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Digestive diseases are disorders of the digestive tract, which is sometimes called the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. In digestion, food and drink are broken down into small parts (called nutrients) that the body can absorb and use as energy and building blocks for cells. The digestive tract is made up of the esophagus (food tube), stomach, large and small intestines, liver, pancreas, and the gallbladder.

Symptoms

The first sign of problems in the digestive tract often includes one or more of the following symptoms:

  • Bleeding
  • Bloating
  • Constipation
  • Diarrhea
  • Heartburn
  • Incontinence
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Pain in the belly
  • Swallowing problems
  • Weight gain or loss

When to see a doctor

Digestive symptoms are usually harmless and often settle down by themselves, but sometimes they do not go away and can be a signal of serious illness. Dr Emmanuel advises anyone who has taken a pharmacy remedy for a digestive problem for 2 weeks with no improvement to see their GP. He also highlights 5 symptoms, which mean you should see a doctor straight away.

Causes

In this case, the abdominal pain is often accompanied by nausea, vomiting, and loose, fluid-filled stools that occur much sooner and more frequently than normal after eating. Bacteria or viruses cause most cases, and symptoms usually resolve within a few days. Symptoms that last longer than 2 days may be a sign of more serious health problems, such as infection or inflammatory conditions, such as inflammatory bowel disease.

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