Gastroenterology

Gastroenterology is the branch of medicine that treats all of your digestive organs, including your liver, esophagus, stomach, small intestine, colon and rectum, pancreas, gallbladder, and bile ducts. Gastroenterologists focus on the body's processes of digesting and absorbing nutrients and eliminating waste.

Learn more about gastroenterology at the Mount Sinai Health System

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Symptoms
Abdominal bloating
Abdominal bloating is a condition in which the belly (abdomen) feels full and tight. Your belly may look swollen (distended).

Symptoms
Abdominal pain
Abdominal pain is pain that you feel anywhere between your chest and groin. This is often referred to as the stomach region or belly.

Tests
Abdominal tap
An abdominal tap is used to remove fluid from the area between the belly wall and the spine. This space is called the abdominal cavity.

Diseases & Conditions
Abscess - abdomen or pelvis
An abdominal abscess is a pocket of infected fluid and pus located inside the belly (abdominal cavity). This type of abscess can be located near or inside the liver, pancreas, kidneys or other organs. There...

Diseases & Conditions
Achalasia
The tube that carries food from the mouth to the stomach is the esophagus. Achalasia makes it harder for the esophagus to move food into the stomach.

Diseases & Conditions
Acute cholecystitis
Acute cholecystitis is sudden swelling and irritation of the gallbladder. It causes severe belly pain.

Diseases & Conditions
Acute pancreatitis
Acute pancreatitis is sudden swelling and inflammation of the pancreas.

Tests
Alanine transaminase (ALT) blood test
The alanine transaminase (ALT) blood test measures the level of the enzyme ALT in the blood. enzyme

Tests
Albumin - blood (serum) test
Albumin is a protein made by the liver. A serum albumin test measures the amount of this protein in the clear liquid portion of the blood. Albumin can also be measured in the urine. urine

In-depth Report
Alcohol use disorders
An in-depth report on the causes, diagnosis, and treatment of alcoholism.

Diseases & Conditions
Alcoholic liver disease
Alcoholic liver disease is damage to the liver and its function due to alcohol abuse. alcohol abuse

Tests
Amylase - blood
Amylase is an enzyme that helps digest carbohydrates. It is made in the pancreas and the glands that make saliva. When the pancreas is diseased or inflamed, amylase releases into the blood. enzyme A test...

Diseases & Conditions
Angiodysplasia of the colon
Angiodysplasia of the colon is swollen, fragile blood vessels in the colon. This can result in blood loss from the gastrointestinal (GI) tract.

Diseases & Conditions
Annular pancreas
An annular pancreas is a ring of pancreatic tissue that encircles the duodenum (the first part of the small intestine). The normal position of the pancreas is next to, but not surrounding the duodenum....

Discharge Instructions
Anti-reflux surgery - discharge
You had surgery to treat your gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). GERD is a condition that causes food or liquid to come up from your stomach into your esophagus (the tube that carries food from your...

Tests
Antiparietal cell antibody test
An antiparietal cell antibody test is a blood test that looks for antibodies against the parietal cells of the stomach. The parietal cells make and release a substance that the body needs to absorb vitamin...

Diseases & Conditions
Appendicitis
Appendicitis is swelling (inflammation) of the appendix. The appendix is a small pouch attached to the large intestine.

Diseases & Conditions
Ascites
Ascites is the build-up of fluid in the space between the lining of the abdomen and abdominal organs.

Tests
Aspartate aminotransferase (AST) blood test
The aspartate aminotransferase (AST) blood test measures the level of the enzyme AST in the blood. enzyme

Diseases & Conditions
Autoimmune hepatitis
Autoimmune hepatitis is inflammation of the liver. It occurs when immune cells mistake the liver's normal cells for harmful invaders and attack them.

Tests
Autoimmune liver disease panel
An autoimmune liver disease panel is a group of tests that is done to check for autoimmune liver disease. An autoimmune liver disease means that the body's immune system attacks the liver. These tests include...

B

Diseases & Conditions
Bacterial gastroenteritis
Bacterial gastroenteritis is present when bacteria cause an infection of the stomach and intestines

Diseases & Conditions
Barrett esophagus
Barrett esophagus (BE) is a disorder in which the lining of the esophagus is damaged by stomach acid. The esophagus is also called the food pipe or swallowing tube. People with BE have an increased risk...

Symptoms
Belching
Belching is the act of bringing up air from the stomach.

Tests
Bernstein test
The Bernstein test is a method to reproduce symptoms of heartburn. It is most often done with other tests to measure esophageal function. heartburn esophageal function.

Special Topics
Bile
Bile is a fluid that is made and released by the liver and stored in the gallbladder. Bile helps with digestion. It breaks down fats into fatty acids, which can be taken into the body by the digestive tract...

Diseases & Conditions
Bile duct obstruction
Bile duct obstruction is a blockage in the tubes that carry bile from the liver to the gallbladder and small intestine.

Diseases & Conditions
Bile duct stricture
A bile duct stricture is an abnormal narrowing of the common bile duct, the tube that moves bile from the liver to the small intestine. Bile is a substance that helps with digestion. bile

Special Topics
Biliary system

Tests
Bilirubin blood test
The bilirubin blood test measures the level of bilirubin in the blood. Bilirubin is a yellowish pigment found in bile, a fluid made by the liver. Bilirubin can also be measured with a urine test. urine...

