Common Stomach Disorders
Stomach disorders include any condition that affects the stomach. The stomach is part of the gastrointestinal tract, which is essentially a long tube comprised of several organs involved in various states of digestion and nutrient absorption. The stomach has three roles in particular during the digestion process: storing food, mixing acid with food for breakdown, and moving food along to the small intestine.
Most people experience symptoms of abnormal stomach function at some point in their lives. Indigestion, constipation, and heartburn are among the many types of stomach disorders that can be caused simply by eating the wrong foods, or not enough of the right foods. These gastrointestinal disorders are not serious and are usually treated simply with a change in diet or over-the-counter medications.
However, there are some symptoms that are associated with more serious stomach disorders. These symptoms include:
- Unintentional weight loss
- Severe abdominal pain
- Vomiting blood
- Bitterness/sourness in the back of the throat
These signs could indicate peptic ulcer disease or a stomach (hiatal) hernia, two stomach disorders that can lead to more serious long-term complications if left untreated. For example, peptic ulcer disease, or sores located in the stomach lining and/or initial section of the small intestine, can eventually become a hole in the stomach, or lead to a buildup of scar tissue in the small intestine, impeding the passage of food.
A gastroenterologist can review your symptoms to help diagnose your condition and determine if it requires more serious medical treatment such as surgery, or if your symptoms should be managed with simpler treatment such as diet and medication. Tampa General Hospital is recognized by U.S. News & World Report as one of the nation's best hospitals and highest ranked in Florida for Gastroenterology & GI Surgery. Use Tampa General Hospital’s Physician Finder to find a gastroenterologist.