Health After 50 Topic Page:
What is a digestive disorder? A wide array of disorders can affect your digestive tract, a long tube of organs that begins at your mouth and ends at your anus. Some of these disorders, such as an occasional bout of heartburn or constipation, are minor annoyances. But many digestive disorders, such as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), Crohn’s disease, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), and ulcerative colitis can severely affect your ability to go about your daily activities. And some digestive disorders, like colorectal cancer or a perforated ulcer, can be life threatening.
Approximately 70 million Americans have digestive disorders, which prompt nearly 60 million visits to doctors’ offices and hospitals each year. Doctors who treat digestive disorders are called gastroenterologists. Although digestive disorders can affect people of any age, many of these problems occur more frequently as we get older.
If you or someone you care about has a digestive disorder, obtaining accurate information is an important part of the treatment plan. The more you know about your condition, the more you will understand the rationale behind the treatment and the better prepared you will be to participate in your own disease management.
- H. Franklin Herlong, M.D., noted gastroenterologist, and his colleagues review the most up-to-date information on the prevention, diagnosis, and management of conditions that can affect your upper and lower digestive tract, liver, gallbladder, and pancreas.
- You’ll find articles on: diverticulitis, how to avoid food poisoning, research on GERD and IBS, treating constipation, celiac disease, the gluten-free diet, preparing for colonoscopy, and much more.
For more information on Digestive Disorders please visit the BOOKSTORE .