Digestive Diseases, also called digestive disorders or gastrointestinal diseases, are those that involve the gastrointestinal tract. The gastrointestinal (GI) tract consists of organs joined by a long hollow tube starting at the mouth continuing through your esophagus, stomach, small and large intestines to the anus. There are other organs along the way including the liver, gall bladder and pancreas. All of these organs help with digestion, which starts the moment something is put into the mouth.

Digestive diseases can have many causes such as stress, smoking cigarettes, allergies, medications, diet, drinking alcohol or they can be organic in nature. Treatment for these diseases can range from doing nothing to dietary changes, medications, natural supplementation, or chemotherapy. Although it appears these disorders affect women more than men this may be because men don't go to the doctor as often as women. The occurrence of digestive diseases is in all age groups but the risk increases as a person ages with people over age 65 having the highest percentage of disease. There are many myths surrounding digestive diseases that need to be dispelled to prevent harm. A common myth is that ulcers are
caused by spicy foods and stress, however most cases are from Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori), a bacteria, or by use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as aspirin, Ibuprofen, or Naproxen. Another myth is that smoking helps heartburn. Smoking can actually increase your risk for problems and exacerbate current digestive disorders.

At some point it is very likely a person will experience either a fleeting or chronic run in with a digestive disease or disorder. Some other common diseases include constipation, diarrhea, hemorrhoids, Diverticulitis, Inflammatory Bowel Disease, heartburn, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, polyps, Barrett's esophagus, Celiac disease, Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), Crohn's Disease, anal fissure, Gastritis, bowel obstruction, hernia, Pancreatitis, Hepatitis, gallstones, cancer in any part of the digestive tract, and/or many other disorders. Because digestive diseases can range from life threatening and terminal to irritating, it is important to see your doctor at the first sign of trouble. Some symptoms not to be ignored are blood in the stool, abdominal pain, loss of appetite or ravenous appetite, unexplained weight loss, change in the frequency or type of bowel movements, heartburn that wont go away or isn't relieved with an over the counter antacid, and generally anything that pains you and is out of the ordinary.