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Small Bowel Disorders

There are numerous types of disorders affecting the small intestine. Some conditions affect the way food is digested and absorbed within the body. Others are caused by inflammation, ulcers or infection. Small bowel problems can lead to further complications if left untreated, so it is crucial to see a doctor if you suffer from symptoms.

Small bowel disorders include:

  • Crohn’s disease of the ileum
  • Regional enteritis
  • Obscure bleeding
  • Iron deficiency anemia
  • Malabsorption
  • Celiac disease
  • Gluten disorders
  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Functional gastrointestinal disorders
  • Antibiotic associated diarrhea

Signs and symptoms of small bowel disorders

Signs and symptoms of bowel disorders differ between bowel disorders. You likely feel discomfort around the abdomen, rectum and lower belly. Symptoms may include:

  • Diarrhea
  • Constipation
  • Swollen, painful belly
  • Gas
  • Vomiting
  • Blood in your stool or vomit
  • Sudden weight loss

Diagnosis of small bowel disorders

Numerous tools are used to diagnose bowel disorders including:

  • Advanced imaging including CT scan and MRI
  • Colonoscopy
  • Less-invasive testing. Blood tests are available to help with a diagnosis. The Fecal Immunochemical Test (FIT) is a newer version of the fecal occult blood test (FOBT) that detects minute traces of blood in the stool.
  • Blood test
  • Small bowel follow-through. Used to check the small intestine; x-rays are taken at regular intervals during a barium swallow test as the solution passes through the intestines
  • Capsule endoscopy. The capsule – the size and shape of a vitamin— is swallowed by the patient and contains a tiny camera which is used to record images of the small intestine. A capsule endoscopy is performed to provide an enhanced view of the upper digestive tract which may not be visible with a traditional endoscopy. Summa is proud to provide capsule endoscopy – a procedure offered by Somia Z. Mian, M.D.

If a patient requires an endoscopy, they will have access to Summa’s advanced endoscopy suite located on the Summa Health System – Akron Campus.

Treatment of small bowel disorders

Various treatments are available to treat bowel disorders, including medication, nutritional supplements, surgery or a combination of these options. Other disorders, such as functional gastrointestinal disorders, will have the support of Summa’s behavioral health department.


Options to Request an Appointment

If your situation is an emergency, call 911.