URL of this page: http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/digestivediseases.html

Digestive Diseases

Also called: Gastrointestinal diseases 

Summary

When you eat, your body breaks food down to a form it can use to build and nourish cells and provide energy. This process is called digestion.

Your digestive system is a series of hollow organs joined in a long, twisting tube. It runs from your mouth to your anus and includes your esophagus, stomach, and small and large intestines. Your liver, gallbladder and pancreas are also involved. They produce juices to help digestion.

There are many types of digestive disorders. The symptoms vary widely depending on the problem. In general, you should see your doctor if you have

  • Blood in your stool
  • Changes in bowel habits
  • Severe abdominal pain
  • Unintentional weight loss
  • Heartburn not relieved by antacids

NIH: National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases

Start Here

Diagnosis/Symptoms

Prevention/Screening

Living With

Related Issues

Specific Conditions

Health Check Tools

Tutorials

Videos

Statistics and Research

Clinical Trials

Reference Desk

Find an Expert

Children

Teenagers

Women

Seniors

Patient Handouts