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Medical Dictionary - Digestive

AADantibiotic associated diarrhea
abdominal painDiscomfort, distress, or agony in the abdominal cavity. Can be acute or chronic. A significant clinical symptom.
abdominal quadrantsFour segments of the abdomen divided by horizontal and vertical lines intersecting at the umbilicus.
abdominal wallThe boundaries of the abdomen, consisting of multiple layers: skin, subcutaneous fat, superficial fascia, muscles, transversalis fascia, extra peritoneal fat, and the parietal peritoneum. Extends from the thoracic cage to the pelvis.
abdominoplastySurgical removal of excess abdominal skin and fat and tightening of the abdominal wall. Commonly called a tummy tuck.
acarboseA drug prescribed in treating type 2 diabetes mellitus. It retards the digestion of complex carbohydrates.
achlorhydriaAbsence of hydrochloric acid in gastric secretion.
aerophagiaExcessive swallowing of air.
aerophagyExcessive swallowing of air caused by anxiety or improper eating habits.
ageusiaLoss of the sense of taste.
alimentary canalThe passage for the digestion and absorption of food. Extends from mouth to anus.
amylaseA group of enzymes that help digest starches.
amyloseThe soluble constituent of starch.
an/oanus, ring
anal canalThe terminal segment of the large intestine ending at the anus.
anastomosisA surgical connection between two structures.
anorexia nervosaAn eating disorder characterized by a loss of appetite and an excessive fear of becoming overweight.
antacidsSubstances that neutralize acidity in the stomach.
anthelminticsAgents that destroy or prevent development of parasitic worms.
antidiarrhealA drug or food for treating diarrhea.
antiemeticsDrugs used to prevent nausea or vomiting.
anusThe distal opening of the alimentary canal, lying in the fold between the buttocks.
appendicitisAcute inflammation of the vermiform appendix.
appendixA worm-like blind tube extension from the cecum.
appetiteNatural recurring desire, e.g. for food.
ascitesAbnormal accumulation of free fluid within the peritoneal cavity.
ascorbic acidA water soluble compound. As vitamin C, it naturally occurs in citrus fruits and many vegetables.
aspartameArtificial sweeter, metabolized as phenylalanine and aspartic acid.
assimilationThe transformation of food into living tissue.
avitaminosisDisease caused by vitamin deficiency.
bariatric surgerySurgical procedures aimed at producing major weight reduction in patients with morbid obesity.
bariatricsActivities related to weight reduction in patients with obesity including diet, exercise, medication and surgery.
beriberiA disorder caused by a deficiency of thiamine (vitamin B1) and characterized by heart failure and edema.
bezoarA mass of swallowed hair, fruit or vegetable fibers, or similar substances found in the alimentary canal.
bil/ibile, gall
bileAn emulsifying fluid produced in the liver, stored in the gall bladder and secreted into the duodenum.
biliaryPertaining to bile, the gall bladder or bile ducts.
bilirubinThe orange-yellow pigment of bile.
biotinA water-soluble, enzyme co-factor present in minute amounts in every living cell. It is abundant in liver, kidney, pancreas, yeast, and milk.
BMbowel movement
BMIbody mass index
body mass indexA formula for determining obesity based upon a person's weight and height.
bolusA soft mass of chewed food ready to be swallowed.
botulismA rare, but potentially fatal form of food poisoning caused by the bacterium Clostridium botulinum.
bulimiaEating an excess amount of food in a short period of time. It is caused by an abnormal craving for food.
Bulimia NervosaAn eating disorder characterized by binge eating followed by inappropriate purging (e.g. vomiting or using laxatives) to avoid weight gain.
butterThe fatty part of milk, separated when milk or cream is churned. A soft, solid, yellowish substance.
cachexiaGeneral ill health, malnutrition, and weight loss, usually associated with chronic disease.
caffeineAn alkaloid drug, found in coffee and tea that simulates the central nervous system increasing alertness. It is also a diuretic.
