There are various types of disorders that can affect the gastrointestinal system which consists of the small intestine, large intestine, rectum, liver, pancreas and the gallbladder. Some of the gastrointestinal diseases include gastroenteritis, gastric cancer, irritable bowel syndrome, malabsorption syndromes, pancreatitis, peptic ulcer, colorectal polyps, gallstones, coeliac disease and reflux oesophagitis.
This is the inflammation of the intestinal lining caused by microbes that can be transmitted from an infected person with contact and by consuming contaminated food or water. This is a common type of illness that can easily spread. Some of the bacteria that cause this condition include E-coli, shigella and salmonella. It can also develop as the result of various viral infections such as rotavirus and noroviruses. The common symptoms of this condition include diarrhea, vomiting, feeling sick, fever, loss of appetite and abdominal cramps. Gastroenteritis does not usually require any treatment and can resolve on its own. However, it is important to keep well hydrated by replacing the lost fluids with vomiting and diarrhea.
This is a less common type of cancer and develops in the stomach. Although the cause of gastric cancer is not known, some factors can increase the risk such as diet and helicobacter pylori infection. In addition, various gastric lesions such as gastric polyps and intestinal metaplasia are known to be the precursors of developing gastric cancer. The symptoms of gastric cancer can be vague; it can include discomfort in the upper abdomen, fatigue, weight loss and loss of appetite. In some cases, when the lesions bleed, it can also cause anemia. There are various types of gastric cancer and the treatment for these can include surgery to remove the tumor, radiotherapy and chemotherapy.
Irritable bowel syndrome
This is considered to be one of the common disorders affecting the digestive system. As this can affect any part of the gastrointestinal tract, the symptoms also accordingly vary among the affected individuals. However, the common symptoms include the changes in the bowel movement and abdominal pain. Some of the additional symptoms include gynecological problems, muscle pain, fatigue, indigestion, flatulence, problems with the bladder and abdominal bloating. The treatment for irritable bowel syndrome mostly depends on the symptoms that are evident among the affected individuals. If constipation is the symptom, then the treatment focuses on improving the bowel function to ease the abdominal pain.
Also known as celiac disease, this is a disorder of the small intestine that develops as the result of sensitivity to gluten. When a certain substance of gluten known as gliadin affects the lining of the small intestine, it is not able to properly absorb the essential nutrients required for the body. Most of the individuals with this condition are not aware of the disease as they usually do not exhibit any symptoms. Although some of the affected individuals have experienced weight loss, anemia, fatigue and diarrhea. The only treatment for coeliac disease is to maintain a gluten-free diet and the affected individual may benefit from consulting a dietician who can help with planning the diet.