Common GI Problems

Hugo M Toro, MD, PA -  - Board Certified Internal Medicine

Hugo M Toro, MD, PA

Board Certified Internal Medicine located in Katy, TX

Gastrointestinal (GI) problems like constipation, IBS (irritable bowel syndrome), and hemorrhoids are common conditions, and can all cause severe discomfort and inconvenience. If you have any of these or other common GI problems, Hugo M Toro, MD, PA, a board-certified internist, and his team can help. They can diagnose the cause of your GI symptoms and provide advice and support to help you make changes to your diet and lifestyle if needed. Call Dr. Toro’s practice in Katy, Texas, today to schedule a consultation.

Common GI Problems Q&A

What are the common GI problems?

GI (gastrointestinal) problems affect your digestive system. The most common types of GI problems are functional disorders, which means your GI tract looks healthy but isn’t working as it should. 

There are many reasons why your GI tract might not be working properly. Common causes of GI problems include:

  • Low fiber diet
  • Not enough exercise
  • Changes in routine
  • Dehydration
  • Overconsumption of dairy
  • Stress
  • Holding stools in
  • Overusing laxatives

Some medications can cause GI upsets as well, including antacids that have aluminum or calcium in them, iron pills, antidepressants, and powerful pain medications like codeine.

These are common causes of constipation, one of the most widespread GI problems.

What is constipation?

A very common GI problem, constipation means having bowel movements that are hard and often painful to pass. The stools may be smaller than usual or uncomfortably large, and you might have to strain to get them out.

The best way to prevent constipation is to eat a better diet with plenty of fiber and exercise regularly. Don’t hold bowel movements in, and make sure you drink plenty of water every day. 

If your medication is causing constipation, the team at Hugo M Toro, MD, PA, can look at alternatives.

What is irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)?

IBS causes belly pain and cramping, bloating, and gas. Your bowel habits change, too, so you might swap between having diarrhea and constipation, and find you have to rush to the toilet at short notice.

IBS seems to be a problem where the colon is overactive, so it contracts too much. You can manage IBS by making changes to your diet and avoiding any triggers like certain foods or stress. The team at Hugo M Toro, MD, PA, can help you manage your condition.

What are hemorrhoids?

Hemorrhoids are a kind of varicose vein on your anus (external hemorrhoids) or anal canal (internal hemorrhoids). 

The swollen veins develop because of excessive straining, for example, if you have chronic constipation or pressure from being pregnant or overweight. Chronic diarrhea can also lead to hemorrhoids.

Eating a healthier diet so you avoid constipation and diarrhea can help prevent hemorrhoids from developing. You should also avoid straining on the toilet. 

Hemorrhoids can clear up on their own, or with the use of topical creams. If yours persist, the team at Hugo M Toro, MD, PA, can remove the hemorrhoids or shrink them.

Most cases of rectal bleeding turn out to be due to hemorrhoids. However, if you see blood in the toilet bowl or when you wipe, you should visit Hugo M Toro, MD, PA. Rectal bleeding can sometimes be a sign of a more serious GI problem like inflammatory bowel disease or colorectal cancer.

If you have a common GI problem or need an examination to find out what is causing your troubles, call Hugo M Toro, MD, PA, today.

More Information

For more information about gastrointestinal conditions, Hugo Toro, MD, PA recommends the following sources: