Bleeding in the upper gastrointestinal tract is a common medical issue that physicians encounter frequently. Hematemesis is a frequent sign of this condition, characterized by vomiting blood or a substance like coffee grounds. The condition is also present with melena, i.e., black, tarry stools. In severe cases, the common symptom is hematochezia, i.e., rectal bleeding.

When a patient is suspected of having upper gastrointestinal tract bleeding, the initial examination consists of checking the patient’s blood pressure, searching for relevant risk factors, and determining the care. An endoscopic examination can be performed to determine the cause of the bleeding.

Today’s post presents the pathophysiology of GI bleeding and treatment options to manage the issue. So, continue reading to learn about GI bleeding pathophysiology.

Bleeding in Upper Gastrointestinal Tract

Bleeding in the upper gastrointestinal tract refers to bleeding that originates from the esophagus, stomach, or duodenum (small intestine). It is a common medical emergency with symptoms including anemia, blood or coffee-ground-like material vomiting, black tarry stools, and abdominal pain. Hypovolemic shock may occur in extreme circumstances, resulting in organ failure and death.

Pathophysiology of GI Bleeding

Bleeding in the upper gastrointestinal tract is caused by various disorders, including peptic ulcers, gastritis, diverticulitis, and malignancy. The pathophysiology of gastrointestinal (GI) bleeding involves disrupting the blood arteries that supply the GI tract, resulting in bleeding.

Conditions that are associated with the pathophysiology of GI bleeds are discussed below:

The majority of GI bleeds are caused by stomach and duodenal ulcers. Persons with peptic ulcers exhibit bleeding in the upper gastrointestinal tract as their primary symptom. Duodenal ulcers are four times as likely than stomach ulcers to cause bleeding. The proximity of posterior duodenal ulcers to GDA branches makes them more likely to hemorrhage than other duodenal ulcers.

Helicobacter pylori are responsible for the majority of cases of peptic ulcers. H. pylori is frequently associated with persistent and long-term bleeding in the upper gastrointestinal tract. Long-term usage of over-the-counter medications and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) can also induce peptic ulcers. New medications, such as H2 blockers and proton pump inhibitors, which prevent the body from producing acid, have significantly advanced the treatment for peptic ulcers. However, these individuals are more likely to experience rebound or an increase in acid secretion after abruptly discontinuing the medication. Thus, it is essential to inquire about medical history.

Stress ulcers can result in multisystem trauma, hypotension, respiratory failure, sepsis, and jaundice. It may be caused by bile reflux, which damages the stomach’s protective barrier, or by splanchnic vasoconstriction, which restricts blood supply to the liver. Acute gastroduodenal lesions may result from a shock, an infection, surgery, trauma, burns, or a brain condition that leads to GI bleeding.

One-third of all upper GI bleeding is caused by diffuse gastritis. The condition is characterized by several erosions, with the majority occurring in the fundus and body of the stomach. NSAIDs, alcohol, and steroids increase the likelihood of bruising since they are detrimental to the stomach lining. H. pylori is also associated with slow, protracted bleeding.

Varices are enlarged veins in the submucosa caused by increased pressure in the portal vein. Varix ulceration, which can be brought on by reflux esophagitis or increased pressure within varix, is the initial stage in the path to variceal bleeding. Variceal bleeding is responsible for upper gastrointestinal bleeding in cirrhosis and portal hypertension patients. These bleeds pose a threat to the patient’s life. Patients with liver illness produce fewer clotting factors, which increases the likelihood that bleeding will cause complications. Knowing the severity of liver illness is crucial to provide better care.

Dieulafoy’s lesions are large, intertwining blood arterioles in the submucosa of the stomach. Most lesions occur in the fundus and body of the stomach, along the stomach’s slight curve. Since there is a hole in the gastric mucosa, Dieulafoy’s lesions induce bleeding. This hole results from pressure exerted by the bulging and pulsing arteriole.

Both malignant and benign cancers of the upper gastrointestinal tract can produce bleeding. Neoplasms are known to induce light and consistent bleeding, and patients frequently exhibit symptoms of anemia. Endoscopy and biopsies are typically used to determine what is wrong with these tumors.

Aortoenteric fistulas occur when a prosthetic graft in a patient who has had aortic repair degrades into the intestine due to an infection surrounding the graft. An abdominal aortic aneurysm pressing against the colon caused the bleeding. Patients frequently experience a little bleed that resolves on its own, followed by a massive bleed that causes their blood pressure to drop rapidly and need immediate medical attention.

Gastrointestinal Disorders

Managing GI Bleed Pathophysiology

The treatment of GI bleed is based on the bleeding severity and the underlying cause. The initial evaluation consists of a comprehensive patient history, physical examination, and diagnostic tests to identify blood loss and the patient’s overall health status. Diagnostic imaging techniques such as upper gastrointestinal endoscopy, colonoscopy, and radiographic examinations may be performed to determine the source of bleeding.

The following steps may be used to manage GI bleed pathophysiology:

GI bleed management necessitates a multidisciplinary strategy comprising gastroenterologists, surgeons, and critical care specialists to maximize outcomes and reduce complications.

See Also: Stomach Flu vs. Food Poisoning: Symptoms and Causes


Bleeding in the upper gastrointestinal tract is a medical emergency that, if not treated quickly, might be fatal. The blood arteries supplying the esophagus, stomach, and duodenum are damaged in the pathophysiology of upper GI bleeding, which results in hemorrhage.

A multidisciplinary strategy is used to treat upper GI bleeding, including resuscitation, locating the cause, and administering the proper medications. For identifying and treating upper GI bleeding, endoscopy is frequently the first line of treatment; however, in more serious situations, angiography, embolization, or surgery may be necessary.

