Digestive complaints are among the most common ailments in the United States. Americans suffer from a variety of gastrointestinal problems. These ailments cost $100 billion each year. The cost encompasses both direct costs and indirect costs. Direct costs are for things like doctor visits, medication and surgery. Indirect costs include costs for missed work and lost productivity.

There are 135 million cases of non-food-borne gastroenteritis each year. Gastro-esophageal reflux costs nearly $10 billion each year, with sufferers numbering 19 million.  There are 15 million cases of irritable bowel syndrome each year. Each year there are also 76 million cases of food-borne illness. Americans spend nearly $6 billion each year on gallbladder disease and almost $5 billion on colorectal cancer.