Digestive System Diseases and Vitamin Deficiencies

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Digestive System Diseases

Oral Cavity

  • Tooth Decay

    Tooth enamel is destroyed by acids produced by bacteria that break down food fragments stuck between teeth. Tooth decay causes cavities to form, and bacteria in the cavities can then destroy the teeth.

  • Gingivitis

    Inflammation of the gums caused by vitamin deficiencies or poor dental hygiene.


  • Gastroenteritis

    An infection affecting the stomach or intestine, caused by bacterial toxins. Symptoms include diarrhea, vomiting, abdominal pain, and fever.

  • Gastritis

    Irritation of the gastric mucosa causing pain, acidity, and a burning sensation. Often caused by smoking, drinking alcohol, eating spicy foods, or taking medicine.

  • Stomach Ulcer

    Damage to the gastric mucosa which causes the stomach cavity to come into contact with the internal stomach tissues. Acid can then attack and destroy these tissues.


  • Gallstones

    Cholesterol and mineral salt deposits that form in the gallbladder or bile ducts. Gallstones prevent bile from entering the intestine, causing abdominal pain and preventing the digestion of fats.

  • Hepatitis

    Inflammation of the liver caused by a viral infection, consumption of alcohol or drugs, or abuse of prescription medication. Causes vomiting, nausea, loss of appetite, and jaundice (yellowing of the skin and eyes).

  • Cirrhosis

    Destruction of liver cells (hepatocytes), which are replaced by fibrous tissue. Symptoms are similar to hepatitis, as well as frequent internal bleeding and a swollen abdomen.


  • Constipation

    Infrequent bowel movements or difficulty passing feces.

  • Salmonellosis

    Infection of the small and large intestine caused by drinking water or eating food contaminated with Salmonella bacteria. Foods with the highest risk of contamination are raw or rare meats, unpasteurized milk, and raw or undercooked eggs.

  • Appendicitis

    Inflammation of the appendix due to an obstruction, which causes bacteria to reproduce rapidly. Symptoms are intense abdominal pain, vomiting, and fever. The appendix must be removed to prevent it from perforating and causing a generalized infection of the abdomen.

  • Intestinal Parasites

    The intestine becomes infected by protozoa or worms (nematodes and flatworms) that absorb nutrients in the intestinal tract. Most parasites enter the body via contaminated food or water.

Vitamin Deficiencies

AnemiaIron, Vitamin B12, or Folic AcidTiredness and general weakness
Night Blindness and XerophthalmiaVitamin ADifficulty seeing in low light, eye dryness
BeriberiVitamin B1Fatigue, memory loss, loss of appetite, and muscle weakness
RicketsVitamin DBone weakness and deformities in children
GoiterIodineSwelling of the thyroid gland
OsteoporosisCalcium, Phosphorus, and MagnesiumCurving of the spine, height loss, and fragile bones

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