Life with a GI Disorder

The digestive system is made up of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract, liver, pancreas and gallbladder. The GI tract includes the mouth, esophagus, stomach, small intestine, large intestine and anus. Food is delivered to the GI tract to be broken down or digested and absorbed as nutrients. The nutrients then travel throughout the body to help with maintenance and repair. When food and liquids can’t be adequately delivered to or digested and absorbed in the GI tract, malnutrition occurs, leading to ill health.

Some people have conditions or GI disorders that prevent their GI tract from functioning as it should, so they can't adequately digest and absorb essential nutrients from the foods or liquids they have consumed.

GI disorders can be associated with many different conditions, such as:

  • Surgical changes in your GI tract anatomy, such as reduced bowel length
  • Inability of your body to keep feed moving through the GI tract (motility issues)
  • A condition or illness that affects the body's ability to break down nutrients, such as pancreatitis, cystic fibrosis or exocrine pancreatic insufficiency
  • Bowel disease that impairs absorption such as Inflammatory Bowel Disease

GI disorders vary greatly and are typically identified by the area of the GI tract in which they occur.

Types of GI Disorders

Below is a brief explanation of possible conditions in each area:

Below is a brief explanation of some of the categories. Be sure to discuss your condition with your doctor.

Upper GI Disorders

Affect the upper area in the digestive tract, from the esophagus to the stomach. Well-known examples of upper GI disorders include GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease) and gastroparesis. It can also include Crohn's disease of the stomach.

Lower GI Disorders

Affect the lower area of the digestive tract, from the small intestine/bowel to the large intestine/bowel to the rectum. Examples of lower GI disorders may include IBD (inflammatory bowel disease encompassing Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis), celiac disease, ramifications of cerebral palsy, cystic fibrosis or pancreatitis, short bowel syndrome, chronic diarrhea and malnutrition-related inflammation.

Gastrointestinal (GI) Motility Disorders

Conditions where food does not move through the gastrointestinal system at a normal rate. One example of a GI motility disorder is gastroparesis (delayed emptying of the stomach).

When you have a condition that leads to a GI disorder, consuming adequate nutrients by mouth may not be possible. Your doctor may prescribe a tube feeding.

Selecting the right tube feeding formula that your body can digest and absorb efficiently can make a big difference in optimally supporting health.

Nourishing your body with the nutrition it requires can give you the energy you need to embrace each day!

Explore Our Formulas

Peptamen® Adult Formulas

Peptamen® Adult Formulas

For adults and older children (age 14+) witih GI impairment, complete nutrition that's easy to absorb and digest.

Peptamen® Junior Formulas

Peptamen Junior® Formulas

For children ages 1-13 with GI impairment, complete nutrition that's easy to absorb and digest.