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Disorders Of Digestive System

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There are many organs that are involved in the digestive system like the tongue, pancreas, liver, salivary glands, and gallbladder. The main function of the digestive system is suggested by its name itself i.e., digesting the food by breaking it down into smaller units until they are absorbed in the body. After absorption, the food gets assimilated into the body. Assimilation is also a part of digestion. There are different phases from which the food has to pass to get digested. Mainly three phases are there that are-

  • Cephalic phase
  • Gastric phase
  • Intestinal phase

Cephalic phase -By the smell and the appearance of food the gastric glands secrete some secretions which mark the beginning of this stage. This stage happens in the mouth where with the help of saliva which contains digestive enzymes like amylase and lipase secreted by salivary and serous glands on the tongue food is mechanically broken by chewing. As the saliva and food get mixed with each other by chewing the mechanical process of digestion gets started. The mixture of food with saliva is called a bolus. Now through the swallowing process, this bolus is carried to the stomach by the esophagus. 

Gastric phase-which begins with the entering of the bolus in the stomach. The gastric juice secreted by gastric glands gets mixed with bolus and it is further broken down into smaller components after the digestion is completed here the almost digested food goes to the duodenum (first part of the small intestine). The food mixed with gastric juices is known as chyme. Now, this chyme will enter in next phase in the small intestine. 

Intestinal phase-This stage begins in the duodenum. Here the intestinal fluid is present which is secreted by the pancreas. These enzymes present in this fluid will finally digest all the food in a way that can not be digested further. Digestion is accomplished by different types of movement and muscles like muscles of mastication, tongue, contractions of peristalsis, and teeth help in chewing food. In the large intestine, many minerals and water will be reabsorbed back into the blood. The last stage is the removal of waste products in the form of feces from the rectum through the anus.

Disorders of Digestive system

The digestive system is the most important process in the body as through this process we gain energy to do all the other activities in our system. As it is very crucial for us. It also causes many diseases if we won’t take care of the food we intake. This is why it is always said to eat healthy to stay healthy as the junk food and other fried food e eat can cause many diseases which are as follows-

Common diseases which are caused by the digestive system are-


This name doesn’t relate to the heart. It is named so because it happens near the heart in the esophagus or in the mid-chest. In this, there is a burning sensation in the upper chest including the throat and neck while lying down.

  • Cause-There are many different reasons why this disease occurs like eating spicy food, drinking excessive alcohol, wearing tight clothes for a long time, and also due to overeating. 
  • Treatment-This disease can be treated at home. Changing eating habits can also be treated by decreasing the consumption of fats, citrus food, and chocolate. Also, avoid lying down directly after eating. At least after two hours of eating you should lie down to rest. In medicines take antacid which will give instinct relief in symptoms.

Irritable Bowel Syndrome

It causes constipation, diarrhea, and pain in the stomach. Occurs in the intestine. The cause is not known properly but after going through some tests and on the basis of symptoms its cause is identified.

  • Symptoms-Mostly recurrent pain occurs in the abdominal region, there is a change in bowel habits, the patient suffers from constipation, diarrhea, nausea, passing a lot of gas, indigestion, cramping, loss of appetite, and depression, and anxiety.
  • Treatment-These symptoms can be reduced by adjusting your diet, stress and rest will be cured by medicine and counseling. Self-treatment will be done by eating a lot of fiber diet, and physical exercise. Counseling is done for severe patients. In medicine, we can use nerve pain medication, antidiarrhoeal, laxatives, and dietary supplements.

Lactose Intolerance

Not able to digest the dairy products and sugar mainly lactose. Lactase is an enzyme that is used to digest lactose when there is a deficiency of this enzyme then this disease is caused. This disease is also known as milk intolerance.

  • Symptoms-The patient feels pain in the abdomen, stool consists of fat, stomach cramps, indigestion, bloating, and belching.
  • Treatment-Normally lactose is avoided in the diet and also avoid all dairy products. Usually, lactose-free things are used in the diet, use as lactase supplements. For severe patients, the medicines are prescribed.


Usually caused by an increased level of bilirubin and most common symptom is yellowish of skin. If the liver can’t process efficiently red blood cells as they break down. Newborns have this disease usually after birth which gets cured on its own. If it is seen in adults then it indicates liver infection.

  • Cause-This is not caused by an underlying disease. For example, it consists of Gilbert’s syndrome or medication side effects.
  • Treatment-Medicines are prescribed by doctors. If the patient shows yellow color of eyes in child or adults, have urine of dark colored and swelling.


The stomach’s content was thrown out of the mouth forcefully.

  • Cause-Vomiting is also not caused by aren’t due to underlying disease. For e.g., overeating, motion sickness, pregnancy, hangover, etc.  
  • Treatment-The treatment of this disease can be done at home. Take ORS solution after some intervals for fast recovery. When the fluid start getting digested then start eating toast, gelatin, and easy digesting foods.


The bowel movements are not regular. It is less than three bowels in a week.

  • Cause-Dehydration, physical inactivity, medication side effects, lack of dietary fibers.
  • Treatments-Increase intake of fluids, take a more fibrous diet, daily do physical exercise.

Frequently Asked Questions

Question 1: What is the process of breakdown of food.


The food is digested by different enzymes released at different organs. Like the starch is digested in the mouth through salivary enzymes, next the carbohydrate is digested in the stomach with the help of gastric juices. Last the fats are digested in the intestine where the pancreas secretes different enzymes in the form of intestinal fluid.

Question 2: Is it possible to breathe and eat at the same time.


The digestion of food takes place in the mouth whereby chewing it is breakdown into smaller pieces with the help of peristaltic movement in the esophagus along with the wall of the alimentary canal the food is carried to the stomach. At the time of swallowing epiglottis covers the air pipe so that we won’t choke. This is how we breathe and eat at the same time.

Question 3: Name the diseases in the digestive system.


Heartburn, vomiting, Constipation, Jaundice, etc.

Question 4: Explain the functions of the digestive system.


The main function of the digestive system is to digest the food we intake. For this process, there are different enzymes that are helpful in digestion. The salivary fluid help in the digestion of starch and gastric juices digest the carbohydrate in the food whereas intestinal juices help in the digestion of fats.

Question 5: Explain how we taste the food.


The tongue has millions of taste buds on it. There are sections for different tastes like the front part of the tongue is used to taste sweetness in the food whereas the front sideways of the tongue are responsible for salty flavor, the backward sideways is responsible for the sour taste and the end of the tongue gives a bitter taste.

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Last Updated : 04 Aug, 2022
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