What Are Some Digestive System Diseases?


Quick Answer

Digestive system diseases include gastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD, celiac disease, Crohn’s disease and diverticulitis, states Everyday Health. It is common to have a digestive system problem, and patients with symptoms of these conditions should talk to their doctors.

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Gastroesophageal reflux occurs when the stomach contents or stomach acid flows into the esophagus, irritating the lining of the food pipe, reports Mayo Clinic. It occurs when the lower esophageal sphincter weakens or relaxes abnormally, which inflames the esophagus, and can cause esophageal narrowing and bleeding. Symptoms include heartburn, difficulty swallowing, dry cough and regurgitation of food.

Celiac disease is a condition in which the immune system responds to gluten in food, causing inflammation that damages the lining of the small intestine, says Mayo Clinic. Symptoms include diarrhea, loss of bone density, anemia and damage to dental enamel.

Crohn's disease is a condition in which the digestive system swells, states WebMD. As of 2015, the cause of Crohn's disease is unknown, but an abnormal reaction of the immune system to normal bacteria in the intestine is a contributing factor.

Diverticulitis occurs from the formation of pouches, or diverticula in the walls of the colon, causing inflammation, explains WebMD. The cause is unclear, but experts link this condition with a low-fiber diet, causing the colon to work harder to push the stool along.

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