Digestive System Diseases and Nervous Disorders

Conditions which affect the stomach, esophagus, bowel, colon, liver or pancreas are considered digestive system diseases and disorders. Many people wonder about nervous disorders that affect the digestive tract and conditions such as anxiety, depression, stress and emotional trauma may all aggravate symptoms, but it is unclear whether any of these cause digestive system diseases and disorders. In fact, in most digestive system diseases and disorders the causes are unclear. There are only theories about what the causes may be and what may worsen the conditions or aggravate symptoms.

There are many digestive system diseases and disorders. Some are very common and easily treated, while some are more serious, difficult to diagnose and difficult to treat. There are some nervous disorders that affect the digestive tract. These are sometimes classified as symptoms or related conditions and sometimes as possible causes of digestive system diseases and disorders, because in some cases it is unclear which came first, the digestive disorder or the nervous disorder.

The most common of the digestive system diseases and disorders is heartburn. Heartburn affects an estimated 25% of people in the United States on and other western countries on a monthly basis according to a study from the Mayo Clinic. In contrast only 11% of those living in Eastern Asian countries have heartburn once or more per month. Excess stomach acid is what causes heartburn, but stress and anxiety are nervous disorders that can affect the digestive tract and increase stomach acid. Heartburn is a symptom of another of the common digestive system diseases and disorders; acid reflux.

Acid reflux or gastro-esophageal reflux disease (GERD) symptoms include heartburn, difficulty swallowing, regurgitation of stomach acid and/or food, hoarseness, coughing and irritation of the larynx, throat and/or esophagus. This is one of the digestive system diseases and disorders that can lead to more serious conditions if left untreated. For example, acid reflux or GERD is one of the major risk factors for esophageal cancer. As with heartburn, anxiety and stress are nervous disorders that affect the digestive tract and can aggravate acid reflux symptoms.