Tests
Biopsy - biliary tract
A biliary tract biopsy is the removal of small amounts of cells and fluids from the duodenum, bile ducts, pancreas, or pancreatic duct. The sample is examined under a microscope.

Tests
Biopsy - polyps
A polyp biopsy is a test that takes a sample of, or removes polyps (abnormal growths) for examination. biopsy

Self-Care Instructions
Bland diet
A bland diet can be used alongside lifestyle changes to help treat ulcers, heartburn, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and gas. You may also need a bland diet after stomach or intestinal surgery. A bland diet...

Diseases & Conditions
Bleeding esophageal varices
The esophagus is the tube that connects your throat to your stomach. Varices are enlarged veins that may be found in the esophagus. These veins may break open and bleed.

Diseases & Conditions
Blind loop syndrome
Blind loop syndrome occurs when digested food slows or stops moving through part of the intestines. This causes an overgrowth of bacteria in the intestines. It also leads to problems absorbing nutrients...

Symptoms
Bloody or tarry stools
Bloody stools often are a sign of a problem in the digestive tract. Blood in the stool may come from anywhere along your digestive tract from your mouth to your anus.

Symptoms
Bowel incontinence
Bowel incontinence is the loss of bowel control, causing you to pass stool unexpectedly. This can range from sometimes leaking a small amount of stool and passing gas, to not being able to control bowel...

Special Topics
Bowel retraining
A program of bowel retraining, Kegel exercises, or biofeedback therapy may be used by people to help improve their bowel movements. Kegel exercises biofeedback

Tests
Bowel transit time
Bowel transit time refers to how long it takes for the food to move from the mouth to the end of the intestine (anus). This article talks about the medical test used to determine bowel transit time.

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Diseases & Conditions
CMV - gastroenteritis/colitis
CMV gastroenteritis/colitis is inflammation of the stomach or intestine due to infection with cytomegalovirus (CMV). This same virus can also cause: Lung infectionInfection at the back of the eyeInfections...

Diseases & Conditions
Campylobacter infection
Campylobacter infection occurs in the small intestine from a bacteria called Campylobacter jejuni. It is a type of food poisoning. Campylobacter jejuni

Tests
Capsule endoscopy
Endoscopy is a way of looking inside the body. Endoscopy is often done with a tube put into the body that the doctor can use to look inside. Endoscopy Another way to look inside is to put a camera in a...

Diseases & Conditions
Celiac disease - sprue
Celiac disease is a condition caused by damage to the lining of the small intestine. This damage comes from a reaction to eating gluten. This is a substance that is found in wheat, rye, barley, and possibly...

Self-Care Instructions
Changing your ostomy pouch
Your ostomy pouch is a heavy-duty plastic bag that you wear outside your body to collect your stool. Using an ostomy pouch is the best way to handle your bowel movements after certain kinds of surgery on...

Diseases & Conditions
Cholangitis
Cholangitis is an infection of the bile ducts, the tubes that carry bile from the liver to the gallbladder and intestines. Bile is a liquid made by the liver that helps digest food. bile

Diseases & Conditions
Choledocholithiasis
Choledocholithiasis is the presence of at least one gallstone in the common bile duct. The stone may be made up of bile pigments or calcium and cholesterol salts. bile

Diseases & Conditions
Cholestasis
Cholestasis is any condition in which the flow of bile from the liver is slowed or blocked. bile

Diseases & Conditions
Chronic cholecystitis
Chronic cholecystitis is swelling and irritation of the gallbladder that continues over time. The gallbladder is a sac located under the liver. It stores bile that is made in the liver. Bile helps the intestines...

Diseases & Conditions
Chronic pancreatitis
Pancreatitis is swelling of the pancreas. Chronic pancreatitis is present when this problem does not heal or improve, gets worse over time, and leads to permanent damage.

Diseases & Conditions
Cirrhosis
Cirrhosis is scarring of the liver and poor liver function. It is the last stage of chronic liver disease.

In-depth Report
Cirrhosis
An in-depth report on the causes, diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of cirrhosis.

Discharge Instructions
Cirrhosis - discharge
You have cirrhosis of the liver. Scar tissue forms and your liver gets smaller and harder. Most of the time, this damage cannot be undone. However, the problems it causes can be treated. While you were...

Diseases & Conditions
Colitis
Colitis is swelling (inflammation) of the large intestine (colon).

In-depth Report
Colon and rectal cancers
An in-depth report on the causes, diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of colorectal cancer.

Diseases & Conditions
Colon cancer
Colon, or colorectal cancer, is cancer that starts in the large intestine (colon) or the rectum (end of the colon). Other types of cancer can affect the colon. These include lymphoma, carcinoid tumors,...

Special Topics
Colon cancer screening
Colon cancer screening can detect polyps and early cancers in the large intestine. This type of screening can find problems that can be treated before cancer develops or spreads. Regular screenings may...

Tests
Colonoscopy
A colonoscopy is an exam that views the inside of the colon (large intestine) and rectum, using a tool called a colonoscope. The colonoscope has a small camera attached to a flexible tube that can reach...

Discharge Instructions
Colonoscopy discharge
Lower endoscopy

Diseases & Conditions
Colorectal polyps
A colorectal polyp is a growth on the lining of the colon or rectum.

Self-Care Instructions
Constipation - self-care
Constipation is when you do not pass stool as often as you normally do. Your stool becomes hard and dry, and it is difficult to pass. You might feel bloated and have pain, or you might have to strain when...