Patients with upper GI bleeding receive comprehensive care from GI specialists at Family Medicine Austin. Many occurrences of upper GI bleeding can be successfully treated, and the risk of consequences is reduced with prompt diagnosis and therapy.

Get medical help immediately if you or a loved one exhibits upper GI bleeding symptoms. Contact us for an assessment and treatment. You can regain your health and avoid more issues with the appropriate therapy.

Family Medicine Austin

Urinary tract infections, or UTIs, are extremely prevalent disorders that can afflict men and women of any age but are more prevalent in women. Infections can affect the bladder, the kidneys, or any other portion of the urinary tract. Pyelonephritis is a kidney infection that can be extremely serious and even fatal.

Due to the proximity of the lower urinary system and the lower digestive tract, the same issue could affect both. This could result in symptoms such as diarrhea, which indicates an infection in the intestines, and frequent, painful urination, which indicates a UTI or bladder infection. However, an issue in one tract triggers a problem in the other, resulting in the patient experiencing symptoms in both tracts simultaneously. It leads the patients to wonder: can UTI cause diarrhea?

Today’s post is all about diarrhea and UTI. This post will answer the main question: can a UTI cause diarrhea? Keep reading to find the link between diarrhea and UTI, the causes, symptoms, and treatment options.

Diarrhea and UTI

UTIs are prevalent (especially in females). 90% of UTIs manifest as acute cystitis (urinary bladder inflammation). Complex UTIs, a more serious kind of UTI in which the infection travels to the kidneys or bloodstream, can occur in some individuals. When a UTI is complicated, the symptoms tend to be more severe, and the digestive tract may become involved, resulting in diarrhea. A complex UTI induces diarrhea or loose stools. The term complicated UTI indicates that the infection has spread outside the urine bladder. When bacteria enter the kidneys or the circulatory system, they might produce other symptoms, including nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, or loose stools.

The digestive and urinary systems are intricately related, particularly where the bladder meets the colon and rectum. Consequently, an inflammatory process in the bladder will directly damage these structures. The heat produced by the inflammatory process speeds up intestinal motility at contact areas. Inflammatory mediators released in the urinary system move to the digestive tract via shared blood pools in the region. In either situation, the effect will be increased fluid and movement in the intestines, resulting in diarrhea. Nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea are symptoms of systemic distress when the kidneys are affected.

Causes and Symptoms

Diarrhea is a common symptom that is frequently caused by digestive tract issues. Sometimes it occurs for reasons unrelated to digestion, and sometimes it seems to occur for no apparent reason. The most common form of diarrhea is acute diarrhea. It begins rapidly, worsens rapidly, and is brief. People with diarrhea frequently exhibit additional signs and symptoms, such as abdominal cramps or pain, excessive gas, and a sense of fullness.

A UTI can result in burning or painful urination, a frequent need to urinate, and pain in the lower abdomen and pelvic regions. There is also a pungent urine odor when the person has a UTI. Most UTIs are ascending infections, which begin in the urethra and progress to the bladder. It can extend to the kidney, causing flank pain and other symptoms.

UTI Specialist

Appetite loss, nausea, and vomiting also indicate UTIs and diarrheal diseases. When you have diarrhea, you may feel nauseous and vomit. Both UTIs and infectious diarrhea can cause fever. In extreme cases, there is a possibility that the individual will get dehydrated or develop septicemia. In some instances, additional signs and symptoms may manifest. Both septicemia and extreme dehydration are medical emergencies that must be treated immediately.

Can UTI Cause Diarrhea

A UTI can cause diarrhea if the chemicals that induce inflammation in the infected portion of the urinary system impact the colon. These substances may result in pain and increase colonic activity, resulting in diarrhea.

UTI itself cannot cause diarrhea. However, as a potential adverse effect of treating a UTI, you may experience diarrhea or loose stools. In most cases, antibiotics are the initial treatment for UTIs. People with a UTI may be prescribed additional medications, including nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), which have been associated with diarrhea. These drugs can produce diarrhea or loose stools in numerous ways, including direct irritant effects and intestinal microbiota imbalance—most people who get diarrhea due to a medicine experience mild symptoms that resolve on their own.

Treatment Options for Diarrhea and UTI

If the same underlying issue causes diarrhea and UTI, the same medication may treat both conditions. However, this is not the case, as always. Diarrhea and a UTI can be treated separately yet simultaneously. Typically, diarrhea is a short-term condition requiring only supportive care or sometimes none. Rest, drinks, and a bland diet are all that are necessary for the treatment of diarrhea.

Since bacteria cause the majority of UTIs, antibiotics are frequently used to treat them. Antibiotics can also be administered to those who have diarrhea due to a bacterial infection. You may require probiotics to restore normal intestinal flora (naturally occurring bowel microbes).

UTIs can cause fluid and electrolyte loss due to frequent urination and diarrhea. This could result in dehydration. Therefore, it is essential to consume enough water to remain hydrated. It involves taking oral rehydrating solutions (ORS). Oral hydration is not an option if the patient’s condition requires intravenous fluid administration. Always consult a doctor if you have diarrhea and a UTI so that both problems may be adequately treated and cared for and grave consequences can be prevented.

Problems, some of which may be life-threatening, can be prevented with prompt and effective treatment. It is crucial to rapidly identify the cause of the illness and treat it with the appropriate medications.

A person with a UTI can experience diarrhea due to the infection spreading to the gastrointestinal tract, but diarrhea is not a common symptom of a UTI. UTIs typically affect the urinary system, consisting of the kidneys, bladder, ureters, and urethra. If a person has a UTI and diarrhea, they must see a doctor for an accurate diagnosis and treatment. In addition to prescribing antibiotics to treat the UTI, the physician may suggest additional diarrhea treatment. Occasionally, diarrhea may be caused by a separate gastrointestinal issue unrelated to a UTI.

