Inflammation digestive tract


If you suffer from inflammation of the digestive tract, many diseases are possible causes.

The term Digestive tract summarizes numerous organs that are responsible for the ingestion, reduction, transport, utilization and excretion of the food we ingest.
These include the Oral cavity With tongue, Teeth and Salivary glands, the esophagus, stomach, Small intestine and Large intestine, but also the organs that produce substances that are essential for digestion, such as pancreas, Gallbladder and liver.

All of these organs can become ignitewhich partly manifests itself in specific symptoms. The inflammation can acute or chronic run away. Chronic inflammation refers to recurring flare-ups over a period of weeks to months.

In the following the main and most common inflammations Certain organs, especially those that are responsible for the crushing, transport and absorption of food components, briefly presented. The main purpose of the following texts is to provide an overview. You can find more detailed information on the corresponding clinical pictures in further articles on .de can be found.


  • Root cause:
    Between esophagus and stomach there is a sphincter muscle that only opens when we have consumed food that is supposed to pass into the stomach. In between food intake, this muscle tightly closes the stomach towards the esophagus so that no acidic gastric juice can enter the esophagus. If this muscle becomes weaker, however, so that it can no longer fully take up its closing function, the corrosive stomach acid enters the esophagus.
    In contrast to that in the stomach of a healthy person, the mucous membrane of this is not designed for hydrochloric acid and can develop ignite. An inflammation of the esophagus is also known technically as Esophagitis. Furthermore, the mucous membrane of the esophagus can be visibly damaged. The symptoms also occur when the sphincter muscle is largely intact, but more stomach acid is produced than usual. This is especially true for one unhealthy diet and stress the case.
  • Symptoms:
    This is what happens most often heartburnAs can be seen from the name in part, as a burning behind the Sternum noticeable. At the same time, those affected occasionally hear a bitter to sour taste in the mouth.
    Most often these symptoms occur after eating, as well as after consuming Coffee, alcohol and cigarettes on. These are made worse when lying flat. In the worst case, especially when lying down, the stomach acid can increase lung flow, which leads to coughing fits in the sick
    Sphincter replaced.
  • Diagnosis:
    The diagnosis is often made by the doctor on the basis of the patient's symptoms. By means of a so-called Gastroscopy With the help of a small camera, which is pushed into the esophagus and the stomach, it can be assessed how far possible Mucosal damage and inflammation of the esophagus has progressed. Furthermore, a pH measurement carried out inside the esophagus in order to detect the hydrochloric acid.
    A Pressure measurement the sphincter between the esophagus and stomach can provide information about how well it is performing its function.
  • Therapy:
    Heartburn has become a very common ailment in industrialized nations and there are numerous Medication available for the relief of discomfort. Some reduce the production of hydrochloric acid in the stomach, others neutralize gastric acid.
    Which medication best suits the patient's symptoms depends on how far the symptoms have progressed and how long they have been going on. The attending physician can provide more detailed information on this.
    If drug therapy is unsuccessful, there is still the possibility of one minor surgery, in which part of the stomach is pulled from the outside around the esophagus. As a result of the ingestion of food, the stomach is filled, which subsequently compresses the esophagus and thus the function of the defective

Viral, bacterial, and fungal infections of the esophagus (esophagitis)

  • root cause:
    Among other things can also Viruses, bacteria and Mushrooms the Mucous membrane colonize and ignite. The causative pathogens are often found in healthy people.
    You belong here to normal microbiological colonization of the mouth and throat and have no disease value. These forms of esophagitis therefore usually occur in immunocompromised people, such as in HIV-infected people or in those in which the esophagus, for example through Medication or alcohol has already been damaged.

  • Symptoms:
    Those affected often complain too much heartburn, so pain in the upper stomach area, as well as behind the Sternum.
    Furthermore can difficulties swallowing occur in combination with pain during swallowing. Some vomit because the damaged esophagus can no longer properly transport the food they have eaten.

