Health Library

The Health Library is a collection of health and wellness resources created for learning and accessibility. Select a topic below for related health information or search for a topic in the search bar for more information on other medical conditions.

Gastroenterology

  • Covers symptoms and possible causes of abdominal pain, such as peptic ulcer disease, indigestion, appendicitis, or stomach flu. Includes interactive tool to help you decide when to call a doctor. Offers home treatment tips.

  • People who have cirrhosis are at risk for an infection in the fluid (ascites) that builds up in the abdominal cavity. Spontaneous bacterial peritonitis (SBP) is an infection of ascitic fluid that occurs without warning or a clear cause. SBP most...

  • In people who have cirrhosis, high pressure in the veins that carry blood from the intestines to the liver (portal hypertension) causes many problems. Variceal bleeding—bleeding from enlarged veins (varices) in the digestive tract—is an extremely...

  • Many prescription and nonprescription medicines can cause constipation. Examples include: Antacids. Antidepressants. Some blood pressure medicines. Cold medicines (antihistamines). Calcium and iron supplements. Opioid pain medicines. If you think...

  • Up to 85% of people who are infected with the hepatitis C virus will develop long-term (chronic) infection. About 25% of people who have chronic hepatitis C will go on to develop cirrhosis—severe liver damage and scarring—after a period of...

  • Abdominal fullness or bloating occurs when excess gas builds up in the digestive tract. Common causes of gas include: Swallowed air. If swallowed air is not burped up, it passes through the digestive tract and is released through the anus as gas...

  • Learn how to prepare for your colonoscopy and what to expect during the procedure.

  • Learn what an appendectomy is and how the surgery is done.

  • Learn what it's like to have an ileostomy procedure.

  • Take a minute to learn about constipation and what you can do to feel better.

  • Take a minute to learn about diarrhea and what you can do to feel better.

  • Find out what to do if your baby has jaundice.

  • Learn how to care for your child after an appendectomy.

  • Learn what happens during an appendectomy for children.

  • Learn what an upper GI endoscopy for children is used for and how it's done.

  • Learn what an upper GI endoscopy is used for and how it's done.

  • Find out what to expect when your child has surgery to repair a hernia.

  • Find out what you can do at home to care for your child after a hernia repair.

  • Find out what to expect when your baby has surgery to repair pyloric stenosis.

  • Find out what you can do at home to care for your child after a pyloric stenosis repair.

  • Learn how your gallbladder is removed and what you can do to prepare.

  • Learn how to care for yourself and safely recover after gallbladder removal surgery.

  • Learn how to care for yourself and safely recover after surgery to remove hemorrhoids.

  • Learn how hemorrhoidectomy is done and how you can prepare.

  • The coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is caused by a virus. It is an illness that was first found in Wuhan, China, in December 2019. It has since spread worldwide. The virus can cause fever, cough, and trouble breathing. In severe cases, it can cause pneumonia and make it hard to breathe without help. It can cause...

  • Guides through decision to have surgery for pelvic organ prolapse. Explains symptoms and discusses several types of surgeries used for different symptoms. Covers benefits and risks. Includes an interactive tool to help you make your decision.

  • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that you wear disposable gloves when cleaning up diarrhea or other body fluids. You may wear reusable rubber gloves if you wash and disinfect them after each use. If you don't have gloves, be sure to wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water when you...

  • Hepatitis A is a serious liver disease. It is caused by the hepatitis A virus (HAV). HAV is spread from person to person through contact with the feces (stool) of people who are infected, which can easily happen if someone does not wash his or her hands properly. You can also get hepatitis A from food, water, or object…

  • Hepatitis B vaccine can prevent hepatitis B. Hepatitis B is a liver disease that can cause mild illness lasting a few weeks, or it can lead to a serious, long illness. Acute hepatitis B infection is a short-term illness that can lead to fever, fatigue, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, jaundice...

  • Provides links to information about digestion and digestive health. Includes info about heartburn, constipation, gas and bloating, ulcers, diverticulitis, and gallstones.

  • Discusses constipation in those 11 and younger. Covers normal patterns of bowel movements. Covers hard stools and if and when children should be given laxatives. Offers home treatment tips. Includes interactive tool to help you decide when to call a doctor.

  • Describes constipation in those 12 and older. Covers symptoms, including few bowel movements, straining, and passing hard stools. Discusses treatment, including diet and use of laxatives. Includes interactive tool to help you decide when to call a doctor.

  • Guides you through decision to have tests when you have IBS symptoms. Covers kinds of tests that may be done and what tests results might mean. Lists reasons for and against tests. Includes interactive tool to help you make your decision.

  • Helicobacter pylori is a type of bacteria that is a major cause of stomach (gastric) and upper small intestine (duodenal) ulcers. Infection with H. pylori may also increase the risk of stomach cancer. H. pylori bacteria can cause ulcers by growing in the lining of the stomach, producing inflammation and causing...

  • Provides information on common hernias, including abdominal, incisional, and umbilical hernias. Briefly covers symptoms and treatment with surgery.

  • During surgery to remove the gallbladder (cholecystectomy), you may have a procedure called intraoperative cholangiogram. The doctor places a small tube called a catheter into the cystic duct, which drains bile from the gallbladder into the common...

  • Postcholecystectomy syndrome sometimes occurs when abdominal symptoms develop after surgery to remove the gallbladder (cholecystectomy). About 5% to 40% of people who have the gallbladder removed may experience symptoms. Symptoms of...

  • Experts on digestive diseases developed these criteria, known as the Rome III criteria, to help doctors determine whether symptoms are caused by irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). You meet the Rome III criteria for IBS if your symptoms began at least 6...

  • Shunt surgeries are designed to redirect the flow of blood or abdominal fluid through other areas of the body. Shunts are rarely used because of the complications they may cause. They are done only in medical centers where the surgeon is experienced in doing the procedures. Peritoneovenous shunts. These...

  • Describes pancreatic cancer. Talks about symptoms and what tests are used to diagnose it. Provides treatment details. Lists factors that raise your risk.

  • If you or your child has a rectal prolapse, you may be able to push the prolapse back into place as soon as it occurs. Your doctor will let you know if this is okay to do. Put on disposable gloves, and put lubricating jelly on your finger. Gently...

  • A colonoscopy is a test that lets a doctor look inside your colon. The doctor uses a thin, lighted tube called a colonoscope to look for small growths (called polyps), cancer, and other problems like bleeding. During the test, the doctor can take...

  • Hepatitis E is a virus that can infect the liver. Unlike other forms of hepatitis, the hepatitis E virus usually doesn't lead to long-term illness or serious liver damage. Most people get well within a few months. People usually get hepatitis E by...

  • Learn what to expect during bowel resection surgery.

  • Learn how a colostomy is done and what to expect after surgery.

  • Looks at a type of surgery that removes cancer from the pancreas. Covers why surgery is done and how well it works. Also covers risks.

  • What is a low-fiber diet? A low-fiber diet contains foods that don't create much waste (stool). This diet slows down your bowels and gives them a chance to rest. Fiber is the part of plants that your body can't digest. It gives bulk to your diet and helps you feel full. It also helps you have regular bowel...

  • Guides through decision to have surgery for an umbilical hernia. Describes symptoms of an umbilical hernia and when they normally occur. Covers benefits and risks. Includes an interactive tool to help you make your decision.

  • When you spend time around an animal—whether it's a pet, a farm animal, or a wild animal—there's a chance you can pick up an infection. An infection you get from an animal is called a zoonosis (say "zoh-uh-NOH-sus"). Some infections can seem mild,...

  • Is this topic for you? Anal cancer is not the same as cancer of the colon or rectum. To learn about these cancers, see the topic Colorectal Cancer. What is anal cancer? Anal cancer is the abnormal growth of cells in the anus, which is the opening at the end of the rectum. Anal cancer is not common and is often...