See Also: Bladder infection vs. UTI: What’s the difference?


UTI impacts the kidneys, bladder, ureters, and urethra. Diarrhea is not a typical symptom of a UTI, but an infected urinary tract could spread to the gastrointestinal tract and kidney, causing diarrhea. Kidney infections that are not treated result in grave consequences, including diarrhea, flank pain, and septicemia. An uncomplicated UTI can cause diarrhea. It is also possible that a person’s diarrhea is caused by a particular gastrointestinal condition unrelated to a UTI. Consult a physician for a proper diagnosis if you suspect you have an infection and are also experiencing diarrhea.

At Family Medicine Austin, our team of medical experts is committed to providing comprehensive, individualized care to all our patients. We are here to help you recover and return to your normal life. We will work with you to correctly identify and treat your diarrhea and UTI-related symptoms. So, do not ignore your health problems and schedule an appointment today.

Family Medicine Austin

You’re sick to your stomach as another wave of nausea sweeps over you, forcing you to use the restroom for the fourth time in an hour. When your stomach hurts, you likely pay little attention to why you need to use the restroom. You only worry about regaining your health. But where does the trouble come from? Two possible causes are food poisoning and the stomach bug, which is also called the stomach flu. Knowing if you have food poisoning or the stomach flu can help you determine what to do. So, knowing everything about stomach flu vs. food poisoning is important.

Distinguishing the two might be difficult as the symptoms are identical. Both of these can cause symptoms like nausea and diarrhea. Similarly, the causes of these two conditions could not be more different. Food containing hazardous organisms such as bacteria, viruses, or parasites can cause food poisoning. The virus causes stomach flu or viral gastroenteritis.

This article discusses stomach flu vs. food poisoning, including its symptoms, causes, diagnostic tests, and treatments.

Stomach Flu vs. Food Poisoning

In the following sections, let’s take a closer look into the causes, symptoms, and treatment of the two ailments.

Stomach Flu vs. food poisoning: Symptoms

The symptoms of both ailments, i.e., food poisoning and stomach flu, are similar, so it is essential to distinguish between them. The most significant distinction between a stomach bug and food poisoning is their onset:

The following table illustrates the symptoms of food poisoning vs. stomach flu:

Food Poisoning

Stomach Flu

Vomiting and nausea

Vomiting and nausea

Stomach pain and cramps

Stomach pain and cramps

Diarrhea (watery, bloody, or mucous-like)

Diarrhea (watery)


Fever and chills


Headaches and muscle aches

Food poisoning symptoms appear and disappear more quickly than the stomach flu. Although gastrointestinal symptoms typically last for two days, they might occasionally persist for longer. In contrast, the effects of food poisoning leave the body much more quickly.

Stomach Flu vs. food poisoning: Causes and Transmission

A virus causes stomach flu, most frequently norovirus, rotavirus, or adenovirus, and up to 21 million Americans contract it annually. Typically, the virus is transmitted by consuming contaminated food or liquids, touching contaminated surfaces and then bringing one’s hand to one’s mouth, or exchanging utensils with an infected person.

Infections caused by rotavirus and norovirus can rapidly spread stomach illness. The peak season for the infection in the US is October to April. Since the most common route to contract the virus is through contact with an infected individual, avoiding the contact is crucial. You can contract the virus by touching an object or surface someone infected has already touched.

Food poisoning refers to a collection of diseases that bacteria, viruses, or parasites can cause. Each year, over 48 million people in the US become unwell due to food poisoning caused by bacteria. Food poisoning typically occurs in one of two ways: when organisms from raw or undercooked meals cross-contaminate other foods or when an individual consumes raw or undercooked foods directly.

Anyone at any age can contract food poisoning, but infants, children, and the elderly are most susceptible. If you visit a less developed nation, you are more likely to become ill from the food there. It is important to consume fully-cooked meat, fish, and eggs, as well as water from a trustworthy source.

Gastrointestinal Disorders

Stomach Flu vs. food poisoning: Diagnosis and Treatment

The diagnosis of a stomach bug is based on the presenting symptoms. Stool tests can be used to determine if a person has rotavirus. Blood and imaging tests will be performed if another disease or health issue is suspected. Similarly, the diagnosis of food poisoning also includes taking a medical history, including the symptoms investigation and the previously eaten food.

Stomach flu vs. food poisoning treatment is quite similar. Suppose the virus that caused stomach flu is still active in your body. In that case, the most effective treatment is to drink extra fluids, balance electrolytes, rest as much as possible, and take over-the-counter fever-reducing medications. Most cases of stomach flu resolve within a few days; however, some individuals may experience symptoms for 10 days or longer.

Therapies for food poisoning rely on the organism that caused the illness and the severity of the symptoms. Food poisoning can continue for a few days, although most patients recover independently within a few days. To manage this condition, a physician can prescribe antibiotics and instruct the patient to consume extra fluids and electrolytes. In addition, some parasites transmitted by food can be treated with antiparasitic medications.

