Disorders of the Intestines, Rectum, and Anus

The intestines, rectum, and anus are exposed to infectious agents and toxins in food, and disorders resulting from these factors are common. Disorders may also be linked to diet, but in many other cases the cause is unknown. Many problems cause changes in the consistency of faeces and in the frequency of bowel movements.

The first article in this section covers irritable bowel syndrome, an extremely common disorder affecting about 2 in 10 people. Disorders that affect the body’s ability to absorb nutrients from food, such as malabsorption and lactose intolerance are described next. Two subsequent articles deal with the inflammatory bowel disorders Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. Digestive disorders that can affect the movement of the intestinal contents, such as hernias, are then discussed. The section also covers appendicitis and colorectal cancer, a common cause of death due to cancer in the UK. Disorders of the rectum and anus are described last.

Articles on diarrhoea and constipation can be found in the section that deals with general digestive and nutritional problems. Intestinal infections (see Infections and infestations) and intestinal disorders in children (see Infancy and childhood) are also covered elsewhere in the guide.

Key anatomy

For further information on the structure and function of the intestines, rectum, and anus, see Digestive System.

Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Malabsorption

Food Intolerance

Lactose Intolerance

Coeliac Disease

Crohn’s Disease

Ulcerative Colitis

Polyps in the Colon

Hernias

Intestinal Obstruction

Diverticular Disease

Appendicitis

Peritonitis

Colorectal Cancer

Proctitis

Rectal Prolapse

Haemorrhoids

Anal Abscess

Anal Fissure

Anal Itching

Anal Cancer

From the 2010 revision of the Complete Home Medical Guide © Dorling Kindersley Limited.

The subjects, conditions and treatments covered in this encyclopaedia are for information only and may not be covered by your insurance product should you make a claim.

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