Gastrointestinal diseases are actually quite common among Americans. According to GI Alliance, as between 60 and 70 million people in the U.S. deal with them every year, and some of them are more severe than others.

Our AFC Urgent Care Tyvola Road team provides other helpful information on GI disorders and diseases below, so keep reading to learn more!

How Does the Gastrointestinal System Work?

The gastrointestinal system runs from the mouth to the anus. When you eat or drink, digestion begins in your mouth, where saliva starts to break down food when you chew. When you swallow, it passes through the esophagus to the stomach, from the stomach to the small and large intestines, and then from the intestines to the rectum and anus.

Where a GI infection or disease occurs is when any part of the GI tract is irritated during digestion. If you experience stomach pain or any of the symptoms we’ve listed below, you’re likely dealing with a GI disorder of some sort.

Common GI Disease Symptoms

  • Abdominal discomfort (bloating, pain or cramps)
  • Unintentional weight loss
  • Vomiting and nausea
  • Acid reflux (heartburn)
  • Diarrhea, constipation (or sometimes both)
  • Fecal incontinence
  • Fatigue
  • Loss of appetite
  • Difficulty swallowing

Can I Treat GI Diseases at Home?

Not really. While there are things you can do to limit the severity of the symptoms you experience, which we’ve listed in the section below, you will typically need medical care and diagnosis to get to the bottom of a GI disease or illness.

If you are having stomach problems that are causing you to feel concerned, don’t hesitate to visit our AFC team to learn what your next steps should be!

General GI Care Tips

  • Rest and drink plenty of fluids.
  • Follow the BRAT diet—bananas, rice, applesauce and toast—all of which are easy on the stomach and beneficial in their own way. Additionally, avoid things like dairy, grease and spices, as they can aggravate your digestive system.
  • Take over-the-counter medications to ease symptoms (for example, laxatives for constipation).

Our AFC Urgent Care Tyvola Road team is here for you seven days a week! Don’t hesitate to visit us today.