  • diagnosis:
    The diagnosis can usually be based on the Symptoms and based on the previous Medical history of the person concerned. A fungal attack can often be seen by looking into the throat be recognized. For the cultivation of a possible bacterial pathogen, a smear of the throat necessary.

  • therapy:
    Depending on the causative agent, there are different ones drug therapies in question. Stand for a fungal attack Antifungal drugssuch as fluconazole are available for bacterial infestation Antibiotics and for virus infestation, especially through Herpes viruses antiviral drugs.

Inflammation of the stomach lining

The inflammation is also accompanied by nausea.
  • root cause:
    To a inflammation of the Gastric mucosa (gastritis) occurs when the stomach's self-protection is no longer sufficient to protect itself against hydrochloric acid, which is important for digestion. There is an imbalance between acid production and acid protection. The acid consequently attacks the mucous membrane.
    The most common causes of acute inflammation are Medication, especially from Pain medication, excessive alcohol- and or Nicotine consumption, much stress, Viruses or bacteria. The most common cause of chronic gastric mucosal inflammation is a bacterium, namely Helicobacter pylori.
  • Symptoms:
    Those affected suffer from one oppressive feeling and Pain in the upper abdomenwhich worsen under pressure on the epigastric region. Many complain about nausea and Loss of appetite.
  • Diagnosis:
    The diagnosis can usually be based on the Symptoms and the prehistory of the person concerned.
    It is coming recurring inflammation of the gastric mucosa, further diagnostic measures should be carried out to detect a possible colonization by the gastric germ Helicobacter. The germ is able to irritate and damage the mucous membrane so strongly that it can subsequently Ulcers can arise that run the risk of going unnoticed blossoms.
    In addition, these ulcers can be a precursor to it Stomach cancer represent. The germ can use a special Breath tests to be established. If the inflammation recurs, it is also advisable to carry out a Gastroscopyin order to rule out possible ulcers or, if necessary, to be able to better plan the further course of action. During the mirroring process, small Gastric mucosal samples taken and also checked for Helicobacter pylori.
  • therapy:
    are Medication, alcohol or nicotine the cause of the inflammation so should address this waived to allow healing and to protect the stomach.
    If the gastric mucosal inflammation occurs more often on, drugs are the those Neutralize hydrochloric acid or lead to less of this being formed, is recommended. If the stomach germ Helicobacter can be detected, a so-called Eradication therapy be done with the aim of using that certain Antibiotics the bacterium in the stomach is destroyed.

Inflammation of the small bowel (enteritis)

Under one Enteritis one understands one Inflammation of the small intestine. If the stomach is also affected by the inflammation, this is called gastroenteritis (Gastro = stomach). This combination is particularly common at Children. If the large intestine is affected, this is referred to as Enterocolitis (Colon = large intestine).

  • root cause:
    About a third of those affected are Viruses, especially the so-called Norovirus Cause of small bowel disease. They mainly occur seasonally. Noroviruses are mainly found in late fall and the winter months while infections caused by the Rotavirus occur primarily in spring.
    The viruses are able to penetrate the intestinal cells and thus destroy them. This creates a inflammatory reaction of the small intestine, which also means that the affected intestinal cells are destroyed by the body's defense cells and their function is influenced. The viruses get from person to person, usually through something called Smear and droplet infections transfer.
    Sick people spread the virus Stool and vomit out. If they do not wash and disinfect their hands sufficiently after using the toilet, they contaminate objects such as door handles, towels and banisters. The viruses can still be detected in the stool for up to two weeks after recovery; the affected person is thus still contagious. Therefore, even healthy people should take prophylactic measures during the infection-rich months hands, especially before meals wash thoroughly.