Questions To Ask Your Doctor
Constipation - what to ask your doctor
What to ask your doctor about constipation

Symptoms
Constipation in infants and children
Constipation in infants and children occurs when they have hard stools or have problems passing stools.  A child may have pain while passing stools or may be unable to have a bowel movement after straining...

Diseases & Conditions
Crohn disease
Crohn disease is a disease where parts of the digestive tract become inflamed. It most often involves the lower end of the small intestine and the beginning of the large intestine.It may also occur in any...

In-depth Report
Crohn disease
An in-depth report on the causes, diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of Crohn disease.

Discharge Instructions
Crohn disease - discharge
You were in the hospital because you have Crohn disease. This is an inflammation of the surface and deep layers of the small intestine, large intestine, or both. You may have had exams, lab test, and x...

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Self-Care Instructions
Daily bowel care program
Nerves that help your bowels work smoothly can be damaged after a brain or spinal cord injury. People with multiple sclerosis also have problems with their bowels. Those with poorly controlled diabetes...

Special Topics
Dialysis - hemodialysis
Artificial kidneys - hemodialysis; Dialysis; Renal replacement therapy - hemodialysis; End-stage renal disease - hemodialysis; Kidney failure - hemodialysis; Renal failure - hemodialysis; Chronic kidney...

Special Topics
Dialysis centers - what to expect
Artificial kidneys - dialysis centers; Dialysis - what to expect; Renal replacement therapy - dialysis centers; End-stage renal disease - dialysis centers; Kidney failure - dialysis centers; Renal failure...

Symptoms
Diarrhea - overview
Diarrhea is when you pass loose or watery stool.

Questions To Ask Your Doctor
Diarrhea - what to ask your health care provider - adult
What to ask your health care provider about diarrhea - adult; Loose stools - what to ask your health care provider - adult

Self-Care Instructions
Diet - clear liquid
Clear liquid diet; Surgery - clear liquid diet; Medical test - clear liquid diet

Self-Care Instructions
Diet - full liquid
Full liquid diet; Surgery - full liquid diet; Medical test - full liquid diet

Special Topics
Digestive diseases
Digestive diseases are disorders of the digestive tract, which is sometimes called the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. In digestion, food and drink are broken down into small parts (called nutrients) that...

Diseases & Conditions
Diverticulitis
Diverticula are small, bulging sacs or pouches that form on the inner wall of the intestine. Diverticulitis occurs when these pouches become inflamed or infected. Most often, these pouches are in the large...

Questions To Ask Your Doctor
Diverticulitis - what to ask your doctor
What to ask your doctor about diverticulitis

Discharge Instructions
Diverticulitis and diverticulosis - discharge
You were in the hospital because you have diverticulitis. This is an infection of an abnormal pouch (called a diverticulum) in your intestinal wall. You may have had a CT scan or other tests that helped...

Diseases & Conditions
Diverticulosis
Diverticulosis occurs when small, bulging sacs or pouches form on the inner wall of the intestine. These sacs are called diverticula. Most often, these pouches form in the large intestine (colon).

Diseases & Conditions
Drug-induced diarrhea
Drug-induced diarrhea is loose, watery stools that occurs when you take certain medicines.

Diseases & Conditions
Drug-induced hepatitis
Drug-induced hepatitis is inflammation of the liver that may occur when you take certain medicines. Other types of hepatitis include: Hepatitis AHepatitis BHepatitis CHepatitis D Hepatitis A Hepatitis A...

Diseases & Conditions
Dubin-Johnson syndrome
Dubin-Johnson syndrome is a disorder passed down through families (inherited) in which a person has mild jaundice throughout life.

Diseases & Conditions
Duodenal atresia
Duodenal atresia is a condition in which the first part of the small bowel (the duodenum) has not developed properly. It is not open and cannot allow the passage of stomach contents. duodenum

Special Topics
Duodenum
The duodenum is the first part of the small intestine. It is located between the stomach and the middle part of the small intestine, or jejunum. After foods mix with stomach acid, they move into the duodenum...

E

Tests
EGD - esophagogastroduodenoscopy
Esophagogastroduodenoscopy (EGD) is a test to examine the lining of the esophagus, stomach, and first part of the small intestine.

Surgery
ERCP
ERCP is short for endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography. It is a procedure that looks at the bile ducts. It is done through an endoscope. Bile ducts are the tubes that carry bile from the liver...

Tests
Endoscopic ultrasound
Endoscopic ultrasound is a type of imaging test. It is used to see organs in and near the digestive tract.

Tests
Endoscopy
Endoscopy is a way of looking inside the body using a flexible tube that has a small camera and light on the end of it. This instrument is called an endoscope. Small instruments can be inserted through...

Self-Care Instructions
Enteral nutrition - child - managing problems
Enteral feeding is a way to feed your child using a feeding tube. Enteral feedings will become easier for you to do with practice. Your health care provider will go over all of the steps you should follow...

Diseases & Conditions
Enteritis
Enteritis is inflammation of the small intestine.

Tests
Enteroscopy
Enteroscopy is a procedure used to examine the small intestine (small bowel).

Diseases & Conditions
Esophageal atresia
Esophageal atresia is a disorder of the digestive system in which the esophagus does not develop properly. The esophagus is the tube that normally carries food from the mouth to the stomach.

