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What are some common digestive diseases?

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Quick Answer

Diseases that commonly attack the digestive system include irritable bowel syndrome, lactose intolerance, cancer, pancreatitis and gastroesophageal reflux disease, according to MedlinePlus. Liver disorders, including hepatitis B and C and liver failure; esophageal disorders, including achalasia and esophageal constriction; and disorders of the rectum, including rectal prolapse and anal fissure, are other common digestive disorders. Additionally, disorders of the intestines, including ulcerative colitis, intestinal ischemia, short-bowel syndrome and Crohn's disease, also attack the digestive system.

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Full Answer

Digestive diseases are a group of health conditions that disrupt the digestion process by attacking the body parts that facilitate the process, including the esophagus, intestines, stomach, liver and pancreas, notes MedlinePlus. The gallbladder, which also constitutes part of the gastrointestinal system, is a target for digestive diseases. Patients with digestive diseases may experience bloating, belly pain, difficulty swallowing, constipation and nausea accompanied with vomiting. They may also experience diarrhea as well as changes in their weight. It is advisable to seek medical attention when these symptoms appear.

To diagnose a digestive disease, a doctor may order certain tests such as capsule endoscopy, endoscopic ultrasound and endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography, explains MedlinePlus. After the diagnosis, the doctor recommends a suitable treatment, such as watchful waiting, medications, surgery or organ transplant to replace parts of the digestive tract such as the small intestines and pancreas, depending on the diagnosed condition.

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