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Gut Health 101: Common Gastrointestinal Conditions

  • Category: Wellness
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  • Written By: St. John's Health
Gut Health 101: Common Gastrointestinal Conditions

Have you been experiencing gastrointestinal discomfort? Bloating, cramping, gas, constipation or diarrhea? Often, patients have trouble differentiating between an upset stomach and a deeper issue. It could be something as simple as indigestion or something more serious, like a gastrointestinal disease.

If you repeatedly deal with stomach issues, read on to learn more about the following most common gastrointestinal (GI) diseases.

Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)

Irritable bowel syndrome, or IBS for short, is a gastrointestinal disorder that affects millions of people all over the world. It is characterized by abdominal pain, cramping, bloating, diarrhea and/or constipation.

IBS can be caused by a variety of things such as food sensitivities, stress and anxiety, hormonal changes, and even infections. While there is no definitive cure for IBS, there are treatments available that can help lessen the symptoms.

Chrohn's Disease

Chrohn's Disease is a gastrointestinal condition that can cause a wide range of symptoms, from mild to debilitating. It is estimated that up to 45 million Americans have the disease, which is caused by an abnormal response from the immune system.

Symptoms can vary widely from person to person but may include diarrhea, abdominal pain and cramping, nausea and vomiting, weight loss, and fatigue. There is no known cure for Chrohn's Disease, but treatment options are available to help control symptoms.

Ulcerative Colitis

Ulcerative colitis is a GI disease that causes inflammation and sores, called ulcers, in the lining of the rectum and colon. It is one of the most common inflammatory bowel diseases, affecting about 700,000 Americans.

Symptoms can vary but often include abdominal pain, diarrhea, and blood in the stool. Ulcerative colitis is caused by an overactive immune system that mistakenly attacks the cells in the digestive tract. There is no known cure for ulcerative colitis, but there are treatments available to help control symptoms.

When to Seek Care

It's important to see a doctor if you suspect that you may have a gastrointestinal disease. Your doctor can perform tests, such as a colonoscopy or blood work, to make a diagnosis. Treatment options vary from medication to dietary changes and even surgery in some cases.

Primary Care in Jackson Hole

Don't suffer in silence: seek help and get the treatment you need to have a happy, healthy gastrointestinal system.

From family medicine to specialty, our Primary Care Providers at St. John's Health are here to openly listen to your concerns and work with you to achieve better health and wellness. Visit our website to see the types of care we provide or to find a doctor today!