U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Digestive Diseases A-Z

Digestive disease topics are listed in alphabetical order. Select a letter to locate a disease or condition, diagnostic test, or anatomy topic.

The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) conducts, supports, and coordinates research on many of the most serious diseases affecting public health. The NIDDK cannot provide medical advice for individuals. The information provided here is informed by NIDDK research, reviewed by doctors, and provided to help you understand more about the diseases and conditions you or your loved ones may face. The NIDDK is part of the National Institutes of Health, the medical research agency of the United States.​
family sitting around
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A

Abdominal Adhesions

Describes how abdominal adhesions form. Explains their causes and how they can lead to intestinal obstruction.




Adhesions


See
 Abdominal Adhesions

Alagille Syndrome

Describes Alagille syndrome, a rare, inherited disorder that affects the liver. Covers the causes, symptoms, diagnosis, treatment, and long-term outlook.​

Anal Fissure


See
 Hemorrhoids

Anatomic Problems of the Lower GI Tract

Provides a general overview of common anatomical problems of the lower GI tract. Covers symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment for the different conditions.


Appendicitis

Inflammation of your appendix. If a surgeon doesn’t remove an inflamed appendix, it will likely burst, or rupture.


Autoimmune Hepatitis

Provides information about the triggers, symptoms, diagnosis, treatment, and complications of autoimmune hepatitis.

B

Barium Enema


See
 Lower GI Series

Barium Swallow


See
 Upper GI Series

Barrett's Esophagus

​Barrett's esophagus is a condition in which tissue that is similar to the lining of your intestine replaces the tissue lining of your esophagus. People with Barrett's esophagus may develop a rare cancer called esophageal adencarcinoma.​


Biliary Atresia

Describes biliary atresia, a rare, life-threatening disease that damages the liver in newborns. Discusses symptoms and diagnosis. Describes the Kasai procedure––the most recognized surgical treatment for the disease.

Bleeding in the Digestive Tract

Includes information about the causes of bleeding in the digestive tract and how the bleeding is recognized, diagnosed, and treated.



C

Celiac Disease

Contains general information about celiac disease and explains how it can disrupt the absorption of nutrients in the small intestine.


Chronic Diarrhea in Children

Defines chronic diarrhea and discusses causes of chronic diarrhea in children, diagnostic tests, and treatments.

Cirrhosis

Provides information about the causes, symptoms, diagnosis, complications, and treatment of cirrhosis. This publication is also available in Spanish.

Cirrhosis of the Liver


See
 What I need to know about Cirrhosis

Cirrhosis, Primary Biliary


See
 Primary Biliary Cirrhosis

Colitis


See
 Ulcerative Colitis


Colon Polyps

Colon polyps are growths on the lining of your colon or rectum. Over tme, some polyps can become cancerous, and removing polyps can help prevent cancer of the colon and rectum.



Colonoscopy

Colonoscopy is a procedure that uses a long, flexible, narrow tube with a light and tiny camera on one end to look inside your rectum and entire colon. Colonoscopy can show irritated and swollen tissue, ulcers, and polyps.


Constipation

​Constipation is a condition in which you have fewer than three bowel movements a week or hard, dry, and small bowel movements that are painful or difficult to pass.


Constipation in Children

A condition in which a child has fewer than two bowel movements a week, or hard, dry, and small bowel movements that are painful or difficult to pass.

Continent Ileostomy


See
 Ostomy Surgery of the Bowel

Copper Storage Disease


See
 Wilson Disease

Crohn's Disease

Discusses risk factors, symptoms, diagnostic procedures, and complications of Crohn's disease. Provides treatment options, including medications and surgery.

Cyclic Vomiting Syndrome

​Describes the four phases of cyclic vomiting syndrome. Also includes a review of causes, treatments, and tips to prevent cyclic vomiting syndrome.

