Health Information

Digestive Disorders

  • Barrett's Esophagus

    Detailed information on Barrett's esophagus, including cause, symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment

  • Celiac Disease

    Detailed information on celiac disease, including causes, symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment

  • Colorectal Cancer

    Most people who have colorectal cancer are older than 50. This type of cancer is also associated with a diet high in fat and calories and low in fiber.

  • Constipation

    Constipation is a condition in which a person has uncomfortable or infrequent bowel movements. Generally, a person is considered to be constipated when bowel movements result in passage of small amounts of hard, dry stool.

  • Digestive Diagnostic Procedures

    Detailed information on the most common procedures used to diagnosis digestive disorders

  • Diarrhea

    Detailed information on diarrhea, including causes, symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment

  • Digestive Disorders

    Detailed information on the most common types of digestive disorders, including appendicitis, Barrett's esophagus, celiac disease, constipation, crohn's disease, diarrhea, diverticular disease, gas, gastritis, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), gastr

  • Diverticular Disease

    Detailed information on diverticular disease, including causes, symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment

  • Esophageal Cancer

    Detailed information on esophageal cancer, including symptoms, stages, types, risk factors, diagnosis, and treatment

  • Gas in the Digestive Tract

    Detailed information on gas in the digestive tract, including a list of foods that cause gas, diagnosis, treatment, and prevention

  • Gastroparesis

    Detailed information on gastroparesis, including causes, symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment

  • Gastritis

    Detailed information on gastritis, including causes, symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment

  • Helicobacter Pylori

    Detailed information on helicobacter pylori, including causes, symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment

  • Hemorrhoids

    Hemorrhoids are blood vessels normally present in and around the anus and lower rectum that have become swollen because of stretching under pressure. Hemorrhoids are very common in both men and women.

  • Hepatitis A

    Hepatitis A is a highly contagious and sometimes serious liver disease. The hepatitis A virus is transmitted by eating food or drinking water contaminated with infected feces.

  • Hepatitis B

    Detailed information on hepatitis B, including causes, symptoms, risk factors, prevention, diagnosis, and treatment

  • Hepatitis C

    Detailed information on hepatitis C, including causes, symptoms, risk factors, prevention, diagnosis, and treatment

  • Hiatal Hernia

    Detailed information on hiatal hernias, including causes and treatment

  • Digestive System: An Overview

    Detailed information on how the digestive system works, including a full-color, labeled illustration of the digestive system

  • Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)/Heartburn

    Gastroesophageal reflux is the return of acidic stomach juices, or food and fluids, back up into the esophagus.

  • Crohn's Disease

    Detailed information on Crohn's disease, including symptoms, causes, diagnosis, and treatment

  • Ulcerative Colitis

    Detailed information on ulcerative colitis, including symptoms, causes, diagnosis, and treatment

  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)

    A person with IBS has a colon that is more sensitive and reactive than usual, so it responds strongly to stimuli that would not affect other people.

  • Home Page - Digestive Disorders

    Detailed information on digestive disorders, including anatomy of the digestive system, digestive disorders diagnosis, digestive disorders medications, colorectal cancer, esophageal cancer, and stomach cancer

  • Indigestion

    Although indigestion may be the result of a disease or an ulcer in the digestive tract, most often it is caused by eating too much, eating too quickly, eating high-fat foods, or eating during stressful situations.

  • Inguinal Hernia

    Detailed information on inguinal hernias, including causes, symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment

  • Lactose Intolerance

    Detailed information on lactose intolerance, including causes, symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment

  • Medications and the Digestive System

    Medications taken by mouth can affect the digestive system in a number of different ways. Both prescription and over-the-counter drugs, while usually safe and effective, may create harmful effects in some people.

