Disability & Life Insurance and ERISA Attorneys
Doing What’s Right For Greater Colorado and the Rocky Mountain Region
Disability & Life Insurance and ERISA Attorneys
Doing What’s Right For Greater Colorado and the Rocky Mountain Region

Abdominal Adhesions

Abdominal adhesions are bands of scar tissue that form between abdominal tissues and organs, causing them to stick together. These vary from a consistency of wet tissue paper, which are of little significance, to a strong, fibrous band that can readily cause obstruction. Normally, internal tissues and organs have slippery surfaces, which allow them to shift easily as the body moves. Adhesions cause tissues and organs to stick together.

Although most adhesions go unnoticed, the most common symptom is chronic abdominal or pelvic pain. The pain often mimics that of other conditions, including appendicitis, endometriosis, and diverticulitis.

William C. Shiel, M.D., Abdominal Adhesions (Scar Tissue in the Abdomen), Medicine Net, https://www.medicinenet.com/abdominal_adhesions_scar_tissue/article.htm#facts

Alcohol Hepatitis

Alcoholic Hepatitis a syndrome of progressive inflammatory liver injury associated with long-term heavy intake of ethanol. Patients with severe acute alcoholic hepatitis are at a high risk of early death, at a rate of 50% or greater within 30 days. Patients with severe alcoholic hepatitis may benefit over the short term from specific therapies directed toward reducing liver injury, enhancing hepatic regeneration, and suppressing inflammation. For the long-term, the goals include improvement in liver function, prevention of progression to cirrhosis, and reduction of mortality

Alcoholic Hepatitis. Medscape. https://emedicine.medscape.com/article/170539-overview

Chronic Gastritis

Gastritis describes a group of conditions with one thing in common, inflammation of the lining of the stomach. The inflammation of gastritis is most often the result of infection with the same bacterium that causes most stomach ulcers.

Symptoms include gnawing or burning ache or pain in the upper abdomen that may become either worse or better with eating, nausea, vomiting, a feeling of fullness in the upper abdomen.


Chronic Pancreatitis

Chronic pancreatitis is long-standing inflammation of the pancreas that results in irreversible deterioration of the pancreatic structure and function. It has no clear idiopathic cause. However, some connections to the disease have been found with hereditary predisposition, hyperparathyroidism, and an obstruction of the pancreatic duct caused by a narrowing of the duct, gallstones, or cancer.  Rarely, an attack of severe acute pancreatitis makes the pancreatic duct so narrow that chronic pancreatitis results.

Symptoms of chronic pancreatitis may be identical to those of acute pancreatitis and generally fall into two patterns.  In one pattern, a person has persistent mid abdominal pain that varies in intensity.  In this pattern, a complication of chronic pancreatitis, such as an inflammatory mass, a cyst, or even pancreatic cancer, is more likely.  In the second pattern, a person has intermittent flare-ups (bouts or attacks) of pancreatitis with symptoms similar to those of mild to moderate acute pancreatitis.  The pain sometimes is severe and lasts for many hours or several days.  With either pattern, as chronic pancreatitis progresses, cells that secrete the digestive enzymes are slowly destroyed.

Chronic Pancreatitis, Hallmark Health Medical Associates, https://hhma.org/healthadvisor/aha-chpan-crs/ 


Cirrhosis is a late stage of scarring (fibrosis) of the liver caused by many forms of liver diseases and conditions, such as hepatitis and chronic alcoholism. . Cirrhosis occurs in response to damage to your liver. Each time the liver is injured, it tries to repair itself. In the process, scar tissue forms. As cirrhosis progresses, more and more scar tissue forms, making it difficult for the liver to function. Decompensated cirrhosis is the term used to describe the development of specific complications resulting from the changes brought on by cirrhosis. Decompensated cirrhosis is life-threatening. The liver damage done by cirrhosis generally cannot be undone. But if liver cirrhosis is diagnosed early and the cause is treated, further damage can be limited and, rarely, reversed.

Cirrhosis. Mayo Clinic. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/cirrhosis/symptoms-causes/syc-20351487

Crohn’s Disease

Crohn’s disease is a chronic inflammatory condition of the gastrointestinal tract. People with Crohn’s disease have excruciating abdominal pain, rectal bleeding, urgency to move bowels, and severe diarrhea. Other symptoms include fever, loss of appetite, fatigue, night sweats, and weight loss. The disease can involve different areas of the digestive tract in difference people.

Crohn’s disease commonly affects the end of the small bowel, the ileum, and the beginning of the colon, but it can range throughout any part of the GI tract. People with Crohn’s disease often have a difficult time in the work environment because of the need to always be near a bathroom, and the severe abdominal cramping. The amount of time spent in the bathroom can be anywhere from 10 minutes per hour to thirty or forty minutes per hour, which is not conductive to employment.

Crohn’s Disease, Mayo Clinic (Mar. 8, 2018), https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/crohns-disease/symptoms-causes/syc-20353304


Pressure within the colon causes bulging pockets or sacs of tissue (diverticula) that push out from the colonic walls.  The condition of having these diverticula in the colon is called diverticulosis; whereas, diverticulitis is a condition in which diverticula in the colon rupture. The rupture results in infection in the tissues that surround the colon.  The most common symptoms of diverticular disease include: abdominal cramping, constipation, and diarrhea.  These symptoms are related to difficulty in passing stool through the left colon, which is narrowed by diverticular disease


Duodenal Obstruction

Duodenal obstruction is a partial or complete obstruction of the first part of the small intestine – the duodenum.  Obstruction prevents the normal passage of stomach contents into the duodenum and keeps the gallbladder and pancreas from draining their secretions.  Duodenal obstruction can lead to problems with digestion, nutrition, and fluid balance.  If the duodenum is obstructed, it can lead to a bacterial infection of the peritoneal tissue lining the intestines and abdomen.  Fluid accumulation will lead to vomiting and can also result in dehydration.