  • Learn how to care for a feeding tube at home.

  • Esophagitis (say "ee-sof-uh-JY-tus") is irritation or inflammation the esophagus. This is the tube that carries food from your throat to your stomach. In eosinophilic (say "ee-uh-sin-uh-FILL-ick") esophagitis, the irritation is caused by white blood...

  • Covers possible causes of abdominal pain in children 11 and younger, including stomach flu, urinary tract infection, constipation, and appendicitis. Includes interactive tool to help you decide when to call a doctor. Offers home treatment tips.

  • Adult protective underwear may be helpful for a person who has incontinence. A person who has incontinence has trouble controlling urine or stool. This underwear helps absorb urine and catch stool. There are different types of adult protective underwear. A washable kind may be useful when a loved one has trouble with...

  • Learn ways to manage nausea and loss of appetite from cancer treatments.

  • Learn what tests are used to check for colon cancer (colorectal cancer) and what the results may mean.

  • Clostridium difficile ( C. difficile) are bacteria that live in your large intestine, or colon, all the time. They usually don't cause problems. But sometimes, something causes the bacteria to grow. When there are too many of them, they release harmful substances called toxins. When the toxins are released, the...

  • Celiac disease is a problem that happens when gluten in food causes your immune system to attack the lining of your small intestine. As part of this mistaken attack, your immune system creates certain proteins called antibodies. If your doctor thinks you may have celiac disease, he or she will order a simple blood...

  • Learn about appendectomy and how to care for yourself after the surgery.

  • Learn how vaginal tears can happen with any size baby. Tears can be treated, and they heal quickly.

  • What is gastritis? Gastritis is an upset stomach. It happens when something irritates the stomach lining. Normally, a layer of mucus protects the stomach lining. If gastritis occurs for a long time, part of this lining may wear away, causing sores called ulcers. Gastritis may come on suddenly and last for a...

  • Guides you through decision to treat hemorrhoids. Looks at home remedies and other treatment options including rubber band ligation, coagulation, and hemorrhoidectomy. Includes an interactive tool to help you make your decision.

  • Screening tests for colorectal (colon) cancer Screening tests for colorectal cancer look for signs of cancer before you have symptoms. Screening tests for colorectal cancer include: Stool tests that can be done at home. They include: FIT (fecal immunochemical test). This test checks for signs of blood...

  • Discusses primary biliary cholangitis (PBC). Looks at causes and symptoms. Covers how it is diagnosed and treated. Also looks at symptoms of advanced liver damage such as variceal bleeding and osteoporosis.

  • Discusses serious condition in which scarring damages the liver. Looks at causes, including heavy alcohol use, autoimmune chronic hepatitis, and chronic viral hepatitis. Covers symptoms like fluid buildup in the belly called ascites. Discusses transplant.

  • In people who have cirrhosis, portal hypertension causes many problems. One serious complication is bleeding of enlarged veins, or varices, in the digestive tract (variceal bleeding). When the buildup of scar tissue caused by cirrhosis reduces the...

  • Fluid buildup in the abdominal cavity (ascites) is the most common major complication of cirrhosis. But it's important to get treatment. People who have alcoholic cirrhosis may develop ascites early in the course of liver disease. Those who have...

  • When the liver has been damaged by cirrhosis, it may not be able to filter poisons from the bloodstream, especially substances in the blood produced by bacteria in the large intestine. As a result, these substances (which include ammonia) may build...

  • In people who have cirrhosis, high blood pressure in the veins that carry blood from the intestines to the liver (portal hypertension) causes many problems. One serious complication of portal hypertension is variceal bleeding. When blood pressure...

  • Transjugular intrahepatic portosystemic shunt (TIPS) is a procedure that may be used to reduce portal hypertension and its complications, especially variceal bleeding. A TIPS procedure may be done by a radiologist, who places a small wire-mesh coil...

  • Guides you through decision to use medicine or surgery to treat GERD. Covers medicines like antacids and esomeprazole (Nexium). Discusses laparoscopic surgery. Looks at pros and cons of each. Includes interactive tool to help you make your decision.

  • Guides you through choosing a test to check for colorectal cancer. Looks at symptoms of colorectal cancer. Covers stool tests, sigmoidoscopy, colonoscopy, and virtual colonoscopy. Includes interactive tool to help you make your decision.

  • Guides through the decision to have surgery to remove the gallbladder. Includes info on open and laparoscopic cholecystectomy. Lists benefits and risks of surgery. Includes interactive tool to help you make your decision.

  • What is traveler's diarrhea? Traveler's diarrhea is a common medical problem for people traveling from developed, industrialized countries to developing areas of the world. High-risk areas for traveler's diarrhea include developing countries in Africa, Asia, the Middle East, and Latin America. Low-risk areas...

  • Discusses colon polyps. Covers causes and symptoms. Covers screening tests such as fecal occult blood test (FOBT) and colonoscopy. Looks at treatments.

  • Most pregnant women have symptoms of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), especially heartburn, at some point. These symptoms may start at any time during a pregnancy. And they often get worse throughout the pregnancy. Heartburn is common when you are pregnant. That's because hormones cause the digestive system to...

  • Complications of peptic ulcer may include bleeding, perforation, penetration, or obstruction. Bleeding Peptic ulcers sometimes bleed. Sometimes an ulcer may involve just the surface lining of the digestive tract. The person may then have a slow but constant loss of blood into the digestive tract. Over time, anemia...

  • Gas, burping, or bloating is common after you swallow air, eat foods that cause gas, or drink carbonated beverages. This is normal and usually can be helped by making some simple changes. The amount of gas that different foods cause varies from person to person. Examples of gas-producing foods are: Peas, lentils, and...

  • Fructose and sorbitol are two sugars that often are added to processed foods and medicines to make them taste sweet. Fructose can be found in soda pop and many fruit juice drinks. Sorbitol is found in diet products, chewing gum, candy, frozen ice...

  • Psyllium is a bulk-forming fiber laxative that is used to treat occasional constipation or bowel irregularity. Psyllium may also help lower cholesterol when used together with a diet low in cholesterol and saturated fat. Psyllium may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.

  • Constipation occurs when stools become hard and are difficult to pass. A child may cry because he or she is constipated. A crying episode usually occurs while the child is trying to pass a stool and normally will stop when the stool is passed. Some parents are overly concerned about how often their child has a bowel...

  • Diabetes is a disease in which the body either does not produce or is unable to use the hormone insulin properly. The pancreas produces insulin, which helps the body use sugar (glucose) from foods. If the pancreas cannot produce enough insulin, or if the body cannot use the insulin properly, blood sugar levels rise and...

  • Discusses diarrhea in those 11 and younger. Covers causes such as infection or inflammatory bowel disease. Offers home treatment tips. Discusses signs of dehydration. Includes interactive tool to help you decide when to call a doctor.

  • Discusses diarrhea in older children and adults. Covers causes and symptoms such as abdominal pain and black or bloody stools. Offers home treatment tips. Discusses signs of dehydration. Includes interactive tool to help you decide when to call a doctor.

  • What are the most important things you need to know about your medicines? Make sure you know about each of the medicines you take. This includes why you take it, how to take it, what you can expect while you're taking it, and any warnings about the medicine. The information provided here is general. So be sure...

  • At one time or another, everyone has had a minor facial injury that caused pain, swelling, or bruising. Home treatment is usually all that is needed for mild bumps or bruises. Causes of facial injuries Facial injuries most commonly occur during: Sports or recreational activities, such as ice hockey, basketball...

  • Gas (flatus), burping, and bloating are all normal conditions. Gas is made in the stomach and intestines as your body breaks down food into energy. Gas and burping may sometimes be embarrassing. Bloating, which is a feeling of fullness in the abdomen, can make you uncomfortable. Although many people think that they pass...

