Digestion is the complex process of turning the food you eat into the energy you need to survive. The digestive process also involves creating waste to be eliminated, and is made of a series of muscles that coordinate the movement of food. Learn more about digestion and the body parts that make it possible, including the:
- small intestine,
- liver, and
Multimedia: Slideshows, Images & Quizzes
Diverticulitis (Diverticulosis) Symptoms, Diet, Treatment
Diverticulitis (diverticulosis) is a condition in which the diverticulum or diverticula rupture in the colon causing infection....
Picture of Gastroesophageal Reflux (GERD)
The stomach contents regurgitate and back up (reflux) into the esophagus The food in the stomach is partially digested by...
Picture of Intestines
The intestines are a long, continuous tube running from the stomach to the anus. See a picture of the Intestines and learn more...
Picture of Esophagus
The esophagus is a muscular tube connecting the throat (pharynx) with the stomach. See a picture of the Esophagus and learn more...
Heartburn: Foods to Eat, Foods to Avoid
Learn the symptoms of heartburn and which foods cause heartburn or GERD. Discover home remedies and which foods may provide...
Digestive Health: 10 Probiotic Foods That Help Digestion
Probiotics are beneficial bacteria and yeasts found in probiotic foods and fermented products like kimchi, kombucha, and kefir....
Diet and Weight Loss: What's an Elimination Diet?
Ever wonder if a certain food causes your headaches or makes you tired or uncomfortable? You might try to find out with an...
Related Disease Conditions
Stool Color, Changes in Color, Texture, and Form
Stool color changes can very from green, red, maroon, yellow, white, or black. Causes of changes of stool color can range from...
Hemorrhoids (piles) are swollen veins in the rectum and anus. Causes include pregnancy, obesity, diarrhea, low-fiber diet, and...
FODMAPs (Low FODMAP Diet for IBS)
FODMAPs are foods that contain sugar alcohols and short chain carbohydrates. The gut can't digest them very well. There are "low"...
Cirrhosis of the liver refers to a disease in which normal liver cells are replaced by scar tissue caused by alcohol and viral...
Blood in the Stool (Rectal Bleeding)
Blood in the stool or rectal bleeding (hematochezia) refers to the passage of bright red blood from the anus. Common causes...
Abdominal Pain (Causes, Remedies, Treatment)
Abdominal pain can have many causes that range from mild to severe. Some of these causes include bloating, gas, colitis,...
Laxatives for Constipation
Laxatives types for treatment of constipation include over-the-counter (OTC) preparations, for example, bulk-forming...
Gastritis Symptoms, Causes, Diet, Home Remedies, Treatment, and Cure
Gastritis (acute and chronic) is an inflammation of the lining of the stomach Some people have no gastritis symptoms, but when...
Diverticulitis (Diverticulosis, Diverticular Disease)
Most people with diverticulosis have few if any symptoms at all. When people do experience signs and symptoms of diverticulosis...
Appendicitis is an inflammation of the appendix. Appendicitis often causes sings and symptoms such as abdominal pain in the...
12 Foods to Eat to Relieve Constipation
Constipation is a common problem, and almost everyone has been constipated at one time or another. There are foods that can help...
Diarrhea (Causes, Medicine, Remedies, Treatment)
Diarrhea is a change is the frequency and looseness of bowel movements. Symptoms associated with diarrhea are cramping, abdominal...
An anal fissure is a small tear or cut in the skin lining of the anus. Pain and/or rectal bleeding during bowel movements are...
H. pylori (Helicobacter Pylori) Infection
Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) is a bacteria that causes chronic inflammation (gastritis) of the inner lining of the stomach,...
Anemia is the condition of having less than the normal number of red blood cells or less than the normal quantity of hemoglobin...
Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a GI (gastrointestinal) disorder with signs and symptoms that include abdominal pain, bloating,...
Stomach Flu (Gastroenteritis) Symptoms, Signs Treatment Remedies, Diet
Stomach flu (gastroenteritis) is a term referred used to describe a variety of gastrointestinal problems. The most common signs...
Pernicious anemia is a blood disorder in which the body does not make enough red blood cells due to a lack of vitamin B12 in the...
Intestinal Gas (Belching, Bloating, Flatulence)
Anal itching is the irritation of the skin at the exit of the rectum, known as the anus, accompanied by the desire to scratch....
Acute & Chronic Pancreatitis: Symptoms, Causes, Diet, and Treatment
Pancreatitis is a rare disease in which the pancreas becomes inflamed. There are two types of pancreatitis: acute and chronic....
Hiatal Hernia (Symptoms, Diet, Surgery, Treatment)
Hiatal hernia is a condition in which a thin membrane of tissue connects the esophagus with the diaphragm becomes week, and a...
Constipation (Relief, Home Remedies, Treatment Medications)
Constipation is defined medically as fewer than three stools per week and severe constipation as less than one stool per week....
