Gastrointestinal diseases

Experience a positive gut feeling

Stomach pain may be attributable to various illnesses.

Discomfort in the gastrointestinal tract manifests as abdominal pain and may be accompanied by diarrhoea, constipation, vomiting or nausea. Stomach complaints can also cause discomfort in the upper abdomen in various different ways.

At Schoen Clinic, we employ consultants with extensive experience in diagnosing and treating gastrointestinal diseases. Based on a precise diagnosis, we will offer you a personalised course of treatment to relieve your symptoms. 

Causes & symptoms

What are gastrointestinal diseases?

There are various different types of gastrointestinal disease:

  • Gastric ulcers and duodenal ulcers
    Ulcers in the stomach and duodenum make their presence known through persistent pain. With gastric ulcers, the pain is most severe after eating, while duodenal ulcers tend to hurt more when fasting at night. Pitch-black bowel movements or vomit that contains blood or resembles coffee grounds are indications that these ulcers are bleeding.
  • Diseases of the small and large intestine 
    Diseases in the area of the small and large intestine also cause abdominal discomfort, abdominal pain and changes in bowel habits. Every year, around 70,000 people in Germany develop colon or rectal cancer. Precautionary examination of the colon from the age of 50 and stool examinations can help to prevent the development of a malignant disease. This benefit is covered by the health insurance companies on a ten-yearly basis, and even more frequently in cases with a family history of such conditions or specific alarm symptoms.
  • Functional gastrointestinal diseases
    Chronic irritable bowel syndrome and functional stomach complaints have no physical triggers. At Schoen Clinic, we thoroughly examine your symptoms and rule out visible disorders. We then give you detailed information about any functional disorders in your gastrointestinal tract and advise you on nutrition and lifestyle habits. For example, switching to fibre-rich foods often helps with irritable bowel syndrome. In many cases, the experts in our psychosomatic department can give you advice or refer you for psychotherapy. 

Causes of gastrointestinal disease

Gastric ulcers and duodenal ulcers are often caused by the gastric mucosal bacterium Helicobacter pylori. 

Gastric ulcers are primarily caused by painkillers and rheumatism medicines as well as an unhealthy lifestyle.

The causes of chronic diarrhoea are manifold — from intestinal diseases caused by food intolerances to metabolic diseases or even cancer.

Symptoms of gastrointestinal disease

Heartburn is often the most common complaint. 

Other possible symptoms include:

  • Diarrhoea
  • Vomiting
  • Stomach pain
  • Stomach cramps
  • Gastric discomfort
  • Bloating, flatulence
  • Nause
  • Headaches and aching limbs
  • Fever


Diagnosis: Identifying a gastrointestinal disease

Depending on the nature and location of your symptoms, the specialists at Schoen Clinic employ various diagnostic methods to get to the bottom of your illness. In cases of non-specific abdominal illness or before performing an upper gastrointestinal endoscopy (gastroscopy), we use imaging techniques such as X-rays, computed tomography and magnetic resonance tomography. Ultimately, a gastroscopy will always ensure an accurate diagnosis.

Diseases of the oesophagus

In cases of suspected oesophageal disease, acid treatment may be used. However, depending on the extent of your symptoms and your age, we may also immediately proceed to a gastroscopy. Pre-stages or early stages of cancer in the transition region from the stomach to the oesophagus can thus be detected accurately and can often be treated without surgery. 

In special cases, an additional ultrasound examination can be performed from inside the body during the gastroscopy. This gives a very precise picture of any changes to the oesophagus and stomach wall. 

Diseases of the small and large intestine

Magnetic resonance imaging is an effective way to find the exact cause of these conditions. If desired, this examination can be carried out with sedatives or short anaesthesia to ensure your comfort. 

We also recommend a colonoscopy, as this lets us remove any mucous polyps which may appear as a preliminary stage of cancer. 

Diarrhoeal diseases

We examine your intestines carefully and, if necessary, take some fine-tissue samples. 

Inflammation of the joints or connective tissue may also be attributable to bowel disease. We perform a detailed examination to determine whether this is the case. 

Acute attacks of diarrhoea lasting less than two weeks are often triggered by an infection. In addition to a gastroscopy, stool samples and laboratory tests are required to confirm this. 

In the case of a chronic diarrhoeal disease lasting more than four weeks, we perform an endoscopic examination of the colon and possibly also the small intestine or duodenum.

An inpatient admission is often prudent when treating a diarrhoeal illness.

Cancer screening through early examinations

From the age of 50 or in cases with warning symptoms such as blood excretion or weight loss, a gastroscopy should be performed as soon as possible. This enables us to diagnose and treat the cancer at an early stage. On request, the gastroscopy can be performed with sedatives or short anaesthesia.