Diseases of the digestive system

Do you want to know the diseases of digestive system? In this article you will learn about the diseases of the digestive system and their symptoms.


Digestion is a catabolic process by which complex bio-molecules are converted into simple and diffusible bio-molecules by the process of hydrolysis with the help of enzymes.
Food constituents having small sized molecules like monosaccharides, salts, water and vitamins are directly absorbed our intestine without any change. These are diffused and transported to different parts of our body through blood and lymphatic system. However, polysaccharides like starch, proteins and fat molecules are complex and larger in size. These can not be absorbed directly by our alimentary canal. Breakdown of these food constituents into smaller molecules is necessary for absorption. The breakdown happens through the process of digestion. In digestion, molecules of complex food materials are hydrolyzed with the help of suitable enzymes. Such enzymes due to their property are known as hydrolases.

Disease of the digestive system

Many diseases are caused due to problem in digestion. Also malnutrition and over nutrition cause many diseases in our body. The some diseases of the digestive system are as follows:


A child getting less than 1 gm protein per kg body weight daily may suffer from Kwashiorkor disease. Kwashiokor is a protein deficiency disease. The main symptoms of Kwashiorkor disease are as follows:

  • Loss of appetite in children.
  • Poor mental and body growth.
  • Protruding belly and bulging eyes.
  • Long thin legs showing curvature called matchstick legs.
  • Change in the colour of skin and hair.
  • Repeated diarrhea, anemia, etc.


Children who do not take adequate food suffer from this disease. Marasmus is caused due to deficiency of proteins and carbohydrates and less availability of calories than requirement. The main symptoms of marasmus are as follows:

  • Weak and thin body.
  • Muscles are not well developed.
  • Thin face and depressed eyes.
  • Wrinkled skin.
  • More susceptible to infections.
  • Repeated diarrhea.

Child may recover if sufficient food containing adequate protein and carbohydrate is given. Long suffering from Marasmus may lead to irreversible retarded mental growth.

Indigestion or Dyspepsia

Dyspepsia is a term which includes a group of symptoms that come from a problem inn your upper gut. The gut or gastro-intestinal tract is the tube starts at the mouth and ends at the anus. The upper gut includes the esophagus , stomach and duodenum. The symptoms of indigestion are:

  • Pain or discomfort in the upper tummy or abdomen.
  • Bloating and belching
  • Quickly feeling full after eating.
  • Feeling sick and nausea
  • Vomiting is also a main symptom of dyspepsia.


constipation refers to abnormally infrequent bowel motions and / or pain or difficulty when passing small, hard stools. A bowel motion everyday is not always necessary. People's bowel habits differ and some people have a bowel motion only every second or third day or longer. Constipation is not the same as irregular bowel habits, it is when you have to strain to pass a bowel motion, which is usually hard. The main symptoms of constipation are:

  • Reduced frequency of bowel motions.
  • Difficulty and straining when passing bowel motions.
  • Passing small, hard, lumpy stools.
  • A feeling of incomplete evacuation or inability to empty the rectum.

Vomiting and nausea

Vomiting is the act of forcefully expelling the stomach's contents of the stomach out through the mouth. Nausea is a term that describes the feeling that you might vomit, but are not actually vomiting. Both nausea and vomiting are very common symptoms and can be caused by a wide ranges of factors. Vomiting and nausea occur in both children and adults. Nausea and vomiting may occur together or separately. Causes of vomiting are varied and include food borne illnesses, food poisoning, infections, problems with the brain and central nervous system, and systemic diseases. Some illnesses will cause nausea and vomiting, even though there is no direct involvement of the stomach or gastro intestinal tract. Injuries to the head, such as concussions, often lead to vomiting.


Literally, means 'yellow' in French. Jaundice is a yellowing of the skin or the whites of the eyes, indicating excess bilirubin in the blood. May result from blockage of the ducts draining bile from the liver into the intestines or excessive breakdown of red blood cells. haemoglobin form destroyed R.B.C.s is broken down, and in part, ends up in bile secretions. Symptoms of jaundice are:

  • High fever.
  • Loss of appetite.
  • Eye and skin become yellow.
  • Yellow urine.


Diarrhea is characterized by loose watery stools or a frequent need to have a bowel movement. Diarrhea can be cute or chronic. Acute diarrhea occurs when the condition lasts for one to two days. you might experience diarrhea as a result of a viral or bacterial infection. Other times, diarrhea could be due to food poisoning. There is even a condition known as traveler's diarrhea, which happens when you have diarrhea after being exposed to bacteria of parasites while on vacation in a developing nation. Acute diarrhea is fairly common.

Chronic diarrhea refers to diarrhea that lasts for at least four weeks. Chronic diarrhea usually the result of an intestinal disease or disorder, such as celiac disease or Crohn's disease.
Diarrhea is caused deu to number of conditions ore circumstances. Potential causes of diarrhea include a food intolerance, such as Lactose intolerance, a food allergy, an adverse reaction to a medication, a viral infection, a bacterial infection, an intestinal disease, a parasitic infection, gall bladder or stomach surgery. The main symptoms of diarrhea are:

  • Nausea
  • Abdominal pain
  • Cramping
  • Bloating
  • Dehydration
  • Fever
  • Bloody stools
  • A frequent urge to evacuate your bowels
  • A large volume of watery stools


Obesity is characterized by the deposition of fat in the body. Excess of nutrients taken are converted and stored as fats. In this case, every 9.3 k cal excess energy is converted into 1 gm of fat in the body. Obesity due to over nutritional condition is more common in developed countries. According to standard data a man whose body fat is more than 20% of his total weight and that of a woman whose body fat is more than 30% are considered as obese. An obese person becomes bulky and overweight, due to overeating of carbohydrates and fried foods. He leads sedentary life and becomes more sensitive to diseases like diabetes, tuberculosis, hypertension, heart attack, arthritis and respiratory problems, etc. Obesity in woman may cause complications in pregnancy and childbirth.

Last words

So, these are some diseases of digestive system. Always try to contact your physician when you have any digestive problem. Never try to take medicines yourselves. You can also try Ayurvedic or Homeopathic medicine prescribed by doctors.

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