Digestive Disorders
Digestive Disorders

What is Digestive Disorders?

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What is Digestive Disorders?

Digestive disorders are health problems that affect one or more organs of the digestive system simultaneously. The digestive system is in charge of receiving food, digesting it or breaking it down into nutrients that can be absorbed to be channeled throughout the body through blood. In addition, the digestive system is also tasked with separating and removing part of the food that can not be digested such as fiber.

The digestive system extends from the mouth to the anus. When described in the flow, the digestive system consists of:

  • Mouth
  • Esophagus
  • Stomach
  • Small intestine
  • Colon
  • Rectum
  • Anus

In addition to these organs, other organs such as the liver, pancreas, and gallbladder are also part of the digestive system, but are located outside the digestive tract.

There are many types of digestive disorders, and five common examples include gastroesophageal reflux disease, food poisoning, gallstone disease, appendicitis, and hemorrhoids. The following is an explanation of the five conditions.

Gastroesophageal reflux

Gastroesophageal reflux (gastric acid disease) or also known as GERD is a condition that occurs when stomach acid rises up the esophagus due to the esophageal muscle ring can not close properly.

The esophagus is the channel that connects the mouth with the stomach. The esophageal ring works as a one-way valve where as we swallow food, this section opens and invites the food to pass through to the stomach. After the food passes, the esophageal ring will be closed automatically to prevent food and stomach acid rising into the esophagus.

When stomach acid rises into the esophagus, people with GERD will experience symptoms such as unpleasant sensations in the mouth, heartburn, or pain during swallowing.

High risk of GERD usually occurs in people who like to eat foods high in fat and overweight. In addition, pregnant women are also at high risk of developing GERD.

GERD is usually easy to diagnose by a doctor just by asking the symptoms felt by the sufferer in detail. Further examination is usually performed if the patient is suspected of suffering from other conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome or peptic ulcer.

The most common follow-up examination is through the endoscopic method in order to see any damage to the esophagus due to stomach acid.

For mild cases of GERD, the treatment is quite simple. You just need to change your diet to healthy low fat foods. If GERD is still not healed, the doctor will prescribe H2RA (H2RA) receptor antagonist drugs and proton pump inhibitor drugs (PPIs) capable of reducing gastric acid production. In addition to these two drugs, antacid drugs that are able to neutralize stomach acid may also be recommended by doctors.

In the case of GERD with severe symptoms and no effect on medication, treatment is usually done by surgery.

Food poisoning

Food poisoning is a condition that causes a person to experience nausea, abdominal pain, vomiting, loss of appetite, diarrhea, fever, weakness, and muscle pain from eating contaminated food, for example by norovirus or E. coli and salmonella.

Food causes can be contaminated among them because they are not cooked well, past the expiration date, touched dirty hands or the hands of someone carrying viruses and / or bacteria, for too long kept in warm temperatures and not frozen at temperatures below 5 degrees Celsius. In addition, imperfectly cooked food or contaminated food of stale food (because it is stored together) can also cause food poisoning.

Actually most cases of food poisoning are not serious and the sufferer can recover within a few days without medicine from a doctor. The trick is to get enough rest and drink plenty of fluids to prevent dehydration. The use of ORS is strongly recommended for people who are at the same time suffering from other conditions or elderly people because they are more vulnerable. During the recovery period, you are also advised to eat snacks such as biscuits, bananas, or bread until your body condition is ready to re-eat a large meal.

Although some cases of food poisoning are mild, be aware if your symptoms do not recover within a few days or even tend to get worse, such as severe dehydration resulting in a rapid heart beat, little urine production, and sunken eyes. If this happens, then you are advised to see a doctor immediately.

It is also advisable to see a doctor immediately if food poisoning is experienced by pregnant women, infants and toddlers, people over the age of 60, people with weakened immune systems, diabetics, and kidney diseases.

Diagnosis of food poisoning is usually done by the doctor through the examination of dirt samples in the laboratory. If food poisoning is caused by bacteria, patients will generally be given antibiotics. In severe cases, hospitalization will be required.

Gallstone disease

Gallstone disease is an inflammation of the gallbladder or blockage of the bile ducts due to the stones derived from cholesterol crystallization. The stone is formed by a chemical imbalance in the gallbladder.

Gallstones that do not block the bile ducts will not cause any symptoms. But if it has clogged, the sufferer can feel severe stomach pain that usually lasts between one to five hours and appears suddenly.

In addition to pain, gallstones can also cause inflammation that is followed by symptoms of high fever and jaundice. Even in some cases, gallstones can irritate the pancreas and cause pain symptoms that can increase rapidly.

Women, especially those who have given birth, are particularly vulnerable to gallstone disease. In addition to women, people with obesity and people who have aged over 40 years are also at high risk of this disease.

Gallstones that cause no symptoms need not be treated. Conversely, diagnosis and treatment should be done if symptoms are already quite disturbing. Gallstones can be diagnosed with ultrasound scans. For the treatment, the recommended method is by surgical removal of the gallbladder through laparoscopic surgery. In addition to simple, this procedure also proved minimal risk of complications.


Appendicitis is an inflammation and swelling that occurs in the appendix, a pocket-shaped organ and the size of a finger, connected to the large intestine.

A person affected by appendicitis will initially feel the pain that often appear and disappear in the middle of the abdomen. This pain within a few hours will feel more constant and slowly move towards the source of inflammation, the lower right abdomen.

Appendicitis is usually more pronounced when the person is walking, coughing, or trying to suppress the affected area. Other symptoms that can accompany is nausea, loss of appetite, and diarrhea.

The cause of appendicitis itself is still not known for certain. Experts argue that this condition could be due to blockage of the appendix of the appendix by impurities or by swollen lymph nodes in the intestinal wall.

Immediately see a doctor if you feel the symptoms of appendicitis. If ignored, the appendix may rupture about the entire organ of the abdominal cavity and lead to death.

Some types of methods that can be done to diagnose appendicitis include ultrasound scan and CT scan, blood and urine examination to see other infections, and pregnancy tests in women to ensure symptoms are not a sign of pregnancy.

The only way to treat appendicitis is through appendectomy or surgical removal of the appendix.


Hemorrhoids are swelling of blood vessels around or inside the anus. The cause of this swelling is not yet known for certain, but is closely related to the increased pressure on blood vessels due to:

  • Less consumption of fiber-rich foods
  • Constipation is prolonged
  • Excessive straining during bowel movements

Allegedly people who have a family history of hemorrhoids, aged over 45 years, obese people, and pregnant women at high risk of exposure to hemorrhoids.

A person suffering from hemorrhoids usually experiences symptoms such as a lump that hangs outside the anus, anal itching, and bleeding after each defecation.

Hemorrhoids include diseases that are easily diagnosed by doctors through rectal examination. Usually doctors will prescribe drugs to relieve symptoms as well as facilitate the patient’s bowel movements. Drugs given can be in tablet or topical form. If the symptoms of hemorrhoids are getting worse and can no longer be handled with lifestyle changes and medications, then usually the doctor will recommend surgery.

Hemorrhoids can be prevented by regular exercise and weight loss for those who are overweight, drink plenty of fluids, meet the needs of fiber, and do not withstand bowel movements. In addition, avoid drugs that have constipation side effects. One example is painkillers with codeine compositions.

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