Gastrointestinal Diseases: Diseases in any segment of the GASTROINTESTINAL TRACT from ESOPHAGUS to RECTUM.Gastroenterology: A subspecialty of internal medicine concerned with the study of the physiology and diseases of the digestive system and related structures (esophagus, liver, gallbladder, and pancreas).Enterocolitis, Necrotizing: ENTEROCOLITIS with extensive ulceration (ULCER) and NECROSIS. It is observed primarily in LOW BIRTH WEIGHT INFANT.Gastrointestinal Tract: Generally refers to the digestive structures stretching from the MOUTH to ANUS, but does not include the accessory glandular organs (LIVER; BILIARY TRACT; PANCREAS).Clostridium perfringens: The most common etiologic agent of GAS GANGRENE. It is differentiable into several distinct types based on the distribution of twelve different toxins.Dyspepsia: Impaired digestion, especially after eating.Irritable Bowel Syndrome: A disorder with chronic or recurrent colonic symptoms without a clearcut etiology. This condition is characterized by chronic or recurrent ABDOMINAL PAIN, bloating, MUCUS in FECES, and an erratic disturbance of DEFECATION.Feces: Excrement from the INTESTINES, containing unabsorbed solids, waste products, secretions, and BACTERIA of the DIGESTIVE SYSTEM.Diarrhea: An increased liquidity or decreased consistency of FECES, such as running stool. Fecal consistency is related to the ratio of water-holding capacity of insoluble solids to total water, rather than the amount of water present. Diarrhea is not hyperdefecation or increased fecal weight.Probiotics: Live microbial DIETARY SUPPLEMENTS which beneficially affect the host animal by improving its intestinal microbial balance. Antibiotics and other related compounds are not included in this definition. In humans, lactobacilli are commonly used as probiotics, either as single species or in mixed culture with other bacteria. Other genera that have been used are bifidobacteria and streptococci. (J. Nutr. 1995;125:1401-12)San MarinoHelicobacter Infections: Infections with organisms of the genus HELICOBACTER, particularly, in humans, HELICOBACTER PYLORI. The clinical manifestations are focused in the stomach, usually the gastric mucosa and antrum, and the upper duodenum. This infection plays a major role in the pathogenesis of type B gastritis and peptic ulcer disease.Endoscopy, Gastrointestinal: Endoscopic examination, therapy or surgery of the gastrointestinal tract.Peptic Ulcer: Ulcer that occurs in the regions of the GASTROINTESTINAL TRACT which come into contact with GASTRIC JUICE containing PEPSIN and GASTRIC ACID. It occurs when there are defects in the MUCOSA barrier. The common forms of peptic ulcers are associated with HELICOBACTER PYLORI and the consumption of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS).Enterocolitis: Inflammation of the MUCOSA of both the SMALL INTESTINE and the LARGE INTESTINE. Etiology includes ISCHEMIA, infections, allergic, and immune responses.Inflammatory Bowel Diseases: Chronic, non-specific inflammation of the GASTROINTESTINAL TRACT. Etiology may be genetic or environmental. This term includes CROHN DISEASE and ULCERATIVE COLITIS.Enteritis: Inflammation of any segment of the SMALL INTESTINE.Helicobacter pylori: A spiral bacterium active as a human gastric pathogen. It is a gram-negative, urease-positive, curved or slightly spiral organism initially isolated in 1982 from patients with lesions of gastritis or peptic ulcers in Western Australia. Helicobacter pylori was originally classified in the genus CAMPYLOBACTER, but RNA sequencing, cellular fatty acid profiles, growth patterns, and other taxonomic characteristics indicate that the micro-organism should be included in the genus HELICOBACTER. It has been officially transferred to Helicobacter gen. nov. (see Int J Syst Bacteriol 1989 Oct;39(4):297-405).Crohn Disease: A chronic transmural inflammation that may involve any part of the DIGESTIVE TRACT from MOUTH to ANUS, mostly found in the ILEUM, the CECUM, and the COLON. In Crohn disease, the inflammation, extending