Digestive System Disorders: Common Digestive System Diseases and Disorders
The digestive system is one of the essential body systems that carry out one of the vital and most crucial process in the body, which is the digestion and absorption of essential nutrients that the body needs. Because of digestion, the body is able to obtain all the necessary components from the food that we eat and utilize it for the body’s benefits. Digestive system disorders develop when there is a problem in the normal functioning of digestion. Digestive system disorders are most common of all health problems. Most of the digestive system disorders are results of poor eating habits or improper digestion. There are a wide number of common digestive system diseases and disorders. The following are brief descriptions of the common digestive system diseases.
Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)
The most common of the digestive system diseases and disorders is GERD, in which the contents of the stomach, including acids, flow back onto the esophagus. This opposite action can cause irritation in the esophagus, thus resulting in heartburn and similar other symptoms. Besides having a weak esophageal muscle, most people who suffer from GERD almost always suffer from lifestyle and food choices that aggravate the condition. Foods high in fat, chocolate, alcohol and fried foods can exacerbate symptoms. Those who have hernias, are pregnant or obese are also at greater risk of developing GERD. This digestive system disease is also recognized as peptic esophagitis, GERD and reflux esophagitis.
Irritable bowel syndrome – more commonly referred to as IBS - is another of the common digestive system diseases and disorders, which can cause troublesome and persistent symptoms. Irritable bowel syndrome occurs when the muscles in your large intestine (colon) start contracting faster or slower than usual. This causes abdominal pain, cramping and certain changes in normal bowel functioning like bloating, diarrhea, gas and most commonly, constipation. The main causes of irritable bowel syndrome are said to be improper diet with low-fiber content, emotional stress in your life, excessive use of laxatives, temporary bowel inflammation or infectious diarrhea.
Common digestive system diseases and disorders also include diverticulitis. It is a common disease for people aged 60 and older. Diverticulitis especially affects the large intestine. Diverticular disease occurs in small pouches that bulge out in the colon. It is an inflammation or infection in the pouches. An individual suffering from diverticulitis, one of the common digestive system disorders, may have abdominal pain, abdominal tenderness and fever. In some cases, the bowel may perforate, become obstructed or bleed heavily. A perforated bowel is a medical emergency. It is important to diagnose and treat symptoms of diverticulitis when you first notice them. This will help prevent the symptoms from worsening and causing more serious problems of the digestive tract.
Peptic Ulcer Disease
Peptic ulcer, another one of the common digestive system diseases and disorders, refers to painful open sores in the lining of the stomach or duodenum, which is the first part of the small intestine. A peptic ulcer in the stomach is called a gastric ulcer. One that occurs in the duodenum is called a duodenal ulcer. When the stomach lining breaks down, increased irritation from stomach acid creates this digestive system disorder. Abdominal discomfort is the most common symptom of both duodenal and gastric ulcers.
As the digestive system does include the tract and associated organs from mouth to anus, hemorrhoids are also one of the common digestive system diseases and disorders. Hemorrhoids (also commonly known as piles) are a fairly common condition that occurs when veins in the anus and rectum become swollen and inflamed, resulting in bleeding, itching and pain. Constipation or the irregular or infrequent evacuation of the bowels is the major cause of hemorrhoids. When the delicate blood vessels around the anus burst from pressure and straining, hemorrhoids form. Over-the-counter medications are available for mild cases of hemorrhoids. More serious cases may require surgery.
These are only some of the many digestive system diseases and disorders. The digestive system is an all-important part of the body that can determine the overall health of an individual. Digestive system disorders can affect anyone at any age. Due to poor diet and lifestyle today, digestive system disorders are extremely common. These disorders affect the digestive system badly and even make the body weak. It has been shown that by slowing down and reducing stress in one’s life, many of the symptoms of the most common digestive system diseases may be reduced or prevented entirely. Preventing these digestive system diseases and disorders from happening may help save from a massive amount pain and much of grief.