Health Topics

Find information on many health topics, listed A to Z.

Gastrointestinal Health

Gastroenterology at Mayo Clinic Health System specializes in the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of diseases of the digestive tract.

From The Blog

Take the burn out of GERD

We’ve all heard the phrase “feel the burn.” Gastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD, symptoms include heartburn and regurgitation. When it occurs twice or more weekly, it may require attention.

Jaime Zighelboim, M.D. By Jaime Zighelboim July 28, 2017

Skipping sedation: A quicker colonoscopy

Deb Gunderson has natural curiosity and a love of medicine. It was for those reasons that the licensed practical nurse opted for a sedation-free colonoscopy when she was due to receive the important colon cancer screening.

February 21, 2017

Steps to prevent norovirus

The end-of-the-year holidays are perfect for family gatherings, shopping excursions and workplace potlucks. These, in turn, can lead to an uninvited guest: norovirus, which causes people to become sick with cramping, stomach pain, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. Norovirus is a highly contagious virus.

December 2, 2016

Managing irritable bowel syndrome

Most adults experience occasional constipation, diarrhea, bloating, gas, urgent bowel movements and cramping abdominal pain. However, for some people, these symptoms are a more regular occurrence affecting their quality of life and daily routine. Unfortunately, many of these individuals have what is known as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) yet don’t know it because they’ve never received an evaluation or diagnosis.

April 26, 2016

Beat the burn — heartburn, that is

At least 40 million Americans suffer from heartburn. Most have only mild or occasional symptoms. However, about 15 million need medication on a daily basis to control that burning sensation.

Learn what heartburn is, what causes it and if there are long-term symptoms.

LeRoy Hodges MD By LeRoy Hodges February 23, 2015

Lifestyle and diet in inflammatory bowel disease

Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), which consists of Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, can be a frustrating diagnosis to deal with. In general, there is no clear evidence that one trigger alone causes problems. Therefore, there is no particular food, diet or lifestyle that causes, prevents or cures IBD.

February 20, 2015

An answer for Abbie

When 12-year-old Abbie Larrington’s symptoms started last spring, they were easy enough to explain away. She was exhausted, but it was the end of her basketball season. Why wouldn't she be tired? But her mom knew there was a problem.

August 4, 2014

Building wellness: Food as a healthy foundation

Wellness is more than just eating right — a healthy diet can set the stage for a healthy life.

April 28, 2014

All about food allergies

What if you had to carefully read the ingredients of every food you ate in order to avoid an allergic reaction? Life at the dinner table is very different for the small percentage of Americans who are allergic to certain foods. Recent studies show that approximately five percent of children under the age of 5, and three percent of adults are allergic to at least one food.

April 22, 2014

Colorectal cancer: Common symptoms -- Part 4 of 4

The signs and symptoms for colorectal cancer aren't the most comfortable to talk about with a physician. But if noticed early, that conversation could potentially save your life.

March 26, 2013

Colorectal cancer: Start decreasing your risk for colon cancer today -- Part 3 of 4

Colorectal cancer screenings are extremely important, but there are also simple lifestyle changes you can make to decrease your risk.


Salfiti Kelly 2012 By Kelly Salfiti March 20, 2013

My colonoscopy experience: A gastroenterologist gets some of his own medicine -- Part 3 of 3

In part three of his three-part blog, Dr. William David Farrar, a gastroenterologist from Mayo Clinic Health System in Red Wing, continues recounting a personal story about a subject many of us would rather ignore — colonoscopies.

David W Farrar By W. David Farrar March 19, 2013