Colon Polyps: These fleshy growths inside the colon, or large intestine, typically don’t cause any symptoms. Most colon polyps are not dangerous, but some can be cancerous. They are usually removed during a colonoscopy.  Anyone can get colon polyps, but some people have a higher risk, including:

 

  • People over 50

  • Those who’ve had colon polyps previously

  • People with family members who have polyps

  • Those with a family history of colon cancer

 

 

Hepatitis: This is an inflammation of the liver, the largest organ in the body. Viruses most often cause hepatitis, but there are other causes as well – including alcohol and drug use. Some forms of hepatitis are mild; people may have no symptoms. Others may experience:

 

  • Appetite loss

  • Nausea, vomiting

  • Diarrhea

  • Dark-colored urine

  • Stomach pain

  • Jaundice (a yellowing of the eyes and skin)

 

Heartburn: This is a burning pain in your throat or chest, which often worsens when you’re lying down, or when you bend over. Acid reflux, which happens when stomach acid backs up into the esophagus, causes the burning sensation. Heartburn, also known as gastroesophageal reflux, may be mild (only occasional) or more serious (frequent). Heartburn triggers vary, and may include:

 

  • Spicy foods

  • Tomatoes

  • Citrus fruits

  • Fatty or fried foods

  • Alcohol

  • Carbonated beverages

  • Coffee

  • Obesity

  • Pregnancy

  • Stress

 

Peptic Ulcer Disease: Peptic ulcers are sores that can form on the stomach lining, in the small intestine, or in the esophagus. If you have a peptic ulcer, you may experience burning stomach pain. The pain may worsen at night, or between meals – and improve after you eat.

 

Ulcers can cause serious health problems, including internal bleeding and severe pain. Causes of peptic ulcers include:

 

  • Infection by the Helicobacter pylori, or H. Pylori, bacterium

  • Use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, or NSAIDs

  • Smoking

  • Drinking alcohol

  • Stress

  • A family history of ulcers

 

 

Gallbladder Disease: This includes several conditions which affect the gallbladder – a small organ that stores bile. This liquid, produced in the liver, helps with digestion. Types of gallbladder disease include:

 

  • Gallstones, or Cholelithiasis (small, hard particles which form in the gallbladder)

  • Cholecystitis (inflammation of the gallbladder)

  • Choledocholithiasis (bile duct stones)

  • Gallbladder cancer

Gallstones vary in size. Symptoms may include abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting, bloating, heartburn, and gas. Risk factors for developing gallstones include:

 

  • Being overweight or obese

  • Being 60 or older

  • A family history of gallstones

  • Diabetes

  • Taking medications containing estrogen (birth control pills, hormone replacement therapy)

  • Rapid weight loss

 

Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS): This common digestive disorder affects the sensitive tissues of the large intestine, or colon. IBS is a chronic condition for many people, and it often requires long-term management. The exact cause of IBS is unknown, but it often affects people younger than 45, and women are nearly twice as likely to have it. Symptoms of IBS include:

 

  • Gas

  • Bloating

  • Constipation

  • Diarrhea

  • Abdominal pain

  • Mucus in the stool

 

Pancreatitis: This is an inflammation of the pancreas, an organ which produces digestive juices and hormones, including insulin. Pancreatitis can be acute, developing suddenly, or chronic, lasting years. The most common cause of acute pancreatitis is gallstones. Symptoms of acute pancreatitis include:

 

  • Severe pain in the upper-middle abdomen

  • Abdominal swelling or tenderness

  • Nausea or vomiting

  • Fever

  • Jaundice (a yellowing of the eyes and skin)

  • Rapid Pulse

 

Chronic pancreatitis may be caused by long-term alcohol abuse. Other causes include gallstones, certain medications (including diuretics and estrogen supplements), severe infections, and certain autoimmune conditions. Symptoms of chronic pancreatitis include:

 

  • Abdominal pain

  • Nausea and vomiting

  • Diarrhea

  • Weight loss