The gastrointestinal (GI) tract (digestive tract) is made up of the esophagus, stomach, large and small intestines, liver, pancreas, and the gallbladder. A disease of these organs may be acute or chronic.

Chronic Gastrointestinal Diseases

Risk Factors

  • Diet low in fiber or high in dairy
  • Physical inactivity
  • Stress


Many diseases in the GI tract can be prevented or minimized by:

  • Colon cancer screening (age 50 years and older)
  • Maintaining a healthy lifestyle
  • Practicing good bowel habits


The CDC recommends that all adults keep their vaccinations up to date. Childhood immunizations may wear off after time and need a “booster shot,” and you are at risk for other diseases as an adult.

All adults need:

  • Influenza – recommended every year, age 6 months and older
  • Tdap – (if an adult did not receive it as an adolescent to protect against pertussis (whooping cough), and then a Td (tetanus, diphtheria) booster shot every 10 years.

Additionally, the CDC recommends the following vaccines for adults suffering from some types of GI disorder (talk to your doctor about which vaccines are right for you):