If you are experiencing pain and discomfort in your mouth, throat, abdominal region, or rectum, it could be nothing or it may be an early sign of a gastrointestinal (GI) disorder. The likelihood increases if you are experiencing symptoms such as gas, bloating, a burning sensation in your chest, nausea and vomiting, or pain when passing bowel movements.
GI disorders are conditions affecting organs that are part of the digestive process, from the mouth to the rectum. Common GI disorders include irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), hemorrhoids, and colon cancer. Most GI disorders are preventable through a healthy lifestyle and regular screenings. Not all GI disorders are life-threatening. However, symptoms can overlap, which means the only way to protect your health is by getting an accurate diagnosis from a GI doctor.
There are two types of GI disorders: functional and structural.
Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders
Functional gastrointestinal disorders (FGIDs) occur in GI tracts that have no structural abnormality but are not functioning well. An x-ray, endoscopy, and blood test will yield no abnormal results that can be associated with the symptoms.
Examples of functional GI disorders are chest pain, heartburn, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), diarrhea, constipation, incontinence, dyspepsia, and infant colic. FGIDs are very common among pediatric patients.
What factors contribute to the development of functional GI disorder? Doctors say it may be due to one or a combination of the following:
- A low fiber diet
- Lack of exercise
- Resisting bowel movements
- The use of laxatives or antacids
- Iron pills
There are three features to FGIDS — motility, sensation, and brain-gut dysfunction. Motility pertains to abnormal muscular spasms and contractions that cause painful symptoms. The sensation is when the nerves in the GI tract may be too sensitive to stimuli, causing the symptoms. Brain-gut dysfunction is caused by a problem with the way the brain (which sends signals to the GI system) and the gut function.
Structural Gastrointestinal Disorders
Structural GI disorders are caused by abnormalities in the GI tract. Examples of structural GI disorders include ulcerative colitis, hemorrhoids, anal fistulas, Crohn’s disease, and colon cancer. With structural GI disorders, treatment involves the surgical removal or correction of the structural abnormality. Unaddressed structural GI disorders often lead to worse symptoms and other complications.
Treatment for Gastrointestinal Disorders in Denton and Frisco, Texas
If you are experiencing gastrointestinal pain and discomfort, the team of health care providers at Star Medical Associates can diagnose and treat your condition. Depending on the diagnostic results, it may be an acute issue or it may require proper disease management.
Many of our patients require constant monitoring of symptoms. Our internal medicine physician, Dr. Rani Anbarasu, truly cares about patients and focuses on educating them while also treating them.
To request an appointment with a physician that values long-term, transparent, and trustworthy relationships, call Star Medical Associates at (940) 382-6900 in Denton or (469) 301-2300 in Frisco. You may also submit an appointment request now. Our staff looks forward to providing you with assistance.