5 most common digestive problems

Digestive disorders affect millions of Americans every year. Digestive disorders can affect any part of your digestive or GI tract. Your digestive tract includes the esophagus, liver, stomach, small intestine, large intestine, gallbladder, and pancreas.1

Digestive disorders comprise a wide range of diseases, from mild to severe. Some of the symptoms of common digestive problems include:

Doctor Giving Physical Exam

  • Bleeding
  • Bloating
  • Diarrhea
  • Heartburn
  • Pain
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Constipation

An accurate diagnosis requires collecting a complete and thorough medical history as well as a physical exam. Treatment of these disorders often involves a combination of medication and lifestyle changes. However, some patients may need to have more extensive diagnostic testing such as imaging and endoscopic procedures. 2

While there are any number of digestive problems that can affect you during your lifetime, there are five common gastrointestinal problems that one in five Americans could find themselves dealing with at one time or another.

Wooden Bowl with Oat Flakes

The list

Five of the most common GI problems include:

  • Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)
  • Chronic Diarrhea
  • Chronic Constipation
  • Gastroenteritis
  • Ulcers

There are a variety of ways to treat digestive issues. Making some simple dietary changes such as adding more fluids and fiber to your diet or avoiding certain foods which aggravate the condition can have a positive effect. In many cases, OTC medications used in conjunction with lifestyle changes can successfully treat the issue.

In other cases, the problem is caused by a viral or bacterial infection. Antibiotics can help to treat bacterial-related conditions including some cases of gastritis and ulcers caused by an H. pylori infection.3

One extra common problem

Another common digestive problem are hemorrhoids which are painful, swollen blood vessels around the anal canal. By age 50, approximately half of the population has experienced one or more of the common symptoms of hemorrhoids which include rectal pain, bleeding, itching, and possible prolapse through the anal canal.4

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Hemorrhoids are usually caused by straining during bowel movements which can occur if you’re chronically constipated. Simple home remedies include adding more fiber to your diet from food or a fiber supplement, drinking an adequate amount of fluid, taking a sitz bath, and using OTC creams with a local anesthetic.

Preventing digestive issues can be as simple as adding a probiotic to your daily regimen to help replenish friendly flora in order to promote intestinal health. One of the main functions of probiotics is to help restore that balance between “good” flora vs “bad” flora.

After adding probiotics to your daily routine, you may find that your digestive issues are getting better, and you’re feeling better. GHT makes it easy for you to maintain your probiotic regimen with their 30-day digestive system recovery pack.


Digestive Disorders, Johns Hopkins Medicine.
Common Digestive Disorders, Tanner Health System.
Hemorrhoids and what to do about them , Harvard Health Publishing, Harvard University.

NOTE: The Johns Hopkins Medicine, Tanner Health System, and Harvard Health Publishing, have not reviewed or approved the above article.