National Digestive Diseases
Information Clearinghouse (NDDIC)

A service of the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), National Institutes of Health (NIH)

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Digestive Diseases Patient Education Fact Sheets

These fact sheets present causes, symptoms, prevalence, diagnosis, and complications and are generally written at a 9th- to 12th-grade reading level.

Abdominal Adhesions publication thumbnail image

Abdominal Adhesions
Describes how abdominal adhesions form. Explains their causes and how they can lead to intestinal obstruction.
PDF Version (447 KB) *

Alagille Syndrome publication thumbnail image

Alagille Syndrome
Describes Alagille syndrome, a rare, inherited disorder that affects the liver. Covers the causes, symptoms, diagnosis, treatment, and long-term outlook.
PDF Version (515 KB) *

Anatomic Problems of the Lower GI Tract publication thumbnail image

Anatomic Problems of the Lower GI Tract
Provides a general overview of common anatomical problems of the lower GI tract. Describes how some problems develop during the fetal stage and others develop with age. Covers symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment for the different conditions.
PDF Version (284 KB) *

Appendicitis publication thumbnail image

Appendicitis
Describes appendicitis and its causes, symptoms, diagnosis, complications, and treatment.
PDF Version (364 KB) *

Autoimmune Hepatitis publication thumbnail image

Autoimmune Hepatitis
Provides information about the triggers, symptoms, diagnosis, treatment, and complications of autoimmune hepatitis.
PDF Version (534 KB) *

Barrett’s Esophagus publication thumbnail image

Barrett’s Esophagus
Describes Barrett’s esophagus and how it can lead to cancer. Covers at-risk populations, diagnosis, screening, and treatment.
PDF Version (593 KB) *

Biliary Atresia publication thumbnail image

Biliary Atresia
Describes biliary atresia, a rare, life-threatening disease that damages the liver in newborns. Discusses symptoms and diagnosis. Describes the Kasai procedure––the most recognized surgical treatment for the disease.
PDF Version (190 KB) *

Bleeding in the Digestive Tract publication thumbnail image

Bleeding in the Digestive Tract
Includes information about the causes of bleeding in the digestive tract and how the bleeding is recognized, diagnosed, and treated.
PDF Version (352 KB) *

The Hemorragia en el tracto digestivo publication thumbnail image

En Español
Hemorragia en el tracto digestivo
Incluye información sobre las causas de la hemorragia en el tracto digestivo y cómo se reconoce, diagnostica y trata una hemorragia.
PDF Version (164 KB) *

Celiac Disease publication thumbnail image

Celiac Disease
Contains general information about celiac disease and explains how it can disrupt the absorption of nutrients in the small intestine. Provides information about symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment.
PDF Version (162 KB) *

Chronic Diarrhea in Children publication thumbnail image

Chronic Diarrhea in Children
Defines chronic diarrhea and discusses causes of chronic diarrhea in children, diagnostic tests, and treatments.
PDF Version (655 KB) *

Cirrhosis publication thumbnail image

Cirrhosis
Provides information about the causes, symptoms, diagnosis, complications, and treatment of cirrhosis.
PDF Version (705 KB) *

The Cirrosis publication thumbnail image

En Español
Cirrosis
Ofrece información sobre las causas, los síntomas, las complicaciones, el diagnóstico y el tratamiento de la cirrosis. Incluye una lista de recursos adicionales.
PDF Version (155 KB) *

Colonoscopy publication thumbnail image

Colonoscopy
Provides general information about colonoscopy. Describes the purpose of the test, how patients can prepare for it, and what patients can expect during and after the procedure.
PDF Version (387 KB) *

Colonoscopia publicación imagen

En Español
Colonoscopia
Brinda información general sobre la colonoscopia. Describe el objetivo de la prueba, cómo se pueden preparar los pacientes para la prueba, y lo que pueden esperar los pacientes durante el procedimiento y después.
Versión PDF (623 KB) *

Constipation publication thumbnail image

Constipation
Defines constipation and describes its development, diagnosis, and treatment. Also highlights some misconceptions about constipation.
PDF Version (464 KB) *

Constipation in Children publication thumbnail image

Constipation in Children
Explains the causes, symptoms, diagnosis, and management of constipation in children.
PDF Version (532 KB) *

