have IBS. Certain foods, medicines and emotional stress result in IBS. Symptoms of this condition include abdominal pain and cramps, excessive gas and bloating. A change in bowel habits is also observable in individuals with IBS. Their stools can be harder, looser or more urgent than normal. Generally, people suffering from IBS experience alternating constipation and diarrhea.
Solutions to Gastrointestinal Problems
Gastrointestinal problems are addressed in various ways like introducing more fiber to one’s diet, minimizing or avoiding stress, exercising regularly and taking more fluids. In more severe cases, individuals with gastrointestinal problems are prescribed with medication by a health care provider. Medicine can give you instant relief but are not sustainable. If you desire long-term support for your gastrointestinal problems, New- Newtrition can help. We have services that can aid you with your diet and with pain or stress management.