Duodenal Obstruction: Definition and Patient Education, Health Line, www.healthline.com


Enteritis is the inflammation of your small intestine. In some cases, the inflammation can also involve the stomach (gastritis) and large intestine (colitis). There are various types of enteritis. The most common are, viral or bacterial infection, radiation induced, medication induced, alcohol or drug induced, enteritis related to poor blood flow, enteritis related to inflammatory conditions, such as Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis.

Symptoms of enteritis can include fever, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal pain. Viral enteritis usually clears up without treatment in a few days. However, if you have symptoms of enteritis for more than three or four days, or you suspect that you have bacterial enteritis, seek medical attention.

Pietrangelo, Ann. Enteritis. https://www.healthline.com/health/enteritis

Epiploic Appendagitis

Epiploic appendagitis is a benign and self-limited condition that occurs secondary to torsion of the epiploic appendages.  Each appendage encloses small branches of the circular artery and vein that supply the corresponding segment of the colon.  Subserosal lymphatic channels either terminate in a lymph node within an appendage or loop through its base en route to mesenteric nodes.  Patients most commonly present with acute abdominal pain


Esophageal Dysphagia

Esophageal dysphagia refers to the sensation of food sticking or getting hung up in the base of your throat or in your chest after you’ve started to swallow. Signs and symptoms associated with dysphagia may include: having pain wile swallowing, being unable to swallow, having the sensation of food getting stuck in your throat, drooling, being hoarse, bringing food back up, having frequent heartburn, having food or stomach acid back up into your throat, unexpectedly losing weight, and coughing or gagging when swallowing.

Some of the causes of esophageal dysphagia include: achalasia, diffuse spasm, esophageal stricture, esophageal tumors, foreign bodies, esophageal ring, GERD, eosinophilic esophagitis, scleroderma, radiation therapy. Difficulty swallowing can lead to malnutrition, weight loss, dehydration, aspiration pneumonia, and choking.

Dysphagia, Mayo Clinic (Feb. 3, 2018), https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/dysphagia/symptoms-causes/syc-20372028

Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)

GERD is a chronic digestive disease. GERD happens when a muscle at the end of your esophagus does not close properly. GERD occurs when stomach acid or, occasionally, stomach content, flows back into your food pipe (esophagus). The backwash (reflux) irritates the lining of your esophagus and causes GERD. Both acid reflux and heartburn are common digestive conditions that many people experience from time to time. When these signs and symptoms occur at least twice each week or interfere with your daily life, or when your doctor can see damage to your esophagus, you may be diagnosed with GERD.  Most people can manage the discomfort of GERD with lifestyle changes and over-the-counter medications. But some people with GERD may need stronger medications, or even surgery, to reduce symptoms.

Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD), Mayo Clinic (Mar. 9, 2018), https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/gerd/symptoms-causes/syc-20361940


Gastroparesis or delayed gastric emptying, is a condition in which the muscles in your stomach don’t function normally or work at all.  This prevents your stomach from emptying properly.  Gastroparesis can interfere with digestion, cause nausea and vomiting, and cause problems with blood sugar levels and nutrition.

Symptoms include vomiting, nausea, a feeling of fullness after eating just a few bites, abdominal bloating, heartburn or gastroesophageal reflux, changes in blood sugar levels, lack of appetite, weight loss and malnutrition. It’s not always clear what leads to gastroparesis.  But in many cases, gastroparesis is believed to be caused by damage to a nerve that controls the stomach muscles(vagus nerve).

Gastroparesis, Mayo Clinic (Mar. 8, 2018), https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/gastroparesis/symptoms-causes/syc-20355787

Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)

IBS is a common disorder that affects the large intestine. Signs and symptoms include cramping, abdominal pain, bloating, gas, and diarrhea or constipation, or both. IBS is a chronic condition that you’ll need to manage long-term.

The precise cause of IBS is unknow. Factors that appear to plat a role include: muscle contractions in the intestine, abnormalities in the nerves in your digestive system, inflammation in the intestines, severe infection, and changes in bacteria in the gut. Symptoms of IBS can be triggered by food, stress, and hormones.

Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Mayo Clinic (Mar. 17, 2018), https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/irritable-bowel-syndrome/symptoms-causes/syc-20360016

Rectal Prolapse

Rectal prolapse occurs when part of the large intestine’s lowest section (rectum) slips outside the muscular opening at the end of the digestive tract (anus). The prolapsed rectum can cause fecal incontinence. Rectal prolapse can be sometimes treated with stool softeners, suppositories, and other medications. Surgery is usually needed to treat rectal prolapse.

Rectal Prolapse, Mayo Clinic (July 8, 2017), https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/rectal-prolapse/symptoms-causes/syc-20352837

Ulcerative Colitis

Ulcerative colitis is an inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) that causes long-lasting inflammation and ulcers (sores) in your digestive tract. Ulcerative colitis affects the innermost lining of your large intestine (colon) and rectum. Symptoms usually develop over time, rather than suddenly. Ulcerative colitis can be debilitating and sometimes can lead to life-threatening complications.

Doctors often classify ulcerative colitis according to its location. Types of ulcerative colitis include: ulcerative proctitis, proctosigmoiditis, left-sided colitis, pancolitis, and acute severe ulcerative colitis.

Ulcerative Colitis, Mayo Clinic (Mar. 8, 2018), https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/ulcerative-colitis/symptoms-causes/syc-20353326

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