The 5 Most Common Digestive Diseases & How They Are Treated



The top 5 digestive diseases are:

IBS: IBS, or Irritable Bowel Syndrome, is a gastrointestinal disorder that is technically a grouping of symptoms put together. It is diagnosed when an individual experiences symptoms such as abdominal pain, constipation, gas, bloating, and/or diarrhea that is recurring, often several times per month. Studies estimate that IBS affects roughly 10-15% of the U.S. population, and that women are twice as likely to be affected by IBS as men while under the age of 45. There is no standard diagnostic test for IBS. Treatment usually includes a combination of diet/nutritional changes, medication, use of probiotics, and even therapy for stress management.

Hemorrhoids: Hemorrhoids occur when hemorrhoidal veins become enlarged and/or swollen. They can be internal or external; external hemorrhoids look and feel like a protrusion located just outside of the anus. They are very common, particularly with women during pregnancy and delivery. Usually, hemorrhoids are simply uncomfortable and irritating to deal with, and luckily, there are several treatment options available. Treatment can include a higher intake of fiber, ointments, surgical options such as injection therapy, and a nonsurgical approach called hemorrhoid banding.

Gallstones: Gallstones or cholelithiasis are fluid deposits that harden and form into stones within the gallbladder. These deposits can be as tiny as a few grains of sand or as large as a golf ball; individuals can experience more than one gallstone at a time. Symptoms of gallstones are painful, with pain originating from the upper right abdomen and sometimes even from the upper back/shoulder area. This pain should be taken very seriously as gallstones can escalate into other complications. Treatment for gallstones is a Cholecystectomy, or the surgical removal of a person’s gallbladder.

Celiac Disease: Those who are diagnosed with celiac disease experience sensitivity to gluten. Gluten is a protein found in foods that are processed from wheat or grain – this includes a large amount of the foods found in grocery stores across the country. Symptoms of celiac disease include nausea, abdominal pain, diarrhea and bloating. Treatment options are simple in that a change in diet can often dramatically alter the quality of living for a person suffering from gluten sensitivity. Avoiding/cutting back on gluten is an excellent first step toward reducing celiac symptoms. Medication is also available when needed.

Acid Reflux: Acid reflux, also known as GERD occurs when liquid contents found in the stomach refluxes (regurgitates) up into the esophagus. When these contents include bile and acid, inflammation occurs and damages the esophagus’s lining. If left untreated, this damage can escalate into ulcers, scarring, and more. It is important to seek treatment for acid reflux, which tends to start with changes in diet, weight loss, medication, and keeping your head elevated while asleep. It’s essentially to talk to your doctor to determine if your acid reflux is chronic or intermittent.

Request an Appointment