• Abdominal Pain
    We've all felt pain in our stomach area at some time. Usually, it isn't cause for alarm. But abdominal pain can be a sign of a medical emergency.
  • Anatomy of the Gastrointestinal System
    The digestive tract, also known as the gastrointestinal (or GI) tract, is the pathway through which food passes through the body. The digestive tract begins at the mouth and ends at the rectum. Organs within the digestive tract break down food, extract the nutrients and expel the remaining waste.
  • Appendicitis
    This is an inflammation of your appendix. Appendicitis can be severely painful. Without proper treatment, it can lead to a life-threatening infection.
  • Barrett's Esophagus
    This is a problem with the tube that connects your throat to your stomach. It's your "esophagus." With Barrett's esophagus, the lining of this tube becomes red and thick. This makes it hard for you to swallow food. It also raises your risk for cancer of the esophagus
  • C. Difficile Infection
    This is an intestinal infection. It's caused by a bacterium known as Clostridium difficile. We also call it "C. diff." It lives in the intestines of some people. For most who carry it, C. diff. doesn't cause problems. But it can spread to others, especially in places like hospitals and nursing homes. And when it infects someone new, it can grow out of control.
  • Carcinoid Tumors of the Gastrointestinal Tract
    This type of cancer forms in the lining of the stomach or the intestines. It is a slow-growing cancer that results in one or more tumors. This cancer can spread from the gastrointestinal tract to the liver. Carcinoid tumors are less common than many other forms of cancer.
  • Celiac Disease
    This is an immune system disease. With it, your immune system reacts to foods that contain gluten. That's a protein found in wheat, rye and barley. When you eat gluten, your immune system attacks and harms your small intestine. This makes it hard for your body to absorb nutrients.
  • Cirrhosis
    Your liver is an organ that helps filter your blood. It helps process and store nutrients from the foods you eat. And it does other important jobs. When scar tissue builds up in your liver over time, this is called "cirrhosis."
  • Colon Polyps
    These are small, fleshy growths that stick out from the walls of your large intestine. In most cases, they are harmless. But over time, some polyps can become cancerous.
  • Colorectal Cancer
    This condition is the formation of cancerous growths in the colon (called colon cancer) and in the rectum (called rectal cancer).
  • Constipation (in Adults)
    This condition is a problem with the function of your bowels. It can be an issue for you as you age. Constipation can be related to your diet or your daily routine. But for some people, it can be a sign of a more serious disorder.
  • Constipation (Opioid-Induced)
    This condition, also called OIC, is a temporary problem with the function of your bowels. It is an uncomfortable side-effect from taking certain drugs that contain opioids. These drugs are commonly taken to control pain.
  • Crohn's Disease
    This chronic disease of your digestive tract makes it hard for you to digest food properly. Most often, Crohn's disease affects the lower part of your small intestine (called the "ileum") and the upper part of the colon. But the inflammation can happen anywhere along your digestive tract.
  • Cyclic Vomiting Syndrome
    This involves repeated episodes of nausea, vomiting and tiredness. They can happen regularly, and they may be linked to a trigger. Or, they can happen randomly. This disorder is most common in children. But adults can have it, too.


  • Diverticulitis
    This is an inflammation of one or more small, bulging pouches called "diverticula." They form in weak spots in the wall of your intestines. Most often they're found in your large intestine. When you have these pouches, we say you have "diverticulosis." When they become irritated or infected, you have "diverticulitis."
  • Diverticulosis
    This happens when small pouches called "diverticula" bulge through weak spots in the wall of your intestines. Most often, they're found in your large intestine.
  • Esophageal Cancer
    This type of cancer develops in your esophagus. The esophagus is the organ that carries food and liquids from your throat to your stomach. It is a muscular tube lined with specialized cells.
  • Fecal Incontinence
    With this problem, you have trouble controlling your bowels. You may have leaks. You may soil your clothing before you can get to a toilet. This keeps you from being as active as you like.
  • Food Poisoning
    You get this illness from eating contaminated food. It may have bacteria, viruses or parasites in it. Or, it may have toxins in it that were created by these organisms. Food poisoning can make you very sick. It can kill you.
