The digestive system breaks down food and fluids into much smaller nutrients. In this complex process, blood carries the nutrients throughout the body to nourish cells and provide energy. The GI tract is divided into two main sections: the upper GI tract and the lower GI tract.
* Upper GI tract — mouth, pharynx, esophagus and stomach. The stomach leads to the small intestine. * Lower GI tract — intestines (bowel) and the anus. The bowel is made up of two sections:
* Small intestine — the duodenum, jejunum and ileum * Large intestine — the cecum (where the appendix is attached), colon and rectumIn addition, the liver, pancreas and gallbladder produce digestive juices to aid the digestion of food.
Medical College of Wisconsin physicians, along with physician assistants, nurses and other specialized team members, provide care for patients with a wide range of complex diseases of the gastrointestinal tract. These diseases include:
General GI disorders
Pancreatobiliary diseases — disorders of the pancreas, gall bladder and bile ducts
Women's gastrointestinal health
General GI disordersThe following are general disorders of the gastrointestinal tract:
* Undiagnosed abdominal pain
* Diarrhea — an increase in the frequency of bowel movements or looseness of stool.
* Constipation — the difficult passage of stools (bowel movements) or the infrequent (less than three times a week) or incomplete passage of stools, usually caused by inadequate fiber in the diet or a disruption of regular activities or diet.
* Gas (flatulence) — the... [continues]
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