Crohn’s Disease publication thumbnail image

Crohn’s Disease
Discusses risk factors, symptoms, diagnostic procedures, and complications of Crohn's disease. Provides treatment options, including medications and surgery.
PDF Version (497 KB) *

Cyclic Vomiting Syndrome publication thumbnail image

Cyclic Vomiting Syndrome (CVS)
Describes the four phases of cyclic vomiting syndrome. Also includes a review of causes, treatments, and tips to prevent cyclic vomiting syndrome.
PDF Version (595 KB) *

Diarrhea publication thumbnail image

Diarrhea
Includes general information about diarrhea and the causes. Covers diagnosis, treatment, and prevention.
PDF Version (232 KB) *

Digestive Diseases Statistics for the United States publication thumbnail image

Digestive Diseases Statistics for the United States
Provides statistics, including incidence, prevalence, and mortality, for a number of digestive diseases.
PDF Version (263 KB) *

The Digestive System and How It Works publication thumbnail image

The Digestive System and How It Works
Provides general information about the organs of the digestive system, the digestive process, and the absorption of nutrients.
PDF Version (426 KB) *

Lo que usted debe saber sobre el control intestinal publicación imagen

En Español
El aparato digestivo y su funcionamiento
Ofrece información general sobre los órganos del sistema digestivo, la digestión y la absorción de nutrientes. Incluye un listado de lecturas adicionales.
Versión PDF (153 KB) *

Diverticular Disease publication thumbnail image

Diverticular Disease
Defines diverticulosis and diverticulitis and provides information about symptoms, causes, complications, and treatment.
PDF Version (397 KB) *

Dumping Syndrome publication thumbnail image

Dumping Syndrome
Describes the causes, symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment of dumping syndrome.
PDF Version (443 KB) *

Endoscopic Retrograde Chloangiopancreatography publication thumbnail image

ERCP (Endoscopic Retrograde Chloangiopancreatography)
Provides general information about ERCP (endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography). Describes the purpose of the test, how patients can prepare for it, and what patients can expect during and after the procedure.
PDF Version (658 KB) *

CPRE (colangiopancreatografía retrógrada endoscópica) publicación imagen

En Español
CPRE (colangiopancreatografía retrógrada endoscópica)
Ofrece información general sobre CPRE (colangiopancreatografía retrógrada endoscópica). Describe el objetivo de la prueba, cómo se pueden preparar los pacientes para someterse a ella, y lo que los pacientes pueden esperar durante y después del procedimiento.
Versión PDF (298 KB) *

Fecal Incontinence publication thumbnail image

Fecal Incontinence
Explains the causes, diagnosis, treatment, and emotional considerations of fecal incontinence, commonly known as bowel control problems. This fact sheet includes information about eating, diet, and nutrition and reviews fecal incontinence in children.
PDF Version (578 KB) *

Incontinencia fecal publication thumbnail image

En Español
Incontinencia fecal
Explica causas, diagnóstico y tratamiento de la incontinencia fecal o problemas de control intestinal.
Versión PDF (655 KB) *

Flexible Sigmoidoscopy publication thumbnail image

Flexible Sigmoidoscopy
Provides general information about flexible sigmoidoscopy. Describes the purpose of the test, how patients can prepare for it, and what patients can expect during and after the procedure.
PDF Version (490 KB) *

Sigmoidoscopia flexible publicación imagen

En Español
Sigmoidoscopia flexible
Proporciona información general sobre la sigmoidoscopia flexible. Describe el propósito de la prueba, como los pacientes se pueden preparar para ella y que pueden esperar los pacientes durante y después del procedimiento.
Versión PDF (186 KB) *

Foodborne Illnesses publication thumbnail image

Foodborne Illnesses
Discusses the causes, risk factors, and complications associated with foodborne illness. Reviews treatment options and prevention strategies. Provides resources for additional information.
PDF Version (206 KB) *

Intoxicaciones por alimentos publicación imagen

En Español
Intoxicaciones por alimentos
Analiza las causas, los factores de riesgo y las complicaciones asociadas con la intoxicación por alimentos. Revisa las opciones de tratamiento y las estrategias de prevención. Proporciona recursos para obtener información adicional.
Versión PDF (487 KB) *