  • Online Resources - Digestive Disorders

    List of online resources to find additional information on digestive disorders

  • Peritonitis

    Detailed information on peritonitis, including causes, symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment

  • Topic Index - Digestive Disorders

    Detailed information on digestive disorders, including anatomy of the digestive system, digestive disorders diagnosis, digestive disorders medications, colorectal cancer, esophageal cancer, and stomach cancer

  • Stomach and Duodenal Ulcers (Peptic Ulcers)

    Detailed information on stomach ulcers, duodenal ulcers, and peptic ulcers

  • Viral Hepatitis Overview

    Detailed information on the different types of hepatitis, including viral hepatitis, hepatitis a, hepatitis b, and hepatitis c

  • Intra-Abdominal Abscess

    An intra-abdominal abscess is a collection of pus or infected fluid that is surrounded by inflamed tissue inside the abdomen. It can involve any abdominal organ, or it can settle in the folds of the bowel.

  • Zollinger-Ellison Syndrome

    If you have Zollinger-Ellison sydromes, you likely have one or more tumors in your duodenum (the first part of the small intestine), your pancreas, or both organs.

  • Pancreas Transplantation

    Pancreas transplantation is a type of surgery in which you receive a healthy donor pancreas. It is an option for some people with type 1 diabetes.

  • Understanding Acute Pancreatitis

    Pancreatitis is an inflammation of your pancreas that causes it to become irritated.

  • Annular Pancreas

    Annular pancreas is the most common defect seen in the pancreas, an organ that plays an important part in your digestive process. The condition is caused by a genetic birth defect.

  • Understanding Chronic Pancreatitis

    If your pancreas suddenly becomes inflamed — swollen and irritated — it’s called acute pancreatitis. If you don't recover from acute pancreatitis and the inflammation persists and gets gradually worse, you have chronic pancreatitis.

  • Gallstone Pancreatitis

    Pancreatitis is a disease that causes inflammation and pain in your pancreas. This is a small organ that produces fluids and enzymes to break down food, as part of the digestive process.

  • Eosinophilic Esophagitis

    When you think of allergic reactions, you probably envision itchy eyes and a runny nose. But an allergic reaction can occur in the esophagus – your food pipe – as well.

  • Infectious Esophagitis

    Infectious esophagitis is swelling and irritation of your esophagus, triggered by an infection.

  • Esophagitis

    Esophagitis is the irritation and inflammation of the lining of your esophagus, or food pipe. Because the lining of the esophagus is sensitive, many things can cause swelling and irritation.

  • Coping with Swallowing Difficulties

    Swallowing difficulties can occur for reasons ranging from dehydration to illness. Most cases are short-lived, but sometimes you might need medical treatment or special home care.

  • Anal Fistula

    An anal fistula is an abnormal opening in the skin near the anus that leads to the inside of the anal canal in the colon,

  • Anal Fissures

    An anal fissure is a small, painful tear in the lining of the anus. Anal fissures may hurt and bleed during or after a bowel movement, but about 90 percent heal without surgery.

  • Anorectal Abscess

    An anorectal abscess is a collection of pus under the skin in the area of the anus and rectum.

  • Rectal Prolapse

    If the rectum drops out of its normal place within the body and pushes out of the anal opening, the condition is called rectal prolapse.

  • Smoking and the Digestive System

    Smoking can harm your digestive system in many ways. It weakens the sphincter and allows stomach acid to flow backward into your esophagus.

  • Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease

    Fatty liver disease means that you have fat deposits inside your liver. These deposits may keep your liver from doing a good job of removing toxins from your blood.

  • Portal Hypertension

    Portal hypertension is high blood pressure of the portal vein, which is in your abdomen. It collects nutrient-rich blood from your intestines and carries it to the liver for cleaning.

  • Toxic Megacolon

    A toxic megacolon is a rare yet life-threatening complication of severe colon disease or infection. It is diagnosed when your colon has expanded by more than five to six centimeters.

  • Sphincter of Oddi Dysfunction

    Your bile and pancreative juices flow through a duct that is opened and closed by a valve called the sphincter of oddie. If this valve goes into spasm, you end up with severe belly pain.

  • Dietary Changes for Celiac Disease

    Celiac disease is a digestive disorder that damages your small intestine and keeps it from absorbing the nutrients in food. A protein found in wheat, barley, and rye called gluten is what causes the damage to the intestinal tract.

  • What Is a Gluten-Free Diet?

    Many people are reducing or eliminating their dietary intake of gluten, a protein found in wheat, rye, barley, and some other grains. But only those who have celiac disease need to completely stop eating gluten.