Tests
Esophageal manometry
Esophageal manometry is a test to measure how well the esophagus is working.

Tests
Esophageal pH monitoring
Esophageal pH monitoring is a test that measures how often stomach acid enters the tube that leads from the mouth to the stomach (called the esophagus). The test also measures how long the acid stays there...

Diseases & Conditions
Esophageal spasm
Esophageal spasms are abnormal contractions of the muscles in the esophagus (the tube that carries food from the mouth to the stomach). These spasms do not move food effectively to the stomach. spasms

Diseases & Conditions
Esophageal stricture - benign
Benign esophageal stricture is a narrowing of the esophagus (the tube from the mouth to the stomach). It causes swallowing difficulties. Benign means that it is not caused by cancer of the esophagus. cancer...

Diseases & Conditions
Esophagitis
Esophagitis refers to any inflammation, irritation, or swelling of the esophagus. The esophagus is the tube that leads from the back of the mouth to the stomach.

F

Diseases & Conditions
Fatty liver - nonalcoholic
Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is the buildup of fat in the liver that is NOT caused by drinking too much alcohol. People who have it do not have a history of heavy drinking. NAFLD is closely...

Tests
Fecal fat
The fecal fat test measures the amount of fat in the stool. This can help gauge the percentage of dietary fat that the body does not absorb.

Special Topics
Fecal immunochemical test (FIT)
Immunochemical fecal occult blood test; iFOBT; Colon cancer screening - FIT

Diseases & Conditions
Fecal impaction
A fecal impaction is a large lump of dry, hard stool that stays stuck in the rectum. It is most often seen in people who are constipated for a long time. A fecal impaction is a large lump of dry, hard stool...

Diseases & Conditions
Femoral hernia
A hernia occurs when the contents of the abdomen push through a weak point or tear the thin muscle wall of the belly. This layer of muscle holds the abdominal organs in place. A hernia most often occurs...

Tests
Flushable reagent stool blood test
Flushable reagent stool blood test is an at-home test to detect hidden blood in the stool.

G

Discharge Instructions
Gallbladder removal - laparoscopic - discharge
Cholecystectomy laparoscopic - discharge; Cholelithiasis - laparoscopic discharge; Biliary calculus - laparoscopic discharge; Gallstones - laparoscopic discharge; Cholecystitis - laparoscopic discharge

Discharge Instructions
Gallbladder removal - open - discharge
Cholelithiasis - open discharge; Biliary calculus - open discharge; Gallstones - open discharge; Cholecystitis - open discharge; Cholecystectomy - open discharge

Diseases & Conditions
Gallstones
Gallstones are hard deposits that form inside the gallbladder. Gallstones may be as small as a grain of sand or as large as a golf ball.

Discharge Instructions
Gallstones - discharge
You have gallstones. These are hard, pebble-like deposits that formed inside your gallbladder. You may have had an infection in your gallbladder. You may have received drugs to reduce the swelling and fight...

In-depth Report
Gallstones and gallbladder disease
An in-depth report on the causes, diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of gallstones.

Tests
Gamma-glutamyl transpeptidase (GGT) blood test
The gamma-glutamyl transpeptidase (GGT) blood test measures the level of the enzyme GGT in the blood. enzyme

Symptoms
Gas - flatulence
Gas is air in the intestine that is passed through the rectum. Air that moves from the digestive tract through the mouth is called belching. belching Gas is also called flatus or flatulence.

Tests
Gastric suction
Gastric suction is a procedure to empty the contents of your stomach.

Diseases & Conditions
Gastritis
Gastritis occurs when the lining of the stomach becomes inflamed or swollen. Gastritis can last for only a short time (acute gastritis). It may also linger for months to years (chronic gastritis).

Discharge Instructions
Gastroesophageal reflux - discharge
You have gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). This is a condition in which food or liquid travels backwards from the stomach to the esophagus (the tube from the mouth to the stomach). You may have had...

Diseases & Conditions
Gastroesophageal reflux disease
Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is a condition in which the stomach contents leak backwards from the stomach into the esophagus (the tube from the mouth to the stomach). This can irritate the esophagus...

In-depth Report
Gastroesophageal reflux disease and heartburn
An in-depth report on the causes, diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of GERD.

Diseases & Conditions
Gastroesophageal reflux in infants
Gastroesophageal reflux occurs when stomach contents leak backward from the stomach into the esophagus. This causes "spitting up" in infants. spitting up

Symptoms
Gastrointestinal bleeding
Gastrointestinal (GI) bleeding refers to any bleeding that starts in the gastrointestinal tract. Bleeding may come from any site along the GI tract, but is often divided into: Upper GI bleeding: The upper...

Diseases & Conditions
Gastrointestinal perforation
Perforation is a hole that develops through the wall of a body organ. This problem may occur in the esophagus, stomach, small intestine, large intestine, rectum, or gallbladder.

Diseases & Conditions
Gastroparesis
Gastroparesis is a condition that reduces the ability of the stomach to empty its contents. It does not involve a blockage (obstruction).

Self-Care Instructions
Gastrostomy feeding tube - bolus
Your child's gastrostomy tube (G-tube) is a special tube in your child's stomach that will help deliver food and medicines until your child can chew and swallow. Sometimes, it is replaced by a button, called...

Discharge Instructions
Gastrostomy feeding tube - pump - child
Your child has a gastrostomy tube (G-tube). This is a soft, plastic tube placed into your child's stomach. It delivers nutrition (food) and medicines until your child can chew and swallow. Sometimes, it...