A Quick Recap of Food Poisoning vs. Stomach Flu

The below table presents important information for both ailments in a nutshell. Let’s take a glance at it and find out if it is either a stomach bug or food poisoning:


Stomach Bug

Food Poisoning

Symptoms ·       Vomiting and nausea

·       Stomach pain and cramps

·       Diarrhea (watery)

·       Fever and chills

·       Headaches and muscle aches

·       Vomiting and nausea

·       Stomach pain and cramps

·       Diarrhea (watery, bloody, or mucous-like)

·       Fever

·       Weakness

Onset of symptoms Symptoms appear after 2 days of the virus incubation period Symptoms appear on the same day of consuming contaminated food
How long do symptoms last? Symptoms last for a longer period Symptoms last for 1-2 days



Bacteria, viruses, or parasite

See Also: What Does A Gastroenterologist (GI) Do


When it comes to stomach flu vs. food poisoning, both cause nausea and vomiting, but they are two different conditions. Food poisoning is more prevalent than the stomach flu. Food poisoning occurs after consuming contaminated food that contains pathogens, parasites, or toxins. The norovirus causes most cases of stomach flu (viral gastroenteritis). Usually, all required to manage either illness at home is to remain hydrated, take medications, and get plenty of rest. By practicing proper hygiene and ensuring that food is prepared and served in a clean environment, you may prevent stomach bugs or food poisoning.

You should consult your primary care physician if your symptoms are severe or have persisted for an extended time. Your health is dependent on how effectively you maintain your digestive system.

Gastrointestinal (GI) doctors at Family Medicine Austin have access to many testing technologies, allowing them to diagnose GI-related disorders accurately. Our highly trained gastroenterologists utilize several blood tests and imaging techniques to rule out the most likely causes of the symptoms and determine what’s going on internally. Consult with a staff member by calling our offices or scheduling an online appointment immediately.

Family Medicine Austin

The field of medicine known as gastroenterology concentrates on the liver and digestive system’s (GI tract) overall health. A range of morbidities from irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) to hepatitis C can be treated by gastroenterologists. These gastroenterologists also do common procedures like colonoscopies, which allow you to see within your colon. After medical school, they receive specialized training for 5–6 years.

What does a gastroenterologist actually do?

GI disorders are generally diagnosed and treated by gastroenterologists (or GI doctors). Your primary care physician would probably advise you to visit a GI doctor to undergo a thorough evaluation of the problem if they discover something wrong with your GI tract. Endoscopic operations are carried out by gastroenterologists, who employ specialized tools to see the GI system and make diagnoses. Although they occasionally collaborate closely with GI surgeons, they do not undertake surgery themselves. Their primary places of employment are clinics and hospitals.

Most treatments involve taking either short- or long-term medications. However, if surgery is necessary, gastroenterologists may send the patient to a gastrointestinal surgeon. Endoscopy is one of the main procedures that a gastroenterologist does. It makes use of tiny, flexible tubes that may be introduced into the intestines and have a built-in video camera. This aids in the diagnosis of intestinal problems by enabling the clinician to examine the inside of the tract. Also, a gastrointestinal doctor does a colonoscopy to look for any polyps present or trace cancer cells in the colon.

Gastrointestinal Disorders

To determine whether a patient has a digestive condition, the following non-surgical techniques might be used:

When to visit a gastroenterologist?

You may visit a GI doctor if you have issues with your health in the following areas so he would do multiple tests for:

Your primary care physician could also suggest you to see a gastroenterologist if you feel any difficulty with:

There could be insignificant health issues or symptoms of something more serious for which a GI doctor can do several interventions. Gastroenterologists can accurately diagnose you using their knowledge and tools. They treat a variety of illnesses and disorders, such as:

Gastroenterologists are learnt to carry out several procedures to have a thorough understanding of how food normally moves through the stomach and intestines, how nutrients are absorbed, how waste is eliminated from the body, and how the liver aids in the digestive process. Although the mouth is part of the GI system, gastroenterologists do not necessarily look into this region. Rather, dentists and dental experts concentrate on maintaining good oral health. Proctologists, who are experts in treating conditions of the rectum and anus, are distinct from gastroenterologists in another way.

What is a GI doctor and gastroenterology?

Gastroenterologists, sometimes known as “GI physicians,” are specialists in the digestive system’s function and treat disorders and illnesses of the digestive system. They are qualified to handle more than merely treating issues. They can also assist adults and kids in learning what has to be done to maintain a healthy system.

You may learn more about the training GI physicians get, what they perform, why you might be sent to one, and what to anticipate in terms of care by reading the material provided below.

The GI tract is the focus of the specialist field of medicine known as gastroenterology. Some gastroenterologists specialize on treating GI general conditions. Others concentrate on a specific branch of gastroenterology. Every hepatologist must be board-certified in both internal medicine and gastroenterology. Hepatologists are specialists in the diagnosis and treatment of illnesses of the liver, gallbladder, bile tree, and pancreas.

Qualification and prerequisites of a GI doctor:

The standard stages toward becoming a gastroenterologist are:

When you should visit a GI doctor?

You could be referred to a gastroenterologist by your primary care physician if you:

See Also: Autism Spectrum Disorder and Gastrointestinal Issues

Lesson to take away:

Gastroenterologists are experts in digestive problems including IBS, ulcers, polyps, and persistent heartburn. These doctors have completed three years of medical school in addition to an extra five to six years of training.  Gastroenterologists typically do not undertake operations, but they may diagnose and treat a variety of GI disorders with the aid of endoscopic treatments.

If your primary care doctor notices that your digestion is compromised, if you have stomach pain, or if certain blood tests reveal increased levels, they will probably advise you to see a gastroenterologist.

Family Medicine Austin

In the United States, ASD is more likely to develop in children; 1 in 68 children have autism spectrum disorders. This neurodevelopmental disease, which is characterized by social impairments and frequently comes with repeated behaviors, is riddled with unanswered questions. Despite the frequency of ASD and the abundance of study, the reasons remain poorly understood.

Although ASD predominantly affects the brain, connections with other systems have emerged in recent years. In particular, gastrointestinal (GI) problems and ASD are directly proportional that appear to affect people with ASD more frequently than the general population. According to one study, children with ASD were six to eight times more likely to experience GI symptoms such bloating, constipation, and diarrhea than children who were normally developing.

