Other Gastrointestinal Diseases of Interest

Short Bowel Syndrome

Short bowel syndrome is a rare condition affecting about three out of every million people1. It refers to a group of problems related to poor absorption of nutrients. Short bowel syndrome typically occurs in people who have had at least half of their small intestine removed, have significant damage of the small intestine or have poor motility, or movement inside the intestines. People with short bowel syndrome cannot absorb enough water, vitamins, minerals, protein, fat, calories and other nutrients from food. Symptoms include diarrhea, and loose watery stools which can lead to dehydration, malnutrition, and weight loss.2

1. Thompson JS, Rochling FA, Weseman RA, Mercer DF. Current management of short bowel syndrome. Current Problems in Surgery. 2012;49(2):52–115.
2. https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/health-topics/digestive-diseases/short-bowel-syndrome/Pages/facts.aspx

Celiac Disease

Celiac disease is a serious genetic autoimmune disorder where the ingestion of gluten leads to damage in the small intestine. Celiac disease is hereditary. People with a first-degree relative with celiac disease have a 1 in 10 risk of developing the disease. The disease is estimated to affect 1 in 100 people worldwide. Two and one-half million Americans are undiagnosed and are at risk for long-term health complications such as iron deficiency anemia, early onset of osteoporosis, osteopenia, vitamin and mineral deficiencies, and gall bladder malfunction.


Clostridium difficile infection

C. difficile is a bacterium that can cause symptoms ranging from diarrhea to life-threatening inflammation of the colon. Each year in the United States, about a half million people get sick from C. difficile, and in recent years, C. difficile infections have become more frequent, severe and difficult to treat. Illness from C. difficile most commonly affects older adults in hospitals or in long-term care facilities and typically occurs after use of antibiotic medications. However C. difficile infection is increasing among people not traditionally considered high risk, such as younger and healthy individuals without a history of antibiotic use or exposure to health care facilities. Mild symptoms include watery diarrhea and abdominal cramping and tenderness, but in severe cases people tend to become dehydrated and may need hospitalization. In addition, C. difficile can cause the colon to become inflamed (colitis) and sometimes may form patches of raw tissue that can bleed or produce pus (pseudomembranous colitis).