D


Delayed Gastric Emptying


See
 Gastroparesis

Dermatitis Herpetiformis: Skin Manifestation of Celiac Disease

​Summarizes information about this blistering skin rash and its symptoms, causes, diagnosis, and treatment. Photographs illustrate dermatitis herpetiformis.


Diarrhea

Landing page listing resources on diarrhea available from National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse.



Diverticular Disease

Defines diverticulosis and diverticulitis and provides information about symptoms, causes, complications, and treatment.

Dumping Syndrome

Describes the causes, symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment of dumping syndrome.

Duodenal Ulcers


See
 Peptic Ulcer Disease


Dyspepsia


See
 Indigestion

E


ERCP (Endoscopic Retrograde Cholangiopancreatography)

Describes the purpose of ERCP (endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography, how patients can prepare for it, and what patients can expect during and after the procedure.​

Esophageal Cancer


See
 Barrett's Esophagus

F

Fecal Incontinence

​Explains causes, diagnosis, and treatment of fecal incontinence, or bowel control problems. Includes information about eating, diet, and nutrition, and fecal incontinence in children.

Feeding Tube


See
 Gastroparesis


Flexible Sigmoidoscopy

Provides general information about flexible sigmoidoscopy. Describes the purpose of the test, how patients can prepare for it, and what patients can expect during and after the procedure. This publication is also available in Spanish.


Foodborne Illnesses

Discusses the causes, risk factors, and complications associated with Foodborne Illnesses. Reviews treatment options and prevention strategies. Provides resources for additional information.

G

Gallstones

Provides general information about gallstones, including causes, risk factors, diagnosis, and treatment.

Gas in the Digestive Tract

​Describes what causes gas and discusses symptoms, complications, and treatment.

Gastritis

​Describes the various causes of gastritis and tests used to diagnose it.

Gastroesophageal Reflux (GER) and Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) in Adults

​Gastroesophageal reflux (GER) happens when your stomach contents come back up into your esophagus. Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is a long-lasting and more serious form of GER.


Gastroesophageal Reflux (GER) and Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) in Children and Adolescents

​Describes gastroesophageal reflux in children and adolescents, including its causes, symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment.

Gastroesophageal Reflux (GER) and Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) in Infants

​Describes gastroesophageal reflux (GER) and gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) in infants, including the causes, symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment.


Gastrointestinal Bleeding


See
 Bleeding in the Digestive Tract

Gastroparesis

​Defines gastroparesis and describes the symptoms, diagnosis, complications, and treatment.





Gluten-sensitive Enteropathy


See
 What I need to know about Celiac Disease

H

H. pylori and Peptic Ulcers


See
 Peptic Ulcer Disease





Hemochromatosis

Provides information about the causes, risk factors, symptoms, diagnosis, treatment, and screening for hemochromatosis. Includes a list of additional resources.

Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome in Children (HUS)

Explains how hemolytic uremic syndrome develops after E-coli infection in the digestive tract and describes the treatments available.

Hemorrhoids

Describes the symptoms, diagnosis, and medical and surgical treatments for hemorrhoids.




Hepatitis B: What Asian and Pacific Islander Americans Need to Know

Describes hepatitis B, symptoms, transmission, and risk factors for Asian and Pacific Islander and other foreign-born Americans. Available in Chinese, Korean, Tagalog, and Vietnamese.


Hepatolenticular Degeneration


See
 Wilson Disease


I


Ileoanal Reservoir


See
 Ostomy Surgery of the Bowel



Indigestion

​Describes indigestion, also called functional dyspepsia. Provides information about the causes, symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment.

Inguinal Hernia

Describes the types of inguinal hernia, as well as causes, symptoms, surgical treatment, and potential complications.​

Intestinal Adhesions


See
 Abdominal Adhesions


Intestinal Pseudo-obstruction

​Discusses chronic and acute forms of intestinal pseudo-obstruction and briefly describes symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment of this rare condition.


Iron Overload Disease


See
 Hemochromatosis

Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Describes causes, symptoms, testing to rule out more serious intestinal problems, and lifestyle and medical symptom management of irritable bowel syndrome.

