Common Conditions and Treatments
Acid Reflux, Heartburn and GERD | Heartburn is the burning sensation you feel in the upper abdomen behind
the breastbone when stomach acid splashes up and out of your stomach.
Although it may have several causes, it is often associated with acid
reflux or gastroesophageal reflux disease or GERD, a condition where stomach
acid gets into your esophagus.
Barrett’s Esophagus | Barrett's Esophagus is a condition where normal esophageal tissue
changes to tissue that resembles the lining of the intestine. This condition
is a complication that is caused by chronic acid reflux or GERD. Patients
with Barrett’s esophagus have an increased risk of developing esophageal cancer.
Celiac Disease | Celiac disease is an autoimmune disease of the small intestine caused
by gluten intolerance. Gluten is a protein found in wheat, barley and
rye. If you have celiac disease, ingesting gluten causes inflammation
of the inner lining of the small intestine resulting in abdominal pain,
gas/bloating, diarrhea and unexplained weight loss. This condition can
be treated by following a strict gluten-free diet.
Cirrhosis | Cirrhosis is a condition in which the liver does not function properly
due to irreversible scarring that blocks the flow of blood to the liver.
Symptoms of cirrhosis include jaundice (yellowing of the skin, eyes and
tongue), itching, loss of appetite and extreme tiredness. The disease
progresses slowly over time and can lead to fluid build-up in the abdomen,
bleeding from the intestinal tract, mental status changes and liver cancer.
Cirrhosis can be caused by long-term excessive alcohol abuse, hepatitis
B and C infections and fatty liver disease, as well as some autoimmune
and genetic disorders.
Colorectal Polyps and Cancer | Colorectal cancer, or cancer of the large intestine, usually begins
as a polyp, an abnormal growth on the inner lining of the colon. Colon
polyps often don’t cause symptoms , but while they are usually harmless,
some can develop into cancer. Colorectal cancer is one of the leading
causes of cancer-related deaths in the Unites States. However, if caught
early through regular screenings and polyp removal, colorectal cancer
can often be prevented completely.
Constipation | Constipation is a common condition defined by infrequent and difficult
bowel movements. While occasional constipation is very common, chronic
constipation is typically defined as having fewer than three bowel movements
a week for several weeks or longer.
Diarrhea | Diarrhea is a common condition defined by frequent, loose and watery
bowel movements. Occasional diarrhea is very common and, in most cases,
can be treated with over-the-counter medicines. However, some conditions,
such as irritable bowel syndrome, can cause diarrhea to occur more often.
Diverticulosis | Diverticulosis occurs when pouches (diverticula) develop in the colon.
Typically, diverticula do not cause symptoms. However, in some cases the
pouches may become inflamed. This can cause abdominal pain, fever and
diarrhea. In rare cases, the pouches may bleed, resulting in bloody bowel
movements. If this occurs, you should seek medical attention immediately.
Esophagitis | Esophagitis is irritation or inflammation of the esophagus. Esophagitis
can be painful and may make swallowing difficult. Common causes include
acid reflux or medications such as aspirin, ibuprofen or naproxen.
Anal Fissure | An anal fissure is a small tear in the lining of the anus that can cause
pain, itching or bleeding during bowel movements. Initial treatments typically
include increasing dietary fiber intake and using topical ointments. In
most cases, a fissure will heal in 1–2 weeks.
Gastritis | Gastritis is an irritation, inflammation or erosion of the stomach lining
that can be caused by excessive alcohol use, the use of certain medications
(most commonly nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or NSAIDs) or by a
bacterial infection called Helicobacter pylori.
Hiatal Hernia | Hiatal hernia is a condition in which a portion of the stomach slides
up into the chest cavity. Hiatal hernias are relatively common and small
in most cases. Symptoms include heartburn, chest discomfort and difficulty
Hemorrhoids | Hemorrhoids are swollen and inflamed veins in the rectum near the anal
canal. This is a very common condition and symptoms may include itching,
discomfort and/or bleeding. There are several different treatment options
available, from a high-fiber diet and over-the-counter medications to
medical procedures for more severe cases.
Hepatitis | Hepatitis is an inflammation of the liver. This condition has many different
causes such as the the most common cause, the hepatitis viruses Other
reasons include alcohol, fat accumulation in the liver, certain medications
and autoimmune disorders or genetic disorders.
Crohn's Disease | Crohn's disease is a chronic bowel condition that causes inflammation
of the lower part of the small intestine (ileum) and the large intestine
(colon). Although Crohn’s disease can be painful or even debilitating,
therapies and treatment have proven to greatly reduce symptoms or pain.
Symptoms may include abdominal pain, diarrhea, bloody stools or perianal disease.
Ulcerative Colitis | Ulcerative colitis is a chronic inflammatory bowel disease that causes
inflammation and sores in the innermost lining of the large intestine
and rectum. Symptoms may include rectal bleeding, bloody diarrhea, abdominal
cramps and pain.
Irritable Bowel Syndrome | Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a chronic GI disorder that can cause
abdominal pain, gas, bloating, and changes in bowel habits such as diarrhea
Pancreatitis | Pancreatitis is inflammation of the pancreas, a digestive organ that
produces enzymes to digest food in the small intestine. Inflammation of
the pancreas can be caused by many factors, but often is due to excessive
alcohol consumption or to a blockage of the pancreatic duct from a gallstone.
Ulcers (Peptic Ulcer Disease) | Peptic ulcers are caused when the inner lining of the stomach or upper
intestine is damaged, typically by a bacterial infection known as H. pylori
or anti-inflammatory pain relievers such as ibuprofen or aspirin. Symptoms
include abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting and bleeding. Medication to decrease
stomach acid may be prescribed to aid healing, and if the ulcer is caused
by a bacterial infection, you may need an antibiotic.