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Chabner, Language of Medicine 7th ed Chapter 5 Pathology of the Digestive System

symptom/pathological conditionDefinitionEtiology
anorexia lack of appetite often a sign of malignancy or liver disease
anorexia nervosa lack of appetite caused by emotional problems such as anger,anxiety, & fear
ascites abnormal accumulation of fluid in the abdomen can be a symptom of neoplasm or inflammatory disorders in the abdomen, venous hypertension (high BP) caused by liver disease, and heart failure.
borborygmus rumbling or gurgling noise produced by movement of gas, fluid, or both in the GI tract A sign of hyperactive intestinal peristalsis, borborygmi are often present in cases of gastroenteritis & diarrhea
constipation difficulty in passing stools (feces) when peristalsis is slow; stools are dry & hard. A diet of fruit, vegetables, & water is helpful. Laxatives & cathartics are medications to promote movement of stools.
diarrhea frequent passage of loose, watery stools abrupt onset of diarrhea immediately after eating suggests acute infection or toxin in the GI tract. Untreated severe diarrhea may lead to dehydration.
dysphagia difficulty in swallowing This sensation occures when a swallowed bolus fails to progress, either because of a physical obstruction or because a motor disorder in which esophageal peristalsis is not properly coordinated.
odynophagia painful swallowing painful swallowing
eructation gas expelled from the stomach through the mouth eructation produces a characteristic sound and is also called belching
flatus gas expelled through the anus flatulence is the presence of excessive gas in both the stomach and the intestines
hematochezia passage of bright, fresh, red blood from the rectum The cause of hematochezia is usually bleeding from colitis, ulcers, or polyps in the colon or rectum
jaundice yellow-orange coloration of the skin & other tissues caused by high levels of bilirubin in the blood Jaundice can occur in 3 major ways: 1) excessive destruction of erythrocytes as in hemolysis 2) malfunction of liver cells because of liver disease 3) obstruction of bile flow prevents bilirubin in bile from being excreted into the duodenum.
melena black, tarry stools; feces containing digested blood usually reflects a condition in which blood has had time to be digested and results from bleeding in the upper GI tract ( duodenal ulcer)
nausea unpleasant sensation in the stomach & a tendency to vomit Common causes are sea & motion sickness, and early pregnancy. May be symptomatic of a perforation of an abdominal organ, obstruction of a bile duct, stomach or intestine, or toxins.
steatorrhea fat in the feces, foul-smelling fecal matter improper digestion or absorption of fat can cause fat to remain in the intestine, this may occur with pancreatitis, also a symptom of intestinal disease that involves malabsorption of fat.
aphthous stomatitis inflammation of the mouth with small painful ulcers commonly called canker sores, cause is unknown
dental caries tooth decay results from the accumulation of foods, proteins from saliva & necrotic debris on the tooth enamel. Bacteria grow in the plaque, produces acid that dissolves the tooth enamel.
herpetic stomatitis inflammation of the mouth by infection with the herpesvirus marked by painful fluid-filled blisters on skin & mucous membranes called fever blisters or cold sores caused by the herpes simplex virus (HSV1)
oral leukoplakia white patches or plaques on the mucosa of the mouth precancerous lesion can result from chronic tobacco use.
periodontal disease inflammation & degeneration of gums, teeth, & surrounding bone; also called pyorrhea result of accumulation of dental plaque and dental calculus or tartar
achalasia failure of the lower esophagus sphincter (LES) muscle to relax results from the loss of peristalsis so food cannot pass easily through the esophagus
esophageal varices swollen, varicose veins in the distal portion of the esophagus or upper part of the stomach liver disease can casue increased pressure in the veins near and around the liver, which leads to enlarged, tortuous esophageal veins with danger of hemorrhage.
gastric carcinoma malignant tumor of the stomach chronic gastritis associated with H. pylori infection is a major risk factor for gastric carcinoma.
gastroesophaeal reflux disease (GERD) solids & fluids return to the mouth from the stomach heartburn is the burning sensation caused by regurgitation of HCL from the stomach to the esophagus. Chronic exposure of esophageal mucosa leads to reflux esophagitis.
hernia protrusion of an organ or part though the muscle normally containing it. A hiatal hernia occurs when the upper part of the stomach protrudes upward through the diaphragm. This condition can lead to GERD
inguinal hernia a small loop of bowel protrudes through a weak lower abdominal muscle. Repair is called a herniorraphy
peptic ulcer open sore or lesion of the mucous membrane of the stomach or duodenum A bacterium, Helicobacter pylori (H.pylori) is thought to be responsible for peptic ulcer disease.
anal fistula abnormal tube-like passageway near the anus often results from an abscess (infection) and may or may not open into the rectum.
anal fissure painful narrow slit in the mucous membrane of the anus n/a
indirect inguinal hernia small intestine loops through the inguinal canal and descends into the scrotal sac n/a
colonic polyposis polyps (benign growths) protrude from the mucous membrane of the colon pedunculated (attached to the membrane by a stalk) and sessile (sitting directly on the mucous membrane)
colorectal cancer adenocarcinoma of the colon or rectum, or both can arise from polyps in the colon or rectal region.
Chron disease chronic inflammation of the intestinal tract (terminal ileum & colon) symptoms include diarrhea, severe abdominal pain, fever, anorexia,weakness, & weight loss. A form of inflammatory bowel disease.
diverticulosis abnormal side pockets (outpouchings) in the intestinal wall pouch like herniations through the muscular wall of the colon. Rectal bleeding is the primary symptom.
dysentery painful, inflamed intestines commonly occuring in the colon, usually results from ingestion of food or water containing bacteria (salmonellae or shigellae), amebae, or viruses. Symptoms are bloody stools and abdominal pain.
hemorrhoids swollen, twisted, varicose veins in the rectal region pregnancy and chronic constipation put pressure on anal veins, often causing hemorrhoids
ileus failure of peristalsis with obstruction of the intestines mechanical obstruction of the bowel (adhesions, tumor, or stones) is a cause. Surgery; trauma, or bacterial injury to the peritoneum can lead to paralytic ileus.
intussusception telescoping of the intestines one segement of the bowel collapses into the opening of another segment. Often occurs in children and at the ileocecal region.
irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) group of GI symptoms associated with stress & tension GI symptoms are diarrhea, constipation, bloating & lower abdominal pain. On exam, intestines appear normal, but symptoms persist.
ulcerative colitis chronic inflammation of the colon with presence of ulcers idiopathic, chronic, recurrent diarrheal disease presents with rectal bleeding & pain.
volvulus twisting of the intestine upon itself causes intestinal obstruction. Severe pain, nausea & vomiting and absence of bowel sounds. Surgical correction is necessary to prevent necrosis of the affected segement of bowel.
cholelithiasis gallstones in the gallbladder prevent bile from leaving the gallbladder and bile ducts
cirrhosis chronic degenerative disease of the liver cirrhosis is commonly the result of chronic alcoholism and often malnutrition, hepatitis, or other causes.
pancreatitis inflammation of the pancreas digestive enzymes attack pancreatic tissue and damage the gland.
viral hepatitis inflammation of the liver caused by a virus Liver enzymes may be elevated, symptoms include malaise, anorexia, hepatomegaly, jaundice, and abdominal pain.
Created by: spicygrits