Gastrointestinal symptoms at a glance
Gastrointestinal symptoms involve any upset to your gastrointestinal system—your esophagus, stomach, intestines, rectum, or anus, plus your liver, gallbladder and pancreas. These symptoms include nausea, heartburn, mucositisinflammation and ulceration of the mucous membranes lining the digestive tract, usually as an adverse effect of chemotherapy and radiotherapy treatment for cancer, vomiting, constipation, diarrhea, bloating, gas, and pain. These symptoms can be caused or triggered by cancer, by cancer treatments, by some medications and other medical conditions, and by other symptoms such as anxiety, depression, stress, or pain.
Managing gastrointestinal symptoms can greatly improve your quality of life and also your overall health by affecting your body weight and your ability to complete cancer treatment.
Top practices and therapies for managing gastrointestinal symptoms
The effects of these practices and therapies are described on What approaches can help you manage gastrointestinal symptoms? ›
Therapies and practices we have reviewed
Heartburn/reflux or esophagitis
Nausea and vomiting
Therapies recommended in clinical practice guidelines but that we haven’t yet reviewed; see guidelines ›
Chinese herbal blends
Mind-body modalities (without mentioning specific therapies)
A few other therapies have some evidence of benefit. The benefit may be meaningful or even substantial, but our reviews show the evidence so far is preliminary. These are listed on What approaches can help manage gastrointestinal symptoms? ›