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How do illnesses affect an otherwise healthy gastrointestinal system?

Illnesses may cause symptoms that affect the gastrointestinal (GI) system, even if the problem originates in another system or organ of the body. Such generalized symptoms, such as abdominal pain, nausea, loss of appetite, and flatulence, may develop as a result of another condition or illness. Also, constipation may result from illnesses that interfere with hormones or physical movement.

In addition, because the GI system metabolizes medications, medications used to treat other illnesses may directly impact the GI system. For instance, some pain medications, diuretics, and medications used to treat high blood pressure and depression may cause constipation. Aspirin and anti-inflammatory medications increase the risk for peptic ulcer.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.