  • Discusses groin problems and injuries. Looks at acute injuries, hernias, rashes, and other groin problems in children. Covers signs and symptoms. Offers home treatment and prevention tips. Covers emergencies such as severe pain and signs of shock.

  • Covers heartburn and when symptoms may be caused by a more serious problem like gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). Offers home treatment and prevention tips. Discusses emergencies. Includes interactive tool to help you decide when to call a doctor.

  • Several conditions or situations may require surgery to remove the gallbladder. Surgery usually is needed when: Your gallbladder suddenly becomes inflamed or infected (cholecystitis). Gallstones cause repeated attacks of pain. You have growths called polyps in the gallbladder, usually larger...

  • Discusses cholecystectomy, surgery to remove the gallbladder. Covers how it is done and how well it gets rid of gallstones. Also covers risks associated with laparoscopic surgery.

  • In open gallbladder surgery (cholecystectomy), the surgeon removes the gallbladder through a single, large cut (incision) in the abdomen. You will need general anesthesia, and the surgery lasts 1 to 2 hours. The surgeon will make the incision either under the border of the right rib cage or in the middle of the upper...

  • Discusses gallstones, which are hard stones in the gallbladder. Covers causes and symptoms. Discusses what increases your risk and offers prevention tips. Covers treatment options, including bile acid, lithotripsy, ERCP, and laparoscopic and open surgery.

  • Discusses disorder of intestines that causes symptoms such as belly pain, cramping or bloating, and diarrhea or constipation. Covers treatment by avoiding foods that trigger symptoms, getting regular exercise, and managing stress. Includes medicines.

  • People who have fulminant hepatitis typically develop the symptoms seen in viral hepatitis. Then they rapidly develop severe, often life-threatening liver failure. This can happen within hours, days, or sometimes weeks. Symptoms of severe liver...

  • Immunization against the hepatitis A virus (HAV) is recommended for anyone traveling to any country or area except: Australia. Canada. Japan. New Zealand. The United States. Western Europe and the Scandinavian countries (Norway, Sweden, and Finland). Talk to your doctor...

  • What is hepatitis A? Hepatitis A is a virus that can infect the liver. In most cases, the infection goes away on its own and doesn't lead to long-term liver problems. In rare cases, it can be more serious. Other viruses ( hepatitis B and hepatitis C) also can cause hepatitis. Hepatitis A is the most common type...

  • Loss of bladder and bowel control (incontinence) can sometimes result from Alzheimer's disease and other dementias. Several strategies may help you deal with this problem: Encourage the person to use the bathroom on a regular schedule, such as every...

  • Viral hepatitis is liver inflammation caused by infection with a virus. The following viruses cause most cases of viral hepatitis: Hepatitis A virus (HAV) Hepatitis B virus (HBV) Hepatitis C virus (HCV) Hepatitis D virus (HDV) Hepatitis E virus...

  • Discusses hepatitis C, a disease caused by a virus that infects the liver. Covers causes and symptoms. Includes info on the two phases, acute and chronic. Includes info on cirrhosis. Covers treatment with antiviral medicines and surgery.

  • Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is the abnormal backflow, or reflux, of stomach juices into the esophagus, the tube that leads from the throat to the stomach. GERD is found in many people who have asthma. Having asthma increases the chances...

  • Jaundice is a yellow tint to a newborn's skin and the white part of the eyes. It is a sign that there's too much bilirubin in the baby's blood. The word for having too much bilirubin in the blood is hyperbilirubinemia (say...

  • Adults need to have inguinal hernia repair surgery in the following situations. Hernias that contain a loop of intestine without blood supply (strangulated hernias) require emergency surgery. Hernias that contain a trapped loop of intestine...

  • Discusses laparoscopic surgery to repair hernias in the groin. Covers why it's done and how well it works. Covers risks. Includes conditions that may not work with laparoscopic surgery. Covers things to think about when choosing laparoscopic hernia repair.

  • Discusses surgery that involves an incision to repair hernias in the groin. Covers why surgery is done and how well it works. Covers risks. Covers things to think about when having hernia repair surgery (herniorrhaphy).

  • Provides information on hernias. Focuses on inguinal hernias. Briefly describes femoral and abdominal wall hernias. Covers symptoms and treatment with surgery.

  • What is lactose intolerance? Lactose intolerance means the body cannot easily digest lactose, a type of natural sugar found in milk and dairy products. This is not the same thing as a food allergy to milk. When lactose moves through the large intestine (colon) without being properly digested, it can cause...

  • Hemochromatosis happens when too much iron builds up in the body. Your body needs iron to make hemoglobin, the part of your blood that carries oxygen to all of your cells. But when there is too much iron, it can damage the liver and heart and lead...

  • What is pyloric stenosis? Pyloric stenosis is a problem with a baby's stomach that causes forceful vomiting. It happens when the baby's pylorus, which connects the stomach and the small intestine, swells and thickens. This can keep food from moving into the intestine. A baby may get pyloric stenosis anytime between...

  • What is rectal prolapse? Rectal prolapse occurs when part or all of the wall of the rectum slides out of place, sometimes sticking out of the anus. See a picture of rectal prolapse. There are three types of rectal prolapse. Partial prolapse (also called mucosal prolapse). The lining (mucous membrane) of the rectum...

  • For a giardia antigen test, a stool sample or fluid from the upper part of the intestines (duodenal fluid) is tested in the lab for the presence of antigens from Giardia lamblia. This test is often done at the same time as a stool analysis.

  • What is giardiasis? Giardiasis (say "jee-ar-DYE-uh-sus") is an infection of the intestines caused by the parasite Giardia lamblia. The illness, also called giardia (say "jee-AR-dee-uh"), is most often a problem in undeveloped countries where tap water is not safe. How can you become infected with giardia? You may...

  • Gluten is a protein found in some grains, notably wheat, barley, and rye. Some foods and food products may contain gluten even when it is not specifically listed as an ingredient. The following foods and food products may have hidden gluten: Ice...

  • What is celiac disease? Celiac disease is a problem some people have with foods that contain gluten. Gluten is a type of protein. It's found in the grains wheat, barley, rye, and triticale (a wheat-rye cross). People can have a food intolerance to gluten but not have celiac disease. Gluten sensitivity may cause...

  • Paracentesis is a procedure to take out fluid that has collected in the belly ( peritoneal fluid) outside the intestines. This fluid buildup is called ascites. Ascites may be caused by infection, inflammation, an injury, or other conditions, such as cirrhosis or cancer. The fluid is taken out using a thin needle put...

  • Discusses testing and diagnosis of colorectal cancer. Covers polyps, small growths inside the colon or rectum. Includes when screening tests such as colonoscopy should be done. Discusses treatment with surgery and chemotherapy. Offers prevention tips.

  • A bowel transit time test measures how long it takes for food to travel through the digestive tract. After you chew and swallow your food, it moves into your stomach, where it is mixed with acid and digestive enzymes. After your food leaves your stomach, it is squeezed through your small intestine, where nutrients are...

  • Covers hepatitis B virus (HBV) tests that check for hepatitis B infection. Looks at most common HBV tests. Explains how tests are done and how to prepare for them. Looks at other tests that show how well the liver is working. Covers test results.

  • Describes colonoscopy, a screening test that examines the lining of the large intestine. Explains that the test is done to look for polyps in the colon or rectum and to check for colorectal cancer. Discusses preparing for the test and how it is done.

  • When you swallow food, liquid, or an object, what is swallowed passes from your mouth through your throat and esophagus into your stomach. A swallowed object will usually pass through the rest of your digestive tract without problems and show up in your stool in a few days. If food or a nonfood item gets stuck along the...