Gallstones publication thumbnail image

Gallstones
Provides general information about gallstones, including causes, risk factors, diagnosis, and treatment.
PDF Version (420 KB) *

Gas in the Digestive Tract publication thumbnail image

Gas in the Digestive Tract
Describes what causes gas and discusses symptoms, complications, and treatment.
PDF Version (169 KB) *

Gastritis publication thumbnail image

Gastritis
Describes the various causes of gastritis and tests used to diagnose it.
PDF Version (121 KB) *

Gastroesophageal Reflux (GER) and Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) in Adults publication thumbnail image.

Gastroesophageal Reflux (GER) and Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) in Adults
Defines gastroesophageal reflux (GER) and gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). Describes the causes, symptoms, and treatment—including surgery—for GERD.
PDF Version (509 KB) *

Reflujo gastroesofágico (GER) y enfermedad por reflujo gastroesofágico (GERD) en adultos publicación imagen

En Español
Reflujo gastroesofágico (GER) y enfermedad por reflujo gastroesofágico (GERD) en adultos
Define el reflujo gastroesofágico (GER) y la enfermedad por reflujo gastroesofágico (GERD). Describe las causas, los síntomas y el tratamiento (incluida la cirugía) para la GERD.
Versión PDF (341 KB) *

Gastroesophageal Reflux (GER) and Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) in Children and Adolescents publication thumbnail image

Gastroesophageal Reflux (GER) and Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) in Children and Adolescents
Describes gastroesophageal reflux in children and adolescents, including the causes, symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment.
PDF Version (675 KB) *

Gastroesophageal Reflux (GER) and Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) in Infants publication thumbnail image

Gastroesophageal Reflux (GER) and Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) in Infants
Describes gastroesophageal reflux (GER) and gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) in infants, including the causes, symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment.
PDF Version (475 KB) *

Gastroparesis  publication thumbnail image

Gastroparesis
Defines gastroparesis and describes the symptoms, diagnosis, complications, and treatment.
PDF Version (168 KB) *

Hemochromatosis publication thumbnail image

Hemochromatosis
Provides information about the causes, risk factors, symptoms, diagnosis, treatment, and screening for hemochromatosis. Includes a list of additional resources.
PDF Version (483 KB) *

Hemorrhoids publication thumbnail image

Hemorrhoids
Describes the symptoms, diagnosis, and medical and surgical treatments for this common disorder.
PDF Version (298 KB) *

The Indigestion  publication thumbnail image

Indigestion
Describes indigestion, also called functional dyspepsia. Provides information about the causes, symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment.
PDF Version (149 KB) *

Inguinal Hernia publication thumbnail image

Inguinal Hernia
Describes the types of inguinal hernia, as well as causes, symptoms, surgical treatment, and potential complications.
PDF Version (601 KB) *

Intestinal Pseudo-obstruction publication thumbnail image

Intestinal Pseudo-obstruction
Discusses chronic and acute forms of intestinal pseudo-obstruction and briefly describes symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment of this rare condition.
PDF Version (507 KB) *

Irritable Bowel Syndrome publication thumbnail image

Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
Describes causes, symptoms, testing to rule out more serious intestinal problems, and lifestyle and medical symptom management of irritable bowel syndrome.
PDF Version (413 KB) *

Irritable Bowel Syndrome in Children publication thumbnail image

Irritable Bowel Syndrome in Children
Defines irritable bowel syndrome. Describes diagnostic criteria and treatment and offers guidelines for parents.
PDF Version (324 KB) *

Lactose Intolerance publication thumbnail image

Lactose Intolerance
Explains the cause, risk factors, diagnostic tests, and management of lactose intolerance. Lists calcium-rich foods and foods that contain hidden lactose.
PDF Version (343 KB) *

Liver Biopsy publication thumbnail image

Liver Biopsy
Provides general information about liver biopsy. Describes the purpose of the test, how patients can prepare for it, and what patients can expect during and after the procedure.
PDF Version (525 KB) *

