General gastrointestinal (GI) tract issues may be a symptom of other GI disorders or diseases. Below are some common gastrointestinal tract issues treated by Froedtert & the Medical College of Wisconsin.

Abdominal pain- Undiagnosed chronic or reoccurring pain in the abdominal area.

Diarrhea — an increase in the frequency of bowel movements or looseness of stool. 

Constipation — the difficult passage of stools (bowel movements) or the infrequent (less than three times a week) or incomplete passage of stools, usually caused by inadequate fiber in the diet or a disruption of regular activities or diet. 

Gas (flatulence) — the production of excess stomach or intestinal gas may have many causes, such as an inappropriate diet or various diseases. 

Heartburn — an uncomfortable feeling of burning and warmth occurring in waves rising up behind the breastbone toward the neck. It is usually due to gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), the rise of stomach acid back up into the esophagus. 

Fecal (stool) incontinence — the involuntary loss of stool (liquid or solid) sufficient enough to impair a person’s quality of life. Fecal incontinence has many causes and affects people of all ages. 

Hemorrhoids — swollen blood vessels that line the anal opening caused by excess pressure, such as straining during a bowel movement, persistent diarrhea or pregnancy. 


  • Internal hemorrhoids are normal structures that cushion the lower rectum. When internal hemorrhoids fall into the anus (as a result of straining), they can become irritated and bleed.
  • External hemorrhoids are veins that lie under the skin outside of the anus. These veins can burst and a blood clot can form, causing a painful condition (pile).

Nausea/vomiting — nausea and vomiting are symptoms of many other disorders such as digestive disease (gallbladder disease, infections, inflammation of the stomach lining, ulcers, cancers, food poisoning or overeating), brain injury, motion sickness, pregnancy, stress and other factors. While vomiting is often harmless, it may be a sign of a more serious illness. 

Motility disorders — motility refers to the contractions of the muscles in the digestive tract that enable food to progress from the mouth to the anus. People who suffer from heartburn, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, constipation or diarrhea may have a motility disorder.

Melena — stool stained black by blood pigment or dark blood products. Bloody stool may indicate an injury or disorder in the digestive tract. The blood, which may come from anywhere in the digestive tract, can be detected visually or with a fecal occult blood test (FOBT).

Recognized as High Performing by U.S. News & World Report

Froedtert Hospital is recognized by U.S. News & World Report as high performing in three adult specialties and 16 procedures and conditions, including gastroenterology and GI surgery.

Virtual Visits Are Available

Safe and convenient virtual visits by video let you get the care you need via a mobile device, tablet or computer wherever you are. We'll assess your condition and develop a treatment plan right away. To schedule a virtual visit, call 414-777-7700.

Learn More