Diseases & Conditions
Gilbert disease
Gilbert disease is a common disorder passed down through families. It affects the way bilirubin is processed by the liver, and causes the skin to take on a yellow color (jaundice). jaundice

Special Topics
Glucuronyl transferase
Glucuronyl transferase is a liver enzyme. It changes bilirubin into a form that can be removed from the body through the bile. It also changes some hormones, medicines, and toxins into non-harmful products...

H

Discharge Instructions
H2 blockers
Peptic ulcer disease - H2 blockers; PUD - H2 blockers; Gastroesophageal reflux - H2 blockers

Symptoms
Heartburn
Heartburn is a painful burning feeling just below or behind the breastbone. Most of the time it comes from the esophagus. The pain often rises in your chest from your stomach. It may also spread to your...

Questions To Ask Your Doctor
Heartburn - what to ask your doctor
What to ask your doctor about heartburn and reflux; Reflux - what to ask your doctor; GERD - what to ask your doctor; Gastroesophageal reflux disease - what to ask your doctor

Self-Care Instructions
Hemodialysis access - self care
Kidney failure - chronic-hemodialysis access; Renal failure - chronic-hemodialysis access; Chronic renal insufficiency - hemodialysis access; Chronic kidney failure - hemodialysis access; Chronic renal...

Discharge Instructions
Hemorrhoid removal - discharge
You just had a procedure to remove your hemorrhoid. Depending on your symptoms, you may have had one of these types of procedures: Placing a small rubber band around the hemorrhoids to shrink them by blocking...

Diseases & Conditions
Hemorrhoids
Hemorrhoids are swollen veins in the anus or lower part of the rectum.

Special Topics
Hepatic
The term "hepatic" refers to the liver. For example, the hepatic duct drains bile from the liver.

Diseases & Conditions
Hepatic hemangioma
A hepatic hemangioma is a liver tumor made of widened (dilated) blood vessels. It is not cancerous.

Diseases & Conditions
Hepatic ischemia
Hepatic ischemia is a condition in which the liver does not get enough blood or oxygen, causing injury to liver cells.

Diseases & Conditions
Hepatic vein obstruction (Budd-Chiari)
Hepatic vein obstruction is a blockage of the hepatic vein, which carries blood away from the liver. hepatic

Diseases & Conditions
Hepatitis
Hepatitis is swelling and inflammation of the liver.

In-depth Report
Hepatitis
An in-depth report on the causes, diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of hepatitis.

Diseases & Conditions
Hepatitis A
Hepatitis A is inflammation (irritation and swelling) of the liver from the hepatitis A virus.

Diseases & Conditions
Hepatitis B
Hepatitis B is irritation and swelling (inflammation) of the liver due to infection with the hepatitis B virus (HBV). Other types of viral hepatitis include hepatitis A, hepatitis C, and hepatitis D. hepatitis...

Diseases & Conditions
Hepatitis C
Hepatitis C is a viral disease that leads to swelling (inflammation) of the liver. Other types of viral hepatitis include: Hepatitis AHepatitis BHepatitis D Hepatitis A Hepatitis A Hepatitis B Hepatitis...

Symptoms
Hepatomegaly
Hepatomegaly is swelling of the liver beyond its normal size. If both the liver and spleen are enlarged, it is called hepatosplenomegaly. spleen

Diseases & Conditions
Hepatorenal syndrome
Hepatorenal syndrome is a condition in which there is progressive kidney failure. It occurs in a person with cirrhosis of the liver. It is a serious complication that can lead to death. cirrhosis

Diseases & Conditions
Hiatal hernia
Hiatal hernia is a condition in which part of the stomach extends through an opening of the diaphragm into the chest. The diaphragm is the sheet of muscle that divides the chest from the abdomen.

Self-Care Instructions
High-fiber foods
Dietary fiber - self-care; Constipation - fiber

I

Self-Care Instructions
Ileostomy - caring for your stoma
Standard ileostomy - stoma care; Brooke ileostomy - stoma care; Continent ileostomy - stoma care; Abdominal pouch - stoma care; End ileostomy - stoma care; Ostomy - stoma care; Crohn disease - stoma care...

Self-Care Instructions
Ileostomy - changing your pouch
You had an injury or disease in your digestive system and needed an operation called an ileostomy. The operation changed the way your body gets rid of waste (stool, feces, or poop). Now you have an opening...

Discharge Instructions
Ileostomy - discharge
Standard ileostomy - discharge; Brooke ileostomy - discharge; Continent ileostomy - discharge; Abdominal pouch - discharge; End ileostomy - discharge; Ostomy - discharge; Crohn's disease - ileostomy discharge...

Questions To Ask Your Doctor
Ileostomy - what to ask your doctor
Ostomy - what to ask your doctor; What to ask your doctor about ileostomy or colostomy; Colostomy - what to ask your doctor

Self-Care Instructions
Ileostomy and your child
Your child had an injury or disease in their digestive system and needed an operation called an ileostomy. The operation changed the way your child's body gets rid of waste (stool, feces, or poop). Now...

Self-Care Instructions
Ileostomy and your diet
You had an injury or disease in your digestive system and needed an operation called an ileostomy. The operation changed the way your body gets rid of waste (stool, feces, or poop). Now you have an opening...

