Published on March 16, 2017

A quick guide to digestive diseases

What comes to mind when you hear the term digestive diseases?

Chances are, you immediately think of tummy troubles. But digestive diseases are much more than that.

The digestive system is made up of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract—the long muscular tube that extends from the mouth to the anus—along with the liver, pancreas and gallbladder.

Some diseases and conditions that affect this system are acute—meaning that they last only a short time—while others are chronic, or long-lasting. And they can include a wide range of problems, such as:

  • acid refluxAcid reflux
  • Colon polyps
  • Crohn’s disease
  • Hemorrhoids
  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Stomach ulcers
  • Ulcerative colitis

For issues like these, a gastroenterologist is the doctor to call for help.

“Digestive health problems affect millions of Americans—and some of those problems can be life-threatening,” says Steven Lichtenstein, DO, Medical Director of Digestive Health Services at Mercy Fitzgerald. “We have an excellent team of digestive specialists at Mercy Fitzgerald who can help you, from testing to diagnosis and treatment. Our team is among the best.”