Gastrointestinal Diseases: Understanding the Symptoms, Causes, and Treatment Options

Indigestion is a common problem that most people experience from time to time. From eating spicy foods to food poisoning, these symptoms often flare up suddenly and then subside within a short period. However, when the stomach symptoms linger for weeks or even months, it could be a sign of gastrointestinal diseases. These digestive disorders can range from mild to severe and should be treated by a qualified medical professional.

Components of the Digestive Tract

The digestive process is an automatic process that breaks down the food into small parts so it can be used in a nutrient form within the body. The food enters the mouth and moves down the esophagus, where it reaches the stomach. Then the digestive process continues as the food particles move through the large and small intestines. The liver, gallbladder, and pancreas are also important elements that affect the function of the digestive tract.

Early Signs of Digestive Problems

Some people experience small digestive issues that increase in severity with time. In other cases, digestive discomfort happens quickly and stays consistent. Every person is unique, which is why the symptoms can vary from one person to the next.

The first signs of gastrointestinal issues often include one or more of these symptoms:

  • Nausea and/or vomiting
  • Pain in the abdominal area
  • Diarrhea
  • Constipation
  • Bloating
  • Bleeding
  • Incontinence
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Weight loss or gain

These symptoms might range from mild to serious, and could be caused by a range of digestive diseases. When the pain is severe and/or chronic, the best solution is to consult with an experienced gastrointestinal doctor for diagnosis and treatment.

Causes of Digestive Problems

It’s hard to identify the treatment for digestive issues without an accurate diagnosis. Identifying the cause of the symptoms is the first step in determining an effective treatment plan. Common digestive issues include:

  • Food allergies or sensitivities, such as lactose intolerance
  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Cancer
  • Gallstones or other types of gallbladder diseases, such as cholangitis or cholecystitis
  • Narrowing of the esophagus
  • Rectal problems, such as hemorrhoids or prolapse
  • Stomach issues, including ulcers and gastritis
  • Pancreatitis
  • Liver disease
  • Intestinal problems, such as polyps, infections, celiac disease, and Chron disease
  • Reflux issues (GERD)

Diagnostic tests might include an upper GI endoscopy, colonoscopy, ultrasound, or CT scan.

Is it Necessary to Visit the Nearest Urgent Care or ER?

Did you know that stomach pain is one of the most common reasons for visiting an emergency room? When the pain is severe, it can be hard to know what to do to manage the symptoms. Support from a medical team can offer a fast, effective way to identify why you are experiencing pain or discomfort.

If you have severe digestive problems, then it might be time to head to the nearest urgent care or ER. In most situations, digestive issues can be treated in an urgent care. It is important to consider both the severity and location of the pain when deciding on the type of medical care that is required:

  • Severity: If the pain is debilitating or extreme, then an ER visit might be a good idea. Measure your pain level by the way you can move. If you can’t stand up straight, then you need medical services as soon as possible. On the other hand, mild or moderate pain can be treated in an urgent care setting.
  • Location: The affected area could indicate the problem and treatment level that is required. When the pain is in the lower, right side of the abdomen, it could indicate appendicitis and need immediate treatment. General abdominal pain can be cared for at an urgent care facility.

Why iCare ER and Urgent Care?

One of the benefits of choosing iCare ER and Urgent Care is that we provide a full range of services all at one facility. The initial consultation will be used to determine whether Urgent Care or ER services are more appropriate for the level of care required. As a result, you will never pay ER prices if these emergency services aren’t necessary.

iCare ER and Urgent Care is here help.  Our urgent care is open 7am-8pm daily and Emergency services are offered 24/7.Our board-certified doctors are always on-site to provide the quality care you deserve. Learn more information about our convenient locations in Frisco & Fort Worth, TX here.