Is C. diff (Clostridium difficile) Contagious?
C. diff, or Clostridium difficile, is a bacteria that infects the colon. C. diff bacteria can be found on furniture, bathroom...
Colon Polyps (Symptoms, Causes, Types, Treatment, Prevention)
Colon polyps are common growths on the inner lining of the colon. Colon polyps may become cancerous. There are several different...
Colon cancer is a malignancy that arises from the inner lining of the colon. Most, if not all, of these cancers develop from...
Peptic Ulcer (Stomach Ulcer)
Peptic or stomach ulcers are ulcers are an ulcer in the lining of the stomach, duodenum, or esophagus. Ulcer formation is related...
Crohn's Disease (Symptoms, Causes, Diet, Treatment, Life Expectancy)
Crohn's disease is a chronic inflammatory disease, primarily involving the small and large intestine, but which can affect...
GERD (Acid Reflux, Heartburn)
GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease) is a condition in which the acidified liquid contents of the stomach backs up into the...
Hepatitis C (HCV, Hep C)
Hepatitis C is an inflammation of the liver due to the hepatitis C virus (HCV), which is usually spread by blood transfusion,...
Cholera is an infectious disease characterized by intense vomiting and profuse watery diarrhea and that rapidly lease to...
Fatty Liver (NASH)
Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease or NASH occurs due to the accumulation of abnormal amounts of fat within the liver. Fatty liver...
Ulcerative colitis is a chronic inflammation of the colon. Symptoms include abdominal pain, diarrhea, and rectal bleeding....
Gastroparesis is a medical condition in which the muscle of the stomach is paralyzed by a disease of either the stomach muscle...
Giardiasis (Giardia lamblia) is a parasite responsible for a common form of infectious diarrhea. The parasite lives in two...
Gallstones (Pain, Symptoms, Causes, Diet, and Treatment)
Gallstones are stones that form when substances in the bile harden. Gallstones (formed in the gallbladder) can be as small as...
Hemochromatosis (Iron Overload)
Hereditary hemochromatosis (iron overload) is an inherited disorder in which there is excessive accumulation of iron in the body....
Clostridium Difficile Colitis (Antibiotic-Associated Colitis, C. difficile colitis)
Clostridium difficile (C. difficile) is a bacterium, and is one of the most common causes of infection of the colon. C. difficile...
Esophageal cancer is a disease in which malignant cells form in the esophagus. Risk factors of cancer of the esophagus include...
Jaundice (Hyperbilirubinemia) in Adults
Jaundice (hyperbilirubinemia) in adults may be caused by a variety of medical diseases or conditions. Some cases of jaundice can...
Esophageal achalasia is a disease of the esophagus that mainly affects young adults. Achalasia makes it difficult to swallow, can...
Barrett's esophagus occurs as a complication of chronic gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), primarily in white males. GERD...
Pancreatic cancer is a malignant tumor of the pancreas. Pancreatic cancer has been called a "silent" disease because early...
Primary Biliary Cirrhosis (PBC)
Primary Biliary Cirrhosis (PBS) is a liver disease in which bile building up in the organ damages bile ducts. Ultimately, this...
Lactose intolerance is a common problem where a person's digestive system cannot digest lactose. Signs and symptoms include:...
Celiac disease is a condition in which a person has inflammation of the small intestinal mucosa when exposed to gluten in the...
Hepatitis B (HBV, Hep B)
The hepatitis B virus (HBV, hep B) is a unique, coated DNA virus belonging to the Hepadnaviridae family of viruses. The course of...
Though the cause of stomach cancer is unknown, risk factors for stomach cancer include diet, H. pylori infection, smoking age,...
Portal hypertension is most commonly caused by cirrhosis, a disease in which results from scarring of a liver injury. Other...
Microscopic Colitis (Lymphocytic Colitis and Collagenous Colitis)
Microscopic colitis (lymphocytic colitis and collagenous colitis) is a disease of inflammation of the colon. Microscopic colitis...
Swallowing Problems (Dysphagia)
Dysphagia or difficulty in swallowing, swallowing problems. Dysphagia is due to problems in nerve or muscle control. It is...
Schatzki Ring (Schatzki's) Causes, Symptoms, and Natural Treatments
Schatzki (Schatzki's) ring, is a narrow ring of tissue located just above the junction of the esophagus and stomach. The cause of...
Travelers' diarrhea is generally contracted by eating contaminated food or drinking contaminated water. Food is the primary...
Intussusception is the telescoping (prolapse) of a portion of the intestine within another immediately adjacent portion of...
Duodenal diverticula (extramural or intramural), or duodenal diverticulum, is a pouch that is attached to the first part of the...