Biopsia del hígado publicación imagen

En Español
Biopsia del hígado
Describe el propósito de la prueba, como los pacientes se pueden preparar para ella y que pueden esperar los pacientes durante y después del procedimiento.
Versión PDF (243 KB) *

The Liver Transplantation publication thumbnail image

Liver Transplantation
Describes what liver transplantation is and why it might be needed. Explains the national transplant waiting list, the scoring systems used to rank transplant candidates by urgency of need, and the procedure for matching candidates with donor livers. Discusses liver transplant surgery, possible complications of the surgery, and rejection and its treatment.
PDF Version (320 KB) *

Lower GI Series publication thumbnail image

Lower GI Series
Provides general information about the lower gastrointestinal (GI) x-ray series. Describes the purpose of the test and what patients can expect before, during, and after the procedure.
PDF Version (389 KB) *

Tránsito gastrointestinal inferior publicación imagen

En Español
Tránsito gastrointestinal inferior
Proporciona información general sobre las radiografías del tránsito gastrointestinal inferior. Describe el propósito de la prueba, como los pacientes se pueden preparar para ella y que pueden esperar los pacientes durante y después del procedimiento.
Versión PDF (113 KB) *

Ménétrier's Disease publication thumbnail image

Ménétrier's Disease
Defines Ménétrier’s disease and describes treatment options.
PDF Version (103 KB) *

Microscopic Colitis: Collagenous Colitis and Lymphocytic Colitis publication thumbnail image

Microscopic Colitis: Collagenous Colitis and Lymphocytic Colitis
Defines collagenous colitis and lymphocytic colitis. Explains the causes and describes signs and symptoms, diagnosis, and treatments.
PDF Version (423 KB) *

The Nonalcoholic Steatohepatitis (NASH) publication thumbnail image

Nonalcoholic Steatohepatitis (NASH)
Provides information about nonalcoholic steatohepatitis, including risk factors, causes, symptoms, diagnosis, treatment, and ongoing research.
PDF Version (210 KB) *

The Esteatohepatitis no alcohólica publication thumbnail image

En Español
Esteatohepatitis no alcohólica
Ofrece información sobre la esteatohepatitis no alcohólica, una enfermedad del hígado que ocurre cuando depósitos de grasa en el hígado causan inflamación. Describe las afecciones subyacentes o los factores de riesgo, así como los síntomas, las causas, el diagnóstico, el tratamiento y las investigaciones en curso.
PDF Version (182 KB) *

Ostomy Surgery of the Bowel publication thumbnail image

Ostomy Surgery of the Bowel
Describes four surgical procedures of the bowel: ileostomy, colostomy, ileoanal reservoir, and continent ileostomy. Provides general information on complications and living with an ostomy.
PDF Version (729 KB) *

The Pancreatitis publication thumbnail image

Pancreatitis
Provides information about both acute and chronic forms of this condition, including symptoms, diagnosis, complications, and treatment.
PDF Version (148 KB) *

Peptic Ulcer Disease and H. pylori publication thumbnail image

Peptic Ulcer Disease and H. pylori
Defines peptic ulcers and explains causes of peptic ulcer disease, including H. pylori. Describes treatment for H. pylori-induced peptic ulcers.
PDF Version (465 KB) *

H. pylori y úlceras pépticas publicación imagen

En Español
H. pylori y úlceras pépticas
Ofrece información sobre las úlceras pépticas y explica cómo el "H. pylori" las puede causar. También ofrece información sobre el diagnóstico y el tratamiento.
Versión PDF (276 KB) *

Peptic Ulcer Disease and NSAIDs publication thumbnail image

Peptic Ulcer Disease and NSAIDs
Explains the relationship between nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and peptic ulcer disease. Discusses diagnosis and treatment of NSAID-induced peptic ulcer disease.
PDF Version (460 KB) *

Porphyria publication thumbnail image

Porphyria
Reviews the group of disorders known as the porphyrias, which affect the skin or nervous system, or both. Discusses the types, causes, symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment of porphyria.
PDF Version (445 KB) *

The Primary Biliary Cirrhosis (PBC) publication thumbnail image

Primary Biliary Cirrhosis (PBC)
Explains the possible causes of primary biliary cirrhosis. Describes symptoms, complications, diagnosis, and treatment.
PDF Version (600 KB) *

