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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Bowel and Intestines

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) *

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) *

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 (190 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.
Versión PDF (164 KB) *

Bowel Diversion Surgeries: Ileostomy, Colostomy, Ileoanal Reservoir, and Continent Ileostomy publication thumbnail image

Bowel Diversion Surgeries: Ileostomy, Colostomy, Ileoanal Reservoir, and Continent Ileostomy
Describes various bowel diversion surgeries. Includes illustrations.
PDF Version (186 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) *

Microscopic Colitis: Collagenous Colitis and Lymphocytic Colitis publication thumbnail image

Collagenous Colitis (See Microscopic Colitis: Collagenous Colitis and Lymphocytic Colitis)
Describes the symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment of collagenous colitis and lymphocytic colitis.
PDF Version (244 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 (141 KB) *

Colonoscopia publicación imagen

En Español
Colonoscopia
Proporciona información general sobre la colonoscopia. 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 (331 KB) *

Bowel Diversion Surgeries: Ileostomy, Colostomy, Ileoanal Reservoir, and Continent Ileostomy publication thumbnail image

Colostomy (See Bowel Diversion Surgeries: Ileostomy, Colostomy, Ileoanal Reservoir, and Continent Ileostomy)
Describes various bowel diversion surgeries. Includes illustrations.
PDF Version (186 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) *

Bowel Diversion Surgeries: Ileostomy, Colostomy, Ileoanal Reservoir, and Continent Ileostomy publication thumbnail image

Continent Ileostomy (See Bowel Diversion Surgeries: Ileostomy, Colostomy, Ileoanal Reservoir, and Continent Ileostomy)
Describes various bowel diversion surgeries. Includes illustrations.
PDF Version (186 KB) *

Crohn’s Disease publication thumbnail image

Crohn’s Disease
Provides general information about what Crohn’s disease is and how it develops. Includes information about symptoms, diagnosis, potential complications, and treatment.
PDF Version (204 KB) *

Diarrhea publication thumbnail image

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

El aparato digestivo y su funcionamiento 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) *

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.
PDF Version (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 (347 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) *

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) *

Hemorrhoids publication thumbnail image

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

H. pylori and Peptic Ulcers publication thumbnail image

H. pylori and Peptic Ulcers
Discusses peptic ulcers and explains how H. pylori can cause them. Covers diagnosis and treatment.
PDF Version (147 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) *

Bowel Diversion Surgeries: Ileostomy, Colostomy, Ileoanal Reservoir, and Continent Ileostomy publication thumbnail image

Ileostomy (See Bowel Diversion Surgeries: Ileostomy, Colostomy, Ileoanal Reservoir, and Continent Ileostomy)
Describes various bowel diversion surgeries. Includes illustrations.
PDF Version (186 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 (127 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 (409 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 (202 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 (144 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, how patients can prepare for it, and what patients can expect during and after the procedure.
PDF Version (152 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) *

Microscopic Colitis: Collagenous Colitis and Lymphocytic Colitis publication thumbnail image

Lymphocytic Colitis (See Microscopic Colitis: Collagenous Colitis and Lymphocytic Colitis)
Describes the symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment of collagenous colitis and lymphocytic colitis.
PDF Version (244 KB) *

Microscopic Colitis: Collagenous Colitis and Lymphocytic Colitis publication thumbnail image

Microscopic Colitis: Collagenous Colitis and Lymphocytic Colitis
Describes the symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment of collagenous colitis and lymphocytic colitis.
PDF Version (244 KB) *

NSAIDs and Peptic Ulcers publication thumbnail image

NSAIDs and Peptic Ulcers
Describes the relationship between nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and peptic ulcers. Covers the symptoms, diagnosis, treatment, and long-term outlook.
PDF Version (158 KB) *

Bowel Diversion Surgeries: Ileostomy, Colostomy, Ileoanal Reservoir, and Continent Ileostomy publication thumbnail image

Ostomy (See Bowel Diversion Surgeries: Ileostomy, Colostomy, Ileoanal Reservoir, and Continent Ileostomy)
Describes various bowel diversion surgeries. Includes illustrations.
PDF Version (186 KB) *

Proctitis publication thumbnail image

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

Rapid Gastric Emptying publication thumbnail image

Rapid Gastric Emptying
Describes the causes, symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment of rapid gastric emptying.
PDF Version (116 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 Your Digestive System publication thumbnail image

Smoking and Your Digestive System
Describes how smoking affects various parts of the digestive system.
PDF Version (180 KB) *

Ulcerative Colitis publication thumbnail image

Ulcerative Colitis
Outlines the symptoms, diagnostic procedures, and risks and benefits of several drugs and kinds of surgery to treat this disease.
PDF Version (237 KB) *

Viral Gastroenteritis publication thumbnail image

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

Virtual Colonoscopy publication thumbnail image

Virtual Colonoscopy
Provides general 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 (123 KB) *

Colonoscopia virtual publicación imagen

En Español
Colonoscopia virtual
Proporciona información general sobre las radiografías del colonoscopia virtual. 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 (222 KB) *

What I need to know about Celiac Disease publication thumbnail image

What I need to know about Celiac Disease
Defines celiac disease and explains the symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment. Includes examples of gluten-free diet options.
PDF Version (653 KB) *