According to the experts, people with ASD who have GI issues are more likely to develop ASD symptoms that are more severe. Additionally, addressing the GI problems might occasionally alleviate the social and behavioral symptoms of ASD. To assist you in considering a nutritious diet for ASD related GI issues, you may choose to discuss with a nutritionist. Many people cut out gluten and casein from their diets, but it is crucial to switch out these items with nutritious ones, especially fruits and vegetables. You may also opt for a nutritional supplement, but it is considered more crucial to sustain good eating habits, which frequently calls for a behavior therapist’s help.

Understanding the correlation of ASD and GI issues:

Clinicians often identify autism as a developmental disorder based on behavioral and academic abnormalities observed in young children. There are related conditions that may be causally connected when the condition is explored further. In comparison to the general population, people with autism are more likely to experience digestive and gastrointestinal issues. Also, people with autism spectrum disorders have between 9% and 70% greater gastrointestinal problems than neurotypical individuals.

Gastrointestinal Disorders

There is a higher likelihood of gastrointestinal issues in people with autism, such as;

Moreover, according to the experts, 23% of 340 autistic children reported feeling queasy, while 23% of children with autism reported having diarrhea. 65% of autistic children reported constipation. This is to note that people with autism are more prone to have the following symptoms of various conditions:

Having a doctor’s assistance is necessary to manage ASD and GI symptoms. Medications, whether over-the-counter or prescribed, they frequently contribute in the treatment of pain and bloating of GI issues.

Prior to the diagnosis of gastrointestinal distress, those who struggle with it may exhibit irritability, aggressiveness, difficulty sleeping, hyperactivity, inattentiveness, and eating issues, such as food rejection or aversion. Even when a person is receiving the proper behavior treatment, internalizing and externalizing issue behaviors might both indicate that they are distressed and require medical intervention.

Signs that indicate you may be suffering from GI issues alongside ASD:

It is crucial to comprehend how gastrointestinal issues influence your behavior. Children on the autistic spectrum who also experienced nausea found to be 11% more likely to engage in violent behaviors. Additionally, it was discovered that upper gastrointestinal problems were more likely to cause aggressive behaviors. Between the ages of 6 and 18, people were more likely to have lower gastrointestinal pain like constipation or diarrhea as a result of anxiety.

There are multiple studies evaluating frequency of gastrointestinal disturbance and autistic symptom severity. Compared to people with autism who did not experience these symptoms, experts discovered that stomach discomfort, bloating and gas, constipation, diarrhea, and pain during bowel movements were connected with greater irritability, social disengagement, stereotypy, and hyperactivity.

People possess autistic spectrum who may find it confusing to express their pain or discomfort, or children who may have trouble forming complex words, or who may not be able to speak at all, may have trouble communicating their suffering. In that case, having digestive issues but is unable to recognize with certainty, look for the following signs:

Blended treatment approach for GI issues with ASD:

Your may acquire the diagnosis that required so that you can start therapy by working with your physician and behavior therapist. One strategy that many parents use is to change diet, frequently by eliminating casein (a dairy protein) and gluten (a wheat protein), which are frequently included in common diet, especially when it comes to a child. Changing the diet should enable you to encourage them to consume a larger range of healthful foods, specifically fruits and vegetables.

Some people supplement their diets to ensure that they receive the proper nutrition; however it is more crucial to work with a behavior therapist to treat food aversion so that you and your children can consume a larger range of nutritious foods.

In ASD in relation to GI issues, if young people suffer from a more critical underlying condition, such as diverticulitis or Crohn’s disease, it may be necessary to use prescription drugs or perhaps outpatient surgery. Working with your physician ensures that they receive the correct diagnosis. Elimination diets might be useful in identifying dietary sensitivities. Working with a behavior therapist to handle these transitions is crucial for them who struggle with eating and mealtimes.

Continues monitoring of ASD along with GI symptoms:

More research is required to comprehend the gut-brain connection in the context of ASD along with GI disorders, how it affects the symptoms of inflammatory or digestive conditions, and how the two interact. Food digestion issues may exacerbate the symptoms of other illnesses that co-occur with autism, such as allergies, immune system issues, difficulties falling asleep, and mood disorders. Clinicians should be aware that people with autism are more likely to develop these digestive disorders, so screening for issues like constipation or diarrhea, mood disorders, and sleep difficulties, can help them receive treatment on an early basis.

See Also: Gastrointestinal and Stomach Issues After Covid-19: What to Know and Expect.

Behavior therapy is the most effective treatment for autism, so your behavior therapist may see changes in your symptoms and formulate the treatment plan accordingly. Discussing new symptoms will help you determine which therapeutic modalities are effective and which are not. By continuous observation and maintaining of medical record, you may adjust your approach to digestive issues related with ASD in the same manner that you modify your approach to behavioral challenges.

Family Medicine Austin

It is very common for people to go through some bowel pain or discomfort. In some cases, this could be something as common as a gluten or lactose intolerance to something a bit more concerning, such as inflammatory or irritable bowel disease. Ulcerative colitis, an example of inflammatory bowel disease, presents with classic IBD symptoms of bloody diarrhea and rectal discomfort.

In mild cases of the above-mentioned conditions, the inflammation can be drastically reduced by adding or removing specific foods from one’s diet. Consuming a diet rich in probiotics, such as yogurt, works to greatly control or reduce ulcerative colitis stool symptoms.

What Is Ulcerative Colitis?

Ulcerative colitis is an inflammatory bowel disease, which occurs as a result of inflammation of the inner lining of the large intestine and rectum. Inflammatory bowel disease is an umbrella term for the two conditions that arise from inflammation of the gut wall, Crohn’s disease, and ulcerative colitis. The most common characterization of this disease is bloody diarrhea and abdominal or rectal pain.

