Gastrointestinal Discomfort

Gastrointestinal Discomfort: Causes & Solutions

Gastrointestinal discomfort is a common problem that many people experience. It can be a worrying symptom as many illnesses and disorders of the digestive system can cause it. The most common causes of gastrointestinal discomfort include food sensitivities and allergies, indigestion, irritable bowel syndrome, gastrointestinal infections and many other medical conditions.

What Are the Symptoms of Gastrointestinal Discomfort?

Gastrointestinal discomfort can present itself in a variety of ways and the symptoms will depend on the cause. Commonly reported symptoms of gastrointestinal discomfort include:

  • Nausea
  • Abdominal pain or cramping
  • Heartburn or acid reflux
  • Bloating or gas
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea or constipation
  • Loss of appetite

What Causes Gastrointestinal Discomfort?

The most common causes of gastrointestinal discomfort are food sensitivities, food allergies, indigestion, irritable bowel syndrome, gastrointestinal infections caused by bacteria or parasites, and other medical conditions such as Crohn's disease, ulcerative colitis, and celiac disease.

Gastrointestinal discomfort can also be caused by a number of lifestyle factors including stress, lack of exercise, and certain medications. Factors such as consumption of alcohol, caffeinated beverages, and tobacco can also contribute to gastrointestinal discomfort.

How Can Gastrointestinal Discomfort Be Treated?

Treatment for gastrointestinal discomfort will depend on the underlying cause. If you experience persistent symptoms of gastrointestinal discomfort it is recommended that you see your doctor for diagnosis. Your doctor will be able to recommend a course of treatment based on the cause of your discomfort.

In the meantime, there are lifestyle changes you can make to help relieve your symptoms. These include:

  • Avoiding known triggers such as specific foods or stress.
  • Eating smaller, more frequent meals.
  • Drinking plenty of fluids.
  • Increasing your exercise levels.
  • Getting enough rest.

When Should You See Your Doctor?

If you experience any of the following symptoms it is important to see your doctor:

  • Persistent vomiting.
  • Blood in your stools.
  • Unexplained weight loss.
  • Unexplained fever.
  • Abdominal pain that becomes worse over time.
  • Difficulty swallowing.
  • Pain that does not go away or is unrelieved by over-the-counter medications.

Your doctor will be able to provide an accurate diagnosis and recommend the most appropriate course of treatment.