Dissecting Digestive Disorders

Digestive problems are among the most common heDigestive Disordersalth issues in North America, but this shouldn’t come as any

surprise when you consider how complicated the digestive system really is.

The digestive system consists of the digestive tract and several organs throughout the body, including the mouth, esophagus, stomach, small intestine, large intestine (colon), liver, pancreas, gallbladder, rectum, anus and parts of the nervous and circulatory systems. Together, all of these parts work to break down the things you eat and drink into a form that allows the body to use them for nourishment and energy. Those parts that cannot be used must be discarded by the digestive system as well.

With so many parts of the body working together and with the right combination of foods in the system at any one time, there is bound to be the occasional upset stomach or abdominal cramp. But when eating results in frequent discomfort or pain, chances are there is some sort of digestive disorder to blame.

Some people find their digestive system is irritated by ingesting certain foods such as dairy products or those that are particularly spicy. Other people experience consistent discomfort in the abdominal area or when they eat. Indigestion, a common term people use to describe discomfort after eating, can include several symptoms including nausea, regurgitation and burning sensations.

Abdominal pain is common and usually minor, but the sudden, severe onset of pain may be the sign of a serious problem such as a perforated stomach or intestine, appendicitis, an intestinal obstruction or abdominal aortic aneurysm. Other less serious causes of abdominal pain include infection, inflammation, formation of an ulcer or severe muscle constrictions.

Though abdominal pain is among the most common symptoms people experience when a digestive disorder is possible, there are other signs that something is not quite right. The appearance of blood in vomit or urine is certainly something to be mindful of as are constipation, chest or back pain, diarrhea, difficulty swallowing, dyspepsia (pain or discomfort in the middle of the upper abdomen), fecal incontinence, gas-related issues, globus sensation (the feeling of having a lump in the throat), loss of appetite, nausea and vomiting, and regurgitation.

There are countless digestive disorders that encompass one or many of the symptoms noted above including irritable bowel syndrome, diverticular disease and candidiasis. The bottom line, though, is that you should feel comfortable about your body and if there are symptoms related to digestive disorders present in your life, you can do something about them.

There may be times when a professional evaluation is necessary and important in regard to digestive disorders, but if you suffer from discomfort related to digestion, herbal remedies or an alteration in diet may be all that is necessary to be rid of the pain and irritation.

This month at The Specific Chiropractic Center, we’re taking a hard look at digestive disorders, what causes them and what you can do to minimize their impact on your life. Join us Wednesday, March 24, at 6:30 p.m. and be a part of the conversation.


Digestive Disorders – Symptoms. Merck.com. Retrieved March 4, 2010 from http://www.merck.com/mmhe/sec09/ch119/ch119b.html.

Digestive Problems. Aim4Health.com. Retrieved March 4, 2010 from http://www.aim4health.com/digestprob.htm.

Your Digestive System and How it Works. Digestive.NIDDK.NIH.gov. Retrieved March 4, 2010 from http://digestive.niddk.nih.gov/ddiseases/pubs/yrdd/.

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