    The summer months and early autumn are mainly bacterial pathogens, how Campylobacter and Salmonella proven.
    The bacteria damage the small intestine, especially its mucous membrane, in various ways. The infections by Salmonella and Campylobacter takes place mainly over contaminated food. Salmonella can be found in raw eggs, in egg dishes such as mayonnaise or ice cream, in meat products, especially in poultry, in milk and dairy products and in seafood.
    The infection with Campylobacter usually happens in connection with the consumption of contaminated, insufficiently heated Poultry meat and poultry productssuch as eggs. The bacterium has a special feature Clostridium difficile which can infect the small intestine, especially after long-term antibiotic therapy, because the Antibiotics the normal, benign bacterial flora in the intestine has been so badly damaged that this malignant germ can spread unhindered.

  • Symptoms:
    The symptoms, their timing and duration are on the one hand from the pathogen in itself, as well as from the constitution of the person concerned.
    Classically kick first nausea, for some in combination with Vomit, such as cramping pain in the area of ​​the intestines and in the abdominal region. The pain is usually simultaneous with an onset of diarrhea combined. Come on in the further course fever and a general weakness added.
    The symptoms can up to two weeks, tend to be shorter. The danger is that it is through the strong Loss of fluids and electrolytes dehydration of the body, which can lead to circulatory problems. In the worst case this can lead to a life threatening one Circulatory collapse. This is particularly feared by children, the elderly and immunocompromised people. The peculiarity of a Salmonella infection, especially in the case of immune deficiencies, is that the pathogens enter the blood via the intestine and there a life-threatening one Blood poisoning can trigger.

  • Diagnosis:
    The diagnosis of bowel inflammation can usually be based on the Symptoms and the prehistory of the person concerned. It is important to note here possible Stays abroad, the contact with potentially or actually ill people and what food and beverages were consumed in the last few days.Is there any suspicion of a bacterial cause, will usually be a Stool sample examined for appropriate pathogens in order to provide the patient with the best possible therapy.

  • Therapy:
    That has the highest priority Replacement of the lost fluid and possibly the Electrolytes.
    Depending on the physical condition of the sick person, this can be done by drinking enough, as well as by Intake of salt (Pretzel Sticks) and glucose respectively.
    If a lot of fluid has already been lost and the person is already very dehydrated, a Admission to the clinic Consider getting there fluid and electrolytes over the vein feed. In addition, a severe form an intestinal inflammation (severe, frequent diarrhea with vomiting) also refrain from using food to make up for fluid and electrolyte deficiencies. The gastrointestinal tract is so irritated in this condition that the sick often vomit afterwards, which would make the situation increasingly worse. In such a case, too, admission to a clinic makes sense.
    Stand on the market Medication available to the Thicken the chair and thus reduce diarrhea. However, this measure should not be over a long period of time, but rather on an emergency basis, for example during a trip take place, as the excretion of the pathogen is delayed. If a bacterial pathogen was identified as the cause as a result of an examined stool sample, the use of Antibiotics be useful by the attending physician. In the majority of cases, however, no medication is necessary to heal the enteritis. As a rule, replacing fluids and electrolytes is sufficient. However, do not be afraid to consult a doctor if you have any questions or uncertainties.

Chronic Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)

The disease progresses in phases.

The term IBD summarizes inflammatory changes in the intestine, some of which occur in bursts and recurring, but sometimes also permanently.
The most important representatives are the diseases of Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis.
In Crohn's disease, individual parts of the digestive tract are affected with healthy areas in between. One speaks of a segmental involvement, while ulcerative colitis is a progressive, continuous inflammation starting from the anus towards the mouth. The special feature of Crohn's disease is that the entire digestive tract, i.e. from mouth to rectum, can be affected by the inflammatory changes. However, it is particularly common in the end part of the small intestine and in the large intestine, which is why the disease was listed in this section. The peak of the age of inflammatory bowel diseases is between the 2nd and 4th decade of life. However, some people with Crohn's disease are younger.

Read more on the subject at: inflammatory bowel disease

  • Root cause:
    A clear cause for both diseases has not yet been established. Sometimes autoimmune causes are discussed, in which the body of the person concerned produces antibodies against healthy structures of the intestine. These antibodies attack the corresponding structures in the intestine and thus initiate an immune reaction that ultimately damages it and impairs its function.

