Constipation, diarrhea, and gastrointestinal bleeding are common symptoms of gastrointestinal conditions and diseases, including anal fissures, inflammatory bowel diseases, celiac disease, or gastroenteritis. However, these symptoms could also cite other conditions completely unrelated to the digestive system.
While these conditions can prove overly uncomfortable, you do not need to worry since they are treatable.
Constipation, characterized by difficulty for the bowel to pass stools.
What Are the Symptoms of Chronic Constipation?
Constipation, is caused by:
- Inadequate fiber in one's diet, a disruption of your routine or diet
- Blocked colon or rectum
- Colon nerves dysfunction
- Certain medications
How is Chronic Constipation Diagnosed?
As a diagnosis, you are likely to strain when passing stool or have small, hard stools when constipating. You can also experience fissures or hemorrhoids.
How is Chronic Constipation Treated?
Constipation happens suddenly or chronically. You can treat these symptoms by adjusting your diet and lifestyle. If this fails, a
general surgeon may recommend:
- Fiber supplements
- Medication that increases lubrication within the intestines
- Surgery to correct anal fissures, rectocele, or anal stenosis
When you have diarrhea, your stool is loose and watery. Diarrhea is a common condition. Almost everyone is likely to experience it a few times a year, lasting between two and three days for sudden diarrhea or approximately three weeks for an acute one.
What are the Causes of Diarrhea?
Below are some conditions leading to diarrhea:
- Fructose and lactose intolerance
- Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
- Bacterial or viral infections
- Certain medications
- Food intolerance
- Alcohol abuse
- Some cancers
- Digestive system surgeries
- Radiation therapy
What Are the Symptoms of Diarrhea?
The symptoms of diarrhea vary from mild to severe. These are:
- Bloating in the stomach
- Loose or watery stools
- Sudden bowel movements
- Bloody stool
How Is Diarrhea Diagnosed?
Your doctor makes a physical examination based on your medical history, medications you are on, and diet to look for probable dehydration or stomach discomfort and pain. For chronic diarrhea, the doctor might carry further tests, including:
- Bloods tests
- Stool tests to examine for the presence of bacteria and parasites
- Colonoscopy and sigmoidoscopy
How Is Diarrhea Treated?
While there might not be a surgical procedure to treat diarrhea, liquid and tablet medications such as loperamide can help stop it. Antibiotics are also crucial in treating bacterial or parasitic infections. Finally, taking fluids and minerals by mouth or IV will also help recover from diarrhea.
Gastrointestinal (GI) Bleeding
This condition happens when you are bleeding within the digestive system. The blood in your excretions indicates where, within the digestive tract, the bleeding is happening.
What Causes of GI Bleeding?
Some common causes include:
- Ulceration or tumors within the digestive tract
- Esophageal varices
- Repeated vomiting
- Anti-inflammatory medications
- Liver disease
- Medical issues such as chronic renal and cardiac diseases
What Are the Symptoms of GI Bleeding?
The symptoms of GI bleeding vary depending on the severity and the source of blood. These symptoms will tell you that you have GI bleeding:
- Bloody stool (bright, red, burgundy, or black depending on severity)
- General weakness
- Bloody vomit
- Abdominal cramps
How Is GI Bleeding Diagnosed?
The first step is usually upper GI endoscopy to examine the upper gastrointestinal tract for potential bleeding. A
general surgeon can then conduct a colonoscopy if the source of blood is in the lower digestive tract. Suitable treatment methods are then made after determining the cause of bleeding.
How is GI Bleeding Treated?
- Laser treatment
- IV fluid administration
- Blood transfusion for severe bleeding
Surgery might be necessary if all the above treatment options fail. A general surgeon or physician can inject medication (angiography) or apply bands and clips to the affected areas to stop the bleeding.
Get a Consultation with General Surgeon Dr. Daniel Gay for Constipation, Diarrhea, and GI Bleeding
Constipation, diarrhea, and GI bleeding can be avoidable. If these symptoms are debilitating and are preventing you from living your best life,
contact Dr. Daniel Gay’s office today to schedule an appointment.