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Gastroenterological diseases involve the organs of the gastrointestinal tract, starting from mouth to anus. These are of two types - structural and functional. Some examples of these diseases include food poisoning, nausea and vomiting, diarrhoea, and lactose intolerance.

Functional gastrointestinal diseases are ones in which the gastrointestinal tract appears normal when examined, but does not function properly. These are the commonest type of problems affecting the gastrointestinal tract. Irritable bowel syndrome, constipation, food poisoning, nausea, GERD, gas and bloating, and diarrhoea are some common examples of these diseases. Stop delaying medical care for digestive troubles. Consult our team to evaluate and diagnosis your digestive disorder.

Your GI tract and its motility can be upset due to many factors, including:

  • Not getting enough physical exercise.
  • Consuming a low-fibre diet.
  • Consuming large amounts of dairy products.
  • Travelling or other changes in routine.
  • Stress.
  • Resisting the urge to have bowel movements, possibly secondary to haemorrhoids.
  • Overuse of anti-diarrheal medications that weaken the motility of the bowel muscle movements over time.
  • Taking antacid medicines that contain aluminium or calcium.
  • Pregnancy.
  • Taking certain medications (especially iron pills, antidepressants, and strong pain medications like narcotics).

Structural gastrointestinal diseases are ones where the bowel appears abnormal upon examination and also does not function properly. The structural abnormality needs to be removed surgically sometimes. Stenosis, strictures, diverticular disease, haemorrhoids, colon cancer, colon polyps, and inflammatory bowel disease are common examples of such diseases.


Constipation is a functional gastrointestinal disease that makes it hard for you to pass stools, leading to infrequent or incomplete stools. The condition usually occurs due to inadequate fibre or “roughage” in the diet or a disruption of regular diet or routine. Due to constipation, your bowel movement may be strained. It may give rise to hard, small stools and sometimes anal problems such as haemophilia and fissures. It is rarely a sign of a more serious medical condition.

You can treat your constipation by:

  • Increasing the amount of water and fibre in your diet.
  • Exercising regularly while increasing the intensity of workouts as tolerated.
  • Going to the loo when you have the urge.

If these steps don’t work, you can start taking laxatives. You should, however, ensure that you are up to date with your colon cancer screening. Always follow the instructions on your laxatives and the advice of your doctor.

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)

Irritable bowel syndrome is also known as nervous stomach or irritable colon. It is a functional disorder where the muscles of your colon contract more or less often than those normally would. Certain medicines, foods, and stress can trigger irritable bowel syndrome.

Symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome include excess gas, abdominal pain and cramps, change in bowel habits such as looser, harder, or more urgent stools than normal, bloating, and alternating diarrhoea and constipation.

The treatment of irritable bowel syndrome includes increasing fibre in your diet, avoiding excessive caffeine, minimizing stress or learning different ways to cope with it, monitoring which foods trigger your irritable bowel syndrome, taking medications as prescribed by your doctor, getting high quality sleep or rest, and avoiding dehydration.


Haemorrhoids is a structural disease that is characterised by dilatation of veins in the anal canal. They are inflamed blood vessels that line the opening of the anal canal. They occur due to chronic excessive pressure caused by straining during a bowel movement, pregnancy, or persistent diarrhoea. Haemorrhoids are of two types - external and internal.

Internal haemorrhoids

Internal haemorrhoids affect the blood vessels lining the inside of the anal opening. They become irritated and start to bleed when they fall down into the anus due to straining. Internal haemorrhoids ultimately fall down enough to sink or prolapse out of the anus. The treatment for this condition includes improving bowel habits by not straining during bowel movements and avoiding constipation, use of ligating bands to eliminate the vessels, and surgical removal of haemorrhoids.

External haemorrhoids

External haemorrhoids affect veins that lie beneath the skin on the outside of the anus. The veins affected by external haemorrhoids sometimes burst after straining, resulting in the formation of blood clots beneath the skin. This condition is very painful and it is referred to as “pile”. Treatment for this condition includes clot and vein removal under local anaesthesia and removal of the haemorrhoids itself.

Anal fissures

Anal fissures are also structural abnormalities, characterised by cracks or splits in the lining of the opening of anal canal. The commonest cause of anal fissure is the passage of watery or very hard stools. The anal lining crack exposes the underlying muscles that control the passage of stool via the anus to the outside of the body.

An anal fissure is one of the most painful conditions as the exposed muscles get irritated from exposure to air or stools, resulting in intense bleeding, pain, or spasms after bowel movements. The initial treatment for anal fissures includes intake of dietary fibre so that the occurrence of large, bulky stools are reduced, pain medications, and sitz baths. If these treatments don’t relieve the symptoms, the sphincter muscle might need to be repaired surgically.

