Disorders of gut-brain interaction (DGBI), previously known as functional gastrointestinal (GI) disorders, are one of the leading reasons for people to see a gastroenterologist (GI doctor). At NewYork-Presbyterian, we understand how much DGBIs can impair your quality of life.
We perform a comprehensive assessment of your health to determine the cause of your gastrointestinal distress and evaluate the function of your digestive tract. Armed with the results, we assemble the team of experts you need to start feeling better from any gastrointestinal diseases.
What Are Disorders of Gut-Brain Interaction?
Disorders of gut-brain interaction (DGBI) is a new umbrella term to describe many common gastrointestinal disorders. In DGBI, the digestive tract appears normal on testing, but has symptoms that cause significant distress.
There may be problems with motility (the way food and waste move through the digestive tract), sensation (nerves causing abnormally high amounts of pain), and impaired communication between the brain and the gut.
Additionally, the symptoms of DGBIs may be related to altered gut microbiota and immune function. DGBIs may affect any part of the digestive tract, including the esophagus, stomach, small intestine, and colon.
Medical Care for All Disorders of Gut-Brain Interaction
NewYork-Presbyterian offers extensive diagnostic and treatment services for every type of gastrointestinal disease.
Our teams provide personalized care for people with all types of disorders of gut-brain interaction, including:
Comprehensive Testing for Disorders of Gut-Brain Interaction
Disorders of gut-brain interaction (DGBI) are typically diagnosed based on your symptoms. Your doctor will listen carefully as you describe what you are feeling, when your GI symptoms occur, how often they happen, and their impact on your daily life.
Your doctor will order certain tests to evaluate for all possible causes of your digestive symptoms.
Tests used to diagnose DGBIs may include:
- Physical examination and medical history
- Blood and urine tests
- Examination of the stool
- Colonoscopy (insertion of a flexible scope to see inside the colon)
- Upper endoscopy (insertion of a flexible scope to see inside the esophagus, stomach, and small intestine)
- Esophageal pH tests including upper endoscopy with Bravo or pH impedance
- Abdominal imaging tests, such as X-rays and ultrasound
- Breath tests to look for malabsorption or overgrowth of bacteria
- Motility tests to examine the function of different parts of the GI tract, including esophageal manometry or anorectal manometry
Treating Disorders of Gut-Brain Interaction
Once we determine what is causing your symptoms, we will tailor a plan of treatment for DGBIs to help you feel more comfortable.
Your treatment may include:
- Nutritional counseling. A registered dietitian will work with you to create a diet containing foods that may help you feel better. You may also learn about foods you should avoid. For example, some people with irritable bowel syndrome may be able to identify food triggers using a specific diet called the low FODMAP diet.
- Medical therapies. Some people with disorders of gut-brain interaction feel better if they take medications that treat pain at the level of the nerves, reduce acid production, improve the motility of the digestive tract, or improve the gut microbiome. Our doctors match you with the medication that best meets your needs.
- Stress management. Stress worsens many digestive symptoms in people with gastrointestinal disorders. NewYork-Presbyterian offers stress management and lifestyle optimization services through our Integrative Health and Wellbeing program. Our therapies can help promote relaxation, reduce stress and anxiety, and relieve symptoms.
Get Care from Our Expert Disorders of Gut-Brain Interaction Care Team
If you live with the symptoms of a disorder of gut-brain interaction or other digestive diseases, there is no reason to suffer from gastrointestinal problems any longer.
Call us at NewYork-Presbyterian to schedule an appointment with a physician who understands your symptoms and has the expertise to treat them so you can begin living a more comfortable life.