While some people can figure out which foods are helping or worsening their state, most may be unable to do so on their own. It is important to share your medical records with a doctor who may be able to assist you in determining the foods that work best for you and the ones that cause inflammation in your rectum.

Types of Ulcerative Colitis

The inflammation in ulcerative colitis begins in the rectum, an area close to the anus, and moves upwards to inflame the colon. In some cases, a portion closest to the rectum is affected, while in others, the entire length of the colon may be inflamed. This branch of inflammatory bowel disease is categorized into different types based on the part of the colon affected by the spreading inflammation.

Gastrointestinal Disorders

Ulcerative Proctitis

Inflammation begins in and stays limited to the rectum. In most cases, it does not spread to the colon at all, while in other less occasional cases, it may spread to the lowest part of the colon, the one nearest to the rectum.

Ulcerative Pancolitis

Inflammation begins in the rectum and spreads to the entire length of the colon.

Ulcerative Distal Colitis

Inflammation of the rectum and only the left part of the colon. Since the spread of inflammation is limited to one portion of the colon, this is also known as ulcerative limited colitis.

The colon and rectum don’t need to be inflamed to the same degree. In most cases, the amount of inflammation in the rectum (small area close to the anus) is more severe than the inflammation in any or all parts of the colon.

Colitis Infection vs. Ulcerative Colitis

Colitis is a medical term used for an inflamed or irritated colon. Someone with colitis infection has inflammation in their colon due to bacterial or viral infection. On the other hand, ulcerative means anything characterized by an ulcer or ulceration. Hence, ulcerative colitis is rather a product of an ulcer in the gut, than of an infection.

Risk factors of developing ulcerative colitis

Ulcerative colitis affects people of all age groups, showing mild to severe stool ulcerative colitis symptoms in young children as well as adults. However, the following leave you more prone to developing this inflammatory bowel disease.

Stool Ulcerative Colitis Symptoms

The severity of inflammation in a person with this disease determines the ulcerative colitis stool symptoms presented. While some patients may present some of these, others present most of them to a great degree. The more the severity of inflammation, the more predominant the persisting symptoms are. Some stool symptoms of ulcerative colitis may include:

Other ulcerative colitis symptoms include

With ulcerative colitis, many people notice flare-ups. They usually occur in a pattern where there comes a period with extreme or active ulcerative colitis and then one of dormancy or remission. During times of high or extreme activity of this inflammatory bowel disease, the ulcerative colitis stool symptoms are recurrent and noticeable. While in periods of dormancy, the person barely presents with any symptoms and may even think they have fully recovered from their condition.

Treatment for Ulcerative Colitis

Changes in Lifestyle

The first thing you need to do if you are suffering from a colitis infection or ulcerative colitis is getting rid of unhealthy habits and adopting healthy ones. You do not exactly need to follow a certain diet plan for your remission of ulcerative colitis, but not consuming foods that you think inflame your gut is the first step to adopting a healthy lifestyle.

For some people, keeping a food journal helps. This way, they can keep a track of their meals and figure out what causes them rectal cramps or bloody diarrhea. Skipping fatty and high fiber meals, and replacing them with small, frequent portions of food high in probiotics will greatly reduce inflammation.

People with ulcerative colitis or UC get dehydrated easily as their large intestine does not do the best job at reabsorbing water and nutrients. Set a goal to drink enough water each day so you can go through your day without feeling symptoms of dehydration. Try using an electrolyte replacement or a meal replacement drink to control your stool symptoms of ulcerative colitis immediately.


The key to extended periods of remission is by controlling the stool symptoms of ulcerative colitis. By reducing or completely eradicating inflammation, the possibility of developing ulcers can be greatly reduced. No ulcers mean no bleeding and remission can be successfully achieved. Your doctor is likely to suggest medications such as:

In some cases, medications are not enough and hence, the patient is subjected to biological therapy where a major part of their immune system is suppressed.

Stress Relief

While stress does not cause ulcerative colitis, reduced stress levels have been reported to improve stool symptoms of ulcerative colitis. Chronic stress is known to trigger a chronic inflammation response by the immune system, which increases ulceration and bloody diarrhea.

When managing stress, it is important to avoid caffeine and alcohol. Caffeine and alcohol are stimulants, which increase the peristalsis of the gut (rapid intestinal contractions) and make your diarrhea worse. Moreover, they are also capable of worsening one’s already anxious and stressed state of mind.

Make regular exercise a part of your routine. With an average of about 150 minutes of physical activity a week (around 20 minutes a day), you will be able to maintain an emotional balance and relaxed state of mind. In addition to or replacement for exercise, you may also try meditation or yoga to relieve stress.

See Also: Reasons for Abdominal Distention or Distended Abdomen in Adults


With our ultimate goal to keep our patients in remission for as long as possible (up to several years), our consultants at Family Medicine Austin cater to all your diagnostic needs. Schedule an appointment with our professional healthcare providers and understand how you can include or omit several foods from your diet to reduce ulcerative colitis flare-ups.

Family Medicine Austin

Esophagus disorders are a group of ailments that alter how the esophagus functions. The esophagus, often known as the food pipe, is a digestive organ that transports food from the mouth to the stomach.

A variety of conditions can affect the esophagus, leading to dysphagia or difficulty in swallowing. Gastrointestinal reflux disease is the most frequent esophageal ailment (GERD). GERD is a disorder in which too much stomach acid flows back into the esophagus, producing irritation.

