Gastrointestinal Disorders Specialist

Florida Compassionate Care Centers

Internal Medicine & Medical Marijuana Specialists located in Volusia County, Ormond Beach, FL

According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), 60-70 million women, men, and children in the United States suffer from a digestive disease or gastrointestinal (GI) disorder. If you have chronic diarrhea, constipation, or other GI symptoms, Gail van Diepen, DO, and her team offer relief with medical marijuana at Florida Compassionate Care Centers in Ormond Beach, Florida. To get relief from pain and other GI symptoms, call the office today or book an appointment online.

Gastrointestinal Disorders Q & A

What is a gastrointestinal disorder?

Gastrointestinal disorders affect your GI tract, which runs from your mouth to your anus. Your GI tract consists of your:

  • Mouth
  • Esophagus
  • Stomach
  • Liver
  • Gallbladder
  • Colon
  • Small intestine
  • Rectum

You can develop a functional GI disorder, in which your organs look normal but don’t perform optimally. You might also develop a structural GI disorder, in which your organs both look and perform abnormally. 

A GI disorder can affect every part of your life, from your work to your relationships, and may make eating and eliminating difficult or painful. 

What are the symptoms of a GI disorder?

Your symptoms vary depending on which organ or structures are affected. Common GI disorder symptoms are:

  • Constipation
  • Diarrhea
  • Heartburn
  • Excess gas
  • Bloating
  • Abdominal cramps
  • Urgency
  • Rectal bleeding
  • Nausea and vomiting

If you notice blood in your stool, contact your doctor right away. After age 50, you should undergo regular screenings for colon cancer.

Why do I have a GI disorder?

Some digestive diseases, such as Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, can appear spontaneously. Less serious GI disorders may be caused or exacerbated by lifestyle choices, such as:

  • Low-fiber diet
  • High-stress lifestyle
  • Too much caffeine
  • Not enough exercise
  • Eating too much dairy
  • Overusing laxatives or antacids
  • Certain medications

You’re also more likely to develop a GI disorder when you’re pregnant.

How does medical marijuana treat GI disorders?

Medical marijuana contains numerous chemical compounds that reduce inflammation in the GI tract. Medical marijuana also relaxes muscles, including the muscles in your GI tract. Benefits of using medical marijuana for GI disorders include:

  • Less pain
  • Less diarrhea
  • Less nausea

If you have a chronic GI disorder, such as inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) or irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), medical marijuana can also help to increase your appetite and gain or maintain a healthy weight. 

You may even be able to lower the dose of other medications that control your disease, under your provider’s advisement.

The team may also recommend lifestyle changes, such as adding more fresh fruits and vegetables to your diet, and keeping a food diary. You may have a food sensitivity or allergy that is causing or exacerbating your GI symptoms. 

If you have a GI disorder, find out if medical marijuana can help you alleviate symptoms by contacting Florida Compassionate Care Centers today. Call or book an appointment online.