  • Gallstones
    These are hardened particles that form inside your gallbladder. This small organ plays a role in digestion. It stores bile, a digestive fluid that helps break down fatty foods and eliminate waste from your body.
  • Gastritis
    This is an inflammation of your stomach lining. It happens when stomach acid irritates the inside of your stomach. This can happen suddenly and heal quickly. Or, it can develop slowly and last for a long time.
  • Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)
    This is a regular irritation of your esophagus. That's the part of your digestive system that goes from your mouth to your stomach. The irritation you feel is from acid that has escaped your stomach.
  • Heartburn
    This is a burning sensation in your chest. It is related to your digestive system. Most people experience heartburn occasionally, and have only mild discomfort. But for some, it can be a chronic and painful problem.
  • Hemorrhoids
    This condition is an inflammation and swelling of the veins of the anus or rectum. Hemorrhoids may occur inside or outside the anus.
  • Hepatitis C (HCV)
    This is a viral infection that affects the liver. It can cause you to be mildly sick for weeks or months. But even after you feel better, the virus can stay inside your body. It can slowly harm your liver over many years.
  • Hiatal Hernia
    This condition develops when part of your stomach pushes up through an opening in your diaphragm called the "hiatus." The diaphragm separates your chest from your abdominal cavity. The hiatus is the opening that your esophagus passes through.
  • Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)
    This is a label given to certain conditions that cause problems with your gastrointestinal tract. With IBD, your intestines become irritated and inflamed. This gets worse over time. Ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease are the most common forms of IBD.
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
    This chronic condition affects your large intestine. With it, your bowels are hypersensitive. You may need to use the restroom frequently and urgently. This can be uncomfortable and embarrassing. It can interfere with your daily life.
  • Lactose Intolerance
    This is a digestive disorder. With it, your body can't fully digest lactose. That's a sugar found in dairy milk and milk products. To break down lactose, your small intestine makes an enzyme called "lactase." But if you are lactose intolerant, you don't make enough lactase. Consuming milk and dairy can cause unpleasant problems.
  • Laryngopharyngeal Reflux (LPR)
    This is a throat irritation that happens when stomach acid travels up into your throat. Normally, this acid is kept in your stomach by a muscle called the "lower esophageal sphincter." But, if this muscle doesn't work properly, it lets acid escape and go up your esophagus to your throat. We call this "reflux."
  • Opioid-Induced Constipation (OIC)
    This form of constipation is linked to opioids. It's a common problem for patients who manage pain with these drugs.
  • Peptic Ulcer
    This is a sore that forms in the lining of your digestive tract. It develops when stomach acid eats through the mucus layer that protects the walls of your digestive tract. A peptic ulcer can form in your stomach. It can also form in your esophagus, or in the upper part of your small intestine.
  • Polycystic Kidney Disease (PKD)
    With this disease, you develop clusters of fluid-filled cysts. They mainly grow in your kidneys, but they can grow in your liver and in other places, too. These cysts aren't cancerous. But they can harm your kidneys and make it hard for them to work properly.
  • Stomach (Gastric) Cancer
    This cancer usually forms in the cells that line the inside of the stomach. These cells produce your stomach's protective mucus layer. Stomach cancer is not as common as other cancers. It can spread to other parts of the body if it is not treated in its early stages.
  • Stomach flu (Gastroenteritis)
    This common illness affects your digestive system. It's not really a flu. It's an inflammation of the lining of your intestines. Doctors often call it "gastroenteritis." Most people recover from it with no treatment.
  • Traveler's Diarrhea
    This is an infection of the digestive system. It causes loose, watery poop. Traveler's diarrhea gets its name because it often strikes after visits to places with poor public hygiene.
  • Ulcerative Colitis
    This is a chronic disease that affects your large intestine. With it, your intestine becomes inflamed. And sores we call "ulcers" form on your intestine's inner walls.
  • What Does the Gallbladder Do?
    Your gallbladder is a small organ on the right side of your abdomen. It's part of your digestive system. But you may not know much about it. Let's take a moment to learn about the gallbladder, and what it does for the body.
  • What Does the Liver Do?
    Your liver is both an organ and a gland. It's found on the right side of your abdomen above your stomach. Your liver is very important for your health. You can't live without it. But what does the liver do, exactly? Let's take a moment to learn more about it.