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Gastroenterology conditions

Barrett’s esophagus – This represents pre-cancerous changes in the lining of the esophagus that develops in roughly 10% of patients with chronic acid reflux disease (chronic exposure to stomach acid).  There is a small but increased chance that this could progress into esophageal cancer, which is why we may recommend an endoscopy screening, and to check patients with Barrett’s periodically.

Celiac disease – Also referred to as gluten-sensitive enteropathy. The condition results in damage to the lining of the small intestine from exposure of the intestinal lining to gluten, a protein that is found mostly in wheat, barley or rye.  This can result in a variety of symptoms that can be gastrointestinal (diarrhea, bloating, weight loss) or result from nutritional deficiencies (anemia, bone disease, neurological).

Crohn’s disease and Ulcerative Colitis – These are the two main forms of  Inflammatory Bowel Disease. These both result in chronic, intermittent inflammation (with resulting symptoms including diarrhea, bleeding, abdominal pain) of various parts of the GI tract: ulcerative colitis involves only the colon, whereas Crohn’s disease may affect any part of the gastrointestinal tract. Both of these disorders can potentially involve organs outside of the GI tract including the skin, liver, eyes, or joints to name a few. 

Hernia (Hiatal Hernia) – This results when intra-abdominal contents (most commonly the stomach) protrudes through a defect in the diaphragm and into the chest. This is usually diagnosed incidentally and usually does not cause any symptoms, though there is an association with acid reflux disease.

Jaundice – This refers to a yellowing of the skin or eyes and usually indicates underlying liver disease.

Ulcers – This is damage of the superficial layers of the gastrointestinal tract resulting in injury penetrating to and exposing the deeper layers of tissue.  It can involve any site along the GI tract, though most commonly involves the stomach or duodenum (first part of the small intestine) and referred to as peptic ulcer disease, and is most commonly due to H.pylori infection of the stomach or caused by use of medications such as NSAIDs (anti-inflammatory drugs) or aspirin.  This can result in gastrointestinal bleeding and abdominal pain among other symptoms.