Lo que usted debe saber sobre la enfermedad celíaca publicación imagen

En Español
Lo que usted debe saber sobre la enfermedad celíaca
Define la enfermedad celíaca y explica sus síntomas, diagnóstico y tratamiento. Presenta algunos ejemplos de la dieta sin gluten.
Versión PDF (1,102 KB) *

What I Need to Know About Colon Polyps publication thumbnail image

What I need to know about Colon Polyps
Defines colon polyps and reviews the tests used to detect them. Provides information about treatment and prevention and includes a pronunciation guide.
PDF Version (471 KB) *

Lo que usted debe saber sobre los pólipos en el colon publicación imagen

En Español
Lo que usted debe saber sobre los pólipos en el colon
Define los pólipos en el colon y repasa las pruebas usadas para detectarlos. Provee información sobre el tratamiento y la prevención.
Versión PDF (569 KB) *

What I need to know about Constipation publication thumbnail image

What I need to know about Constipation
Defines constipation and includes steps for prevention, as well as a list of additional resources.
PDF Version (2,240 KB) *

Lo que usted debe saber sobre el estreñimiento publicación imagen

En Español
Lo que usted debe saber sobre el estreñimiento
Define el estreñimiento e incluye una lista de medidas para su prevención, así como un listado de recursos adicionales.
Versión PDF (595 KB) *

What I need to know about Crohn’s Disease publication thumbnail image

What I need to know about Crohn’s Disease
Defines Crohn’s disease and describes common symptoms, risk factors, diagnosis, complications, and treatment.
PDF Version (412 KB) *

Lo que usted debe saber sobre la enfermedad de Crohn publicación imagen

En Español
Lo que usted debe saber sobre la enfermedad de Crohn
Describe la enfermedad de Crohn, los síntomas y complicaciones comunes de esta enfermedad, y las personas con más alto riesgo a desarollarla. Explica como diagnosticar la enfermedad de Crohn y los diferentes tipos de tratamiento.
Versión PDF (611 KB) *

What I need to know about Diarrhea publication thumbnail image

What I need to know about Diarrhea
Discusses the causes of diarrhea and the dangers of dehydration. Provides suggestions for easing the symptoms of diarrhea in adults and children. Offers strategies for avoiding traveler’s diarrhea.
PDF Version (906 KB) *

Lo que usted debe saber sobre la diarrea publicación imagen

En Español
Lo que usted debe saber sobre la diarrea
Ofrece información sobre las causas de la diarrea y los riesgos de la deshidratación. Ofrece sugerencias para aliviar los síntomas de la diarrea en adultos y en niños. Presenta sugerencias para evitar la diajera del viajero.
Versión PDF (1.32 MB) *

What I need to know about Diverticular Disease publication thumbnail image

What I need to know about Diverticular Disease
Offers an overview of diverticular disease and explains its symptoms, causes, and treatment. Offers tips about how to reduce symptoms and complications through diet.
PDF Version (386 KB) *

Lo que usted debe saber sobre la enfermedad Diverticular publicación imagen

En Español
Lo que usted debe saber sobre la enfermedad diverticular
Presenta información general acerca de la enfermedad diverticular y explica los síntomas, causas y tratamiento. Ofrece sugerencias en como disminuir los síntomas y las complicaciones mediante la dieta.
Versión PDF (718 KB) *

What I need to know about Gas publication thumbnail image

What I need to know about Gas
Provides information about preventing and treating gas in the digestive tract.
PDF Version (1,290 KB) *

Lo que usted debe saber sobre los gases publicación imagen

En Español
Lo que usted debe saber sobre los gases
Ofrece información sobre cómo prevenir y tratar los gases del sistema digestivo.
Versión PDF (600 KB) *

What I need to know about Hirchsprung Disease publication thumbnail image

What I need to know about Hirschsprung Disease
Defines and explains the causes, symptoms, and treatment of Hirschsprung disease. Includes a pronunciation guide.
PDF Version (465 KB) *

What I need to know about Irritable Bowel Syndrome publication thumbnail image

What I need to know about Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Explains irritable bowel syndrome, the causes, the symptoms, and outlines available treatment options. 
PDF Version (2,144 KB) *

What I need to know about Lactose Intolerance publication thumbnail image

What I need to know about Lactose Intolerance
Defines lactose intolerance and provides information about its symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment.
PDF Version (310 KB) *

Lo que usted debe saber sobre la intolerancia a la lactosa publicación imagen

En Español
Lo que usted debe saber sobre la intolerancia a la lactosa
Define la intolerancia a la lactosa y proporciona información sobre sus síntomas, diagnóstico y tratamiento.
Versión PDF (484 KB) *

What I need to know about Peptic Ulcers publication thumbnail image

What I need to know about Peptic Ulcers
Defines peptic ulcers and discusses the symptoms, causes, diagnosis, and treatment. Discusses risk factors and prevention methods.
PDF Version (541 KB) *

Whipple’s Disease publication thumbnail image

Whipple’s Disease
Describes the causes, symptoms, and treatment of Whipple’s disease, a rare bacterial infection primarily affecting the small intestine.
PDF Version (139 KB) *

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Page last updated March 5, 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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