through the intestinal wall from the MUCOSA to the serosa, is characteristically asymmetric and segmental. Epithelioid GRANULOMAS may be seen in some patients.Colonic Diseases, Functional: Chronic or recurrent colonic disorders without an identifiable structural or biochemical explanation. The widely recognized IRRITABLE BOWEL SYNDROME falls into this category.Gastroenteritis: INFLAMMATION of any segment of the GASTROINTESTINAL TRACT from ESOPHAGUS to RECTUM. Causes of gastroenteritis are many including genetic, infection, HYPERSENSITIVITY, drug effects, and CANCER.Gastrointestinal Agents: Drugs used for their effects on the gastrointestinal system, as to control gastric acidity, regulate gastrointestinal motility and water flow, and improve digestion.Calculi: An abnormal concretion occurring mostly in the urinary and biliary tracts, usually composed of mineral salts. Also called stones.Intestinal Diseases: Pathological processes in any segment of the INTESTINE from DUODENUM to RECTUM.Gastritis: Inflammation of the GASTRIC MUCOSA, a lesion observed in a number of unrelated disorders.Celiac Disease: A malabsorption syndrome that is precipitated by the ingestion of foods containing GLUTEN, such as wheat, rye, and barley. It is characterized by INFLAMMATION of the SMALL INTESTINE, loss of MICROVILLI structure, failed INTESTINAL ABSORPTION, and MALNUTRITION.Clostridium Infections: Infections with bacteria of the genus CLOSTRIDIUM.Exocrine Pancreatic Insufficiency: A malabsorption condition resulting from greater than 10% reduction in the secretion of pancreatic digestive enzymes (LIPASE; PROTEASES; and AMYLASE) by the EXOCRINE PANCREAS into the DUODENUM. This condition is often associated with CYSTIC FIBROSIS and with chronic PANCREATITIS.Stomach Diseases: Pathological processes involving the STOMACH.Intestinal Mucosa: Lining of the INTESTINES, consisting of an inner EPITHELIUM, a middle LAMINA PROPRIA, and an outer MUSCULARIS MUCOSAE. In the SMALL INTESTINE, the mucosa is characterized by a series of folds and abundance of absorptive cells (ENTEROCYTES) with MICROVILLI.Intubation, Gastrointestinal: The insertion of a tube into the stomach, intestines, or other portion of the gastrointestinal tract to allow for the passage of food products, etc.Gastrointestinal Neoplasms: Tumors or cancer of the GASTROINTESTINAL TRACT, from the MOUTH to the ANAL CANAL.Foodborne Diseases: Acute illnesses, usually affecting the GASTROINTESTINAL TRACT, brought on by consuming contaminated food or beverages. Most of these diseases are infectious, caused by a variety of bacteria, viruses, or parasites that can be foodborne. Sometimes the diseases are caused by harmful toxins from the microbes or other chemicals present in the food. Especially in the latter case, the condition is often called food poisoning.Duodenal Ulcer: A PEPTIC ULCER located in the DUODENUM.Duodenal Diseases: Pathological conditions in the DUODENUM region of the small intestine (INTESTINE, SMALL).Colitis, Ulcerative: Inflammation of the COLON that is predominantly confined to the MUCOSA. Its major symptoms include DIARRHEA, rectal BLEEDING, the passage of MUCUS, and ABDOMINAL PAIN.Intestines: The section of the alimentary canal from the STOMACH to the ANAL CANAL. It includes the LARGE INTESTINE and SMALL INTESTINE.Stomach Ulcer: Ulceration of the GASTRIC MUCOSA due to contact with GASTRIC JUICE. It is often associated with HELICOBACTER PYLORI infection or consumption of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS).Pancreatic Diseases: Pathological processes of the PANCREAS.Gastrointestinal Motility: The motor activity of the GASTROINTESTINAL TRACT.Gastric Mucosa: Lining of the STOMACH, consisting of an inner EPITHELIUM, a middle LAMINA PROPRIA, and an outer MUSCULARIS MUCOSAE. The surface cells produce MUCUS that protects the stomach from attack by digestive acid and enzymes. When the epithelium invaginates into the LAMINA PROPRIA at various region of the stomach (CARDIA; GASTRIC FUNDUS; and PYLORUS), different tubular