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Businessman holding his stomach in pain with  stomachache or indigestion

The gastrointestinal system is the group of organs that work together to digest food and eliminate waste from the body. The system includes the mouth, esophagus, stomach, small intestine, large intestine, rectum, and anus. Several health problems can occur in this system, which we’ll explore below.

What Are Structural Gastrointestinal Diseases?

Structural gastrointestinal diseases are disorders that affect the structure of the gastrointestinal tract. Structural gastrointestinal diseases are those where there is something unusual with the structure of an organ within the system, and it doesn’t work properly. It may require surgery to fix the problem.

What Are Functional Gastrointestinal Diseases?

Functional gastrointestinal diseases (FGIDs) are disorders affecting the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. There are many different types of FGIDs. Some more common ones include irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), functional dyspepsia, and functional constipation. 

FGIDs are often diagnosed based on symptoms. No one test can diagnose all FGIDs. The symptoms of functional gastrointestinal disorders vary depending on the type of disorder.

Common symptoms of functional gastrointestinal disorders include:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Bloating
  • Constipation
  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting

Some Gastrointestinal Disorders


Constipation is a condition in which a person has difficulty passing stools or has hard, dry stools. It can be caused by many different things, including a diet low in fiber, not drinking enough fluids, or a side effect of certain medications. Constipation can also be a symptom of other underlying medical conditions.

Treatment for constipation typically includes lifestyle changes, such as eating a high-fiber diet, drinking more fluids, and exercising regularly. In some cases, laxatives or other medications may be necessary.

Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a group of gastrointestinal disorders that affect the large intestine (colon). Symptoms of IBS include abdominal pain, bloating, gas, constipation, and diarrhea.

IBS is a chronic condition that can be difficult to manage. There is no cure for IBS, but there are treatments that can help relieve symptoms.

The exact cause of IBS is unknown, but it is thought to be related to a combination of factors, including psychological stress, diet, and gut bacteria.


Hemorrhoids are one of the most common and often painful conditions affecting the gastrointestinal tract. They are usually caused by straining during bowel movements, pregnancy, or childbirth. Hemorrhoids can be either internal (inside the rectum) or external (under the skin around the anus). They can be very painful and can sometimes bleed.

Depending on the severity of the condition, there are several different treatments for hemorrhoids. These include over-the-counter creams and ointments, sitz baths, and prescription medications. In some cases, surgery may be necessary to remove the hemorrhoids.


Treatment for structural gastrointestinal diseases often depends on the specific disorder. In some cases, surgery may be necessary to correct the problem. Other treatments may include medication, dietary changes, and lifestyle modifications. But if you need the best way to address the concern, integrative medicine may help. 

Integrative medicine can address structural gastrointestinal diseases by taking a holistic approach to treatment. This type of healing looks at the whole person, not just the condition, and tries to find the root cause of the problem. It can provide effective and long-lasting relief for those suffering from these diseases.

If you want a gut health test or learn how to improve your gut health, consult with us at Balanced Body Functional Medicine. Our clinic offers treatments that are tailored to each patient. When designing a treatment plan, we consider the person’s unique biology and lifestyle. This approach differs from traditional medicine, which often relies on a one-size-fits-all approach.

Ready to look and feel your best? Book a free consultation with Balanced Body Functional Medicine!

Kirista Berry

Author Kirista Berry

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