Conditions

Abdominal Pain

What is abdominal pain?

Abdominal pain (or “stomach pain”) is a common symptom but one that can cause significant distress and disruption to everyday life activities such as eating, working and sleeping. Because the nerve supply (autonomic nervous system) to the internal organs is not well developed, the pain felt from different organs can overlap and feel very similar.

Abnormal Liver Function Tests

What does the liver do?

The liver is an important organ that sits just below the diaphragm on the right-hand side of the abdomen. Its measures approximately 15cm in width and weighs up to 1.5kg. It has multiple important functions including:

– Detoxifying the blood

– Metabolizing medications

Barrett’s Oesophagus

What is it?

Barrett’s Oesophagus (or “Barretts”) is a condition where the inner lining of the oesophagus changes in response to long term stomach acid exposure. The flat delicate cells (squamous) that make up the normal lining of the oesophagus change to become fatter and look more like the cells found in the small intestine. While this change alone is called Barrett’s,

Bowel Cancer

Bowel cancer, also called colorectal cancer, is cancer that arises from the lining of the large bowel (colon) or rectum (the lower part of the large bowel). It is the 2nd most common cancer in men and women in Australia, with approximately 15,000 people diagnosed each year.

 

Coeliac Disease

What is Coeliac disease?

Coeliac disease is an autoimmune condition in which the body reacts abnormally to a food protein called ‘gluten’. The body’s immune system wrongly identifies gluten as potentially dangerous and mounts an immune response which causes

Constipation

Constipation is a very common symptom that affects most people at some time in their lifetime. It has previously been defined as “fewer than 3 bowel motions per week”. New diagnostic criteria have since been developed that also take into account:
– the need to strain to pass a bowel motion

Diarrhoea

Diarrhoea, apart from being a hard word to spell, is a common but often inconvenient gut-related symptom.

While for most people in developed countries it is more of an inconvenience, worldwide it is one of the leading causes of death for children under 5 years

Crohn’s and Ulcerative Colitis

What are Crohn’s Disease and Ulcerative Colitis?

Crohn’s disease and Ulcerative colitis are chronic autoimmune conditions that result in inflammation and damage to the digestive tract. While they are both

Diverticulosis/Diverticulitis

What is Diverticular disease? 

Diverticular disease, also called ‘diverticulosis’, is a condition where little pouches or pockets develop in the large bowel (colon). These pockets (called ‘diverticulum’) are created secondary to pressure on weak areas of the muscle layer of the bowel

Faecal Transplant

Faecal transplant, also call faecal microbiota transplant (FMT), is an exciting and emerging therapy in the field of Gastroenterology. Our gut bacteria also called the ‘gut microbiome’, plays an important part in the healthy functioning of our immune system, digestion, metabolism and even mood.

Fatty Liver Disease

What is Fatty liver disease?
Fatty liver disease is a condition in which fat is abnormally deposited in the liver. While in many people this does not cause long term damage, for others the fat causes inflammation and scarring which can lead to cirrhosis.

Gallstones

Gallstones are hardened deposits of cholesterol and bile that form in the gallbladder. The gallbladder is a small organ on the right side of the abdomen that sits just under the liver. Its main role is to store bile (a digestive juice formed in the liver).

Gastrointestinal (GI) Bleeding

Blood in the stool (the ‘poo’) or ‘rectal bleeding’ is a common reason people see a Gastroenterologist. There are many possible causes which can be benign and others which are more serious.

What are the symptoms?

The type of symptoms, in particular colour, depends on the location of bleeding within the GI tract.

Haemorrhoids

What are haemorrhoids? 

Haemorrhoids, also called “piles”, are swollen (but normally present) veins found on the inside (internal haemorrhoids) or outside (external haemorrhoids) of the anus. They often feel like soft ‘lumps’ of tissue and are the most common cause of bright rectal bleeding.

 

Heartburn / Reflux

What is heartburn / reflux? 

Heartburn, or “reflux”, describes the chest discomfort or ‘burning’ associated with the flow of stomach contents back into the oesophagus. It is typically caused by stomach acid irritating the delicate lining of the oeosphagus.

What causes heartburn / reflux?

Heartburn / reflux is actually a symptom of a 

Helicobacter Pylori

Helicobacter Pylori is a bacterium (germ) that can infect the stomach. It lives in the lining of the stomach and can cause inflammation of the stomach. It is most likely acquired in childhood. The root by which infection occurs is unknown. It may be from sharing utensils and food. There is no evidence it is spread by animals.

Hepatitis B and C

Hepatitis B and C are viral infections of the liver. While they can both cause significant liver damage and long- term scarring, they are actually very different diseases from each other.

Hepatitis B

Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
What is Irritable Bowel Syndrome? Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is one of the most common digestive health disorders, affecting 10-15% of the Australian population. It is a condition characterised by gut-related symptoms including pain, bloating and a change in bowel habit. For some IBS is just a mild annoyance but for others
Obesity and Weight Management

Over the past decades, obesity has become a major health issue worldwide. It can have detrimental effects on many aspects of our physical, emotional and mental wellbeing.

Our body weight is the result of a complex interaction of food intake, exercise, sleep, hormones, genetics, the gut microbiome,

 

Pancreatic Cysts

Pancreatic cysts are fluid-filled ‘pockets’ or sacs found within the pancreas gland. They are commonly found ‘incidentally’ on CT and MRI scans of the abdomen performed for other reasons. Some studies have reported the prevalence of pancreatic cysts to be up to 10%.

 

Pancreatitis and pancreatic insufficiency

What is Pancreatitis?

The pancreas is an abdominal organ involved in digestion and insulin production. Pancreatitis is defined as inflammation of the pancreas. The main types of pancreatitis include:

 

Stomach Ulcers

What is it?

Stomach (“peptic”) ulcers are localised areas of damage to the lining of the stomach that resemble small craters. While ulcers are most commonly found in the stomach they also frequently occur in the duodenum (start of the small bowel).

Swallowing Problems

Difficulty swallowing, also called ‘dysphagia’, is caused by a diverse group of disorders that result in trouble transferring food or liquid from the mouth into the stomach. Unfortunately, many people suffer with swallowing issues. Whilst often mild, sometimes the issues can progress, leading t