gastric glands are formed. These glands consist of cells that secrete mucus, enzymes, HYDROCHLORIC ACID, or hormones.Campylobacter jejuni: A species of bacteria that resemble small tightly coiled spirals. Its organisms are known to cause abortion in sheep and fever and enteritis in man and may be associated with enteric diseases of calves, lambs, and other animals.Gastric Juice: The liquid secretion of the stomach mucosa consisting of hydrochloric acid (GASTRIC ACID); PEPSINOGENS; INTRINSIC FACTOR; GASTRIN; MUCUS; and the bicarbonate ion (BICARBONATES). (From Best & Taylor's Physiological Basis of Medical Practice, 12th ed, p651)Digestive System: A group of organs stretching from the MOUTH to the ANUS, serving to breakdown foods, assimilate nutrients, and eliminate waste. In humans, the digestive system includes the GASTROINTESTINAL TRACT and the accessory glands (LIVER; BILIARY TRACT; PANCREAS).Enterotoxins: Substances that are toxic to the intestinal tract causing vomiting, diarrhea, etc.; most common enterotoxins are produced by bacteria.Clostridium difficile: A common inhabitant of the colon flora in human infants and sometimes in adults. It produces a toxin that causes pseudomembranous enterocolitis (ENTEROCOLITIS, PSEUDOMEMBRANOUS) in patients receiving antibiotic therapy.Giardiasis: An infection of the SMALL INTESTINE caused by the flagellated protozoan GIARDIA LAMBLIA. It is spread via contaminated food and water and by direct person-to-person contact.Eosinophilia: Abnormal increase of EOSINOPHILS in the blood, tissues or organs.Gastroesophageal Reflux: Retrograde flow of gastric juice (GASTRIC ACID) and/or duodenal contents (BILE ACIDS; PANCREATIC JUICE) into the distal ESOPHAGUS, commonly due to incompetence of the LOWER ESOPHAGEAL SPHINCTER.Campylobacter Infections: Infections with bacteria of the genus CAMPYLOBACTER.Stomach Neoplasms: Tumors or cancer of the STOMACH.Stomach: An organ of digestion situated in the left upper quadrant of the abdomen between the termination of the ESOPHAGUS and the beginning of the DUODENUM.Dog Diseases: Diseases of the domestic dog (Canis familiaris). This term does not include diseases of wild dogs, WOLVES; FOXES; and other Canidae for which the heading CARNIVORA is used.Duodenum: The shortest and widest portion of the SMALL INTESTINE adjacent to the PYLORUS of the STOMACH. It is named for having the length equal to about the width of 12 fingers.Liver Diseases: Pathological processes of the LIVER.Jejunum: The middle portion of the SMALL INTESTINE, between DUODENUM and ILEUM. It represents about 2/5 of the remaining portion of the small intestine below duodenum.Endoscopy: Procedures of applying ENDOSCOPES for disease diagnosis and treatment. Endoscopy involves passing an optical instrument through a small incision in the skin i.e., percutaneous; or through a natural orifice and along natural body pathways such as the digestive tract; and/or through an incision in the wall of a tubular structure or organ, i.e. transluminal, to examine or perform surgery on the interior parts of the body.Bacterial Toxins: Toxic substances formed in or elaborated by bacteria; they are usually proteins with high molecular weight and antigenicity; some are used as antibiotics and some to skin test for the presence of or susceptibility to certain diseases.Colon: The segment of LARGE INTESTINE between the CECUM and the RECTUM. It includes the ASCENDING COLON; the TRANSVERSE COLON; the DESCENDING COLON; and the SIGMOID COLON.Evaluation Studies as Topic: Studies determining the effectiveness or value of processes, personnel, and equipment, or the material on conducting such studies. For drugs and devices, CLINICAL TRIALS AS TOPIC; DRUG EVALUATION; and DRUG EVALUATION, PRECLINICAL are available.Cytomegalovirus Infections: Infection with CYTOMEGALOVIRUS, characterized by enlarged cells bearing intranuclear inclusions. Infection may be in almost any organ, but the salivary glands are the most common site in children, as are the lungs in adults.Polymerase Chain