Conditions We Treat
Norwalk Hospital’s Digestive Disease Center offers diagnosis and treatment for the full range of gastrointestinal conditions. Here is a list of the most common conditions we treat:
Acid Reflux: Also called GERD (for gastroesophageal reflux disease) or heartburn, this chronic and progressive condition is caused by the regurgitation of stomach contents into the esophagus.
If you suspect you might have GERD, it’s important to see a doctor. Left untreated, GERD (caused by a weak lower esophageal sphincter) can progress to more serious problems, including esophageal cancer. Symptoms include:
Chest pressure or pain
Diagnostic testing performed by a healthcare provider specializing in esophageal diseases is the only way to definitively identify whether or not you have GERD.
Evaluation may include:
Endoscopic examination of the esophageal lining for damage or Barrett’s esophagus.
Measurement of esophageal acid exposure with Bravo capsule or impedance catheter technology.
Manometry, a test to measure how well your esophagus works.
Treatment for GERD involves acid-suppressing medications, diet and lifestyle changes, and, in selected patients, the use of minimally invasive surgical procedures to control reflux, including the LINX Reflux Management System.
Appendicitis: Painful inflammation of the appendix, located in the lower right side of the abdomen.
Barrett’s esophagus: A pre-cancerous condition in which the cells lining the esophagus are damaged as a result of chronic acid reflux.
Bowel obstruction: A blockage of the small or large intestine that prevents food from passing through.
Celiac disease: An autoimmune disorder that interferes with the digestion of gluten, causing it to damage the lining of the small intestine.
Colon cancer: The second leading cause of cancer-related death in the United States and the third most common cancer in both men and women.
Most colon cancers begin as benign polyps, which can take several years to become cancerous.
In a recently published study, screening colonoscopy, which finds and remove precancerous colon polyps, reduced colon cancer deaths by 53%. Current guidelines recommend a screening colonoscopy at age 50 (45 for African-Americans), with follow-ups every 5-10 years depending on the initial exam findings and family history of cancer or polyps. While colonoscopy is the recognized gold standard for cancer prevention, CT scan colonography, sometimes called virtual colonoscopy, also provides accurate detection, but not removal, of polyps and is also available at the Digestive Disease Center at Norwalk Hospital.
Constipation: Difficulty emptying the bowels.
Crohn’s disease: An inflammatory bowel disease that causes inflammation of the lining of the digestive tract.
Diverticulitis: When small pouches (diverticula) in the large intestine become inflamed or infected.
Gallstones: Hardened deposits of gall (a digestive fluid) that can become trapped in the gallbladder.
Hemorrhoids: Swollen, enlarged veins in the rectum and/or anus.
Hepatitis C: A highly contagious liver disease caused by a virus.
Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD): Chronic inflammation in the digestive tract.
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS): Also called spastic colon, a chronic inflammatory condition that brings pain and difficulty with bowel movements.
Lactose intolerance: Inability to digest the glucose (sugar) in milk and dairy products.
Pancreatitis: Inflammation in the pancreas.
Peptic ulcer: Painful sores in the stomach lining or the duodenum (the upper portion of the small intestine).
Ulcerative colitis: Chronic inflammation in the digestive tract.
Center for Digestive Diseases