Diseases & Conditions

At every step of the way during your treatment, care and recovery, you’ll have support from a dedicated patient guide. With compassion and respect, Houston Northwest Medical Center caregivers aim to provide you with every aspect of care that you need.

Bowel Obstruction

This condition occurs when the small or large intestine becomes partially or entirely blocked. The blockage can interfere with the normal process of digestion and cause severe abdominal pain.

Celiac Disease

Celiac disease is an autoimmune disorder in which sufferers are not able to ingest gluten without damaging the small intestine. Over time, this causes the body not to properly absorb nutrients.


Constipation is defined as difficulty in emptying the bowels and/or infrequent bowel movements. It can include abdominal pain, small stools, hard stools and sometimes rectal bleeding. The length of time between bowel movements varies from person to person, but three or more days without one typically requires attention.

Crohn's Disease

This inflammatory bowel disease affects the lining of the digestive tract. It is characterized by flare-ups of severe abdominal pain, diarrhea, rectal bleeding, weight loss and fatigue.


This term describes bowel movements that are loose and watery. Diarrhea is common and typically not serious. It is often caused by an infection or virus, but can also be a symptom of certain irritable bowel conditions.


Diverticula are small pouches that bulge outward from the large intestine. Their presence, which may be caused by a low-fiber diet, creates the condition called diverticulosis. Diverticulitis occurs when the diverticula become inflamed or infected and cause abdominal pain, nausea and fever.


Gallstones occur when hardened pieces of bile – or digestive fluid – form in the gallbladder. The blockages cause steady pain in the right upper abdomen.

Heartburn/Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)

The acronym GERD refers to gastroesophageal reflux disease. This digestive disorder affects the ring of muscle between the esophagus and stomach and causes the return of the stomach’s contents back into the esophagus – leading to heartburn.


Hemorrhoids are one or more swollen and inflamed veins at the site of the anal canal and can be either internal or external. They are created by pressure inside the canal, either during pregnancy or because of straining during bowel movements. They typically cause rectal pain, itching and bleeding.

Inflammatory Bowel Disease

IBD is the chronic inflammation of all or a portion of the digestive tract. It impacts the colon as well as the large intestine; many with Crohn's disease suffer from this condition.

Irritable Bowel Syndrome

IBS is an intestinal disorder that causes bloating, gas, stomach pain, constipation and diarrhea. This disorder commonly affects the large intestine and can be caused by certain foods or stress.

Peptic Ulcer Disease

This condition refers to painful ulcers that line the esophagus, stomach and small intestine. The most common symptom associated with this condition is a burning sensation after meals.

Ulcertive Colitis

This condition is a chronic, inflammatory disease of the large intestine – also known as the colon. The colon becomes inflamed with tiny open ulcers, which cause pain and bloody diarrhea.