Digestive Disorders

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Each year, millions of Americans suffer from some form of digestive disorders ranging from acid reflux disease and irritable bowel syndrome to life-threatening colon, rectal, esophageal or pancreatic cancer. Dr. Edward Hill discusses digestive disorders and when you should see a health care provider in todays 60 Second Housecall.

Dr. Hill:

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.

Some symptoms, such as diarrhea, constipation, bleeding from the digestive tract, regurgitation and difficulty swallowing usually suggest a digestive disorder. More general symptoms, such as abdominal pain, passing of gas, loss of appetite, hiccups and nausea, may suggest a digestive disorder or another type of disorder.

You should see your doctor if you have

Blood in your stool

Changes in bowel habits

Severe abdominal pain

Unintentional weight loss, or

Heartburn not relieved by antacids

For North Mississippi Medical Center, Im Dr. Edward Hill.