CAHchronic active hepatitis
Callarge calorie
capsule endoscopesA pill sized video camera encased in a capsule, designed to be swallowed and subsequently traverse the gastrointestinal tract while transmitting diagnostic images.
carbohydratesThe largest class of organic compounds, including starch, glycogen, cellulose, polysaccharides, and simple monosaccharides. They constitute a main source of energy for body functions.
cardiaThat part of the stomach close to the opening from esophagus into the stomach. The cardia is so named because of its closeness to the heart.
caroteneA red or yellow organic compound found in sweet potatoes, egg yolk, carrots, spinach, broccoli and other leafy vegetables.
caseinA nutritive milk protein containing all of the common amino acids and rich in the essential ones.
cec/ocecum, first section of colon
cecumThe outpouching area of the large intestine that is below the entrance of the small intestine. It has a worm-like extension, the vermiform appendix.
celiacPertaining to the abdominal cavity.
celiac diseaseA disease whose symptoms are precipitated by foods containing gluten, characterized by inflammation of the small intestine. An autoimmune disease.
celluloseThe chief constituent of plant fiber. Indigestible roughage.
chol/ebile, gall
cholangi/obile vessel
cholangitisInflammation of the bile ducts due to bacterial infection or blockage.
cholecystitisInflammation of the gallbladder.
choledoch/ocommon bile duct
cholelithiasisPresence or formation of gallstones in the gallbladder.
choleraAn acute diarrheal disease endemic in India and Southeast Asia.
cholestasisImpairment of bile flow.
chyleThe opaque, milky-white fluid consisting mainly of emulsified fats that passes through the lacteals of the small intestines into the lymphatic system.
chylothoraxAn accumulation of chyle in the pleural space.
cirrhosisA chronic, progressive liver disease in which liver cells are replaced by scar tissue.
colitisInflammation of the colon.
colonThe main segment of large intestine.
colonoscopyEndoscopic examination, therapy or surgery of the luminal surface of the colon.
colorectal cancerA malignant neoplasm of the large intestine.
colostomyThe surgical construction of an opening between the colon and the surface of the body.
constipationInfrequent or difficult evacuation of feces.
cravingAn intense desire to consume a substance.
Crohn diseaseChronic inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract thought to be caused by inherited and environmental factors and a defect in the immune system.
CUCchronic ulcerative colitis
D&Vdiarrhea & vomiting
diarrheaThe onset of three or more loose or liquid bowel movements in a day.
dietary fiberIndigestible carbohydrate materials. Can be soluble or insoluble in water.
dieteticPertaining to food and nutrition.
digestionThe process of converting food into absorbable substances for metabolism and use by the body.
digestive systemA group of structures, organs and glands stretching from the mouth to the anus, that breakdown food substances, absorb nutrients and remove waste.
diverticulitisAn inflammation in the diverticula of the intestinal tract.
diverticulosisThe presence of multiple pouches, usually in the colonic or gastric wall.
diverticulumA pouch or sac developed from a tubular or saccular organ, such as the gastrointestinal tract.
DREdigital rectal examination
duodenitisInflammation of the duodenum section of the small intestine.
duodenumThe proximal (first) portion of the small intestine, extending from the pylorus to the jejunum.
dysenteryAcute inflammation of the intestine marked by frequent watery stools, often with blood and by pain, fever, and dehydration.
dyspepsiaImpaired digestion, especially after eating.
dysphagiaDifficulty in swallowing.
EGFepidermal growth factor
electrolyteA substances that dissociates into two or more ions and can then conduct an electric current.
eliminationRemoval of waste products from the body.
emeticsPertaining to or causing vomiting.
encopresisThe loss of the ability to control bowel movements.
enemaA solution or compound that is introduced into the rectum with the purpose of cleansing the colon or for diagnostic procedures.
enter/osmall intestines
enteritisInflammation of any segment of the small intestine.
enterocolitisInflammation of the mucous membrane of both small and large intestines.
enterocytesColumnar cells of the small intestine responsible for the final digestion and absorption of nutrients, electrolytes and water.
enterostomyCreation of an artificial external opening or fistula in the intestines.
epiglott/oepiglottis (cartilage that prevents food from entering the trachea)
epulisA swelling on the gum.
ERCPendoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography
eructationTo belch.
esophageal achalasiaFailure of the lower esophageal sphincter to relax, resulting in functional obstruction of the esophagus, and dysphagia.
esophageal varicesAbnormally dilated veins of the esophagus. High risk of spontaneous bleeding. Associated with alcohol abuse.
esophagitisInflammation of the esophagus.
esophagusThe muscular membranous passage between the pharynx and the stomach in the upper gastrointestinal tract.
eustachian tubeA narrow canal extending from the middle ear to the pharynx.
fecesExcrement from the intestines, containing unabsorbed solids, waste products, secretions, and bacteria.
flatulenceProduction of gas in the gastrointestinal tract which may be expelled through the anus.
gallbladderA reservoir for bile located under the right lobe of the liver.
gallstoneA hard mass that precipitates in the biliary tract, usually in the gallbladder.
gastralgiaPain in the stomach or abdomen
gastrectomyExcision of part or all of the stomach.
gastricPertaining to the stomach.
gastric absorptionUptake of substances via the stomach.
gastritisThe painful inflammation of the stomach's lining.
gastroenteritisInflammation of the gastrointestinal tract.
gastroenterologyA subspecialty of medicine concerned with diseases of the digestive system and related structures including the esophagus, liver, gallbladder, and pancreas.
gastrointestinal tractGenerally refers to the digestive structures stretching from the mouth to anus, but does not include the accessory glandular organs (liver; biliary tract; pancreas).
gastroparesisChronic delayed gastric emptying.
gastrostomyCreation of an artificial external opening into the stomach for nutritional support or gastrointestinal compression.
gavageForced feeding a patient especially through a tube passed into the stomach
GERDgastroesophageal reflux disease
gingivitisInflammation of gum tissue.
gleason scoreA method of classifying malignancy of prostate cancers.
glossitisInflammation of the tongue.
glycemic indexA numerical system of measuring the rate of blood glucose generation from a particular food item.
glycemic loadA quantitative value of a measured amount of a specific food that is equal to the glycemic index of that food multiplied by the carbohydrate content of that food.
glycineA non-essential amino acid that is a major component of gelatin and silk fibroin. It used therapeutically as a nutrient.
HAVhepatitis A virus
HBVhepatitis B virus
HCVhepatitis C virus
HDVhepatitis D
heartburnSubsternal pain or burning sensation, usually associated with regurgitation of gastric juice into the esophagus.
hematemesisVomiting blood.
hemorrhoidsSwollen veins in the lower part of the rectum or anus.
hepaticPertaining to the liver.
hepatitisInflammation of the liver caused by viral agents.
hepatoblastomaA malignant neoplasm occurring in young children, primarily in the liver,
hepatocytesA parenchymal liver cell.
hepatomaA malignant tumor of the liver
hepatomegalyHaving an enlarged liver.
herpes labialisCold sores caused by herpes simplex I.
hyperemesis gravidarumSevere, intractable vomiting during early pregnancy. Often needs IV fluids and anti nausea agents.
IBDinflammatory bowel disease
IBSirritable bowel syndrome
IBWideal body weight
ile/oileum (final section of small intestine)
ileectomySurgical removal of the ileum.
ileitisInflammation of any segment of the ileum.
ileostomyA surgical construction of an opening into the ileum on the abdominal wall.
ileumThe distal and narrowest portion of the small intestine, between the jejunum and the ileocecal valve of the large intestine.