  • Covers hemorrhoidectomy, surgery to remove hemorrhoids. Covers when and why it is done. Also covers how it is done, recovery, and home treatment after surgery. Includes info on common and rare risks.

  • Describes rubber band ligation, a procedure in which the hemorrhoid is tied off at its base with rubber bands. Covers why it is done and how well it works. Also covers risks. Discusses what to expect after treatment.

  • Has info on infrared photocoagulation, a procedure in which an intense beam of infrared light is used to cause scar tissue, which cuts off the blood supply to the hemorrhoid. Covers how well it works and risks. Covers what to expect after the procedure.

  • Discusses hemorrhoids. Covers causes like constipation. Also covers symptoms, including rectal itching or bleeding. Discusses what increases your risk and offers prevention tips. Includes info on home treatment and medical procedures like hemorrhoidectomy.

  • What is a peptic ulcer? A peptic ulcer is a sore in the inner lining of the stomach or upper small intestine. Ulcers form when the intestine or stomach's protective layer is broken down. When this happens, digestive juices—which contain hydrochloric acid and an enzyme called pepsin—can damage the intestine or stomach...

  • Anoscopy, proctoscopy, and sigmoidoscopy tests allow your doctor to look at the inner lining of your anus, your rectum, and the lower part of the large intestine (colon). These tests are used to look for abnormal growths (such as tumors or polyps), inflammation, bleeding, hemorrhoids, and other conditions (such as...

  • Some people who have a stroke suffer loss of bladder control (urinary incontinence) after the stroke. But this is usually temporary. And it can have many causes, including infection, constipation, and the effects of medicines. If you have problems...

  • A stool test is one of many tests used to look for colorectal cancer. These tests may find cancer early, when treatment works better. Colorectal cancer affects the large intestine ( colon) and the rectum. Stool tests include: Fecal immunochemical test and stool DNA (FIT-DNA). Fecal occult blood test...

  • Discusses three main types of hiatal hernia: sliding, paraesophageal, and mixed. Covers symptoms such as heartburn and gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). Looks at treatment with lifestyle changes, medicines, and sometimes surgery.

  • Includes info on diverticulitis, a condition in which pouches form in the colon and get inflamed or infected. Discusses symptoms and possible complications. Covers treatment with changes to your diet, medicine, or surgery. Offers prevention tips.

  • In a technetium-labeled red blood cell bleeding scan, blood is taken from you, and a small amount of radioactive material called technetium is added to the blood. The blood with the technetium is then injected back into your bloodstream. Red blood...

  • For healthy bowels, avoid constipation. You can: Include fruits, vegetables, beans, and whole grains in your diet each day. These foods are high in fiber. Drink plenty of fluids, enough so that your urine is light yellow or clear like water. Get...

  • Discusses surgical treatment of digestive system problems by removing diseased or damaged part of the colon (bowel resection). Includes laparoscopic surgery. Covers what to expect after surgery. Discusses risks.

  • Discusses procedure (also called EGD or esophagogastroduodenoscopy) used to check the esophagus, stomach, and upper small intestine for problems. Covers why it is done, how it is done, and how it feels. Discusses what results could mean. Looks at risks.

  • Some people have problems digesting milk protein or milk sugar ( lactose intolerance). But these problems are very rare in babies. Until your doctor can evaluate your baby, it is usually not advisable to switch formula or stop breastfeeding as a means to remedy suspected food digestion problems. A vast majority of...

  • People who are infected with hepatitis B virus (HBV) or hepatitis C (HCV) virus may develop a chronic infection that can lead to cirrhosis. The damage that results increases the risk of liver cancer (hepatocellular carcinoma). If you have chronic...

  • Infection with the hepatitis D virus (HDV), or delta agent, occurs only in people who are already infected with the hepatitis B virus (HBV). HDV infection may make HBV infection more severe. In people who have long-term (chronic) HBV infection, HDV infection can make liver disease worse. Or it can cause a...

  • Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) increases the risk of colon cancer. The amount of increased risk depends on the type of inflammatory bowel disease (ulcerative colitis or Crohn's disease of the colon), how much of the intestine is involved, and how...

  • The following tips can help you prevent the spread of the hepatitis B virus (HBV). Inform the people you live with and/or have sex with about your illness as soon as possible. If you have long-term (chronic) HBV infection, you can infect others with the virus even if you have no symptoms of illness. Do not...

  • Surgery for Crohn's disease usually is needed if ongoing symptoms do not respond to medicine or if side effects of medicine cause other serious problems. Surgery may be needed when you have: Bowel blockage (obstruction). Abscesses or tears...

  • The following nutritional treatments may be used for inflammatory bowel disease (ulcerative colitis or Crohn's disease). Enteral nutrition is a fluid given through a tube that is inserted into the nose, down the throat, and into the stomach. This...

  • What is hepatitis B? Hepatitis B is a virus that infects the liver. Most adults who get it have it for a short time and then get better. This is called acute hepatitis B. Sometimes the virus causes a long-term infection, called chronic hepatitis B. Over time, it can damage your liver. Babies and young children...

  • This surgery is done to treat ulcerative colitis. The doctor removes all of the large intestine (colon) and the diseased lining of the rectum. This surgery is also called an ileal pouch-anal anastomosis (IPAA). In an ileoanal procedure, the lining of the rectum is removed, and the lower end of the small intestine (the...

  • In proctocolectomy, the large intestine and rectum are removed, leaving the lower end of the small intestine (the ileum). The doctor sews the anus closed and makes a small opening called a stoma in the skin of the lower abdomen. The surgical procedure to create the stoma (or any other artificial opening) is called an...

  • What is intussusception? Intussusception means that one part of the intestine has folded into itself, like a telescope. This can happen anywhere along the intestinal tract. It usually happens between the lower part of the small intestine and the beginning of the large intestine. The part of the intestine that...

  • A digital (finger) rectal examination is done to check for problems with organs or other structures in the pelvis and lower belly. During the examination, the doctor gently puts a lubricated, gloved finger of one hand into the rectum. He or she may use the other hand to press on the lower belly or pelvic area. A...

  • What is necrotizing enterocolitis? Necrotizing enterocolitis is infection and inflammation of the intestine. It is most common in babies who are born early (premature). Many newborns who have it go on to live healthy lives. But if the infection becomes severe, it can cause severe damage to the intestine, which can be...

  • Gives info on heart problem that leads to heart failure. Includes symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment with medicines, lifestyle changes, and surgery. Also info on causes like amyloidosis, hemochromatosis, and sarcoidosis. Includes info on tests.

  • Discusses what happens when the appendix becomes infected and inflamed. Includes appendicitis symptoms such as belly pain. Looks at exams and tests. Covers different types of surgery to remove your appendix (appendectomy).

  • Discusses vitamin B12 deficiency anemia. Explains role of B12 in red blood cells, which carry oxygen through your body. Covers symptoms and tests used to diagnose. Includes info on treatment with diet and medicines.

  • Many people take nonprescription antacids for mild or occasional heartburn. Antacids are substances that neutralize some of the stomach acid. Some antacids have a foaming agent (alginate) that floats on top of the stomach's contents. This may reduce the amount of acid that comes in contact with your esophagus...

  • You can make changes to your eating habits to help relieve your symptoms of heartburn. Here are some things to try: It's best to eat several small meals instead of two or three large meals. After you eat, wait 2 to 3 hours before you lie down....

  • During fundoplication surgery, the upper curve of the stomach (the fundus) is wrapped around the esophagus and sewn into place so that the lower portion of the esophagus passes through a small tunnel of stomach muscle. This surgery strengthens the valve between the esophagus and stomach ( lower esophageal sphincter)...

  • Discusses gastroesophageal reflux disease. Covers main symptom of heartburn, caused by stomach acid and juices flowing from the stomach back into the esophagus. Covers treatment with medicines and surgery. Offers tips on lifestyle changes to help manage GERD.

