Certain gastrointestinal disorders can be life-threatening and require emergency treatment. For many people, emergency treatment involves surgery. Not all gastrointestinal disorders are treated with surgery (see Ileus). Abdominal surgery and drugs that interfere with bowel movements are a common cause.
The potential complications of digestive conditions depend on the underlying cause. The risk and severity of complications will vary depending on the condition. Chronic digestive diseases, such as Crohn's disease, can cause significant complications. However, even temporary digestive problems can make life miserable.
If you have a gastrointestinal problem, talk to your doctor about possible complications. Work with your doctor on a plan to prevent them. Also, find out what to consider when problems arise. You can then identify problems in time and seek effective treatment and symptom relief.
Digestive diseases are disorders of the digestive tract, which is sometimes referred to as the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. Celiac disease is an autoimmune disorder in which the small intestine is hypersensitive to gluten. Eating gluten causes the immune system to attack the small intestine and damage the villi. Difficulty or irregularity in evacuating stools is called constipation.
People with constipation often have small, dry, hard stools that can be difficult to evacuate. Dehydration, lack of dietary fiber, pregnancy, and inactivity are some of the common causes of constipation. Hemorrhoids occur when the veins surrounding the anal opening swell. They can be internal or external and may bleed during a bowel movement.
External hemorrhoids can become red, swollen, and itchy when they become inflamed. In contrast, internal hemorrhoids are not visible, but they can prolapse after defecating and cause extreme pain. Constipation or straining in the bathroom are a common cause of hemorrhoids. Diarrhea that lasts longer than two days is considered chronic.
It may be due to gastrointestinal disorders such as IBS and lactose intolerance. If it starts or worsens after eating gluten, it may also be due to celiac disease. Newborns with this rare gastrointestinal disorder have stomach swelling, constipation, vomiting, and an inability to defecate during the first two days of life. Later in life, symptoms progress to lack of appetite, watery stools, and diarrhea.