Common digestive problems can be identified by the symptoms they cause. According to the National Institutes of Health, individuals are typically alerted to digestive problems by bleeding, heartburn, diarrhea, abdominal pain and constipation.Continue Reading
Digestive problems may involve disorders within the entire digestive tract, but certain symptoms can help a doctor pinpoint the location and type of problem, which can range from gastroesophageal disease to irritable bowel. Heartburn, particularly when lying down at night, may indicate GERD, a condition where the acidic contents of the stomach are regurgitated backward into the esophagus. Eating spicy foods or drinking alcohol are common causes. Over time, this may lead to the formation of ulcers, which are treatable with medication. Stomach ulcers are diagnosed with tests such as an upper G.I.
Alternating constipation and diarrhea combined with abdominal pain may point to irritable bowel syndrome. This common disorder is usually diagnosed symptomatically, but older individuals may need tests to substantiate the diagnosis. Certain blood tests and stool analysis may be done.
Bleeding is differentiated by the color of the blood. Bright red blood in or on the stool may point to hemorrhoids, while dark stools usually indicate upper gastrointestinal tract bleeding such as that which occurs with an ulcer. Further tests are usually done to establish a specific diagnosis.
Individuals experiencing digestive problems benefit from noting what symptoms they experience and when and how frequently the symptoms occur. Taking this information to a physician may allow for a diagnosis and subsequent treatment.Learn more about Gastrointestinal Issues
Partial removal of the colon, or a resection, allows the unhealthy portion of the colon or rectum causing problems to be removed while leaving the remainder of the intestines intact, according to WebMD. The procedure can often be performed laparoscopically and is the most successful treatment for colorectal cancer.Full Answer >
An upper gastrointestinal series and an upper endoscopy are two common tests used to diagnose problems in the small intestines, reports WebMD. An upper gastrointestinal series examines the upper and middle sections of the gastrointestinal tract, while an endoscopy looks at the lining of the esophagus, stomach and upper small intestine.Full Answer >
Diverticular disease is a condition that occurs when a person has problems that occur from small sacs that have formed and push outward through weak spots in the colon wall, according to National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. The descending colon is the colon's lower portion that travels down the left-hand side of the abdomen, and if it is thickening, this is likely due to inflammation.Full Answer >
Frequently occurring pale or clay-colored stools possibly result as a side effect of certain medications, or can indicate health problems such as viral hepatitis, alcoholic hepatitis or biliary cirrhosis, according to Healthline. Pale stools may be a symptom of a problem with the biliary system's drainage.Full Answer >