digestive disorders
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Almost everybody around us complain of gut health problems which can be either in the liver, stomach, small, large intestine, gallbladder, and/or pancreas. Besides, millions of people get affected by these common digestive disorders.

Now, indigestion is not a tiny problem and includes a number of diseases ranging from mild ones to severe issues. This is the reason why digestive disorders should not be taken lightly. Wondering, what are the digestive disorders or gut diseases? Let’s check out a list of 12 Common Digestive Disorders:

1. Barrett’s esophagus

Barrett’s esophagus is a condition in which the lining of the esophagus (that which connects the throat to the stomach) changes due to chronic exposure to stomach acid. Barrett’s esophagus is most commonly associated with gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), in which stomach acid flows back into the esophagus, causing heartburn and irritation. However, not everyone with GERD develops Barrett’s esophagus, and the condition is relatively rare. Source

2. Candidiasis

Candidiasis is a type of infection that is caused by a micro-organism named Candida. The most common type of Candida is Candida albicans, but other species can cause problem too. Candida can be found in small amounts on the skin, within the mouth, in the gastrointestinal tract, and also in the female genital tract without causing any harm. However, it can overgrow and lead to various types of infections. The reason of activation? Hormonal changes, uncontrolled diabetes and/or poor hygiene.

For treatment, doctors often give antifungal drugs either orally, topically, or intravenously – depending on the location and seriousness of the infection. However, it can be prevented by maintaining good hygiene, avoiding unnecessary use of antibiotics, and treating the conditions that caused the issue in first place. Source

Also, Read Understanding Diabetes: What is Diabetes? Types, Causes, Symptoms, Management


3. Celiac disease

Heard about people being sensitive to gluten? Well, being gluten-sensitive is nothing but having celiac disease, and it is an autoimmune disorder. It is caused due to the ingestion of Gluten, a protein found in wheat, barley, rye, and their derivatives. This is the reason why more and more health professionals suggest replacing wheat with millets and there is a whole new trend of opting for gluten-free food and products.

Although celiac disease symptoms differ widely from person to person, the most common symptoms are digestive problems such as diarrhea, abdominal pain, bloating, and gas. However, some people may experience non-gastrointestinal symptoms such as fatigue, anemia, unexplained weight loss, skin rashes, and even neurological symptoms. Source

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4. Clostridium Difficile

Clostridium difficile is a type of bacteria that can cause infections in the large intestine (colon). It is usually a problem to individuals who take antibiotics. These antibiotics have the effect of killing beneficial bacteria in the colon, enabling C. difficiles to multiply and create toxins that can cause inflammation and damage your gastrointestinal tract. This infection can vary from mild diarrhea to severe and potentially fatal colitis. Source

5. Constipation

Constipation is a common digestive problem which leads to infrequent bowel motions, difficulty in passing stools, and an irritating sensation of not being able to pass the stool completely. It can affect people of all ages. However, in case of chronic or persistent constipation, it is important to see a specialist.

Now, constipation can be caused due to various problems – improper nutrition, a lack of exercise, and ignoring the body’s natural urge to urinate. Other reasons can be – lack of fiber, insufficient fluid intake, sedentary lifestyle, changes in daily routine, travel, and ignoring the desire to urinate. Source

6. Crohn’s Disease

Crohn’s disease is a chronic inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) of the digestive tract. It is characterized by inflammation that can affect any portion of the GI tract, from the mouth to the anus, however, it most usually affects the small intestine and/or the colon.

Crohn’s disease symptoms can range in severity and include abdominal discomfort, diarrhea, weight loss, exhaustion, fever, and decreased appetite. In some cases, the condition can lead to problems such as strictures (intestinal constriction), fistulas (abnormal connections between organs), and abscesses. Source

7. Diarrhea

Diarrhea is a condition characterized by the passage of frequent loose, watery stools. It is a common digestive issue caused by a variety of variables such as infections, dietary difficulties, drugs, and certain medical disorders. Diarrhea is the body’s mechanism of removing unwanted substances or germs from the gastrointestinal tract as rapidly as possible.

Diarrhea can be caused by various factors, including viral or bacterial infections (gastroenteritis), food poisoning, drinking contaminated water or food, reactions to medications or medical treatments, dietary intolerances (e.g., lactose intolerance), and underlying medical conditions such as inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) or irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Source

8. Diverticulitis

Diverticulitis is an infection or inflammation of tiny pouches called diverticula that can occur in the walls of the colon (large intestine). Diverticula, or pouches, are widespread in the colon and are normally harmless unless inflamed or diseased.

Diverticulitis symptoms include abdominal pain (typically in the lower left side), fever, chills, bloating, gas, changes in bowel habits, and, in rare cases, rectal bleeding. Diverticulitis treatment is determined by the severity of the condition. Mild situations are often managed with a clear liquid diet, oral antibiotics, and pain medications. Severe situations may necessitate hospitalization, intravenous antibiotics, and even abscess drainage. Surgery can be required in recurrent or complex situations. Source

9. E-coli

Escherichia coli, also referred to as E. coli, is a species of bacterium that can be found in both human and animal gastrointestinal tracts. Even though the majority of E. coli strains are helpful and even harmless, some can result in gastrointestinal illnesses that can range in severity from mild to severe.

Young children, older adults, and people with weakened immune systems are more prone than healthy individuals to experience severe symptoms from E. coli infections. Diarrhoea (which may be bloody), cramping in the abdomen, nausea, vomiting, and fever are typical symptoms. In severe situations, it can develop into a potentially fatal illness known as hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), which causes kidney failure. Source

10. Gastroesophageal Reflux (GER)

Gastroesophageal reflux (GER), also known as acid reflux, is a common disorder in which stomach acid and sometimes partially digested food flow back up into the esophagus, the tube that connects the mouth to the stomach. Occasional reflux is typical and usually does not result in any symptoms or consequences. 

The most common symptom of GER is heartburn, which is characterized by a burning sensation in the chest that can sometimes spread to the neck. Other common symptoms include stomach contents regurgitation into the mouth, a bitter or sour taste, chest pain, difficulty swallowing (dysphagia), and constant burping. Source

11. Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)

Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) is a chronic condition characterized by episodes of gastroesophageal reflux (the backward flow of stomach acid and occasionally partially digested food) into the esophagus on a regular and persistent basis. GERD is a more severe and chronic form of gastroesophageal reflux (GER), which can cause uncomfortable symptoms and problems.

Certain foods (such as fatty or spicy foods, citrus fruits, and tomatoes), large meals, eating just before bed, reclining down after eating, smoking, and being overweight are a few of the factors that might make GERD symptoms worse. Source

Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease

12. Gallstones

Gallstones are small, solid deposits that occur in the gallbladder, which is a small organ beneath the liver. They are made up of cholesterol, bilirubin (a pigment formed during the breakdown of red blood cells), and other compounds present in bile, a digestive fluid produced by the liver.

Gallstones may not produce symptoms and could be detected by chance. However, if a gallstone becomes trapped in the bile duct or causes gallbladder inflammation (cholecystitis), it can cause severe abdominal pain (typically on the upper right side), back pain between the shoulder blades, nausea, vomiting, bloating, and indigestion. Source

Also Read: Part 2 of the Common Digestive Health Problems