  • Discusses possible causes of swollen glands and other lumps under the skin. Covers bacterial and viral infections, noncancerous growths, hernias, aneurysms, and swelling caused by cancer. Includes an interactive tool to help you decide when to call a doctor.

  • Cancer prevention is action taken to lower the chance of getting cancer. By preventing cancer, the number of new cases of cancer in a group or population is lowered. Hopefully, this will lower the number of deaths caused by cancer. To prevent new cancers from starting, scientists look at risk factors and protective...

  • Cancer prevention is action taken to lower the chance of getting cancer. By preventing cancer, the number of new cases of cancer in a group or population is lowered. Hopefully, this will lower the number of deaths caused by cancer. To prevent new cancers from starting, scientists look at risk factors and protective...

  • Colon cancer is a disease in which malignant (cancer) cells form in the tissues of the colon. The colon is part of the body's digestive system. The digestive system removes and processes nutrients (vitamins, minerals, carbohydrates, fats, proteins, and water) from foods and helps pass waste material out of the...

  • Pancreatic cancer is a disease in which malignant (cancer) cells form in the tissues of the pancreas. The pancreas is a gland about 6 inches long that is shaped like a thin pear lying on its side. The wider end of the pancreas is called the head, the middle section is called the body, and the narrow end is called the...

  • Rectal cancer is a disease in which malignant (cancer) cells form in the tissues of the rectum. The rectum is part of the body's digestive system. The digestive system takes in nutrients (vitamins, minerals, carbohydrates, fats, proteins, and water) from foods and helps pass waste material out of the body. The...

  • Esophageal cancer is a disease in which malignant (cancer) cells form in the tissues of the esophagus. The esophagus is the hollow, muscular tube that moves food and liquid from the throat to the stomach. The wall of the esophagus is made up of several layers of tissue, including mucous membrane, muscle, and connective...

  • Adult primary liver cancer is a disease in which malignant (cancer) cells form in the tissues of the liver. The liver is one of the largest organs in the body. It has two lobes and fills the upper right side of the abdomen inside the rib cage. Three of the many important functions of the liver are: To filter harmful...

  • Cancer prevention is action taken to lower the chance of getting cancer. By preventing cancer, the number of new cases of cancer in a group or population is lowered. Hopefully, this will lower the number of deaths caused by cancer. To prevent new cancers from starting, scientists look at risk factors and protective...

  • Screening is looking for cancer before a person has any symptoms. This can help find cancer at an early stage. When abnormal tissue or cancer is found early, it may be easier to treat. By the time symptoms appear, cancer may have begun to spread. Scientists are trying to better understand which people are more likely to...

  • A gastrointestinal carcinoid tumor is cancer that forms in the lining of the gastrointestinal tract. The gastrointestinal (GI) tract is part of the body's digestive system. It helps to digest food, takes nutrients (vitamins, minerals, carbohydrates, fats, proteins, and water) from food to be used by the body and...

  • Childhood liver cancer is a disease in which malignant (cancer) cells form in the tissues of the liver. The liver is one of the largest organs in the body. It has two lobes and fills the upper right side of the abdomen inside the rib cage. Three of the many important functions of the liver are: To filter harmful...

  • Anal cancer is a disease in which malignant (cancer) cells form in the tissues of the anus. The anus is the end of the large intestine, below the rectum, through which stool (solid waste) leaves the body. The anus is formed partly from the outer skin layers of the body and partly from the intestine. Two ring-like...

  • Gallbladder cancer is a disease in which malignant (cancer) cells form in the tissues of the gallbladder. Gallbladder cancer is a rare disease in which malignant (cancer) cells are found in the tissues of the gallbladder. The gallbladder is a pear-shaped organ that lies just under the liver in the upper abdomen. The...

  • Gastric cancer is a disease in which malignant (cancer) cells form in the lining of the stomach. The stomach is a J-shaped organ in the upper abdomen. It is part of the digestive system, which processes nutrients (vitamins, minerals, carbohydrates, fats, proteins, and water) in foods that are eaten and helps pass waste...

  • Screening is looking for cancer before a person has any symptoms. This can help find cancer at an early stage. When abnormal tissue or cancer is found early, it may be easier to treat. By the time symptoms appear, cancer may have begun to spread. Scientists are trying to better understand which people are more likely to...

  • Screening is looking for cancer before a person has any symptoms. This can help find cancer at an early stage. When abnormal tissue or cancer is found early, it may be easier to treat. By the time symptoms appear, cancer may have begun to spread. Scientists are trying to better understand which people are more likely to...

  • Cancer prevention is action taken to lower the chance of getting cancer. By preventing cancer, the number of new cases of cancer in a group or population is lowered. Hopefully, this will lower the number of deaths caused by cancer. To prevent new cancers from starting, scientists look at risk factors and protective...

  • Screening is looking for cancer before a person has any symptoms. This can help find cancer at an early stage. When abnormal tissue or cancer is found early, it may be easier to treat. By the time symptoms appear, cancer may have begun to spread. Scientists are trying to better understand which people are more likely to...

  • Cancer prevention is action taken to lower the chance of getting cancer. By preventing cancer, the number of new cases of cancer in a group or population is lowered. Hopefully, this will lower the number of deaths caused by cancer. To prevent new cancers from starting, scientists look at risk factors and protective...

  • Esophageal cancer is a disease in which malignant (cancer) cells form in the tissues of the esophagus. The esophagus is the hollow, muscular tube that moves food and liquid from the throat to the stomach. The wall of the esophagus is made up of several layers of tissue, including mucous membrane, muscle, and connective...

  • Stomach cancer is a disease in which malignant (cancer) cells form in the tissues of the stomach. The stomach is a J-shaped organ in the upper abdomen. It is part of the digestive system, which processes nutrients (vitamins, minerals, carbohydrates, fats, proteins, and water) from foods that are eaten and helps pass...

  • Pancreatic cancer is a disease in which malignant (cancer) cells form in the tissues of the pancreas. The pancreas is a gland about 6 inches long that is shaped like a thin pear lying on its side. The wider end of the pancreas is called the head, the middle section is called the body, and the narrow end is called the...

  • Colorectal cancer is a disease in which malignant (cancer) cells form in the tissues of the colon or the rectum. The colon is part of the body's digestive system. The digestive system removes and processes nutrients (vitamins, minerals, carbohydrates, fats, proteins, and water) from foods and helps pass waste...

  • Many chronic illnesses can cause belly (abdominal) pain. These illnesses include sickle cell disease, diabetes, inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), and cystic fibrosis. Sudden (acute) illnesses, such as strep throat and influenza (flu), can cause belly pain when the glands in the belly become swollen or inflamed. These...

  • A perforation is a hole in the wall of the digestive tract. A perforation may occur anywhere in the digestive tract and may occur when: A crater-shaped sore (ulcer) erodes through the wall of the stomach or a section of intestine. An infection in the appendix erodes through the wall of the appendix. An infection of...

  • An object can become stuck in the airway at any age but is most common in children younger than age 3. Although a child may not have any symptoms when something is stuck in his or her airway, any of the following symptoms may occur: Rapid, noisy, or high-pitched breathing Increased drooling Difficult...

  • Rectal problems are common. Almost everyone will experience some rectal itching, pain, or bleeding at some time during his or her life. These problems are often minor and may go away on their own or with home treatment. Rectal itching Rectal itching (pruritus) is usually not a sign of a serious disease. At first, the...

  • The backup, or reflux, of stomach acids and juices into the esophagus that occurs with gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) can wear away (erode) the lining of the esophagus and cause sores, called ulcers. GERD is caused when stomach acid and juices reflux into the esophagus. This happens when the valve between...