Irritable Bowel Syndrome in Children

Defines irritable bowel syndrome. Describes diagnostic criteria and treatment and offers guidelines for parents.

K

Kasai Procedure


See
 Biliary Atresia

L

Lactose Intolerance

Explains the cause, risk factors, diagnostic tests, and management of lactose intolerance. Lists calcium-rich foods and foods that contain hidden lactose.


Laxatives


See
 Constipation

Liver Biopsy

Provides general information about liver biopsy. Describes the purpose of the test, how patients can prepare for it, and what patients can expect during and after the procedure.



Liver Transplantation

Describes liver transplantation, waiting lists, scoring systems that rank candidates, and the procedure for matching candidates with donor livers. Discusses  transplant surgery.​

Lower GI Series

Provides general information about the lower gastrointestinal (GI) x-ray series. Describes the purpose of the test and what patients can expect before, during, and after the procedure. This publication is also available in Spanish.



M

Mallory-Weiss Syndrome


See
 Bleeding in the Digestive Tract


Ménétrier's Disease

Defines Ménétrier’s disease and describes treatment options.​

Microscopic Colitis: Collagenous Colitis and Lymphocytic Colitis

Defines collagenous colitis and lymphocytic colitis. Explains the causes and describes signs and symptoms, diagnosis, and treatments.​




N


Nonalcoholic Steatohepatitis

Provides information about nonalcoholic steatohepatitis, a liver disease that occurs when fat deposits in the liver cause inflammation.


Nonsteroidal Anti-inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs) and Peptic Ulcers


See
 Peptic Ulcer Disease


NSAIDs and Peptic Ulcers


See
 Peptic Ulcer Disease

O

Ostomy Surgery of the Bowel

Describes four surgical procedures of the bowel: ileostomy, colostomy, ileoanal reservoir, and continent ileostomy.


P

Pancreatic Ducts


See
 Pancreatitis

Pancreatitis

Provides information about acute and chronic forms of pancreatitis, including symptoms, diagnosis, complications, and available treatments.​


Peptic Ulcer Disease

A sore on the lining of your stomach or duodenum. People who take NSAIDs, such as aspirin and ibuprofen long-term, are infected with the bacteria H.pylori, or have a tumor in the stomach, duodenum, or pancreas are more likely to develop peptic ulcers.​

Piles


See
 Hemorrhoids

Polyps


See
 Colon Polyps

Porphyria

Reviews the group of disorders known as the porphyrias, which affect the skin or nervous system, or both. Discusses the types, causes, symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment of porphyria.​

Primary Biliary Cirrhosis

Explains the possible causes of primary biliary cirrhosis. Describes symptoms, complications, diagnosis, and treatment.​

Primary Sclerosing Cholangitis

Reviews primary sclerosing cholangitis, which damages and blocks bile ducts and can lead to cirrhosis and liver failure. Discusses causes, symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment.​

Proctitis

Describes the causes, symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment of proctitis.​


Pseudo-obstruction


See
 Intestinal Pseudo-obstruction


R

Rapid Gastric Emptying


See
 Dumping Syndrome



S


Short Bowel Syndrome

Reviews short bowel syndrome, a disorder that typically occurs in people who  had half or more of their small intestine removed. Discusses causes, signs and symptoms, and treatment options.​

Smoking and the Digestive System

Describes how smoking affects various parts of the digestive system.

Stomach Flu


See
 Viral Gastroenteritis

Stomach Infection


See
 Foodborne Illnesses

T

Testing for Celiac Disease

Describes tests that identify serological and genetic markers associated with celiac disease. If tests indicate the possibility of celiac disease, a biopsy determines diagnosis.


Traveler's Diarrhea


See
 What I need to know about Diarrhea

U

Ulcerative Colitis

Discusses risk factors, symptoms, diagnostic procedures, and complications of ulcerative colitis. Provides treatment options, including medications and surgery.