Types of esophagus disorders:

The following are examples of esophageal disorders:

Gastrointestinal Disorders

Risk factors for esophageal disease:

The following factors enhance the likelihood of acquiring an esophageal disorder:

Symptoms and causes of esophagus disorders:

The symptoms of esophageal and swallowing diseases differ based on the kind. You may encounter:

Diagnosis of esophagus disorders:

Your symptoms will be evaluated and a physical exam will be performed by your healthcare practitioner. They could feel your neck as you swallow. The following tests are used to diagnose esophageal disorders:

Treatment of esophagus disorders:

Treatments of esophageal diseases differ according to the condition. They might include:

Prognosis of esophageal and swallowing diseases:

What are the side effects of esophageal disorders?

Certain esophageal problems, such as GERD and achalasia, might raise your chances of esophageal cancer if left untreated. Food may enter your airway (windpipe) and lungs as a result of regurgitation. Aspiration is an issue that can progress to pneumonia and lung disorders. Swallowing issues also increase your risk of malnutrition and dehydration.

What is the prognosis for persons suffering from esophageal disorders?

Many persons with esophageal issues find that over-the-counter or prescription drugs relieve their symptoms. Surgery may be required for some disorders, such as esophageal cancer or achalasia. Treatments coupled with diet and lifestyle modifications can help to control symptoms.

What should I know during my visit to my provider?

To know about esophagus disorders, you might talk to a doctor about:

See Also: Lower Esophageal Sphincter and Its Anatomy: A Guideline

Bottom line:

Esophageal and swallowing problems can be unpleasant or uncomfortable. GERD, the most common kind, produces heartburn. If left untreated, GERD and other esophageal problems might increase your chance of developing esophageal cancer. Medications frequently alleviate symptoms and keep many disorders under control. More severe esophageal diseases, such as cancer and achalasia, may necessitate surgery. To lower your chance of pain and significant problems, your healthcare professional may prescribe dietary and lifestyle modifications.

Family Medicine Austin

A swollen abdomen when grows outwards abnormally, this refers to as abdominal distention or a distended abdomen. This change may be seen, measured, and even felt. A distended belly can be caused by gas bloating or by an accumulation of fluid, tissue, or gastrointestinal contents. It can be either acute or chronic.

What an abdominal distention can be described in detail?

A bloated abdomen is noticeably larger than normal. It is frequently accompanied with a sensation of being bloated due to trapped gas or stomach secretions. Abdominal distension, on the other hand, is not usually caused by digestive processes. A distended abdomen is diagnosed due to few factors: flatus (gas), fetus’s (pregnancy), faeces or fat.

A distended abdomen may be painful or merely a sign which you and your medical provider notice visually. It might be acute — a rapid, uncommon event — or chronic — something which occurs and settles itself in a predictable manner on a regular basis. Chronic abdominal distension followed by an unpleasant bloated sensation is frequently associated with a digestive condition.

What are causes of abdominal distention in adults and what are its indication?

A swollen or a distended abdomen can be either biological or functional. An illness, for example, can be described by physical evidence. Functional issues are visible yet unexplained.

Gastrointestinal Disorders

Organic reasons:


Functional reasons:

Digestion difficulties that cause gas and/or digestive contents to collect are common functional causes of a distended abdomen. Possible causes include:

How could healthcare practitioners manage abdominal distention:

If you consult a doctor for your distended abdomen, your doctor will investigate the reason. They will start by inquiring about your symptoms for distended abdomen and inspecting your abdomen to check where it is distended. The position of the outward curvature, whether uniform over your abdominal wall or more apparent in one area, assists them in determining which organs are damaged and narrowing the list of possible reasons. To assess the existence of fluids, gases, or solids, they could also feel the region using their hands or strike it and hear the sound it creates.

The abdominal internal organs are divided into two types: solid and hollow. These can swell and cause distended abdomen as a result of inflammation or overgrowth such as a tumor, abscess, or cyst. Your healthcare practitioner may be able to detect whether they are enlarged by feeling them, or they may need to see an imaging of the internal organs. A big growth may be felt through the skin. Your healthcare professional will use imaging tests to establish your problem, then follow up with multiple testing and treatment as needed.

Fluid buildup in the membrane of the abdominal cavity, known as the peritoneum, is another reason of abdominal distension. These tissues could become inflamed due to infection, or they can fill with fluid due to a disease known as ascites. Ascites is a condition that arises when pressure on the blood arteries in the liver which is called as portal hypertension that pulls fluid into the abdominal cavity. A physical exam may typically reveal fluid in the peritoneum, but an ultrasound examination is more sensitive.

Management of abdominal distention:

If the reason of your distended abdomen is organic, the therapy will be tailored to that cause. It might signify dealing with a sickness, infection, growth, impediment, or harm. When the underlying cause is addressed, an acute case will resolve. A chronic condition may benefit from the addition of diuretics (for fluid retention), laxatives (for constipation), or active carbon capsules (for gas).

If the source of your functional abdominal distension is unknown, managing it may need some trial and error. A hydrogen breath test may be recommended by your healthcare physician to assist diagnose the reason of excessive intestinal gas. They may also advise you to try dietary modifications, probiotics, or enzymes to help with digestion.

Tips to practice to avoid abdominal distention at home:

Knowing the reason makes prevention easier. If you detect stomach distension after eating, you could be able to adjust your food patterns to avoid it. As an example:

When should I consider abdominal distention as an emergency?

Seek medical attention if you have the following symptoms of abdominal distension:

See Also: Gastrointestinal and Stomach Issues After Covid-19: What to Know and Expect.

Bottom line:

A distended abdomen is frequently a transitory digestive problem, although it can be painful and possibly suggest a dangerous illness. It is not necessary to suffer in quiet. If you are having a digestive issue, your doctor can help you figure out what’s causing it and how to treat it at home. If you have a serious ailment that’s not improving, you must seek medical attention. A symptom might be a gift in disguise, leading you to cure an unknown ailment or merely uncover a food intolerance.