IleusImpairment of the normal flow of the intestinal contents within the bowel.
intestinesThe section of the alimentary canal from the stomach to the anal canal.
intussusceptionThe movement of a bowel segment into an adjacent segment in the manner of a telescope. The condition is commonest in children.
inulinA starch found in the tubers and roots of many plants. It is used as a diagnostic aid in tests of kidney function
jaundiceYellowing of the skin and eyes due to excessive bilirubin in body
jejun/ojejunum (second part of the small intestines)
jejunalPertaining to the jejunum
jejunumPart of the small intestine, connecting the duodenum to the ileum.
labi/olips, labia
labial mucosaThe inner lining of the lips.
lactaseAn enzyme secreted by the small intestine glands that convert lactose into glucose and galactose.
lactic acidA organic acid produced by anaerobic respiration, by fermentation of carbohydrates in the rumen and by bacterial action on milk.
lactoseThe main sugar of milk consisting of one molecule each of glucose and galactose.
lapar/oabdominal wall
laxativeAgents that produce a soft formed stool and relax the bowels, used to relieve constipation.
leukoplakiaA white patch lesion found on a mucous membrane that cannot be scraped off.
LFTliver function test
LGIlower gastrointestinal
lingualPertaining to or near the tongue.
lipolysisThe metabolic process of breaking down of fat.
-lithiasispresence of stones
lysineAn essential amino acid.
malabsorptionInadequate intestinal absorption of nutrients.
malnutritionA condition caused by insufficient intake of nutrients.
-masesischewing, mastication
masticationThe process of chewing and grinding food in the mouth.
megacolonExtreme dilatation of the colon.
melenaThe black, tarry, foul-smelling feces that contain degraded blood.
meli-honey, sugar
mesentericRelating to the double layer of peritoneum suspending the intestine from the posterior abdominal wall.
mesenteryA double layer of peritoneum that encloses the intestines and attaches them to the posterior abdominal wall.
mucositisAn inflammation of a mucous membrane, such as the lining of the mouth and throat.
N&Vnausea and vomiting
nauseaAn unpleasant sensation in the stomach accompanied by the inclination to vomit.
norovirusA virus associated with epidemic gastroenteritis.
nutri/oto nourish
obesityBeing too heavy for one's height.
obstipationSevere constipation caused by obstruction in the intestines.
odynophagiaPainful swallowing.
omentumA double-layered fold of peritoneum that attaches the stomach to other organs in the abdominal cavity.
oralPertaining to the mouth.
oral hygieneThe practice of personal hygiene of the mouth. It includes the maintenance of oral cleanliness, tissue tone, and general preservation of oral health.
oropharynxThe middle portion of the pharynx that lies posterior to the mouth, inferior to the soft palate, and superior to the base of the tongue and epiglottis.
-osea carbohydrate
ostomySurgery to create an artificial opening (stoma) into the urinary or gastrointestinal canal.
pancreasAn irregularly shaped gland, located behind the stomach, that secretes pancreatic juice into the duodenum and insulin, glucagon, and somatostatin into the bloodstream.
pancreatectomyRemoval of the pancreas.
parotid glandEither of the pair of salivary glands that lie on the sides of the face immediately below and in front of the ear.
parotitisInflammation of the parotid gland.
pectenThe middle, narrow zone in the anal canal.
PEGpercutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy
pellagraA disease characterized by scaly dermatitis, diarrhea and dementia caused by a deficiency of niacin and protein in the diet.
peptic ulcerUlcer that occurs in the regions of the gastrointestinal tract which come into contact with gastric juice.
perihepatitisInflammation of the peritoneal capsule of the liver
peristalsisA movement, caused by sequential muscle contraction, that pushes the contents of the intestines or other tubular organs in one direction.
peritone/operitoneum (serous membrane lining the abdominal cavity)
peritoneal absorptionUptake of substances from the peritoneal cavity.
peritoneal cavityThe space enclosed by the peritoneum. It is divided into two portions, the greater sac and the lesser sac or omental bursa, which lies behind the STOMACH. The two sacs are connected by the foramen of Winslow, or epiploic foramen.
