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Digestive diseases are disorders of the digestive tract, also referred to as the gastrointestinal (GI ) tract. Indigestion, food, and drink are broken down into small pieces (called nutrients) that the body can consume and use as energy and cell building blocks. The digestive tract consists of the esophagus, the throat, the large and small intestines, the liver, the pancreas, and the gallbladder.
The first indication of problems in the digestive tract frequently involves one or more of the following symptoms:
Bleeding, Bloating, Constipation, Diarrhea, Heartburn, Incontinence, Nausea and vomiting, pain in the belly, Swallowing problems, or Weight gain or loss
Other digestive diseases include:
• Gallstones, cholangitis, and cholecystitis
• Rectal problems: Anal fissure, hemorrhoids, proctitis, and rectal prolapse
• Esophagus problems: Stricture, achalasia, and esophagitis
• Stomach problems: Gastritis, and gastric ulcers
• Liver problems: Hepatitis B or hepatitis C, cirrhosis, and liver failure
• Pancreatitis and pancreatic pseudocyst
• Intestinal problems: Polyps and cancer, Crohn disease, infections, ulcerative colitis, celiac disease, diverticulitis, short bowel syndrome, malabsorption, and intestinal ischemia
• Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), hiatal hernia, and peptic ulcer disease
Tests for digestive disorders can include colonoscopy, capsule endoscopy, endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP), upper GI endoscopy, and endoscopic ultrasound.
Many surgical operations are conducted in the digestive tract. That includes endoscopy, laparoscopy, and open surgical procedures. Organ transplantation can be performed on the liver, pancreas, and small intestine.
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