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• Barrett's Esophagus
• Celiac Disease
• Cirrhosis of the Liver
• Crohn's Disease
• Diverticular Disease
• Helicobacter Pylori
• Hepatitis C
• Ulcerative Colitis
Barrett's esophagus is a condition in which the esophagus, the muscular tube that carries food and saliva from the mouth to the stomach, changes so that some of its lining is replaced by a type of tissue similar to that normally found in the intestine. This process is called intestinal metaplasia.
While Barrett's esophagus may cause no symptoms itself, a small number of people with this condition develop a relatively rare but often deadly type of cancer of the esophagus called esophageal adenocarcinoma. Barrett's esophagus is estimated to affect about 700,000 adults in the United States. It is associated with the very common condition gastroesophageal reflux disease or GERD. More...
Celiac Disease (CD) [also called nontropical sprue, celiac sprue, gluten sensitive enteropathy, gluten intolerance, or malabsorption syndrome] is a chronic digestive disorder affecting genetically susceptible individuals in which the surface of the small intestine is damaged by eating gluten-containing grains such as wheat, barley, rye and oats. Triticale, spelt, kamut, and malt contain gluten as well.
The symptoms of celiac disease are as varied as the nutritional deficiencies caused by the lack of absorption. However, the most common symptoms are chronic diarrhea, or constipation, pale and bulky stools, abdominal cramping, intestinal gas, distention and bloating, anemia, fatigue, weakness, lack of energy, weight loss, depression, and irritability.
A related skin condition known as dermatitis herpetiformis (DH) can also occur. DH causes intense itchy, blistering outbreaks usually on the elbows, knees and feet. CD and DH are so closely linked that 80% of DH patients have the same bowel sensitivity to gluten as CD patients. More...
Cirrhosis is a consequence of chronic liver disease characterized by replacement of liver tissue by fibrotic scar tissue as well as regenerative nodules, leading to progressive loss of liver function. Cirrhosis is most commonly caused by alcoholism and hepatitis C, and was the 12th leading cause of death in the United States in 2000. Ascites is the most common complication of cirrhosis and is associated with a poor quality of life, increased risk of infections, and a poor long term outcome. In advanced stages of cirrhosis, the condition is irreversible and the only option would be a liver transplant. More...
Crohn’s disease is an ongoing disorder that causes inflammation of the digestive tract, also referred to as the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. Crohn’s disease can affect any area of the GI tract, from the mouth to the anus, but it most commonly affects the lower part of the small intestine, called the ileum. The swelling extends deep into the lining of the affected organ. The swelling can cause pain and can make the intestines empty frequently, resulting in diarrhea.
Crohn’s disease is an inflammatory bowel disease, the general name for diseases that cause swelling in the intestines. Because the symptoms of Crohn’s disease are similar to other intestinal disorders, such as irritable bowel syndrome and ulcerative colitis, it can be difficult to diagnose. More...
Diverticular disease is an inflammation or infection in the pouches, known as diverticula, which are located in the colon. A single pouch is called a diverticulum. Two or more pouches are called diverticula. Having diverticula is a condition called diverticulosis. Having infected or inflamed diverticula is a condition called diverticulitis. The conditions of diverticulosis or diverticulitis are referred to as diverticular disease.
Diverticulitis occurs in 10 to 25 percent of people with diverticulosis. Approximately half of all Americans ages 60 to 80, and almost everyone over age 80, have diverticulosis at some time.
The disease is common in developed or industrialized countries - particularly the United States, England, and Australia - where low-fiber diets are common. It is rare in countries such as Asia and Africa, where people eat high-fiber, vegetable diets. More...
Gastroesophageal reflux disease, commonly referred to as GERD, or acid reflux, is a condition in which the liquid content of the stomach regurgitates (backs up, or refluxes) into the esophagus. The liquid can inflame and damage the lining of the esophagus although this occurs in a minority of patients. The regurgitated liquid usually contains acid and pepsin that are produced by the stomach. (Pepsin is an enzyme that begins the digestion of proteins in the stomach). More...
Helicobacter pylori is a bacterium that infects the mucus lining of the human stomach. Many peptic ulcers and some types of gastritis are caused by H. pylori infection, although most humans who are infected will never develop symptoms. This bacterium lives in the human stomach exclusively and is the only known organism that can thrive in that highly acidic environment. It is helix-shaped (hence the name helicobacter) and can literally screw itself into the stomach lining to colonize. More...
The term hemorrhoids refers to a condition in which the veins around the anus or lower rectum are swollen and inflamed. Hemorrhoids may result from straining to move stool. Other contributing factors include pregnancy, aging, chronic constipation or diarrhea, and anal intercourse. Hemorrhoids are either inside the anus (internal) or under the skin around the anus (external). More...
Hepatitis C is an inflammation of the liver caused by infection with the hepatitis C virus (HCV). It is a blood-borne viral disease which can cause liver inflammation, fibrosis, cirrhosis and liver cancer.
The hepatitis C virus (HCV) is spread by blood-to-blood contact with an infected person's blood. Many people with HCV infection have no symptoms and are unaware of the need to seek treatment. Hepatitis C infects an estimated 150-200 million people worldwide. It is the leading cause of liver transplant. More...
Ulcerative colitis is a chronic inflammation of the large intestine (colon). The colon is the part of the digestive system where waste material is stored. The rectum is the end of the colon adjacent to the anus. In patients with ulcerative colitis, ulcers and inflammation of the inner lining of the colon lead to symptoms of abdominal pain, diarrhea, and rectal bleeding.
Ulcerative colitis is closely related to another condition of inflammation of the intestines called Crohn's disease. Together, they are frequently referred to as inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Ulcerative olitis and Crohn's diseases are chronic conditions that can last years to decades. More...
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Ulcerative Colitis: Dr Perry Stokes, Jr