Diseases

Welcome to Monmouth Gastroenterology information page on Diseases and Conditions. For additionally information, please click on one of the listed items.

What is Barrett’s esophagus?

Barrett’s esophagus is a condition in which the tissue lining the esophagus—the muscular tube that connects the mouth to the stomach—is replaced by tissue that is similar to the lining of the intestine. This process is called intestinal metaplasia.

No signs or symptoms are associated with Barrett’s esophagus, but it is commonly found in people with gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). A small number of people with Barrett’s esophagus develop a rare but often deadly type of cancer of the esophagus…

FOR MORE DETAILS http://digestive.niddk.nih.gov/ddiseases/pubs/barretts/

What is Celiac Disease?

Celiac disease is a digestive disease that damages the small intestine and interferes with absorption of nutrients from food. People who have celiac disease cannot tolerate gluten, a protein in wheat, rye, and barley.

Gluten is found mainly in foods but may also be found in everyday products such as medicines, vitamins, and lip balms.

FOR MORE DETAILS http://digestive.niddk.nih.gov/ddiseases/pubs/celiac/

What is Cirrhosis?

Cirrhosis is a condition in which the liver slowly deteriorates and malfunctions due to chronic injury. Scar tissue replaces healthy liver tissue, partially blocking the fl ow of blood through the liver. Scarring also impairs the liver’s ability to

  • control infections
  • remove bacteria and toxins from the blood
  • process nutrients, hormones, and drugs
  • make proteins that regulate blood clotting
  • produce bile to help absorb fats— including cholesterol—and fat-soluble vitamins

A healthy liver is able to regenerate most of its own cells when they become damaged. With end-stage cirrhosis, the liver can no longer effectively replace damaged cells. A healthy liver is necessary for survival.

FOR MORE DETAILS http://digestive.niddk.nih.gov/ddiseases/pubs/cirrhosis/

What are Diverticulosis and Diverticulitis?

Many people have small pouches in the lining of the colon, or large intestine, that bulge outward through weak spots. Each pouch is called a diverticulum. Multiple pouches are called diverticula. The condition of having diverticula is called diverticulosis. About 10 percent of Americans older than 40 have diverticulosis.

The condition becomes more common as people age. About half of all people older than 60 have diverticulosis.

Diverticula are most common in the lower portion of the large intestine, called the sigmoid colon...

FOR MORE DETAILS http://digestive.niddk.nih.gov/ddiseases/pubs/diverticulosis/

What is GERD?

Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is a more serious form of gastroesophageal reflux (GER), which is common. GER occurs when the lower esophageal sphincter (LES) opens spontaneously, for varying periods of time, or does not close properly and stomach contents rise up into the esophagus. GER is also called acid reflux or acid regurgitation, because digestive juices—called acids—rise up with the food.

The esophagus is the tube that carries food from the mouth to the stomach. The LES is a ring of muscle at the bottom of the esophagus that acts like a valve between the esophagus and stomach.

FOR MORE DETAILS http://digestive.niddk.nih.gov/ddiseases/pubs/gerd/

What is H. pylori?

H. pylori is a type of bacteria—a germ that may cause infection. H. pylori infection is common, particularly in developing countries, and often begins in childhood. Symptoms usually don’t occur until adulthood, although most people never have any symptoms….

What is H. pylori?

What is a peptic ulcer?

H. pylori bacteria can cause peptic ulcers—sores on the lining of the stomach or duodenum.

A peptic ulcer is a sore on the lining of the stomach or duodenum, the beginning of the small intestine. Less commonly, a peptic ulcer may develop just above the stomach in the esophagus, the tube that connects the mouth to the stomach.

A peptic ulcer in the stomach is called a gastric ulcer. One that occurs in the duodenum is called a duodenal ulcer. People can have both gastric and duodenal ulcers at the same time. They also can develop peptic ulcers more than once in their lifetime...

FOR MORE DETAILS http://digestive.niddk.nih.gov/ddiseases/pubs/hpylori/

What is Hepatitis C?

Hepatitis C is a liver disease. Hepatitis* means inflammation of the liver. Inflammation is the painful, red swelling that results when tissues of the body become injured or infected. Inflammation can cause organs to not work properly...

FOR MORE DETAILS http://digestive.niddk.nih.gov/ddiseases/pubs/hepc_ez/

What is irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)?

Irritable bowel syndrome is a disorder characterized most commonly by cramping, abdominal pain, bloating, constipation, and diarrhea. IBS causes a great deal of discomfort and distress, but it does not permanently harm the intestines and does not lead to a serious disease, such as cancer. Most people can control their symptoms with diet, stress management, and prescribed medications. For some people, however, IBS can be disabling. They may be unable to work, attend social events, or even travel short distances.

FOR MORE DETAILS http://digestive.niddk.nih.gov/ddiseases/pubs/ibs/

What is Ulcerative Colitis?

Ulcerative colitis is a disease that causes inflammation and sores, called ulcers, in the lining of the rectum and colon. Ulcers form where inflammation has killed the cells that usually line the colon, then bleed and produce pus. Inflammation in the colon also causes the colon to empty frequently, causing diarrhea.

When the inflammation occurs in the rectum and lower part of the colon it is called ulcerative proctitis. If the entire colon is affected it is called pancolitis. If only the left side of the colon is affected it is called limited or distal colitis...

FOR MORE DETAILS http://digestive.niddk.nih.gov/ddiseases/pubs/colitis/

NON-ALCOHOLIC FATTY LIVER DISEASE

This disease is caused by excess accumulation of fat in the liver of patients who drink little or no alcohol. For most patients, this is a benign condition and does not lead to any serious liver damage. But in a minority of patients, the fat accumulation causes inflammation and scarring of the liver (non-alcoholic steatohepatitis) which can ultimately lead to other liver diseases such as cirrhosis, liver failure and primary liver cancer (hepatocellular carcinoma).

Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) does not usually cause any symptoms, but some patients can experience fatigue or right upper quadrant pain. Only when the disease leads to cirrhosis or liver failure would patients experience other symptoms (jaundice, fluid retention, weight loss) related to these latter disorders. Risk factors for fatty liver disease include obesity, diabetes mellitus, high blood pressure, high cholesterol or high triglycerides, metabolic syndrome, rapid weight loss, and certain medications. Performing blood tests particularly assessing liver function and imaging studies of the liver via ultrasound, CT scan, or MRI scan can aid in the diagnosis of NAFLD. Obtaining a sample of liver tissue via a liver biopsy is used to not only confirm the diagnosis of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, but also to determine if there is any inflammation or scarring of the liver occurring.

There is no specific treatment yet that works for all patients with NAFLD. Some measures include controlling or eliminating risk factors such as losing weight is one is obese or withdrawing medications that can cause excess fat accumulation.