Intestinal illnessCramps, bloating, flatulence – gastrointestinal complaints can be very unpleasant. But how threatening they are to our health? We reveal which causes are behind which gastrointestinal symptoms and at what point you should take the pain seriously.
Abdominal cramps and digestive problems? We reveal, which disease patterns can hide behind it.
Abdominal pain, constipation or diarrhea are symptoms that everyone has experienced at some point. But are the gastrointestinal complaints harmless or is there something more serious behind it?? We reveal which typical gastrointestinal symptoms point to which causes and diseases.
Causes of gastrointestinal complaints: These diseases may be behind it
Reasons for gastrointestinal complaints are almost innumerable. Abdominal pain is a very unspecific symptom, which can be caused by various illnesses – from harmless to very serious. Here come the most common causes of gastrointestinal complaints:
The classic cause: gastrointestinal flu. If symptoms occur unexpectedly and suddenly and are manifested by nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and abdominal cramps, this is an indication of the flu. Especially if fever, weakness and dizziness also occur, it is easy to suspect a flu-like gastrointestinal infection. As a rule, the complaints subside after two to six days – nevertheless, as a precaution, have yourself checked out by a doctor.
Make sure you drink enough fluids and eat food that is easy on the stomach.
Intestinal complaints due to stress
Not for nothing do proverbs exist such as "That beats my stomach" or "This is hard on my stomach. Our digestive tract consists of sensitive organs that are closely connected to our emotions. Our stomach contains messenger substances that are also found in our brain – such as the happiness hormone serotonin.
When the autonomic nervous system is on strike, this quickly becomes noticeable in an unpleasant way in our gastrointestinal tract. This is where the important control center for respiration, circulation and digestion is located. Stress can throw the autonomic nervous system out of balance. If you notice digestive problems in stressful phases of life, try to find a balance where you can relax and take sufficient rest breaks.
Ulcers in the stomach and intestines are most noticeable through persistent pain, which tends to occur in connection with food or at night when fasting. If you also notice pitch-black stools or vomiting of blood or coffee grounds-like material, seek urgent medical attention.
Inflammation of the gastric mucosa (gastritis)
The most common cause of stomach pain is gastritis. This is the inflammation of the gastric mucosa. It is often caused by an unbalanced diet, resulting in an imbalance between acid production and acid protection in the stomach. Consequently, the stomach acid attacks the mucous membrane. Typical symptoms are nausea, vomiting, prere pain in the stomach area, feeling of prere in the upper abdomen.
As a rule, gastritis is not a cause for concern – however, it should not become chronic. Therefore, be careful not to consume excessive amounts of alcohol and nicotine, and eat a healthy and varied diet. If you still cannot notice any improvement, consult a doctor.
Irritable bowel syndrome and irritable stomach syndrome are common symptoms of gastrointestinal problems. About 30 to 50 percent of patients who consult a doctor for this reason are given this diagnosis. This is gastrointestinal discomfort that occurs for no apparent reason. If the doctor cannot detect any pathological changes in the organs, it is probably due to psychological causes or intolerances. However, the cause has not yet been clearly identified.
Crohn's disease/ulcerative colitis
These clinical pictures are chronic inflammatory bowel diseases. In this case, the intestinal mucosa is inflamed (ulcerative colitis) or even the entire intestinal wall (Crohn's disease). Affected people suffer severely from diarrhea or constipation, pain and cramps throughout the abdomen, and bloating. These complaints can be so painful that they severely restrict patients in their daily lives. In case of persistent problems, consult a doctor in any case.