  • Guides through decision to have your child have surgery for an umbilical hernia. Describes symptoms of an umbilical hernia and when they normally occur. Covers benefits and risks. Includes an interactive tool to help you make your decision.

  • Button disc batteries Button disc batteries are found in watches, cameras, calculators, hearing aids, and computer games. They are easily swallowed by children. These batteries, which contain corrosive fluids, can come apart when swallowed and quickly damage tissue. Some batteries contain potentially...

  • Sometimes after you swallow a pill it may feel like it "got stuck" or didn't go all the way down. This feeling usually goes away within 30 to 60 minutes if you drink liquids or eat a piece of bread. You may not have any symptoms when something is stuck in your esophagus. But when symptoms are present, they may include...

  • Diarrhea is described as an increase in the frequency of bowel movements or a decrease in the consistency of stools that causes the discharge of watery, loose stools. The severity of diarrhea is determined by the size and number of stools passed within a period of time. Severe diarrhea means having more...

  • Recurrent abdominal pain (RAP) with no cause is defined as at least 3 separate episodes of abdominal pain that occur in a 3-month period. These episodes are often severe, and the child is not able to do his or her normal activities. It may affect up to 30% of children between the ages of 4 and 12. Symptoms of RAP are...

  • Blunt abdominal injuries, such as from a fall or a blow to the stomach, can cause severe bruising of the abdominal wall and bleeding from or rupture of the internal organs. These types of injuries are often caused by falls from a significant height. They can also be caused by car, bike, sledding, or skiing accidents in...

  • Many prescription and nonprescription medicines can cause belly pain or cramping. A few examples are: Aspirin, ibuprofen (such as Advil or Motrin), and naproxen (such as Aleve). Antibiotics. Antidiarrheals. Laxatives. Iron supplements. Your health professional may be able to prescribe other medicines if you are...

  • Many prescription and nonprescription medicines can cause heartburn. A few examples are: Aspirin, ibuprofen (such as Advil or Motrin), and naproxen (such as Aleve). Antibiotics. Steroids, such as prednisone. Some heart medicines. Caffeine and alcohol also can cause heartburn. If you think that your heartburn may...

  • Many nonprescription and prescription medicines can cause nausea or vomiting. A few examples are: Antibiotics. Antidepressants. Aspirin, ibuprofen (such as Advil or Motrin), and naproxen (such as Aleve). Medicines used to treat cancer (chemotherapy). Opioid pain medicines. Vitamins and mineral supplements, such...

  • Some people are constipated for weeks, months, or years, and others have bouts of constipation that come and go over long periods of time. Chronic constipation may have many causes, including: Diet, especially if you do not include enough fruits, vegetables, and fiber in your diet each day. Medicines, such as...

  • What is a laxative? A laxative is a substance that helps you have a bowel movement. Laxatives are used to relieve and prevent constipation, which occurs when it is difficult to have a bowel movement. What types of laxatives are there? There are four types of products for preventing or treating...

  • Many prescription and nonprescription medicines can cause diarrhea. A few examples are: Antibiotics. Antidepressants. Antacids. Proton pump inhibitors, such as omeprazole (Prilosec) and lansoprazole (Prevacid). Medicines used to treat cancer (chemotherapy). Many antibiotics cause diarrhea. Usually the diarrhea...

  • Lists common sexually transmitted infections, including chlamydia, genital herpes, gonorrhea, HIV, HPV (genital warts), syphilis, and trichomoniasis. Includes interactive tool to help you decide when to call a doctor. Covers safer sex. Offers prevention tips.

  • What is video capsule endoscopy? Video capsule endoscopy is a procedure that allows a doctor to examine your small intestine for sources of bleeding. It may be especially helpful for diagnosing Crohn's disease. How is it done? For this procedure, you swallow a capsule that is less than an inch long (about 23...

  • What is gastroesophageal reflux? Gastroesophageal reflux happens when food and stomach acid flow from the stomach back into the esophagus. The esophagus is the tube that carries food from the mouth to the stomach. In adults, reflux is often called heartburn or acid reflux. Reflux is common in babies and...

  • Covers following an eating plan for inflammatory bowel disease. Helps you learn more about how to eat so you can manage your symptoms but still get the nutrition you need. Looks at common problem foods.

  • What is cryptosporidiosis? Cryptosporidiosis is a diarrheal disease caused by the Cryptosporidium parvum parasite, also referred to as "Crypto." Crypto lives in the intestine of infected animals and humans and is passed through stool. What causes infection with cryptosporidiosis? Crypto is primarily transmitted by...

  • When a child has diarrhea or is vomiting, it is important to replace the fluids he or she is losing. Give your child small sips of water. Let your child drink as much as he or she wants. Ask your doctor if your child needs an oral rehydration solution (ORS) like Pedialyte or Infalyte. Oral rehydration solutions contain...

  • Malabsorption syndrome is the inability to absorb nutrients, vitamins, and minerals from the intestinal tract into the bloodstream. Causes may include: Diseases affecting the intestine itself, such as celiac disease. Absence or low levels of certain digestive enzymes. Diseases of the pancreas, such as chronic...

  • Swallowing air may cause bloating, burping, gas, and abdominal pain. Swallowed air that is not released by burping passes through the digestive tract and is released as gas (flatus). Babies often swallow air during feeding. It is important to burp your baby during and after feeding. Swallowed air may cause a baby to be...

  • What is gas? Gas (flatus) is made in the stomach and intestines as your body breaks down food into energy. All people pass gas, some people more than others. It is normal to pass gas from 6 to 20 times per day. What causes gas? Common causes of gas include: Swallowed air. If swallowed air is not burped up, it...

  • Dyspepsia is a common condition and usually describes a group of symptoms rather than one predominant symptom. These symptoms include: Belly pain or discomfort. Bloating. Feeling uncomfortably full after eating. Nausea. Loss of appetite. Heartburn. Burping up food or liquid (regurgitation). Burping. Most...

  • Many nonprescription and prescription medicines and supplements can cause gas and bloating. A few examples are: Aspirin. Antacids. Diarrhea medicines, such as Imodium, Kaopectate, and Lomotil. Opioid pain medicines. Fiber supplements and bulking agents, such as Citrucel, Fiberall, and Metamucil. Multivitamins and...

  • What are hiccups? Hiccups occur when a spasm contracts the diaphragm, a large sheet of muscle that separates the chest cavity from the abdominal cavity. This spasm causes an intake of breath that is suddenly stopped by the closure of the vocal cords (glottis). This closure causes the characteristic "hiccup" sound...

  • Pelvic pain and problems urinating may mean you have a bladder infection. Flank pain with fever and urinary symptoms may mean you have a kidney infection (pyelonephritis). Flank pain is felt just below the rib cage and above the waist. It can be on one or both sides of the back. If you have pelvic or flank pain and...

  • Constipation Constipation is a common problem during pregnancy. Delayed passage of bowel contents (slow transit) is the most common cause of constipation during pregnancy. You may also have constipation or discomfort with bowel movements for a few days after delivery. Your first bowel movement may be painful if you...

  • You may have some difficulty urinating for a day or two after delivery. Your first bowel movement may be quite painful if you have had an incision (episiotomy) or a tear in your vagina. You may also have constipation or discomfort with bowel...

  • What is an umbilical hernia? An umbilical hernia happens when intestine, fat, or fluid pushes through a weak spot or hole in your baby's stomach muscles. This causes a bulge near or in the belly button, or navel. It may look like your child's belly button is swollen. Many children have an umbilical...

  • What is gastroparesis? After a meal, the stomach normally empties in 1½ to 2 hours. When you have gastroparesis, your stomach takes a lot longer to empty. The delay results in bothersome and possibly serious symptoms because digestion is altered. Bezoar is a fairly rare condition related to gastroparesis. In this...