-phagiaeating, swallowing
polypAbnormal tissue mass that protrudes into the lumen of the digestive or respiratory tracts.
polypsDiscrete abnormal tissue masses that protrude into the lumen of the digestive tract or the respiratory tract.
portal veinA vein that conducts blood from the digestive organs, spleen, pancreas, and gallbladder to the liver.
-posiadrinking, fluid intake
postprandialAfter a meal.
prebioticsIndigestible food ingredients that promote overall health by supporting the activity of probiotic bacteria in the large intestine.
proct/oanus and rectum
proctocolitisInflammation of the rectum and the colon.
proctoscopeEndoscope for examination of the rectum and anus.
proteolysisThe decomposition of proteins into peptides and amino acids by enzymes in the digestive tract.
PUDpeptic ulcer disease
pylor/opylorus (opening between the stomach and duodenum)
pylorusThe region of the stomach at the junction with the duodenum.
pyrosisSubsternal pain or burning sensation, usually associated with regurgitation of gastric juice into the esophagus. Also called heartburn.
RDArecommended daily/dietary allowance
rectumThe distal segment of the large intestine, between the sigmoid colon and the anal canal.
retentionThe ability of the digestive system to hold fluids and food.
riboflavinVitamin B2.
salivaThe clear, viscous fluid secreted by the salivary glands and mucous glands of the mouth. It serves to moisten the oral cavity, to initiate the digestion of starches, and to aid in the chewing and swallowing of food.
salivary ductsAny of the ducts which transport saliva.
salivary glandsGlands that secrete saliva in the mouth. There are three pairs of salivary glands: parotid gland; sublingual gland and submandibular gland.
salmonellaA genus of gram-negative, rod-shaped bacteria. It causes food poisoning, enteric fevers, gastroenteritis, and bacteremia.
SBsmall bowel
SBOsmall bowel obstruction
scurvyAn acquired blood vessel disorder caused by severe deficiency of vitamin C, characterized by spongy, bleeding gums, bleeding under the skin, and extreme weakness.
sialaden/osalivary gland
sialadenitisInflammation of a salivary gland.
sialorrheaExcessive salivary flow.
sigmoidThe distal part of the colon from the level of the iliac crest to the rectum.
sigmold/osigmoid colon
sito-bread, food
stomachA saclike digestive organ situated in the left upper quadrant of the abdomen between the termination of the esophagus and the beginning of the duodenum.
stomach ulcerUlceration of the gastric mucosa due to contact with gastric juice.
stomatitisInflammation of the soft tissues of the mouth. Canker sores are an example.
stoolFeces discharged from the anus.
sublingual glandA salivary gland located under the tongue in the floor of the oral cavity.
sucroseCane or beet sugar.
supraglottitisInflammation of the of the laryngeal tissue above the glottis, particularly the epiglottis.
tenesmusA straining but ineffective attempt to urinate or defecate.
tongueA muscular organ in the mouth that is covered with pink tissue called mucosa, tiny bumps called papillae, and thousands of taste buds. It is vital for chewing, swallowing and for speech.
TPNtotal parenteral nutrition
-tresiaperforation, opening
trismusLack of ability to open the mouth fully due to decreased range of motion of the muscles of mastication.
-trophicfood, nutrition
typhlitisInflammation of the cecum.
typhoid feverAn acute bacterial infection transmitted by contaminated water, milk or other foods, especially shellfish.
uran/ohard palate
uvulaA fleshy extension at the back of the soft palate that hangs above the opening of the throat.
vomitingThe forcible expulsion of the contents of the stomach through the mouth.
weaningThe replacement of mother's milk in the diet of a young child with other food.
wheyThe liquid components of milk that remain after the casein, fat, and fat soluble components have been removed.

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