Primary Sclerosing Cholangitis (PSC) publication thumbnail image

Primary Sclerosing Cholangitis (PSC)
Reviews primary sclerosing cholangitis, a disease that damages and blocks bile ducts and can lead to cirrhosis and liver failure. Discusses the causes, symptoms, complications, diagnosis, and treatment of the disease.
PDF Version (179 KB) *

Proctitis publication thumbnail image

Proctitis
Describes the causes, diagnosis, and treatment of proctitis.
PDF Version (150 KB) *

Short Bowel Syndrome publication thumbnail image

Short Bowel Syndrome
Reviews short bowel syndrome, a disorder that typically occurs in people who have had half or more of their small intestine removed. Discusses the causes, signs and symptoms, and treatment options.
PDF Version (130 KB) *

Smoking and the Digestive System publication thumbnail image

Smoking and the Digestive System
Describes how smoking affects various parts of the digestive system.
PDF Version (282 KB) *

Ulcerative Colitis publication thumbnail image

Ulcerative Colitis
Discusses risk factors, symptoms, diagnostic procedures, and complications of ulcerative colitis. Provides treatment options, including medications and surgery.
PDF Version (510 KB) *

Upper GI Endoscopy publication thumbnail image

Upper GI Endoscopy
Provides general information about upper gastrointestinal (GI) endoscopy. Describes the purpose of the test and what patients can expect before, during, and after the procedure.
PDF Version (382 KB) *

Endoscopia esofagogastroduodenal publicación imagen

En Español
Endoscopia esofagogastroduodenal
Proporciona información sobre la endoscopia esofagogastroduodenal. Describe el propósito de la prueba, como los pacientes se pueden preparar para ella y que pueden esperar los pacientes durante y después del procedimiento.
Versión PDF (169 KB) *

Upper GI Series publication thumbnail image

Upper GI Series
Provides general information about upper gastrointestinal (GI) x-ray series. Describes the purpose of the test and what patients can expect before, during, and after the procedure.
PDF Version (361 KB) *

Tránsito esofagogastroduodenal publicación imagen

En Español
Tránsito esofagogastroduodenal
Proporciona información general sobre las radiografías del tránsito esofagogastroduodenal.
Versión PDF (110 KB) *

Viral Gastroenteritis publication thumbnail image

Viral Gastroenteritis
Describes the causes, symptoms, diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of viral gastroenteritis.
PDF Version (235 KB) *

Viral Hepatitis A through E and Beyond publication thumbnail image

Viral Hepatitis: A through E and Beyond
Provides information about the symptoms, modes of transmission, at-risk populations, prevention, and treatment for hepatitis A through E. Includes a list of additional resources.
PDF Version (139 KB) *

Virtual Colonoscopy publication thumbnail image

Virtual Colonoscopy
Provides information about virtual colonoscopy. Describes the purpose of the test, how patients can prepare for it, and what patients can expect during and after the procedure.
PDF Version (453 KB) *

Colonoscopia virtual publicación imagen

En Español
Colonoscopia virtual
Provee información sobre la colonoscopia virtual. Describe el propósito de este examen, cómo los pacientes pueden prepararse para el examen y lo que deben esperar durante y después del procedimiento.
Versión PDF (381 KB) *

Whipple Disease publication thumbnail image

Whipple Disease
Describes the causes, symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment of Whipple disease.
PDF Version (384 KB) *

Wilson Disease publication thumbnail image

Wilson Disease
Describes the cause, symptoms, and diagnosis of Wilson disease and summarizes treatment options.
PDF Version (444 KB) *

Zollinger-Ellison Syndrome publication thumbnail image

Zollinger-Ellison Syndrome (ZES)
Describes the causes, complications, diagnosis, and treatment of Zollinger-Ellison syndrome.
PDF Version (525 KB) *

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Page last updated September 17, 2014


The National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse is a service of the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, National Institutes of Health.

National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse
2 Information Way
Bethesda, MD 20892–3570
Phone: 1–800–891–5389
TTY: 1–866–569–1162
Fax: 703–738–4929
Email: nddic@info.niddk.nih.gov
Internet: www.digestive.niddk.nih.gov

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