Common Digestive System Disorders

Digestive system disorders are all too common. Normally, the body processes food, sends it through various organs for nutrient, mineral and vitamins extraction, then processes the waste product to exit the body. When something in this system is not working correctly, a digestive disorder occurs. These digestive system disorders may be a result of infection or poor diet, but they may also be indicative of a more serious condition.

Diarrhea
When stool is watery or soft and the frequency of bowel movement increases, diarrhea occurs. It can be the result of bacteria, virus or other digestive malfunction. Diarrhea is often the first clue to the patient that something is out of the ordinary with the digestive system. It can last for a day or two for minor causes or be ongoing, depending on the severity of the disorder.

Heartburn
When the stomach acid makes its way up to the esophagus, it can cause a burning sensation in the chest and throat. Eating spicy foods, chocolate and fatty foods can trigger heartburn. Chronic heartburn could be a symptom of a more serious digestive system disorder, such as gastroesophageal reflux disease.

Nausea and Vomiting
When the body forcibly expels the contents of the stomach, it is making an effort to protect itself. Most nausea is caused by viral or bacterial infection, although other conditions, such as pregnancy or alcoholism, can trigger it. A reaction to certain medication can also cause nausea and vomiting.

Constipation
When bowel movements are irregular and infrequent, the body has a difficult time expelling waste. Constipation can be linked to a number of causes, from poor diet that lacks fiber and water to more serious conditions. One side effect of constipation is hemorrhoids, which are bursting blood vessels in the anus. The strain and pressure of difficult elimination affects the veins and causes hemorrhoids.

Cramps
Pain and bloating in the abdomen can mean that certain parts of the digestive system are experiencing undue pressure. While most people call it "stomach cramps," the small intestine, large intestine and other organs can also be affected. While cramps can be a result of indigestion, a viral or bacterial infection or even poor diet choice, a doctor should check out ongoing and persistent abdominal pain.

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