Perianal abscesses

Also a structural disease, perianal abscess can develop when the small glands of the anal canal opening on the inside of the anus get blocked and the bacteria present therein give rise to an infection. An abscess forms when pus develops. Treatment for perianal abscess includes drainage of the abscess under local anaesthesia.

Anal fistula

Anal fistula is also a structural disease that usually occurs after drainage of an abscess. It is an aberrant tube-like passageway that connects the anal canal to a hole in the skin surrounding the anus. Through this channel, body wastes going through the anal canal are diverted and passed to the skin causing irritation and itching. Fistulas also give rise to pain, drainage, and bleeding. They rarely resolve by themselves and generally require surgery directed at draining the abscess and closing off the fistula.

Other perianal infections

The skin glands surrounding the anus may become infected and require drainage sometimes, like in case of perianal infections. The abscesses that develop just behind the anus contain a small tuft of hair at the back of the pelvis. It is referred to as a pilonidal cyst. Sexually transmitted diseases affecting the anus include herpes, anal warts, gonorrhoea, AIDS.

Diverticular disease

Diverticulosis is a structural disease characterised by the presence of small diverticula or outpouchings in the muscular wall of the large intestine that develop in the weakened areas of the bowel. They generally develop in the sigmoid colon, the area of the lower large intestine with high pressure.

In about 10% of people with diverticulosis, complications of diverticular disease can develop. They include inflammation or infection, obstruction, and bleeding. Treatment of the condition includes treating constipation and sometimes prescribed antibiotics, if the condition is severe. The last option in people with significant complications is surgical intervention aimed at removing the involved diseased part of the colon.

Colon polyps and cancer

Every year lakhs of people in India are diagnosed with colon cancer, as it is one of the most common forms of malignancies affecting people in the country. Thankfully, due to advances in early detection and treatment of colon cancer, colorectal cancer is one of the most curable forms of the disease. Due to the available screening tests, it is possible to detect, prevent, and treat the disease long before the appearance of symptoms.

The importance of screening

Most cases of colorectal cancers start as polyps - non-cancerous growths involving the tissues lining the rectum and colon. When these polyps grow and start forming abnormal cells that invade the surrounding tissue, cancer develops. Polyp removal can prevent the development of colon cancer. Nearly all precancerous polyps can be painlessly resected with the help of a colonoscopy. If not treated in the early stages, colon cancer can spread to all of the body. More complicated surgeries are needed if the cancer is more advanced.

In most cases, the early forms of colon cancer do not give rise to symptoms, making screening very important. When symptoms develop, the cancer is usually already quite advanced. Symptoms include blood in stool or mixed with it, change in normal bowel habits, abdominal pain, constant tiredness, and weight loss.


Colitis is of several different types. It is a condition that causes bowel inflammation. These include ulcerative colitis, crohn’s disease, infectious colitis, radiation colitis, and ischaemic colitis. Colitis causes rectal bleeding, diarrhoea, abdominal cramps, and urgency. Its treatment depends on the diagnosis, which is established by biopsy and colonoscopy.

Other types of gastroenterological diseases include gastroenteritis, gastritis, celiac disease, gallstones, Crohn's disease, abdominal adhesions, Hirschsprung disease, lactose intolerance, faecal incontinence, intestinal pseudo-obstruction, appendicitis, indigestion (dyspepsia), pancreatitis, intestinal pseudo-obstruction, Whipple’s disease, short bowel syndrome, malabsorption syndromes, Zollinger-Ellison syndrome, and hepatitis.

Prevention of gastroenterological diseases

Many gastroenterological diseases can be prevented by maintaining a healthy lifestyle, getting regularly screened for cancer, and practising good bowel habits. For average risk patients at the age of 45, colonoscopy is recommended. If you have a family history of polyps or colorectal cancer, a colonoscopy may be recommended at a younger age. A colonoscopy is typically recommended at an age of ten years younger than the affected family member.

Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital, Indore, is one of the top multi-speciality hospitals in Indore. We are known as a premier healthcare facility in Indore and have a team of highly experienced and qualified team of medical professionals, including doctors, nurses, and allied staff. Our gastroenterology doctors are well known for their high quality medical care.

Our Department of Gastroenterology strives to offer ultimate primary healthcare by providing comprehensive clinical services. Our state-of-the-art healthcare facilities and advanced equipment aid our medical professionals deliver the most suitable treatment plans for patients of all age groups. The diagnostic centre at our medical facility is fully equipped, and we provide 24*7 ambulance and ICU services for patients who are suffering from serious ailments and are, therefore, non-ambulatory. Consult the best gastroenterology doctors in Indore to deliver ideal treatment plans at reasonable costs.