Family Medicine Austin

The predominant documented symptoms of COVID-19 during much of the epidemic have become a chronic cough and fever. However, as caseloads have increased and new variations have evolved, new symptoms have emerged.

According to a September 2020 analysis, 53% of those hospitalized with COVID-19 had at least one gastrointestinal (GI) symptom throughout their illness. The pandemic’s influence resulted in stomach problems after covid-19 is becoming clearer as the epidemic develops and experts understand more about the disease. There is some indication that having COVID-19 GI symptoms — or getting the illness on top of an existing GI problem — may raise the likelihood of COVID-19 intensity and consequences. This special blog examines what experts know so far regarding the prevalence.

Symptoms of digestive or stomach issues after covid-19:

COVID-19 is characterized by respiratory symptoms such as coughing and difficulty breathing. However, preliminary data from China showed that COVID-19 might potentially cause digestive issues, ultimately. The GI system responsible for adequate digestive system consists of the following components:

The first person in the United States with confirmed COVID-19 endured two days of nausea and vomiting before experiencing diarrhea. And, according to one of the early American studies, around 32% of individuals with the condition complained of digestive issues symptoms, most often diarrhea, nausea, or lack of appetite.

The research is always developing. The most prevalent GI symptoms of COVID-19, according to a February 2021 review that comprised 125 publications and a total of 25,252 participants, were:

A previous analysis, released in January 2021, discovered much higher rates of symptom occurrence, such as:

The condition may also harm gut tissues and impede intestinal motility. It shows that a large number of people with COVID-19 having stomach difficulties also have respiratory symptoms. However, according to an analysis published in late 2020, 16% of persons infected with SARS-CoV-2 only had GI symptoms. And, in some cases, these symptoms appeared before respiratory problems or fever.

Early research indicates that GI symptoms are more common in the early phases of an illness. Digestive issues related to covid-19 are prevalent, having up to one-third of COVID-19 patients presenting with GI symptoms first. Nausea and vomiting may occur in up to two-thirds of COVID-19 patients. Around 40% of COVID-19 patients may have appetite loss, and close to 50% may develop diarrhea. Abdominal pain is less common, affecting less than 10% of the population.


What happens when covid-19 affects your digestive system:

Researchers are still discovering how SARS-CoV-2 infection affects different sections of the body, especially stomach issues after covid-19. SARS-CoV-2 has been shown to infect cells in the respiratory and gastrointestinal tracts, and also cells in other areas of the body.

According to research, SARS-CoV-2 penetrates intestinal and respiratory cells via the protein as a receptor. The ACE-2 receptor is found in cell membranes. It aids in the regulation of blood pressure by regulating the levels of the protein angiotensin, which causes blood vessels to constrict and elevate blood pressure.

After its distinctive spike proteins attach to ACE-2, the virus reaches intestinal cells. Once within the cell, the virus replicates viral proteins and RNA using the cell’s own machinery. SARS-CoV-2, like many viruses, contains its genetic material on a strand of RNA, similar to human DNA.

When SARS-CoV-2 particles exit an infected cell, they cause the production of cytokines, which are tiny proteins that aid in inflammation. This procedure may result in gastrointestinal discomfort. Meanwhile, nausea and diarrhea which are symptoms of a bloated stomach after covid-19 are frequent adverse effects of drugs used by healthcare experts to treat COVID-19, such as antivirals.

In fact, fecal samples from the very first person in the United States with confirmed COVID-19 contained SARS-CoV-2 particles. Furthermore, evidence indicates that people may shed viral particles in their feces after the virus has become undetected in the respiratory system, including the lungs, nose, and throat. This might alter our knowledge of how virus spreads for plenty of time.

Gastrointestinal Disorders

Outcomes of stomach problems after covid-19:

People who have COVID-19 digestive issues symptoms may be more prone to develop problems or be more vulnerable to such issues. A research published in November 2020 discovered that experiencing GI or stomach issues symptoms was linked to an increased likelihood of getting acute respiratory distress, as have following investigations. The study also discovered that having GI symptoms increased the probability of requiring noninvasive mechanical breathing and tracheal intubation, both of which are risky procedures. In addition, according to a paper published in October 2020, adolescents with COVID-19 who have GI or stomach issues symptoms are more prone to acquire serious, critical infectious diseases and cardiac abnormalities.

Another study, from December 2020, indicated that the prevalence of digestive issues symptoms due to covid-19 in adults was connected with more severe disease and catastrophic results. A more recent review showed that persons with COVID-19 and digestive symptoms during hospitalization were more likely to suffer acute heart and renal damage or die from the condition.

According to research, those who have pre-existing GI issues are more likely to develop significant illness and bad effects. According to research, those with GI disorders such as Barrett’s esophagus may be at a higher risk of getting severe COVID-19. Some researchers believe this link exists because GI illnesses involve the stomach lining getting replaced with cells that looked identical to intestinal lining cells.

See Also: What are Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders

Since it harms or impairs the intestinal or stomach lining, many stomach diseases by covid-19 may also make it easier to acquire GI infections including inflammatory bowel illness is one of these disorders.

Family Medicine Austin


Family medicine austin
At Family Medicine Austin, we provide preventive, diagnostic, and disease management care for families. Our expert providers offer personalized, patient-centered services to achieve your health goals. Come see us today for comprehensive care that caters to your needs.


Send me tips, trends, freebies, updates, and offers
Subscription Form

IMPORTANT! All information presented in this website is intended for informational purposes only and not for the purpose of rendering medical advice. Statements made on this website have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The information contained herein is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram