Gastrointestinal tract (GI tract)

When examined, some diseases show nothing wrong with the GI tract, but there are still symptoms. Other diseases have symptoms, and there are also visible irregularities in the GI tract. Most gastrointestinal diseases can be prevented and/or treated.

Many factors may upset your GI tract and its motility (ability to keep moving), including:

  • Anxiety and stree

  • Eating a diet low in fiber

  • Eating large amounts of dairy products

  • Not getting enough exercise

  • Resisting the urge to have a bowel movement

  • Traveling or other changes in routine

What are some symptoms

A woman’s unique experience of symptoms starts with the tongue and goes through the entire digestive tract. More women can be classified as “supertasters” – they are able to taste both bitter and sweet foods more strongly than men. They don’t need as much of the food to determine if the food is bitter or sweet. This increased sensitivity of the gut to different types of stimulation is seen throughout a woman’s GI tract. Normal women have been shown to be more sensitive to pressure from an inflated balloon placed in the esophagus (swallowing tube between the mouth and the stomach), small intestine, colon or large intestine, and rectum than men. Through each area of the digestive tract, we will talk about symptoms unique to women, their causes, risk factors, testing and treatment.

What are functional gastrointestinal diseases?

Functional diseases are those in which the GI tract looks normal when examined, but doesn’t move properly. They are the most common problems affecting the GI tract (including the colon and rectum). Constipation, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), nausea, food poisoning, gas, bloating, GERD and diarrhea are common examples.


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