Primary Sclerosing Cholangitis (PSC)
Primary sclerosing cholangitis or PSC is a disease of the liver. The cause of PSC is not known. Symptoms may include itching,...
Gilbert syndrome is a benign genetic condition that causes abnormal breakdown of bilirubin, a compound that is formed when...
GERD and GER (Acid Reflux) in Infants and Children
GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease) is the upward movement of stomach content, including acid, into the esophagus and...
Pancreas divisum is a common congenital anomaly (an anomaly that is present at birth) of the pancreatic duct(s). The human embryo...
Gardner's Syndrome (Familial Adenomatous Polyposis)
Gardners' syndrome, or familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP), is an inherited condition in which cancer of the colon and rectum...
Treatment & Diagnosis
- Liver Blood Tests (Normal, Low, and High Ranges & Results)
- Colonoscopy (Test, Side Effects, Preparation, Recovery)
- Endoscopy (EGD) Procedure
- MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging Scan)
- Gastric Emptying Study
- Urea Breath Test Procedure
- Hydrogen Breath Test
- ERCP (Endoscopic Retrograde Cholangio-Pancreatography)
- Fecal Occult Blood Test
- CT Scan (Computerized Tomography)
- Laparoscopic Cholecystectomy
- Upper GI Series (Barium Swallow)
- Liver Biopsy
- Liver Resection
- Esophageal pH Monitoring
- Colon and Colorectal Cancer Screening
- Cholescintigraphy, HIDA Scan
- Esophageal Manometry
- Endoscopic Ultrasound
- Stool Acidity Test
- Percutaneous Endoscopic Gastrostomy (PEG)
- Flexible Sigmoidoscopy
- Fundoplication (Acid Reflux Surgery)
- Barium Enema
- Balloon Endoscopy
- Push Endoscopy
- Oral Cholecystogram
- Arterial Chemotherapy Infusion & Chemoembolization of Liver
- Liver Transplant
- Lactose Tolerance Test
- Liver-Related Procedures and Tests
- Duodenal Biliary Drainage
Medications & Supplements
Prevention & Wellness
- High-Fat Diets Do No Favors for Your Gut Bacteria
- Unraveling the Mystery of Hiccups
- Could Gut Bacteria Be Linked to Dementia Risk?
- Gut Reaction: Immigration May Help Explain Expanding Waistlines
- You Probably Have 'Microplastics' in Your Poop: Study
- Your Gut May Be to Blame for Your Bloodstream Infection
- Probiotics: Don't Believe the Hype?
- Is a Health Secret Hiding in Your Infant's Diapers?
- Gut Enzyme Could Help Solve U.S. Blood Shortages
- Health Tip: Keep Your Gut in Good Condition
- Jury Still Out on Probiotics
- It's Called Kombucha. But Is It Good for You?
- A Germ-Filled Capsule Might Help Spot Gastro Ills
- New Device Cleared for Gastrointestinal Bleeding
- Human Gut Germs Dictated by Diet
- Pot Won't Harm Healthy Young People's Kidneys, Study Suggests
- A Reminder That Meds and Grapefruit Don't Always Mix
- Health Tip: Should You Be Tested for Kidney Disease?
- Health Tip: Recognizing Symptoms of Lactose Intolerance
- Is Surgery Always Necessary for Gallstones?
- Study Ties Inflammation, Gut Bacteria to Type 1 Diabetes
- Study Questions 'Fecal Transplant' Treatment for Gut Infection
- Scientists Identify New Organ in Body
- Sleep Loss Tied to Changes in Gut Bacteria
- Mouth and Gut Germs May Be Linked to Migraines
- Patients May Quickly Lose Beneficial Gut Bacteria in the ICU
- Did Your Gut Bacteria Evolve Over Millions of Years?
- Coming Soon: A Test to Gauge Your Obesity Risk?
- Discovered Tribe's Bacteria May Point to Our Past
- Americans' Gut Bacteria Lack Diversity, Researchers Find
- Your 'Healthy' Bacteria Are as Individual as You Are
- Researchers Uncover the Secret Behind Bowel Movements
- Probiotics Not Warranted for Seniors Taking Antibiotics: Study
- 'Gut Reaction' May Predict Cardiovascular Risk
- Colic May Be Linked to Childhood Migraine, Study Says
- Roundworm Infections Threaten Organ Recipients
- Gut Bacteria May Be Key to Gastric Bypass' Effects: Study
- 'Nightmare' Bacteria Spreading in U.S. Hospitals, Nursing Homes: CDC
- Weight-Loss Surgery Is New Diabetes Foe
- Crohn's Disease in Children May Start From Bacteria
- Genes Pinpointed for Common Childhood Obesity
- Improved Stem Cell Line May Avoid Tumor Risk: Study
- Antibiotic Overuse May Be Bad for Body's Good Bacteria
- Curry Spice Offers Hope for Tendinitis Pain
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