  • Looks at causes and symptoms of diverticulosis. Explains what diverticulosis is and how it is treated. Covers painful diverticular disease. Offers home treatment and prevention tips, including eating more dietary fiber.

  • What is difficulty swallowing (dysphagia)? Difficulty swallowing is also called dysphagia. It is usually a sign of a problem with your throat or esophagus—the muscular tube that moves food and liquids from the back of your mouth to your stomach. Although dysphagia can happen to anyone, it is most common in older...

  • Many people worry about getting a disease like hepatitis or HIV from an accidental needle stick. But it doesn't happen often. Most of the time, the person on whom the needle was used doesn't have hepatitis, HIV, or another infection that can be spread that way. When the person does have an infection that can be spread...

  • An endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatogram (ERCP) test checks the tubes (ducts) that drain the liver, gallbladder, and pancreas. A flexible, lighted scope ( endoscope) and X-ray pictures are used. The scope is put through the mouth and gently moved down the throat. It goes through your esophagus, stomach, and...

  • Guides through decision to receive artificial hydration and nutrition if you have a life-threatening or terminal illness. Describes various feeding-tube methods. Discusses benefits and risks. Includes interactive tool to help you make your decision.

  • What is pelvic organ prolapse? Pelvic organ prolapse occurs when a pelvic organ—such as your bladder—drops (prolapses) from its normal place in your lower belly and pushes against the walls of your vagina. This can happen when the muscles that hold your pelvic organs in place get weak or stretched from childbirth or...

  • A rectocele occurs when the end of the large intestine (rectum) pushes against and moves the back wall of the vagina. An enterocele (small bowel prolapse) occurs when the small bowel presses against and moves the upper wall of the vagina. Rectoceles and enteroceles develop if the lower pelvic muscles become damaged by...

  • Home treatment may be all that is needed to treat mild nausea caused by cancer or the side effects of chemotherapy or radiation therapy. If you are having chemotherapy, your doctor can give you medicines to prevent and treat nausea and vomiting. Be sure to tell your doctor if you continue to have problems after your...

  • Home treatment may be all that is needed to treat diarrhea caused by cancer or the side effects of chemotherapy or radiation therapy. Be sure to follow any instructions and take any medicines your doctor has given you to treat diarrhea. Check with your doctor before using any nonprescription medicines for your diarrhea...

  • Home treatment may be all that is needed to treat constipation caused by cancer, pain medicine, inactivity, or the side effects of chemotherapy or radiation therapy. If your doctor has given you instructions or medicines to treat constipation, be...

  • Abdominal pain can have many causes. Often the specific symptoms help determine the cause of the pain. Causes of abdominal pain Cause Most common symptoms Gastrointestinal problems, such as constipation, gallbladder disease, bowel obstruction, pancreatitis, appendicitis, gastritis, peptic ulcer disease...

  • Discusses colon and rectal cancers that return after treatment or that spread to other parts of the body. Looks at symptoms. Discusses treatment with surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy.

  • Liver resection is the surgical removal of part of the liver. This operation is for some types of liver cancer and for certain cases of metastatic colorectal cancer. Up to half of your liver can be removed as long as the rest is healthy. During a liver resection, the part of your liver that contains cancer is removed...

  • Hemochromatosis gene (HFE) testing is a blood test used to check for hereditary hemochromatosis, an inherited disorder that causes the body to absorb too much iron. The iron then builds up in the blood, liver, heart, pancreas, joints, skin, and other organs. In its early stages, hemochromatosis can cause joint and...

  • Discusses screening test for hereditary hemochromatosis, a genetic disorder that causes the body to absorb too much iron. Covers symptoms of hereditary hemochromatosis. Discusses who should be screened and offers reasons not to be screened.

  • Discusses virtual colonoscopy (computed tomographic colonography). Covers why and how it is done. Explains how it differs from a regular colonoscopy. Covers things to think about when choosing virtual colonoscopy.

  • Record Answer questions Date and time of day: ________ Date and time of day: ________ Date and time of day: ________ Symptoms What were your symptoms? How long did the heartburn last? Do you have any other symptoms, such as asthma, hoarseness, or stomach pain? Does pain radiate to another part of your...

  • The hepatitis A virus test is a blood test that shows if you have a hepatitis A infection now or had it in the past. The test looks for antibodies made by the body to fight the virus. They will be in your blood if you have a hepatitis A infection now or have had one in the past. Hepatitis A...

  • Hepatitis C virus (HCV) test is a blood test that looks for the genetic material ( RNA) of the virus that causes hepatitis or for the proteins ( antibodies) the body makes against HCV. These proteins will be present in your blood if you have a hepatitis C infection now or have had one in the past. Different tests are...

  • Answers questions about organ transplants. Covers becoming an organ donor and getting on a waiting list. Covers tests used to see if you'd be a good candidate. Looks at medicines that you might take after a transplant. Offers tips for staying healthy.

  • Causes of bleeding in the stomach and intestines (digestive tract) include: Regular use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as aspirin and ibuprofen. These medicines can irritate the stomach lining and cause an ulcer. Inflammatory bowel disease. Colon polyps or colorectal cancer, especially in...

  • Guides you through the decision to take antiviral drugs for chronic hepatitis B. Covers treatment with interferons and nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors. Lists side effects. Includes interactive tool to help you make your decision.

  • A postvaccination test for immunity to the hepatitis B virus (HBV) is recommended only if you: Have an impaired immune system. This can be caused by many things, such as infection with HIV or the use of medicines to prevent organ rejection. Are older than age 49. Received the hepatitis B vaccine in the buttock. (The...

  • Discusses pancreatitis, inflammation of the pancreas that causes abdominal pain. Discusses most common causes, which include gallstones and alcohol misuse. Covers symptoms and treatment with medicines or surgery to remove the gallbladder.

  • In certain cases, medicines may cause inflammation of the pancreas ( pancreatitis). These include: Antibiotics. Medicines that suppress the immune system. Medicines used to treat high blood pressure. Aminosalicylates. Diuretics. Corticosteroids. Estrogen. Medicines used to treat diabetes. Valproate. General...

  • Pain is a frustrating, sometimes debilitating aspect of ongoing (chronic) pancreatitis. Many people have pain for many years. Pain may decrease as the damaged pancreas loses its ability to produce enzymes. But it may take years for the pancreas to stop producing enzymes. In many people, this process never occurs...

  • Looks at causes and symptoms of small-bowel and large-bowel obstructions. Covers exams and tests to diagnose it. Covers treatment with enemas or stents. Discusses when surgery may be needed.

  • Doctors have several options for treating a bowel obstruction caused by twisting of the intestine (volvulus). The choice of procedure depends on the location of the obstruction. If the obstruction is caused by a twisting of the sigmoid area of the large intestine, a doctor may try to straighten out the twisting segment...

  • Milk thistle is a plant that contains silymarin, a substance that improves liver function. Originally from Europe, milk thistle now also grows in the United States. You can take milk thistle in capsules or as a tincture (combined with alcohol). It...

  • A magnetic resonance cholangiogram (MRC) is a test that can help doctors look for problems in the belly. The image is done from outside the body. No instruments are inserted in the body. Doctors can use MRC to find gallstones before surgery to remove the gallbladder (laparoscopic cholecystectomy). But the test is most...

  • Medicines that constrict small blood vessels and reduce blood flow to the portal vein are used to treat sudden (acute) bleeding from enlarged veins (varices) in the digestive tract ( variceal bleeding). Octreotide is the main medicine used in the United States to treat variceal bleeding. These medicines also may be...

  • Covers controlling irritable bowel syndrome with diet. Discusses limiting foods that may make symptoms like bloating or diarrhea worse. Explains importance of adding fiber to your diet, drinking plenty of water, and getting regular exercise.

