Gastrointestinal Overview
Table of Contents


    Gastrointestinal issues can wreak havoc on your life. From irritable bowel syndrome to heartburn and gas, these conditions can affect every aspect of your health, from eating to sleeping and exercising. If you find yourself putting life on hold to run to the bathroom, read on to discover available treatments. 

    Types of Gastrointestinal Issues

    Gastrointestinal problems are pretty much any imbalance of the digestive system. Because the digestive system includes the esophagus, stomach, and bowels, any problems that affect it can also create problems within other systems in the body. The most common types of gastrointestinal issues include:

    • Abdominal pain syndrome
    • Acid reflux
    • Biliary tract disorders
    • Constipation 
    • Diarrhea
    • Gallbladder disorders 
    • Gallstone pancreatitis
    • Gas
    • GERD
    • Heartburn
    • Hemorrhoids 
    • Indigestion
    • Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
    • Nausea
    • Peptic ulcer disease
    • Rectal issues
    • Vomiting

    Causes of Gastrointestinal Issues

    Sometimes a gastrointestinal issue is simply caused by something you eat. Food poisoning is a short-term condition that’s easily fixed. Unfortunately, most digestive problems are chronic conditions brought on by health issues totally unrelated to the food you eat (though, some are caused by food allergies and intolerances). The most common causes of gastrointestinal issues include:

    • Anxiety
    • Changes in routine
    • Depression
    • Low-fiber diets
    • Food allergies
    • Food intolerances
    • Genetic predispositions to diseases
    • Hemorrhoids
    • Holding bowel movements
    • Large amounts of dairy
    • Sedentary lifestyle
    • Opioid use
    • Overuse of antacid medicines
    • Overuse of laxatives
    • Pain medications
    • Pregnancy
    • Some antidepressants
    • Stress
    • Too much iron

    At-Home Gastrointestinal Treatments

    Most digestive chronic conditions can be treated through lifestyle changes, such as reducing stress, talking to a therapist, exercise, and avoiding trigger foods. Some doctors recommend these lifestyle changes before prescribing medications or recommending surgery. Just some of the at-home treatments for these conditions include:

    • Avoid common food allergens
    • Talk to your doctor about changing antidepressants or other prescription medications
    • Get checked for iron deficiencies
    • Avoid taking antacids and laxatives
    • Meditation or mindfulness training
    • Avoid large amounts of dairy
    • Try to get 30 minutes of exercise each day
    • Eat the recommended amount of fiber each day
    • Use an over-the-counter hemorrhoid medication
    • Reduce stress, anxiety, and depression through talk therapy and medication
    • CBD oil 

    Medical Gastrointestinal Treatments

    If your symptoms don’t go away with over-the-counter treatments and lifestyle changes, you’ll want to make an appointment with your online doctor to find out if there are any underlying issues. 

    Common medical treatments for gastrointestinal issues include:

    • Testing for cancers
    • Surgery
    • Pain medications
    • Fistula draining
    • Prescription medication

    If your wound doesn’t require emergency attention (but still looks somewhat serious), we recommend chatting with an online urgent care doctor. Instead of sitting for hours in a waiting room with sicker patients, you’ll get wound care from your own home.