Digestive System Disorder: Types, Definition, and Treatment

Gastrointestinal disorder are the disease or disorders affecting the gastrointestinal tract from mouth to last part anus.

Types of Digestive System Disorder

Digestive system disorders are of two type – structural and functional.

I. Structural Digestive System Disorder

When the gastrointestinal tract does not work properly and even the bowel appears abnormal when examined. These structural abnormalities require surgery as their treatment.

Example for the given disorders is constipation, hemorrhoids, inflammatory bowel disease, colon cancer etc.

II. Functional Digestive System Disorder

in this gastrointestinal tract appears to be fine whereas when examined properly there is some kind of difficulty found in the functioning.

Example is diarrhea, bloating, gas, irritable bowel syndrome etc. this may arise due to lack of fiber or roughage in the diet, consuming large amounts of dairy products, usage of certain medication and resulting in different side effects.

Digestive System Disorder Symptoms and Treatments

Most of gastrointestinal tract disorder can be cured by simple change in lifestyle and eating habits along with good bowel practice and regular checkup if there have been recurring symptoms of disorders in the past.

1. Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Symptoms: The symptoms occur together that is abdominal pain with the irregular bowel movement. The bowel movement can be either constipation or diarrhea or sometimes both. The reason is unknown for the disorder.

Treatments: Doctors recommend change in the diet with some medicines and additional probiotics for better digestion. Might recommend some lifestyle changes with the mental health therapies

2. Peptic Ulcers

Symptoms: Development of sores in the lining of stomach or duodenum. Ulcers are due to Helicobacter pylori bacteria but can also cause due to long term usage of medicine like aspirin, ibuprofen or any other NSAIDS. Ulcers causes burning pain in the stomach.

Treatments: There are different treatments for the ulcers but mostly doctors recommend treatment with proton pump inhibitors and if the ulcers are caused due to NSAIDS then doctors recommend for stopping the usage of the medicines.

3. Lactose Intolerance

Symptoms: Difficulty like bloating of stomach, diarrhea and gas or even feel like nausea when consume food product or drinks containing lactose. This happens because the small intestine is unable to absorb lactose or unable to digest it.

Treatments: It can be treated by changing the diet and lactose intake. Also, lactase product may help with the problem of lactose intolerance.

4. Gallstones

Symptoms: Hard pebble like material are formed if bile contains bilirubin or cholesterol in excess amount or not enough bile salts. Gallstones when blocks the bile duct there can be gallbladder attack and sudden pain in the abdomen can start.

Treatments: The treatment of gallstones are always surgical and rarely any non-surgical treatment is opted for the treatment.

5. Diarrhea

Symptoms: Watery stools are passed with irregular bowel movement. This may be due to the infection caused due to food, side effects of medicines, allergies or even due to some other digestive tract problems. The acute diarrhea is more common than chronic/serious diarrhea.

Treatments: In the most cases the diarrhea can be treated by the prescription of mild over the counter medicine. The serious diarrhea may need serious diagnosis and treatment plan.

6. Constipation

Symptoms: When bowel movement is irregular with fewer than three times in a week. This may be due to lack of fiber or roughage in the diet, similarly less water intake or may also be due to lactose intolerance. Stools may be difficult to pass and cause severe pain in the abdomen. Due to the hard stool it my cause bleeding and pain in the rectal area.

Treatments: Treatment is mostly change in diet or even with help of medicine, only rarely the constipation cases lead to the surgery.

7. Colon Polyps

Symptoms: The causes for the disorder are not known neither there are any symptoms observed in this. But certain growth is seen on the lining of the colon and rectum. This is not cancerous in nature but some colon polyps may be leads to certain cancer.

Treatments: Colon polyps treated by removing it by the process of colonoscopy or sigmoidoscopy.

8. Hemorrhoids

Symptoms: It is known as piles are caused due to the inflammation of veins and appears swollen caused due to constipation, aging or low fiber diet. There two types of hemorrhoids observed – external hemorrhoids that is formed under the skin of anus whereas internal hemorrhoids are found in the lining of anus and rectum. They can cause mild to severe pain, itching and swelling.

Treatments: These can be treated by changing the diet and some chronic needs surgical treatment.

9. Acid Reflux

Symptoms: Gastroesophageal reflux  is caused when the esophageal sphincter weakens and the contents from stomach comes back to the esophagus. The symptoms are heartburn, regurgitation. This disorder may persist for longer duration leading to the gastroesophageal reflux disease that develops severe complication and symptoms also increases.

Treatments: Doctors recommend the treatment with some over the counter medicine for the disorder with mild symptoms. For severe complexity doctors opt for the combination of treatment and if required surgery is opted for the treatment.

Here some of the disorders has been discussed but there are many disorders related to the human digestive system. Some of them being specific to children, infants or adults. Some disorder has severe complexity and some disorder with mild or no symptoms.

You may like to read;

Digestive Glands: Diagram, Parts and Function

Digestion of Food: Definition, Mechanism, and Process

Digestive Glands: Diagram, Parts and Function

Alimentary Canal: Diagram, Parts and Function

Digestive System Disorder Citations

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