Digestive & Gastrointestinal System Disorders
The digestive system is a group of organs that work together to turn food into energy and basic nutrients to feed the entire body. The gastrointestinal (GI) tract is made up of the mouth, esophagus, stomach, small intestine, large intestine, rectum, and anus. Disorders of the digestive system are very common and can cause a wide array of symptoms.
There are many different types of digestive disorders, and their symptoms can vary widely. These disorders can affect any part of the GI system. Some common GI disorders are:
- Acid reflux or GERD
- Crohn's disease
- Helicobacter pylori infection
- IBS (Irritable bowel syndrome)
- Peptic ulcers
Acid reflux, also known as GERD, is a condition where stomach acid flows back up into the esophagus. This can cause heartburn, chest pain, and difficulty swallowing.
Crohn's disease is a condition that causes inflammation of the GI tract. This can lead to abdominal pain, diarrhea, weight loss, and fatigue.
Diverticulitis is a condition where small pockets in the GI tract become inflamed or infected. This can cause abdominal pain, diarrhea, and constipation.
Gallstones are hard deposits that form in the gallbladder. They can cause severe abdominal pain, nausea, and vomiting.
Gastritis is an inflammation of the lining of the stomach. This can cause stomach pain, nausea, vomiting, and bloating.
Helicobacter pylori is a bacterial infection of the stomach. This can cause gastritis, ulcers, and increase the risk of stomach cancer.
IBS (Irritable bowel syndrome) is a condition that affects the large intestine (colon).
The causes of digestive disorders can be very different, and range from simple things like eating too fast to more serious conditions like Crohn’s disease. Often, the cause of a digestive disorder is not known.
Digestive disorders are typically diagnosed based on a person’s symptoms. If the cause of the disorder is not clear, additional testing may be needed, such as blood tests, stool