Merck Manual

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Overview of Digestive Symptoms

By

Jonathan Gotfried

, MD, Lewis Katz School of Medicine at Temple University

Last full review/revision Mar 2020| Content last modified Mar 2020
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Disorders that affect the digestive (gastrointestinal) system are called digestive disorders. Some disorders simultaneously affect several parts of the digestive system, whereas others affect only one part or organ.

Some symptoms usually suggest a digestive disorder, such as

More general symptoms, such as abdominal pain (see also Chronic and Recurring Abdominal Pain), passing of gas (flatulence), loss of appetite, hiccups, and nausea, may suggest a digestive disorder or another type of disorder. Chest or back pain usually suggests another type of disorder but sometimes is caused by a digestive disorder.

Indigestion is an imprecise term that is used by different people to mean different things. The term covers a wide range of symptoms, including dyspepsia, nausea and vomiting, regurgitation, and the sensation of having a lump in the throat (globus sensation).

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