What are the Different Types of Gastrointestinal Disease?

T. Davis

The human digestive system is an important part of the body. Several major organs make up this system, including the mouth, esophagus, stomach, appendix, anus, small intestine, and large intestine. Providing nutrients to the body from the food that is ingested and ridding the body of waste are some of the major functions of the digestive system. Any kind of problems in the gastrointestinal tract may cause lack of nutrients and other issues. Some of the different types of gastrointestinal disease are Crohn’s disease, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), and celiac disease.

Gastrointestinal disorders disrupt the body's ability to expel waste.
Gastrointestinal disorders disrupt the body's ability to expel waste.

Crohn’s disease is an inflammatory bowel disease that causes continuous inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract. This type of gastrointestinal disease mostly affects the intestines of the body but may affect other parts of the digestive system as well. People with Crohn’s disease may have abdomen pain, fever, diarrhea, and weight loss. Doctors may prescribe medications such as aminosalicylates to help with the inflammation. If the medications are not working for the patient, the doctor may recommend surgery to remove part or all of the intestines.

Wheat contains gluten, which cannot be digested by people with celiac disease.
Wheat contains gluten, which cannot be digested by people with celiac disease.

Another type of gastrointestinal disease is IBS, which is a condition that affects the lower intestine tract. Most of the symptoms for IBS are chronic abdomen pain, bloating, and frequent diarrhea or constipation. Emotional or physical stress on the body may trigger IBS symptoms. While the cause of IBS is not known, it may be treated with medications, diet changes, and stress-management techniques.

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Certain kinds of gastrointestinal diseases impact the small intestine, making it difficult to absorb nutrients and rid the body of waste.
Certain kinds of gastrointestinal diseases impact the small intestine, making it difficult to absorb nutrients and rid the body of waste.

Celiac disease is a genetic disease that affects more than two million people in the world. This gastrointestinal disease causes damage to the intestines and decreases the amount of nutrients absorbed in the body when gluten is eaten by a person with celiac disease. Gluten, which is a protein found in wheat, rye and other foods, often causes the immune system to attack the intestine if a person has this disease. People with celiac disease typically should try eating a gluten-free diet to prevent damage to the intestine and eliminate any symptoms. Some of the symptoms for this disease are abdomen pain, vomiting, weight loss, and chronic diarrhea.

The diseases that affect the gastrointestinal tract can deprive the body of essential nutrients.
The diseases that affect the gastrointestinal tract can deprive the body of essential nutrients.

Dealing with a gastrointestinal disease can be very stressful. If a person is having any of the above symptoms, it usually is recommended that he see a doctor for an evaluation. The doctor may order tests such as blood work to help with the diagnosis. With the right medicine and treatment, a person with a gastrointestinal disease may be able live a life free of discomfort.

Crohn's disease causes inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract.
Crohn's disease causes inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract.

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