You might also be interested in this topic: Leaky Gut Syndrome

  • Symptoms:
    With both diseases, symptoms usually occur in phases, with symptoms-free intervals in between.
    The sick often complain of cramping abdominal pain, often accompanied by, occasionally even bloody, diarrhea. Occasionally a fever occurs. Increased inflammation values ​​can be noted in the blood. The danger with Crohn's disease is that, as a result of recurring inflammation, the affected sections of the intestine narrow due to scarring, so that the stool can no longer be properly transported. Those affected suffer from cramping abdominal pain after eating and a change between diarrhea and constipation.
  • Diagnosis:
    At the beginning of the diagnosis there is a questioning of the person concerned about his clinical picture with a subsequent physical examination by the doctor. If there is a suspicion of a chronic inflammatory bowel disease, further measures such as a blood test and an ultrasound scan of the abdomen are carried out. Furthermore, it makes sense to mirror the intestine with the aid of a small camera, as its condition and appearance can be assessed by the examining doctor and small tissue samples can also be taken. The disease can thus be determined with certainty.
  • Therapy:
    For long-term therapy, especially to prevent a further flare-up of inflammation, anti-inflammatory drugs can be used, which inhibit messenger substances that contribute to the development of inflammation. One of them is mesalazine, for example. The treatment of an acute attack depends on its severity. First a diet should be started, i.e. the consumption of light foods such as soups, rusks, tea and water. This serves to protect the damaged intestine so that it has the opportunity to recover. So-called glucocorticoids (colloquial Cortisone) such as budesonide are available. Budesonide in particular locally inhibits the immune reaction in the intestine, which is ultimately the reason for its inflammation and the symptoms of the sick person.

Sigmoid diverticulitis

Sigmoid colon is the Latin name for Ileum. It is one of the last sections of the colon in the left lower abdomen. Diverticulum are small pouches in the intestine. They arise primarily in this section of the large intestine as a result of increased pressure, for example during a constipation, which the intestinal wall can no longer withstand and forms these bulges for relief. Diverticula are nothing bad in and of themselves. You find them, increasingly with increasing age, in many people, for example in the context of a Colonoscopy. These bulges often only cause discomfort as soon as they resolve ignite. If the inflamed diverticula are located in the ileum, i.e. in the sigmoid colon, one speaks of sigmoid diverticulitis.

  • Root cause:
    If stool now settles in these diverticula, it comes to Irritation of the intestinal wallwhich actually makes harmless Intestinal bacteria penetrate the damaged intestinal wall and inflame it. Now one speaks of one Diverticulitis. The danger is that the irritated intestinal wall could tear, i.e. perforate, and stool could get into the abdomen. This can life threatening be.

  • Symptoms:
    Those affected complain about, in part severe pain in the left lower abdomen. Often occur as a result of inflammation fever on. Stool irregularities, usually in the form of constipation, are also often observed.

  • Diagnosis:
    Often times, the doctor can already use the physical exam express suspicion of sigmoid diverticulitis. There is pain on pressure in the area of ​​the left lower abdomen. Occasionally the inflamed bowel is considered hardening palpable. During the inflammatory phase, diverticulitis can use the Computed Tomography be assessed.
    In the non-inflammatory phases, pouches can occur under a Colonoscopy can be detected. This is too dangerous during the acute phase, as the inflamed bowel bulge could tear quickly.

  • Therapy:
    The therapy depends on the extent of the inflammation and the condition of the sick person. The highest priority is initially Treating inflammation. It is only recommended light food to take to relieve the intestines.
    Furthermore, a Administration of antibiotics to kill the bacteria and treat the pain with the help of appropriate medication. If the symptoms get worse despite therapy, if inflammations have already occurred several times or if the intestine has already broken through, it is one surgery necessary. During this operation, the part of the intestine that houses the inflamed diverticulum is removed. Partly this is already in the form of a so-called Keyhole surgery possible when following the operation only minimal small scars remain.