Upper GI Endoscopy

Upper gastrointestinal (GI) endoscopy is a procedure in which a doctor uses an instrument called an endoscope to see the lining of your upper GI tract. Doctors use upper GI endoscopy to find, and sometimes treat, problems in the upper GI tract.​

Upper GI Series

Provides general information about upper gastrointestinal (GI) x-ray series. Describes the purpose of the test and what patients can expect before, during, and after the procedure. This publication is also available in Spanish.

Upset Stomach


See
 Indigestion

V

Viral Gastroenteritis

Describes causes, symptoms, diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of viral gastroenteritis.​


Viral Hepatitis: A through E and Beyond

Provides information about the symptoms, modes of transmission, at-risk populations, prevention, and treatment of hepatitis A through E. Includes a list of additional resources.​


Virtual Colonoscopy

Provides information about virtual colonoscopy. Describes the purpose of the test, how patients can prepare for it, and what patients can expect during and after the procedure.


W

What Asian and Pacific Islander Americans Need to Know about Hepatitis B

​Describes hepatitis B, symptoms, transmission, and risk factors for Asian and Pacific Islander and other foreign-born Americans. Available in Chinese, Korean, Tagalog, and Vietnamese.


What I need to know about Bowel Control

Describes bowel control problems, or fecal incontinence, and its causes, risk factors, diagnosis, and treatment. Provides tips for doctor visits and coping with bowel control problems. This publication is also available in Spanish.

What I need to know about Celiac Disease

Defines celiac disease and explains the symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment. Includes examples of gluten-free diet options.

What I need to know about Cirrhosis

​Describes the causes, symptoms, diagnostic procedures, and treatment available for cirrhosis. Discusses lifestyle changes for slowing or stopping liver disease before it progresses to cirrhosis.


What I need to know about Crohn's Disease

Defines Crohn’s disease and describes common symptoms, risk factors, diagnosis, complications, and treatment.

What I need to know about Diarrhea

​Discusses the causes of diarrhea and the dangers of dehydration. Provides suggestions for easing the symptoms of diarrhea in adults and children. Offers strategies for avoiding traveler’s diarrhea.

What I need to know about Diverticular Disease

Offers an overview of diverticular disease and explains its symptoms, causes, and treatment. Offers tips for reducing symptoms and complications through diet.

What I need to know about Gas

Provides information about preventing and treating gas in the digestive tract.

What I need to know about Hepatitis A

​Explains the risk factors, modes of transmission, symptoms, diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of hepatitis A. Also available in Spanish (DD–187).

What I need to know about Hepatitis B

Explains the risk factors, modes of transmission, symptoms, diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of hepatitis B. Also available in Spanish (DD–188).

What I need to know about Hepatitis C

​Explains the risk factors, modes of transmission, symptoms, diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of hepatitis C. Also available in Spanish (DD–189).

What I need to know about Hirschsprung Disease

Defines and explains the causes, symptoms, and treatment of Hirschsprung disease. Includes a pronunciation guide of terms associated with the condition.​

What I need to know about Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Explains irritable bowel syndrome, the causes, the symptoms, and outlines available treatment options.

What I need to know about Lactose Intolerance

​Defines lactose intolerance and provides information about its symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment. This publication is also available in Spanish.

What I need to know about Liver Transplantation

​Describes liver transplantation, waiting lists, scoring systems that rank candidates, and the procedure for matching candidates with donor livers. Discusses  transplant surgery.


Whipple Disease

Describes the causes, symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment of Whipple disease.

Wilson Disease

Describes the cause, symptoms, and diagnosis of Wilson disease and summarizes treatment options.​


Y

Your Digestive System and How It Works

The digestive system is made up of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract-also called the digestive tract-and the liver, pancreas, and the gallbladder. The GI tract is a series of hollow organs joined in a long, twisting tube from the mouth to the anus.


Z

Zollinger-Ellison Syndrome

Describes the causes, complications, diagnosis, and treatment of Zollinger-Ellison syndrome.​