  • Eating Well for Digestive Health

    If you're like most people, you may have gas, constipation, or heartburn every now and then.

  • Bacterial Gastroenteritis

    Gastroenteritis, often caused by a virus, refers to a number of digestive disorders that range from mild to severe.

  • The Digestive Process: Digestion Begins in the Mouth

    Digestion is a multistep process that begins the moment you place a piece of food in your mouth or sip some juice.

  • Health Care Providers in Digestive Health

    The right specialist or health care team can help you manage chronic digestive conditions, such as gastroesophageal reflux disease, irritable bowel syndrome, and Crohn's disease.

  • The Digestive Process: How Does the Esophagus Work?

    Your esophagus, about 10 inches long, has one main purpose in life: to move food from your throat to your stomach.

  • Understanding Fecal Incontinence

    Fecal incontinence means that you are not able to hold your feces, or stool, within your rectum until you get to a toilet.

  • The Digestive Process: How Does the Gallbladder Aid in Digestion?

    Despite its size - only 3 to 4 inches long and 1 inch across - the gallbladder is critical to digesting your food and absorbing energy from it.

  • Understanding an Intestinal Obstruction

    If your doctor determines that you have an intestinal obstruction, it means that something is blocking your intestine. Food and stool may not be able to move freely.

  • The Digestive Process: The Large Intestine

    The large intestine is one of the many important parts of your digestive tract. This is a series of organs that begins with your mouth and ends with your anus, the opening of your rectum.

  • Mallory-Weiss Tear

    Sometimes, through violent coughing or vomiting, you can tear the tissue of your lower esophagus and it can begin to bleed. The condition is called a Mallory-Weiss tear.

  • The Digestive Process: The Liver and its Many Functions

    The liver is the largest organ in your body. At about 3 pounds and about the size of a football, it performs many functions essential for good health and a long life.

  • The Digestive Process: What Is the Role of Your Pancreas in Digestion?

    Your pancreas plays a significant role in digestion. It is located inside your abdomen, just behind your stomach, and it is about the size of your hand.

  • The Digestive Process: What Does the Small Intestine Do?

    At 20 feet long, your small intestine is the longest part of the human digestive system. Most of the digestive process takes place there.

  • The Digestive Process: How Is Food Digested in the Stomach?

    Few activities in life seem as natural as eating and drinking — we do them every day without giving them much thought. Yet, what happens inside your body after you eat is an interesting and complex process.

  • Understanding Viral Gastroenteritis

    Viral gastroenteritis is an inflammation of the inside lining of your gastrointestinal tract. The condition can infect your stomach, small intestine, and large intestine.

  • Achalasia

    Achalasia is a disease that makes it hard to eat and drink normally. It affects your esophagus, which is the swallowing tube that connects the back of your throat to your stomach.

  • Understanding Alagille Syndrome

    If you have the genetic disorder known as Alagille syndrome, you have fewer than the normal number of bile ducts in your liver.

  • What Is the Bernstein Test?

    The Bernstein test, which is also called the esophageal acid perfusion test for esophagitis, helps to diagnose gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).

  • Mesenteric Ischemia

    Mesenteric ischemia is a condition where you have decreased or blocked blood flow to your large or small intestine. This causes severe abdominal pain.

  • Primary Sclerosing Cholangitis

    Primary sclerosing cholangitis is a rare disease in which your bile ducts become scarred and gradually narrow. Eventually, your bile backs up into your liver and starts to damage it.

  • Insulinoma

    Insulinomas are tumors in your pancreas that produce excess insulin. These tumors are rare and usually do not spread to other parts of your body.

  • Inguinal Hernia

    An inguinal hernia is a bulge that occurs in your groin region, the area between the lower part of your abdomen and your thigh. Inguinal hernias occur because of a weakening of the muscles in the lower abdomen

  • Ascites

    Ascites is a condition in which fluid collects in spaces within your abdomen. Although the most common cause of ascites is cirrhosis of the liver, for about 10 percent of people with ascites, the cause is cancer.

  • Ampullary Cancer

    Ampullary cancer, or ampullary carcinoma, is a life-threatening cancer that forms in a body part called the ampulla of Vater in the duodenum, where the pancreatic and bile ducts release their secretions into the intestines.