  • What is an anal fissure? An anal fissure is a tear in the lining of the lower rectum (anal canal) that causes pain during bowel movements. Anal fissures don't lead to more serious problems. Most anal fissures heal with home treatment after a few days or weeks. These are called short-term (acute) anal fissures. If you...

  • Guides through decision to have surgery for ulcerative colitis. Explains symptoms, long-term risks involved with the disease. Discusses common surgery options. Includes an interactive tool to help you make your decision.

  • A sports hernia is an injury of the inguinal area caused by repetitive twisting and turning at high speed. This type of hernia occurs mainly in people who play ice hockey, soccer, or tennis. Although the condition is known as a hernia, in many cases an obvious hernia is not seen. The main symptom is groin pain that may...

  • Discusses Crohn's disease, an inflammatory bowel disease. Covers symptoms, which include diarrhea and abdominal pain. Discusses treatment with medicines, including corticosteroids, immunomodulators, and biologics. Also covers treatment with surgery.

  • Discusses ulcerative colitis, a common type of inflammatory bowel disease that affects the colon and rectum. Covers symptoms and what happens as the disease progresses. Offers home treatment tips. Discusses treatment with medicine and surgery.

  • The severity of ulcerative colitis is determined by certain criteria. Ulcerative colitis can be classified as mild, moderate, severe, or fulminant (very severe), which may guide treatment choices. People who have mild ulcerative colitis may have: Fewer than four bowel movements (stools) a day. No...

  • Complications of ulcerative colitis can include: Arthritis, in 5 to 20 out of 100 people. Some people develop colitis-related arthritis, which may resemble rheumatoid arthritis. In people who have ulcerative colitis, inflammation limited to the lower joints of the spine (sacroiliitis) is more common than ankylosing...

  • Sometimes symptoms of Crohn's disease can develop outside the digestive tract in other parts of the body (systemic symptoms), including the eyes, liver, blood, and bones. These systemic symptoms suggest that the immune system is involved in Crohn's disease. Systemic symptoms can include: Joint problems, which occur in...

  • Discusses C. difficile bacteria that cause swelling and irritation of the large intestine, or colon. Looks at how you may get Clostridium difficile colitis if you take antibiotics. Covers treatment with medicine such as metronidazole.

  • Discusses blood test that can tell you if you carry rare changed genes that can cause colon cancer, also called colorectal cancer. Covers familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP). Looks at colonoscopy screening. Discusses risks. Includes genetic counseling.

  • Discusses infection caused by problems near the crease between the buttocks. Covers symptoms, which include cysts that might drain. Offers home treatment tips. Covers treatment with incision and drainage or removal.

  • Caring for your ostomy is an important part of maintaining your quality of life. You will need to: Empty your pouch as needed. Replace your pouching system as needed (usually every 3 to 7 days). This may include measuring your stoma (the exposed section of intestine) and cutting the barrier to size. Care for your...

  • The American Association for the Study of Liver Disease has made recommendations for treating long-term (chronic) hepatitis B. These recommendations are based on the presence of hepatitis B antigens in your blood, the level of hepatitis B viral DNA ( HBV DNA) in your blood, and the level of the liver enzyme alanine...

  • Phlebotomy is a procedure that removes blood from the body. Regular phlebotomy treats people who have too much iron in their blood, such as with hemochromatosis, or who are producing too many red blood cells, such as with polycythemia. Removing blood regularly decreases iron levels in the body by reducing the number of...

  • Resection is another name for any operation that removes tissue or part of an organ. Bowel resection for colorectal cancer, also called partial colectomy, removes the tumor. To make sure that only healthy tissue is left, the doctor removes a small amount of colon or rectum tissue on both sides of the tumor. The goal of...

  • After a surgeon has removed the diseased part of your bowel during an operation called a bowel resection, he or she will then sew the two healthy ends of your bowel back together. Sometimes the bowel tissue needs more time to heal before the reattachment, so a temporary colostomy is needed. Sometimes the entire lower...

  • There are two different types of peptic ulcers. They are: Gastric ulcers, which form in the lining of the stomach. Duodenal ulcers, which form in the upper small intestine. Both types of peptic ulcers are most commonly caused either by infection with Helicobacter pylori ( H. pylori) bacteria or by frequent use of...

  • Symptoms of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) can be painful and, if allowed to continue, can lead to complications including esophagitis. Esophagitis is irritation or inflammation of the esophagus. You can make changes to your lifestyle to help relieve your symptoms of GERD. Here are some things to try...

  • Discusses nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), which is part of a group of diseases called nonalcoholic fatty liver disease. Covers cirrhosis. Discusses lifestyle changes, including controlling diabetes and high cholesterol and losing weight.

  • Crohn's disease may cause sores, or ulcers, that tunnel through the intestine and into the surrounding tissue, often around the anus and rectum. These abnormal tunnels, called fistulas, are a common complication of Crohn's disease. They may get infected. Crohn's disease can also cause anal fissures. These are narrow...

  • Briefly discusses diverticular bleeding. Explains what diverticular bleeding is. Looks at causes, and symptoms such as severe rectal bleeding. Covers treatment options. Offers prevention tips, including eating a high-fiber diet.

  • What is esophageal spasm? Normally, contractions of the esophagus (the tube that connects the mouth and the stomach) move food from the mouth to the stomach with a regular, coordinated rhythm. Esophageal spasm means that contractions of the esophagus are irregular, uncoordinated, and sometimes powerful. This condition...

  • What is esophagitis? Esophagitis is irritation or inflammation of the esophagus. The esophagus is the tube that carries food from your throat to your stomach. Esophagitis can be painful and can make it hard to swallow. What causes esophagitis? Gastroesophageal reflux disease , or GERD, is...

  • Vomiting occurs when a child's stomach contents are forced up the esophagus and out of the mouth. Although nausea may accompany vomiting in adults and older children, children younger than age 3 are usually not able to tell you if they are having nausea. Most of the time vomiting is not serious. Home treatment will...

  • Celiac disease is a problem some people have with foods that contain gluten. Gluten is a type of protein found in the grains wheat, barley, rye, and triticale (a wheat-rye cross). When a person with celiac disease eats gluten, it triggers an immune response that is not normal. This damages the small intestine. Symptoms...

  • Guides you through decision to have inguinal hernia surgery. Looks at the two types of surgery for treatment. Covers benefits and risks. Includes an interactive tool to help you make your decision.

  • It is common to have trouble swallowing, also called dysphagia, after a stroke. You may not be able to feel food on one or both sides of your mouth. You may also have problems chewing or producing enough saliva. Or you may have other conditions that make eating difficult and increase your risk of choking or breathing in...

  • What is cholecystitis? Cholecystitis is inflammation of the gallbladder, a small organ near the liver that plays a part in digesting food. Normally, fluid called bile passes out of the gallbladder on its way to the small intestine. If the flow of bile is blocked, it builds up inside the gallbladder, causing swelling...

  • Discusses controlling and preventing nausea and vomiting from chemotherapy. Looks at antinausea drugs including Zofran and Ativan. Also discusses complementary therapy, acupuncture, and nutrition.

  • What are the most common skin conditions in newborns? It's very common for newborns to have rashes or other skin problems. Some of them have long names that are hard to say and sound scary. But most will go away on their own in a few days or weeks. Here are some of the things you may notice about your baby's skin...

  • Discusses gastroenteritis (also called stomach flu) caused by a virus or bacteria. Covers symptoms like nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, or fever. Offers home treatment tips. Also offers prevention tips. Covers when you should seek care.

  • Guides through decision to be tested for hepatitis B. Explains hepatitis B and discusses causes and lifestyles that put you at higher risk. Covers benefits and risks. Includes an interactive tool to help you make your decision.

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