In the United States more than 61 million people suffer from chronic digestive diseases ranging from gastroesophageal reflux disease to cancer, and many millions more are afflicted by acute digestive disorders. An astounding 135 million cases of foodborne digestive diseases occurred in the year 2000. In less developed parts of the world diseases such as dysentery are a serious health risk and the second leading cause of death for children under the age of five. Written for medical personnel and lay people alike, The Encyclopedia of the Digestive System and Digestive Disorders is a complete guide to the complex functioning of the gastrointestinal and the various threats to good digestive health. Written in a concise yet comprehensive manner, more than 300 in-depth entries clearly describe the medical problems of the digestive system, normal digestive function, pathological problems, causes, treatments, and preventive measures. Important topics such as high-risk groups and variations in digestive disease among different ethnic and regional groups are also included for each entry.