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Survivorship Guide for Bone Marrow/Stem Cell Transplant
Gastrointestinal Tract (Gut) GVHD
Your gastrointestinal tract or gut is the system that digests and absorbs food and then expels waste matter. The gut also contains many immune system cells and serves to protect the body from infection. When the cells that line the gut are damaged by GVHD, they are less able to absorb nutrients and to protect the body from infection. The symptoms of gut GVHD vary based on where in the gut the disease occurs and on the severity of the GVHD. Symptoms may include difficulty swallowing, heartburn, nausea, vomiting, abdominal cramps, poor absorption of nutrients, problems with gut motility, weight loss, and diarrhea.
Gut GVHD affects not only the absorption of foods but also absorption of medications. If you have GI symptoms, it is very important for you to consult with a knowledgeable physician and to get nutritional counseling.
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