Diseases & Conditions
Imperforate anus
Imperforate anus is a defect that is present from birth (congenital). The opening to the anus is missing or blocked. The anus is the opening to the rectum through which stools leave the body.

Symptoms
Indigestion
Indigestion (dyspepsia) is a mild discomfort in the upper belly or abdomen. It occurs during or right after eating. It may feel like: Heat, burning, or pain in the area between the navel and the lower part...

Diseases & Conditions
Intestinal leiomyoma
A leiomyoma is a benign tumor made up mostly of smooth muscle cells. It is called an intestinal leiomyoma when the tumor is located in the intestinal tract. Most often, these tumors cause no symptoms. They...

Diseases & Conditions
Intestinal obstruction
Intestinal obstruction is a partial or complete blockage of the bowel. The contents of the intestine cannot pass through it.

Diseases & Conditions
Intestinal pseudo-obstruction
Intestinal pseudo-obstruction is a condition in which there are symptoms of blockage of the intestine (bowels) without any physical blockage. blockage of the intestine (bowels)

Diseases & Conditions
Irritable bowel syndrome
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a disorder that leads to abdominal pain and bowel changes. IBS is not the same as inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).

Discharge Instructions
Irritable bowel syndrome - aftercare
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) may be a lifelong condition. You may be suffering from cramping and loose stools, diarrhea, constipation, or some combination of these symptoms. For some people, IBS symptoms...

J

Diseases & Conditions
Jaundice
Jaundice is a yellow color of the skin, mucus membranes, or eyes. The yellow coloring comes from bilirubin, a byproduct of old red blood cells. Jaundice can be a symptom of other health problems.

Special Topics
Jaundice causes
Jaundice is a yellow color in the skin, mucus membranes, or eyes. The yellow color comes from bilirubin, a byproduct of old red blood cells. Jaundice is a sign of other diseases. This article discusses...

Self-Care Instructions
Jejunostomy feeding tube
A jejunostomy tube (J-tube) is a soft, plastic tube placed through the skin of the abdomen into the midsection of the small intestine. The tube delivers food and medicine until the person is healthy enough...

L

Diseases & Conditions
Lactose intolerance
Lactose is a type of sugar found in milk and other dairy products. An enzyme called lactase is needed by the body to digest lactose. Lactose intolerance develops when the small intestine does not make enough...

Tests
Lactose tolerance tests
Lactose tolerance tests measure the ability of your intestines to break down a type of sugar found in milk and other dairy products called lactose. If your body cannot break down this sugar you are said...

Tests
Lipase test
Lipase is a protein (enzyme) released by the pancreas into the small intestine. It helps the body absorb fat. This test is used to measure the amount of the lipase in the blood. enzyme

Tests
Liver biopsy
A liver biopsy is a test that takes a sample of tissue from the liver for examination. biopsy

Diseases & Conditions
Liver disease
The term "liver disease" applies to many conditions that stop the liver from working or prevent it from functioning well. Abdominal pain, yellowing of the skin or eyes (jaundice), or abnormal results of...

Special Topics
Liver disease - resources

Tests
Liver function tests
Liver function tests are common tests that are used to see how well the liver is working. Tests include: AlbuminAlpha-1 antitrypsinALPALTASTGamma-glutamyl transpeptidase (GGT)Prothrombin time, also expressed...

Self-Care Instructions
Living with your ileostomy
Standard ileostomy - living with; Brooke ileostomy - living with; Continent ileostomy - living with; Abdominal pouch - living with; End ileostomy - living with; Ostomy - living with; Crohn's disease - living...

Diseases & Conditions
Loss of brain function - liver disease
Loss of brain function occurs when the liver is unable to remove toxins from the blood. This is called hepatic encephalopathy. This problem may occur suddenly or develop slowly over time. . This is called...

Self-Care Instructions
Low-fiber diet
Fiber diet - low-residue; Low-fiber diet; Fiber restricted diet; Crohn disease - low fiber diet; Ulcerative colitis - low fiber diet; Surgery - low fiber diet

Diseases & Conditions
Lower esophageal ring
A lower esophageal ring is an abnormal ring of tissue that forms where the esophagus (the tube from the mouth to the stomach) and stomach meet.

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Diseases & Conditions
Macroamylasemia
Macroamylasemia is the presence of an abnormal substance called macroamylase in the blood.

Diseases & Conditions
Malabsorption
Malabsorption involves problems with the body's ability to take in nutrients from food.

Diseases & Conditions
Mallory-Weiss tear
A Mallory-Weiss tear occurs in the mucus membrane of the lower part of the esophagus or upper part of the stomach, near where they join. The tear may bleed. mucus membrane

Diseases & Conditions
Meckel's diverticulum
A Meckel's diverticulum is a pouch on the wall of the lower part of the intestine that is present at birth (congenital). The diverticulum may contain tissue similar to that of the stomach or pancreas.

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Self-Care Instructions
Nasogastric feeding tube
A nasogastric tube (NG tube) is a special tube that carries food and medicine to the stomach through the nose. It can be used for all feedings or for giving a person extra calories. It is important to take...

Symptoms
Nausea and vomiting - adults
Nausea is feeling an urge to vomit. It is often called "being sick to your stomach." Vomiting or throwing-up is forcing the contents of the stomach up through the esophagus and out of the mouth.

Diseases & Conditions
Necrotizing enterocolitis
Necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC) is the death of tissue in the intestine. It occurs most often in premature or sick babies.

