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The Digestive Disorders Pages!

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The Medical Symptoms Staff.

Acid Reflux

Acid reflux can be a result of a number of disorders. According to traditional western medicine, this type of symptom is usually the result of either a relaxation of the lower esophageal sphincter, or due to the presence of hiatal hernia allowing for acid from the stomach to reflux.

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Hiatal Hernia

Hiatal hernia (often referred to as hiatus hernia) is the protrusion (or hernia) of the upper part of the stomach into the thorax through a tear or weakness in the diaphragm. Symptoms may begin as reflux and dysphagia, but over time the acid returning moving up the esophagus may create a life threatening situation if not treated.

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Heartburn or pyrosis is a painful burning sensation in the esophagus, just below the breastbone. The pain often rises in the chest and may radiate to the neck or throat.

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GERD (Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease) is injury to the esophagus that develops from chronic exposure of the esophagus to acid coming up from the stomach (reflux). In contrast, heartburn is the symptom of acid in the esophagus, characterized by a burning discomfort behind the breastbone (sternum). Findings in GERD include esophagitis (reflux esophagitis) - inflammatory changes in the esophageal lining (mucosa), strictures, difficulty swallowing (dysphagia) and chronic chest pain. Patients may have only one of those findings. Atypical symptoms of GERD include cough, hoarseness, changes of the voice, and sinusitis. Complicatons of GERD include stricture formation, Barrett's esophagus, esophageal ulcers and possibly even to esophageal cancer.

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Gall Stones

In medicine, gallstones are crystalline bodies formed within the body by accretion or concretion of normal or abnormal bile components.

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Hemorrhoids (also haemorrhoids, hemroids, or piles) are varicosities or swelling and inflammation of veins in the rectum and anus.

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Lactose Intolerance

Lactose intolerance is the condition (found in the majority of humans) in which lactase, an enzyme needed for proper metabolization of lactose (a constituent of milk and other dairy products), is not produced in adulthood. With lactose intolerance, the result of consuming lactose or a lactose-containing food is excess gas production and often diarrhea. In western cultures milk products are nearly ubiquitous and are contained in at least a small amount in almost all recipes, restaurant dishes, and processed food. People with lactose intolerance need to be very careful reading food ingredient labels if they wish to avoid consuming lactose.

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Crohn's Disease

Crohn's disease is a chronic inflammatory disease of the digestive tract and it can involve any part of it - from the mouth to the anus. It typically affects the terminal ileum as well as demarcated areas of large bowel, with other areas of the bowel being relatively unaffected. It is often associated with auto-immune disorders outside the bowel, such as aphthous stomatitis and rheumatoid arthritis. Crohn's disease should not be confused with a non-progressive and non-degenerative digestive disorder called irritable bowel syndrome. IBS is not an autoimmune disease. Ulcerative colitis is a sibling autoimmune disease to Crohn's but only impacts the colon while Crohn's can impact any part of the digestive tract. Furthermore, Crohn's tends to impact multiple layers of the bowel lining which can lead to many additional and hard to treat complications.

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Ulcerative colitis is an inflammatory disease of the bowel, that usually affects the distal end of the large intestine and rectum. It has no known cause, although there is a genetic component to susceptibility.

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Appendicitis is a condition characterised by inflammation of the appendix. While mild cases may resolve without treatment, many require laparotomy with removal of the inflamed appendix. Untreated, mortality is high, mainly due to peritonitis and shock when the inflamed appendix ruptures.

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Irritable Bowel Syndrome ( IBS )

In medicine (gastroenterology), irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a group of functional bowel disorders which are fairly common and make up 20–50% of visits to a specialist.

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Hepatitis Summary

In medicine (gastroenterology), hepatitis is any disease featuring inflammation of the liver. The clinical signs and prognosis, as well as the therapy, depend on the cause. Contents

Signs and Symptoms of Hepatitis

Hepatitis is characterised by abdominal pain, fever, hepatomegaly (enlarged liver) and jaundice (icterus). Some chronic forms of hepatitis show very few of these signs and only present when the longstanding inflammation has led to the replacement of liver cells by connective tissue; the result is cirrhosis.

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Hepatitis C

Hepatitis C is a form of hepatitis (liver inflammation) caused by a virus, the Hepatitis C virus (HCV). Before the virus was discovered, in 1989, the syndrome was initially referred to as a "non-A-non-B hepatitis".

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Hepatitis B

Originally known as serum hepatitis, Hepatitis B has only been recognized as such since World War II, and has caused current epidemics in parts of Asia and Africa. Hepatitis B is recognized as endemic in China and various other parts of Asia. Over one-third of the world's population has been or is actively infected by hepatitis B.

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Hepatitis E

Hepatitis E is a contagious virus that causes acute (non-chronic) hepatitis (severe inflammation of the liver). It is commonly reffered to as Hep E, and is clinically comparable to Hep A.

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Hepatitis D

Hepatitis D is a disease caused by a small circular RNA virus (Hepatitis delta virus); this virus is replication defective and therefore cannot propagate in the absence of another virus. In humans, it only occurs in the presence of hepatitis B infection. When this transmission occurs simultaneously, it is called coinfection. When the hepatitis D virus infects cells previously infected with hepatitis B, it is called superinfection.

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Hepatitis A

Hepatitis A ( also known as Hep A ) is a disease affecting the liver, and caused by the Hepatitis A virus (abbreviated HAV). Only 3 out of 4 people with hepatitis A have symptoms.

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