Functional Gastrointestinal disorder

Functional disorders can be defined as the health conditions in the GI or Gastrointestinal tract. They happen to be the most common issues that affect the GI tract (including both rectum and colon). IBS or Irritable Bowel syndrome and constipation are two common examples.

What can cause a functional GI Issue?

Several factors can upset a GI tract & its motility:-

  • Taking a diet with low fiber
  • Inadequate exercise
  • Overeating dairy products
  • Traveling or some other changes in routine
  • Stress
  • Resisting the need to have the bowel movements
  • Resisting the urge to have the bowel movements because of pain from the hemorrhoids
  • Taking the antacid medications comprising aluminum or calcium
  • Overusing laxatives which over time, do weaken our bowel muscles
  • Pregnancy
  • Taking some medicines such as iron pills, strong pain medicines, antidepressants

Constipation – Let’s discuss

Constipation makes it tough to have bowel movements or passing stool, they are not frequent (i.e. less than 3 times in a week) or incomplete. Constipation is generally caused by an inadequate ‘roughage’ or the fiber in the diet, or disruption of regular routine or a diet.

Constipation leads an individual to strain in during bowel movement. It can lead to small and hard stools & sometimes anal issues i.e. fissures & hemorrhoids. Constipation is rarely a sign of the more serious medical condition.

Treating constipation

  • We should Increase the amount of fiber we take
  • Exercise regularly
  • Moving our bowels when we have the urge (as resisting an urge would cause constipation)

IBS or Irritable bowel syndrome – Let’s discuss

Irritable bowel syndrome is also known as spastic colon, nervous stomach or irritable colon. It is a condition wherein which our colon muscle contracts more often than in individuals with no IBS. Certain medicines, foods & emotional stress are some factors which could trigger an IBS.

Symptoms of IBS are:-

  • Excess gas
  • Abdominal pain & cramps
  • Bloating
  • Alternating constipation & diarrhea
  • Change in the bowel habits i.e. harder, loose or more urgent stools as compared to normal