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Discharge Instructions
PEG tube insertion - discharge
Gastrostomy tube insertion-discharge; G-tube insertion-discharge; PEG tube insertion-discharge; Stomach tube insertion-discharge; Percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy tube insertion-discharge

Symptoms
Painful swallowing
Swallowing pain is any pain or discomfort while swallowing. You may feel it high in the neck or lower down behind the breastbone. Most often, the pain feels like a strong sensation of squeezing or burning...

Diseases & Conditions
Pancreas divisum
Pancreas divisum is a birth defect in which parts of the pancreas do not join together. The pancreas is a long, flat organ located between the stomach and spine. It helps in food digestion.

Diseases & Conditions
Pancreatic abscess
A pancreatic abscess is an area filled with pus within the pancreas.

Diseases & Conditions
Pancreatic pseudocyst
A pancreatic pseudocyst is a fluid-filled sac in the abdomen. It may also contain tissue from the pancreas, enzymes, and blood.

Discharge Instructions
Pancreatitis - discharge
You were in the hospital because you have pancreatitis. This is a swelling of the pancreas. You may have had blood tests and imaging exams, such as a CT scan or ultrasound. You may have been given medicines...

Diseases & Conditions
Peptic ulcer
A peptic ulcer is an open sore or raw area in the lining of the stomach or intestine. A gastric ulcer occurs in the stomach. A duodenal ulcer occurs in the first part of the small intestine. A gastric ulcer...

Discharge Instructions
Peptic ulcer disease - discharge
You have peptic ulcer disease (PUD). A peptic ulcer is an open sore or raw area in the lining of the stomach (gastric ulcer) or upper part of the small intestine (duodenal ulcer). You may have had tests...

In-depth Report
Peptic ulcers
An in-depth report on the causes, diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of stomach and gastrointestinal (GI) ulcers.

Special Topics
Peristalsis
Peristalsis is a series of muscle contractions that occur in your digestive tract. Peristalsis is also seen in some organs that connect the kidneys to the bladder. Peristalsis is an automatic and important...

Tests
Peritoneal fluid analysis
Peritoneal fluid analysis is a lab test to look at fluid that has built up in the space in the abdomen around the internal organs. This area is called the peritoneal space.

Diseases & Conditions
Peritonitis - secondary
The peritoneum is the thin tissue that lines the inner wall of the abdomen and covers most of the abdominal organs. Peritonitis is present when this tissue becomes inflamed or infected. Secondary peritonitis...

Diseases & Conditions
Peritonitis - spontaneous bacterial
The peritoneum is the thin tissue that lines the inner wall of the abdomen and covers most of the organs. Peritonitis is present when this tissue becomes inflamed or infected. Spontaneous bacterial peritonitis...

Diseases & Conditions
Peutz-Jeghers syndrome
Peutz-Jeghers syndrome (PJS) is a disorder in which growths called polyps form in the intestines. It is passed down through families (inherited). A person with PJS has a high risk of developing certain...

Diseases & Conditions
Plummer-Vinson syndrome
Plummer-Vinson syndrome is a condition that can occurs in people with long-term (chronic) iron deficiency anemia. People with this condition have problems swallowing due to small, thin growths of tissue...

Special Topics
Preventing food poisoning
To prevent food poisoning, take the following steps when preparing food: food poisoning Carefully wash your hands often, and always before cooking or cleaning. Always wash them again after touching raw...

Self-Care Instructions
Preventing hepatitis B or C
Hepatitis B and hepatitis C infections cause irritation and swelling of the liver. You should take steps to prevent catching or spreading these viruses since these infections can cause chronic liver disease...

Diseases & Conditions
Primary biliary cirrhosis
The bile ducts are tubes that move bile from the liver to the small intestine. Bile is a substance that helps with digestion. All of the bile ducts together are called the biliary tract. bile When the bile...

Diseases & Conditions
Proctitis
Proctitis is an inflammation of the rectum. It can cause discomfort, bleeding, and the discharge of mucus or pus.

Diseases & Conditions
Protein-losing enteropathy
Protein-losing enteropathy is an abnormal loss of protein from the digestive tract. It can also refer to the inability of the digestive tract to absorb proteins.

Discharge Instructions
Proton pump inhibitors
PPIs

Diseases & Conditions
Pseudomembranous colitis
Pseudomembranous colitis refers to swelling or inflammation of the large intestine (colon) due to an overgrowth of Clostridium difficile (C difficile) bacteria. Clostridium difficile C difficile This infection...

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Diseases & Conditions
Radiation enteritis
Radiation enteritis is damage to the lining of the intestines (bowels) caused by radiation therapy, which is a type of cancer treatment. enteritis radiation therapy

Diseases & Conditions
Rectal prolapse
Rectal prolapse occurs when the rectum falls and comes through the anal opening.

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Symptoms
Satiety - early
Satiety is the satisfied feeling of being full after eating. Early satiety is feeling full sooner than normal or after eating less than usual.

Diseases & Conditions
Sclerosing cholangitis
Sclerosing cholangitis refers to swelling (inflammation), scarring, and destruction of the bile ducts inside and outside of the liver. bile

Tests
Secretin stimulation test
The secretin stimulation test measures the ability of the pancreas to respond to a hormone called secretin. The small intestine produces secretin when partially digested food from the stomach moves into...

