According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, approximately 60 to 70 million people are affected by digestive disorders, ranging from the occasional upset stomach to the more life-threatening colon cancer. They encompass disorders of the gastrointestinal tract, as well as the liver, gallbladder, and pancreas. There are many types of gastrointestinal disorders, and the symptoms may vary widely depending on the problem.
To find a physician or specialist, call Cy-Fair Hospital at 800-681-2733. Our experienced medical staff can help diagnose and treat your digestive disorders.
NEW! Bravo pH Monitoring System Available
Cy-Fair Hospital now offers the Bravo pH Monitoring System, which may be used for some patients in the place catheter-based monitoring systems. The Bravo system is the first non-catheter pH monitoring system and makes monitoring heartburn easier on the patient and allows the patient to go about normal activities while being monitored.
The process involves a capsule being placed in the patient’s esophagus. The patient is able to then return to normal activities while the capsule begins immediately transmitting pH levels to a device worn on the waistband or belt. The patient records their symptoms and habits in a diary during the monitoring period and then returns to the doctor approximately 24 to 48 hours later. The doctor then determines a treatment plan based on the data collected.
Functional disorders are those in which the gastrointestinal system looks normal but doesn't work properly. These are often the most common problems affecting the colon and rectum, and include constipation and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).
IBS affects as many as one in five adults in the United States. Common symptoms are abdominal pain and cramps, excess gas, bloating, and a change in bowel habits.
Irritable bowel syndrome treatment options often involve a combination of approaches. Some include avoiding caffeine, increasing fiber in the diet, drinking more fluids, monitoring which foods trigger IBS and avoiding them, quitting smoking, learning different ways to cope with stress, and taking medicines as prescribed by your health care provider.
Another common condition is gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), a digestive disorder that is caused by gastric acid flowing from the stomach into the esophagus.
Heartburn, also called acid indigestion, is the most common symptom of GERD. Heartburn is described as a burning chest pain that begins behind the breastbone and moves upward to the neck and throat. It can last as long as two hours and is often worse after eating. Lying down or bending over can also result in heartburn.
Most children younger than 12 years of age, and some adults, diagnosed with GERD will experience a dry cough, asthma symptoms, or trouble swallowing, instead of heartburn. Heartburn pain is less likely to be associated with physical activity.
The symptoms of GERD may resemble other medical conditions or problems. Always consult your physician for a diagnosis.
Structural disorders are those in which the gastrointestinal system looks abnormal and doesn't work properly. In some cases, the structural abnormality may need to be removed surgically. Some common structural disorders are diverticular disease and colon cancer.
Colorectal cancer occurs when abnormal cells begin to grow in the colon or in the rectum. While this process can take several years, most colorectal cancers begin as a small precancerous growth known as a polyp. However, with advances in early detection and treatment, colorectal cancer is one of the most treatable forms of the disease.
Each year 130,000 Americans are diagnosed with colorectal cancer. There are several risk factors that may affect a person’s likelihood of developing the disease including family history, aging, diet, lack of exercise and obesity.