The Gastrointestinal system or as it’s sometimes called, the “GI system” is the body’s plumbing system. It allows people to eat food, to digest and absorb energy from the food and to expel waste. In humans, it is made up of the mouth, esophagus (the tube that food travels down to meet the stomach), the stomach, the small intestine (where the nutrients the body needs are absorbed from the food and is passed to the bloodstream to be distributed throughout the body) and the large intestine (where excess water is removed). The large intestine also includes the appendix. The pancreas and spleen are also considered part of the GI system.
In addition to managing food intake, the GI system also performs other jobs, including helping the immune system function correctly, maintaining a healthy balance of good and bad bacteria in our guts and detoxification and drug metabolism and breakdown.
Some symptoms you might be experiencing if you are having gastrointestinal problems include:
- Blood in your stools
- Severe cramping and indigestion
If these symptoms are causing you significant pain and distress, a visit to CMC’s gastroenterologists may be in order. Gastroenterologists deal with diseases and malfunctions of the gastrointestinal system. Some of these disorders may include:
- Gastrointestinal cancers
- Inflammatory conditions (Ileitis, Colitis)
- Inflammation of the appendix (Appendicitis)
- Diverticular disease (Diverticulitis)
- Inflammatory Bowel Disease (Chrohn’s, Ulcerative Colitis)
- Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders (Irritable Bowel Syndrome)