Gastrointestinal insufficiency

What is Gastrointestinal Insufficiency?

Gastrointestinal (GI) insufficiency is a medical condition where the digestive system is not able to absorb and process nutrients adequately to maintain good health. This condition can be caused by a number of different factors, most commonly by certain types of infectious diseases such as Crohn’s disease, celiac disease, and some types of cancer.

Symptoms of Gastrointestinal Insufficiency

Common signs and symptoms of GI insufficiency can include:

  • Diarrhea
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Malnutrition
  • Fatigue
  • Abdominal pain
  • Heartburn
  • Bloating
  • Gas
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting

Diagnosis of Gastrointestinal Insufficiency

If your doctor feels like you might have GI insufficiency, they will likely first perform a physical exam, and they could order a number of tests, such as blood tests, stool tests, endoscopy, imaging tests, or biopsies. These tests will help them to determine the cause of the GI insufficiency and to determine the best treatment plan.

Treatment of Gastrointestinal Insufficiency

At this point, the treatment of GI insufficiency depends on the underlying cause. This could include changes in diet, medications to treat the underlying disease or disorder, or even surgery. If the cause is due to chronic conditions such as Crohn’s disease or celiac disease, the treatment may also include lifestyle changes.

Prevention of Gastrointestinal Insufficiency

While GI insufficiency cannot always be prevented, there are some steps that can be taken to lower the risk. These include limiting foods that trigger digestive symptoms, avoiding smoking and excessive alcohol intake, controlling chronic conditions such as diabetes, maintaining a healthy weight, exercising regularly, and eating a balanced diet.