What Are Digestive Disorders?


Quick Answer

Digestive disorders are conditions that affect the gastrointestinal tract, or GI tract, according to the National Institutes of Health. The GI tract is made up of several organs, including the esophagus, stomach, intestines, liver, pancreas and gallbladder. Any disorder that affects these organs is called a digestive disorder. Digestive disorders include irritable bowel syndrome, gallstones, cirrhosis, pancreatitis, Crohn's disease, ulcerative colitis, gastroesophageal reflux disease, peptic ulcer disease and hiatal hernia.

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What Are Digestive Disorders?
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Full Answer

Exact symptoms vary based on the specific cause but WebMD explains that common symptoms of digestive disorders include bloating, diarrhea, gas and stomach cramps. Lifestyle modifications help to lessen the symptoms of digestive disorders; these modifications include knowing what medications and foods trigger symptoms, eating small but frequent meals to avoid sudden bowel contractions, eating foods that are rich in fiber to add more bulk to the stool and relieve the symptoms of gas, bloating and diarrhea, drinking lots of water to aid in normal bowel function and eliminating the stress that can aggravate digestive symptoms. Medication, and even surgery in severe cases, is also used to treat digestive disorders when diet and lifestyle medications fail to relieve symptoms or if the patient is experiencing life threatening symptoms, such as stomach bleeding.

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