What are the Top Causes of Gastric Distress?

Gastric Distress can cause discomfort

There are many reasons you might be experiencing gastrointestinal symptoms. The following are some of the top causes of gastric distress:

Acid reflux

Gastroesophageal reflux disease, also called acid reflux, is perhaps the most common cause of gastric distress. According to the American Gastroenterological Association, more than 60 million Americans have heartburn, the main symptom of acid reflux, at least once a month. Other common symptoms include burping, nausea, regurgitation, and abdominal discomfort.

Inflammatory Bowel Diseases

According to the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of America, more than 1.6 million Americans have an inflammatory bowel disease such as Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis. Symptoms of these conditions include persistent diarrhea, abdominal pain, rectal bleeding, and fatigue.

Peptic Ulcers

Another likely cause of gastrointestinal distress is peptic ulcer disease. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 6 million Americans are affected by these ulcers each year. If you have a peptic ulcer, you may experience burning stomach pain, nausea, heartburn, and a feeling of fullness. These symptoms may get worse between meals or at night.

Lactose Intolerance

Decreased ability to digest lactose is more common than you might think. The U.S. National Library of Medicine reports that around 65 percent of the population has some degree of lactose intolerance. If your body is unable to digest lactose properly, you may experience abdominal pain, bloating, nausea, and diarrhea after eating dairy products.


According to The New York Times, around 1 million Americans are diagnosed with gallstones each year. Many people will gallstones may not experience any symptoms, but if a gallstone becomes lodged in a duct, symptoms include sudden pain in the abdomen or torso that lasts from a few minutes to an hour.

To better understand the cause of your gastric distress and get proper treatment for your symptoms, make an appointment with a gastroenterologist today.