Diseases & Conditions
Short bowel syndrome
Short bowel syndrome is a problem that occurs when part of the small intestine is missing or has been removed during surgery. Nutrients are not properly absorbed into the body as a result. not properly...

Tests
Sigmoidoscopy
Sigmoidoscopy is a procedure used to see inside the sigmoid colon and rectum. The sigmoid colon is the area of the large intestine nearest to the rectum.

Diseases & Conditions
Small bowel bacterial overgrowth
Small bowel bacterial overgrowth is a condition in which very large numbers of bacteria grow in the small intestine.

Tests
Stomach acid test
The stomach acid test is used to measure the amount of acid in the stomach. It also measures the level of acidity in stomach contents.

Tests
Stool C difficile toxin
The stool C difficile toxin test detects harmful substances produced by the bacterium Clostridium difficile (C difficile). This infection is a common cause of diarrhea after antibiotic use. C difficile...

Tests
Stool guaiac test
The stool guaiac test looks for hidden (occult) blood in a stool sample. It can find blood even if you cannot see it yourself. It is the most common type of fecal occult blood test (FOBT). Guaiac is a substance...

Symptoms
Stools - floating
Stools that float are most often due to poor absorption of nutrients (malabsorption) or too much gas (flatulence). malabsorption gas

Symptoms
Stools - foul smelling
Foul-smelling stools are stools with a very bad odor. They very often have to do with what you eat, but may be a sign of a medical condition.

Symptoms
Stools - pale or clay-colored
Stools that are pale, clay, or putty-colored may be due to problems in the biliary system (the drainage system of the gallbladder, liver, and pancreas).

Tests
String test
A string test involves swallowing a string to obtain a sample from the upper part of the small intestine. The sample is then tested to look for intestinal parasites.

Diseases & Conditions
Swallowing difficulty
Difficulty with swallowing is the feeling that food or liquid is stuck in the throat or at any point before the food enters the stomach. This problem is also called dysphagia.

Self-Care Instructions
Swallowing problems
Dysphagia - self-care

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Self-Care Instructions
Taking antacids
Heartburn - self-care

Symptoms
Tenesmus
Tenesmus is the feeling that you need to pass stools, even though your bowels are already empty. It may involve straining, pain, and cramping.

Tests
Tests for H. pylori
Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) is the bacteria (germ) responsible for most stomach and duodenal ulcers and many cases of stomach inflammation (chronic gastritis). Helicobacter pylori H. pylori

Self-Care Instructions
Total parenteral nutrition
Total parenteral nutrition (TPN) will help you or your child get nutrition from a special formula through a vein in the body. Your doctor will select the right amount of calories and TPN solution. Sometimes...

Diseases & Conditions
Toxic megacolon
Toxic megacolon occurs when swelling and inflammation spread into the deeper layers of your colon. As a result, the colon stops working and widens. In severe cases, the colon may rupture.

Diseases & Conditions
Tropical sprue
Tropical sprue is a condition that occurs in people who live in or visit tropical areas. It impairs nutrients from being absorbed from the intestines. Tropical sprue (TS) is a syndrome characterized by...

Tests
Trypsin and chymotrypsin in stool
Trypsin and chymotrypsin are substances released from the pancreas during normal digestion. When the pancreas does not produce enough trypsin and chymotrypsin, smaller-than-normal amounts can be seen in...

Self-Care Instructions
Types of ileostomy
You had an injury or disease in your digestive system and needed an operation called an ileostomy. The operation changed the way your body gets rid of waste (stool, feces, or poop). Now you have an opening...

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Discharge Instructions
Ulcerative Colitis - children - discharge
UC - children; Inflammatory bowel disease in children - UC; Ulcerative proctitis - children; Colitis in children - UC

Diseases & Conditions
Ulcerative colitis
Ulcerative colitis is a condition in which the lining of the large intestine (colon) and rectum become inflamed. It is a form of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Crohn disease is a related condition. Crohn...

In-depth Report
Ulcerative colitis
An in-depth report on the causes, diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of ulcerative colitis.

Discharge Instructions
Ulcerative colitis - discharge
You were in the hospital because you have ulcerative colitis. This is a swelling of the inner lining of your colon and rectum (also called your large intestine). It damages the lining, causing it to bleed...

Symptoms
Ulcers
An ulcer is a crater-like sore on the skin or mucous membrane. Ulcers form when the top layers of skin or tissue have been removed. They can occur in the mouth, stomach, and other parts of the body. mucous...

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Diseases & Conditions
Viral gastroenteritis (stomach flu)
Viral gastroenteritis is present when a virus causes an infection of the stomach and intestine. The infection can lead to diarrhea and vomiting. It is sometimes called the "stomach flu." diarrhea

Diseases & Conditions
Volvulus - childhood
A volvulus is a twisting of the intestine that can occur in childhood. It causes a blockage that may cut off blood flow. Part of the intestine may be damaged as a result.

Symptoms
Vomiting blood
Vomiting blood is regurgitating (throwing up) contents of the stomach that contains blood. Vomited blood may appear either a bright red or dark red color. The vomited material may be mixed with food or...

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Self-Care Instructions
When you have nausea and vomiting
Nausea - self-care; Vomiting - self-care

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Diseases & Conditions
Zollinger-Ellison syndrome
Zollinger-Ellison syndrome is a condition in which the body produces too much of the hormone gastrin. Most of the time, a small tumor (gastrinoma) in the pancreas or small intestine is the source of the...