Digestion is the process by which food and drink are broken down into smaller parts so that the body can use them to build and nourish cells, and to provide energy. It is a metabolic process by which, a biological entity processes a substance in order to chemically and mechanically convert the substance into nutrients. Digestion occurs at the multicellular, cellular, and sub-cellular levels. This process takes place in the digestive system, gastrointestinal tract, or alimentary canal.
Common digestive disorders include upset stomach, heartburn and nausea. The more serious and life-threatening colorectal cancer is another type of digestive disorder. These disorders encompass the gastrointestinal tract as well as the liver, gallbladder and pancreas. Most digestive disorders and diseases are complex, with subtle symptoms, and the causes of many remain unknown. Some may be genetic or develop from multiple factors such as stress, fatigue, diet or smoking. Alcohol abuse also poses a risk for digestive disorders.
Indigestion usually happens when people eat too much, too fast, or foods that they are allergic to. The functioning of the stomach is closely related to the brain. A personís emotional state has a huge bearing on the functioning of the digestive system. Heightened stress levels and anxiety can cause a flare up in people with irritable bowel syndrome. Known as a psychosomatic disorder, even perfectly healthy people can worry themselves to stomach pain, nausea, diarrhea, constipation, or other digestive problems.
The most common symptoms of digestive disorder include: gas, bloating, abdominal cramping, and heartburn. The common digestive disorders are: diarrhea, constipation, gallstones, dyspepsia (Indigestion), irritable bowel syndrome, ulcers, and GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease).
Diagnosis of digestive disorders includes a thorough medical history and physical examination. Extensive diagnostic evaluation including laboratory tests, endoscopic procedures and imaging techniques are needed in severe cases. A healthy diet, consumption of smaller amounts of food but at regular intervals and drinking lots of water helps reduce digestive illnesses.