Digestive System Disorders

Digestive system disorders happen when there is a faulty function during the process of digestion which prevents some part of the digestive system from working as it should do. There are a wide number of common digestive system disorders.

The function of the digestive system is to take the food and liquids that we put into our mouths and then either turn these foods and liquids into nutrients or energy needed by the cells of our body, or alternatively turn them into waste products that are then expelled by our body as bowel movements.

When something goes wrong with this every day process and some part of the process doesn’t work properly, the end result is one kind or another of a digestive system disorders. There are many common digestive system disorders.

Common Digestive System Disorders

Colon and Rectal Cancer

Colon and Rectal cancer is also referred to as colorectal cancer.This type of cancer is a malignant cell that is found in the colon or rectum region of the body. The large intestine is made up of the colon and the rectum. Colon and rectal cancers share so many common features that they are referred to as the same cancer which is how the name colorectal cancer came about.

Colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of death by cancer in the U.S.A. The number of new cases of colorectal cancer has decreased because in large part, the sigmoidoscopic screening and polyp removal procedures initiated by the medical community.

Stomach Cancer

Stomach cancer is also called, gastric cancer. This cancer affected approximately 21,700 Americans during 2001. The majority of those individuals were in their 60s and 70s. The risk factors for developing stomach cancer are Helicobacter pylori infection and a diet that consists of the following: eating large amounts of smoked foods, salted fish and meat, foods that are high in starch and low in fiber, pickled vegetables, and foods and beverages that contain nitrates and nitrites.


Diarrhea is watery stool, or an increased frequency in stool, or both as compared to the normal amount of stool passed by the individual. Diarrhea can be short-term or it can be related to a bacterial or viral infection, or it can be long-term which is usually related to a functional disorder or intestinal disease

Diverticular Disease

This disease occurs in small pouches that bulge out in the colon. It is an inflammation or infection in the pouches.

Gas in the Digestive Tract

You get gas in your digestive tract by swallowing air or during the breakdown process of certain foods by the bacteria that is present in the colon. Everyone has gas. It can be uncomfortable and certainly embarrassing to pass the gas. The average person produces 1 to 3 pints of gas a day and pass gas through their rectums about 14 times each day.


Heartburn is what most of us get from time to time. Chronic heartburn is a digestive disorder called gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). GERD is caused by gastric acid that flows from the stomach and into the esophagus.


This is an inflammation of the liver that can result in liver cell damage. There are two types of hepatitis – acute and chronic and six main types of the hepatitis virus.

Inflammatory Bowel Diseases

There are several different diseases that fall under this category all of which require a doctor for treatment. Ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease are two of these diseases.

Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Irritable bowel syndrome – more commonly referred to as IBS – is an intestinal disorder that causes cramping, gassiness, bloating and changes in the bowel habits of the individual with the disorder.

Lactose Intolerance

People with lactose intolerance lack an enzyme that is called lactase. This enzyme is needed by the body to digest lactose. Lactose is a sugar found in milk products. Adults and children are affected by this intolerance. Digestive diseases or injuries to the small intestine cause this intolerance. Individuals can experience different symptoms but the common ones are: cramping, bloating, gas, diarrhea, and nausea. The symptoms will worsen when larger portions of milk products are consumed.

Stomach and Duodenal Ulcers

Ulcers are open sores or lesions. They are found in the skin or mucous membranes of areas of the body. A stomach ulcer is called a gastric ulcer and an ulcer in the duodenum is called a duodenal ulcer. Lifestyle, stress and diet used to be thought to cause ulcers. These factors may have a role in ulcer formation; however they are not the main cause of them. Scientists now know that ulcers are caused by hydrochloric acid and pepsin that are contained in our stomach and duodenal parts of our digestive system and that these acids contribute to ulcer formation.