Ailments and Disorders of the Digestive System and their Treatment

joeldgreat By joeldgreat, 18th Nov 2010 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Guides>Science>Biology>Human Biology

Identifying the ailments and disorders that affect the digestive system and describing some treatments for these ailments.


Like other parts of the body, the parts of the digestive system may be affected by some ailments or disorders. The digestive system cannot do its work well if it has an ailment. Here are some common ailments and disorders of the digestive system and how they can be prevented.

Indigestion (Dyspepsia)

There are times that we experienced pain in our upper abdomen after eating too much. This is called indigestion or dyspepsia. Indigestion refers to the discomfort felt in the upper stomach when a person eats too much or too quickly. It is also caused by eating too spicy and fatty foods. We can avoid having indigestion by avoiding spicy or fatty foods and by eating slowly and regularly. Taking antacid drugs can also help cure indigestion.


Sometimes, we may have a feeling that our abdomen is bloated. This is cause by the buildup of gas in the abdomen when we eat hurriedly or swallow large chunks of food. This is called flatulence. Flatulence causes discomfort and belching. We can avoid it if we eat slowly and chew our food well. We should also avoid stress.


When we do not move our bowel regularly and have difficulty passing it out, we are constipated. Constipation is the infrequent and difficult passing out of hard and dry feces. To cure constipation, we should (1) establish the habit of going to the toilet in the morning, (2) eat food with fibers, and (3) drink more fluids.

Gastric ulcer

The walls of the stomach produce acid that is used in digestion. However, acid may eat away or damage the lining of the stomach and form an ulcer. The symptoms of gastric ulcers are abdominal pains, loss of appetite, belching, nausea and vomiting. Antacid drugs are used to treat ulcers since they lessen acidity and relieve pain. We can avoid having gastric ulcers by practicing these self-help methods.
1. Avoid smoking.
2. Avoid drinking alcohol, coffee and tea.
3. Eat meals regularly.


Hepatitis is an inflammation of the liver caused by a virus, drugs or chemicals. There are two types of viral hepatitis, hepatitis A and hepatitis B. Hepatitis A is spread from the feces of an infected person which may contaminate food and water. If a person happens to eat contaminated food or drink contaminated water, he or she is likely to be infected. Hepatitis B is spread though blood transfusion. A mother who has hepatitis B may transmit the virus to her unborn child. In severe cases of hepatitis, the skin and the white of the eyes become yellowish. There are vaccines against hepatitis.


Diarrhea is the frequent movement of the liquid bowel. Diarrhea is a symptom and not a disease. It may be a result of eating contaminated food or drinking contaminated water. In some cases, it may be due to an intestinal disorder. A person with diarrhea should drink plenty of water to which sugar and salt have been added. This is called an oral rehydration solution (ORS). To prepare this solution, add one teaspoon of salt and eight teaspoons of sugar to one liter of water. Milk and fatty foods should be avoided when one has diarrhea.

Intestinal Parasites.

Sometimes abnormal pains accompanied by diarrhea, nausea and vomiting are caused by intestinal parasites. Intestinal parasites are worms that invade the digestive tract usually through food and water. People who eat raw or partially cooked meat and fish that are infested with parasitic worms become infected. The worms enter the digestive tract where they feed, grow and produce eggs. An infected person is given a laxative to expel the worms from the body. Then, a weekly examination of the stool is done until the person becomes entirely free of worms.


The appendix is a small sac found where the small intestine joins the large intestine. Sometimes, feces or worms may enter the appendix. When the appendix is infected, it becomes inflamed and swollen. This inflammation of the appendix is called appendicitis. The symptoms of appendicitis are the pain in the lower right-hand side of the abdomen accompanied by fever. An inflamed appendix is removed by surgery.

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Appendicitis, Appendix, Constipation, Diarrhea, Flatulence, Gastric Ulcer, Hepatitis, Indigestion, Intestinal Parasites

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author avatar aesoplado
30th Nov 2010 (#)

I had my appendix taken out years ago.

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