Reaction: In vitro method for producing large amounts of specific DNA or RNA fragments of defined length and sequence from small amounts of short oligonucleotide flanking sequences (primers). The essential steps include thermal denaturation of the double-stranded target molecules, annealing of the primers to their complementary sequences, and extension of the annealed primers by enzymatic synthesis with DNA polymerase. The reaction is efficient, specific, and extremely sensitive. Uses for the reaction include disease diagnosis, detection of difficult-to-isolate pathogens, mutation analysis, genetic testing, DNA sequencing, and analyzing evolutionary relationships.Prevalence: The total number of cases of a given disease in a specified population at a designated time. It is differentiated from INCIDENCE, which refers to the number of new cases in the population at a given time.Bacterial Proteins: Proteins found in any species of bacterium.Sensitivity and Specificity: Binary classification measures to assess test results. Sensitivity or recall rate is the proportion of true positives. Specificity is the probability of correctly determining the absence of a condition. (From Last, Dictionary of Epidemiology, 2d ed)Virulence Factors: Those components of an organism that determine its capacity to cause disease but are not required for its viability per se. Two classes have been characterized: TOXINS, BIOLOGICAL and surface adhesion molecules that effect the ability of the microorganism to invade and colonize a host. (From Davis et al., Microbiology, 4th ed. p486)Biopsy: Removal and pathologic examination of specimens in the form of small pieces of tissue from the living body.Disease Outbreaks: Sudden increase in the incidence of a disease. The concept includes EPIDEMICS and PANDEMICS.Chronic Disease: Diseases which have one or more of the following characteristics: they are permanent, leave residual disability, are caused by nonreversible pathological alteration, require special training of the patient for rehabilitation, or may be expected to require a long period of supervision, observation, or care. (Dictionary of Health Services Management, 2d ed)Intestine, Small: The portion of the GASTROINTESTINAL TRACT between the PYLORUS of the STOMACH and the ILEOCECAL VALVE of the LARGE INTESTINE. It is divisible into three portions: the DUODENUM, the JEJUNUM, and the ILEUM.Case-Control Studies: Studies which start with the identification of persons with a disease of interest and a control (comparison, referent) group without the disease. The relationship of an attribute to the disease is examined by comparing diseased and non-diseased persons with regard to the frequency or levels of the attribute in each group.Water Microbiology: The presence of bacteria, viruses, and fungi in water. This term is not restricted to pathogenic organisms.Retrospective Studies: Studies used to test etiologic hypotheses in which inferences about an exposure to putative causal factors are derived from data relating to characteristics of persons under study or to events or experiences in their past. The essential feature is that some of the persons under study have the disease or outcome of interest and their characteristics are compared with those of unaffected persons.DNA, Bacterial: Deoxyribonucleic acid that makes up the genetic material of bacteria.Antigens, Bacterial: Substances elaborated by bacteria that have antigenic activity.Risk Factors: An aspect of personal behavior or lifestyle, environmental exposure, or inborn or inherited characteristic, which, on the basis of epidemiologic evidence, is known to be associated with a health-related condition considered important to prevent.Intestinal Absorption: Uptake of substances through the lining of the INTESTINES.Infant, Newborn: An infant during the first month after birth.Questionnaires: Predetermined sets of questions used to collect data - clinical data, social status, occupational group, etc. The term is often applied to a self-completed survey instrument.