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Digestive problems

Digestion is the process of turning the food we eat into nutrients that we need to survive.

The digestive tract is a long twisting tube that starts at the mouth and ends at the anus, taking food through the esophagus, stomach, small and large intestine. A digestive condition covers any health problem in our digestive tract, which can be up to 30 feet long in an adult.

Digestive symptoms usually involve stomach pain (sometimes just in the left side or right side) or symptoms like constipation, diarrhoea, heartburn and bloating. Around 4 in 10 people have at least one digestive symptom at any one time.

Lots of digestive problems can be helped with simple lifestyle changes. Speak to a doctor to find out more.

Acid reflux
Acid reflux(heartburn), is a painful sensation caused by stomach acid travelling up the ‘food-pipe’ (oesophagus) and towards the throat.
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Acute cholecystitis
Acute cholecystitis is inflammation of the gallbladder, usually caused by a gallstone blocking the cystic duct
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Anal fissure
An anal fissure is a small tear or ulcer in the thin tissue lining the large intestine, close to the anus. It typically causes pain and bleeding during bowel movements.
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Appendicitis is a painful condition where the appendix becomes inflamed and swells.
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Coeliac disease
Coeliac disease is caused when the gut has an adverse reaction to gluten, causing a range of tummy problems, like cramps, bloating, constipation and diarrhoea.
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If you have infrequent bowel movements or have problems with bowel movements, you likely have constipation.
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Crohn’s disease
Crohn’s disease is a lifelong condition that causes inflammation in your digestive system.
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Diverticular disease
Diverticular disease and diverticulitis are related digestive conditions that affect the large intestine (bowel).
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Gastritis is inflammation of the stomach lining.
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Gastro-Oesophageal Reflux Disease (GORD)
If you have gastro-oesophageal reflux disease, the acid from your stomach comes back up into your gullet (oesophagus), irritating it and causing heartburn. It’s not usually serious.
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Gastroenteritis is a common condition usually caused by a viral or bacterial infection and often gives you sickness and diarrhoea.
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Gastroparesis is a condition that affects the stomach’s muscle movement and means that it can’t empty food as quickly as it should.
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Hernias happen when there’s a weakness or opening in the muscle or tissue and an internal part of the body pushes through.
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Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a common long-term condition of the gut that affects how the digestive system works. It can cause stomach cramps, bloating, constipation and diarrhoea .
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Pancreatitis is a condition where your pancreas is inflamed. When the inflammation happens over a short time, it’s called acute pancreatitis, and when it builds up over a longer time, it’s called chronic pancreatitis.
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Piles (also called haemorrhoids) are enlarged blood vessels inside the rectum or under the skin around the anus that can create small, round lumps.
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Threadworms are small worms that cause itching around the anus. They’re common in children and spread when threadworm eggs are swallowed.
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