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gastrointestinal (GI) system the system where the body processes and digests food and liquids for nutrition
digestion the break-down of large food molecules to smaller ones
absorption the uptake of essential nutrients and other molecules (like drugs) into the bloodstream
alimentary tract the gastrointestinal system that includes the mouth, esophagus, stomach, intestines, colon, and rectum
mouth the upper opening of the digestive tract through which food passes into the body
esophagus the tube that connects the pharynx to the stomach
stomach a sac-shaped organ where acid and enzyme secretions digest large particles and proteins in ingested food
intestines the tubular part of the alimentary canal that extends from the stomach to the colon; prime location for absorption of nutrients and drugs
colon the part of the large intestine that extends from the cecum to the rectum
rectum the lower section of the large intestines that stores solid waste until it leaves the body
peristalsis the process of coordinated muscle contraction that keeps food particles moving through the gastrointestinal tract
gastrointestinal (GI) tract the tube that extends from the mouth to the anus in which the movement of muscles and release of hormones and enzymes digest food
gastrointestinal (GI) motility the process of moving food through the intestines
diarrhea excessive, soft, or watery stools
constipation infrequent bowel movements, small stool size, hard stools, or the feeling of incomplete bowel evacuation
gastrin a hormone that stimulates acid secretion
parietal cell cells that line the walls of the stomach and are responsible for producing acid from proton pumps
proton pump structure in the stomach walls that produce acid
histamine a substance the body releases in response to an allergic reaction that dilates arterioles; stimulates acid production in the stomach
pH a scale that measures acidity or akalinity
small intestine an organ that receives food particles from the stomach and digests and absorbs nutrients and drugs
large intestine an organ that receives food particles from the small intestines and absorbs salt and water; contains four parts: ascending, transverse, descending, and sigmoid colon
ascending colon a segment of the large intestines
transverse colon a segment of the large intestines
descending colon a segment of the large intestines
sigmoid colon a segment of the large intestines
stool waste material that exists the body via bowel movement
anus the opening of the rectum to outside the body
bowel movement the elimination of waste matter through the rectum and anus (see also defecation)
defecation the elimination of waste matter through the rectum and anus (see also bowel movement)
salivary gland a gland in the mouth that produces saliva
gallbladder an organ that functions as a holding area where bile is stored until it is required
pancreas an organ that produces many enzymes that help digest carbohydrates, protein, and fats as well as releases secretions that neutralize the acid from the stomach
liver an organ that produces bile and also removes and metabolizes harmful substances in the blood
saliva a fluid produced in the mouth that provides lubrication for food, making swallowing easier, and contains enzymes that begin the process of digesting sugars
bile a substance produced by the liver and facilitates absorption of fat and cholesterol from the small intestine
drug metabolism the process by which the body breaks down a drug
portal vein a vein that attaches the small intestines to the liver
first-pass effect the metabolism of drugs by the liver before they reach the general circulation of blood
sphincter muscle rings wrapped around the GI tract that prevent food and other digested substances from moving in the wrong direction
lower esophageal sphincter a sphincter located between the esophagus and stomach that relaxes to let chewed-up food pass into the stomach, then closes to prevent the acidic contents of the stomach from traveling back up into the esophagus
traveler’s diarrhea a common illness affecting travelers that can occur within the first week of travel or even after returning home; caused by infectious pathogens
food poisoning a disorder characterized by vomiting and diarrhea caused by eating food contaminated with bacteria
salmonella a type of bacteria that causes diarrhea, fever, and abdominal cramps in humans
Escherichia coli (E. coli) a bacteria found in the gastrointestinal tract of humans and other animals; can cause severe infection
Norwalk a viral infection that causes gastrointestinal illness
Rotavirus a viral infection that affects the bowel (causes diarrhea), especially in infants and children
antidiarrheal medications a drug class that slows the transit of food through the GI tract or decreases secretions into it, which reduces stool volume and makes stool less watery
opiate derivatives a drugs class used to treat acute diarrhea by inhibiting peristalsis and slowing the progression of food through the GI tract
laxative drug that relieves constipation
suppository a dosage form inserted directly into the rectum, vagina, or urethra
enema a dosage form used to treat constipation or cleanse the bowels and works by delivering a liquid solution directly into the rectum
bulk-forming laxatives a drug class that is used for constipation and works by remaining in the GI tract, drawing water and other electrolytes into the GI system
emollient laxatives a drug class that is used to treat constipation and works by increasing water and electrolyte secretions in the GI tract, which makes stool softer and easier to pass (see also stool softeners)
stool softeners a drug class that is used to treat constipation and works by increasing water and electrolyte secretions in the GI tract, which makes stool softer and easier to pass (see also emollient laxatives)
stimulant laxatives a drug class that is used for acute constipation and works by stimulating parasympathetic neurons that control bowel muscles, enhancing peristalsis and GI motility
bowel prep (osmotic) laxatives a drug class that is used to clean out the bowels and works by drawing water and electrolytes into the GI tract
gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) a burning or sensation of warmth starting in the gut or chest that may radiate to the neck due to acidic juices moving up the esophagus; commonly known as heartburn
ulcer sores or patches of dead tissue along the wall of the GI tract where acid has eroded the protective lining
Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) a spiral-shaped, gram-negative organism that attaches to the lining of the stomach and causes stomach ulcers
peptic ulcer disease (PUD) a disease that causes ulcers in the stomach
duodenal ulcer ulcers that occur in the portion of the small intestine just below the stomach and are caused by hyperacidity
stress ulcer ulcers that occur in critically ill patients who are bedridden
nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) a class of drugs that block pain by inhibiting cyclooxygenase I (COX-1) and II (COX-2)
prostaglandin a hormone-like substance that is produced in response to various stimuli; cause pain and inflammation as well as provide protection to the GI lining
gastrointestinal (GI) bleed bleeding that starts in the gastrointestinal tract; results from erosion of the GI lining
antacids a drug class that is used for gastroesophageal reflux disease and works by neutralizing acid in the stomach
proton-pump inhibitors (PPIs) a drug class that is used to treat gastroesophageal reflux disease, peptic ulcer disease, and H. pylori infection and works by binding to proton pumps in the stomach lining, rendering them inactive
H2 blockers a drug class that is used to treat gastroesophageal reflux disease and peptic ulcer disease and works by blocking type 2 histamine receptors in the stomach, which decreases proton pump activity and limits acid secretion
morning sickness a condition of nausea and vomiting in the first weeks of pregnancy
motion sickness a condition of nausea and vomiting following movement; caused by vestibular irritation
anesthesia the inhibiting of sensation and pain during procedures such as surgery
nausea the feeling of the need to vomit
vomiting the expulsion of stomach contents out of the mouth
reverse peristalsis coordinated muscle contractions along the upper GI tract that expels food contents out of the mouth instead of down to the intestines
chemoreceptor trigger zone (CTZ) an area of the medulla that receives input from the cerebral cortex, hypothalamus, GI tract, and blood-borne stimuli (e.g., bacteria) to cause nausea and vomiting
vomiting center an area of the medulla that receives input from the cerebral cortex, hypothalamus, GI tract, and blood-borne stimuli (e.g., bacteria) to cause nausea and vomiting
emesis the act of vomiting
antiemetics drugs used to prevent vomiting
anticholinergic antiemetics a drug class that is used to treat motion sickness and works by blocking histamine and acetylcholine, two neurotransmitters in the CTZ and vomiting center
phenothiazines a class of drugs that work by blocking dopamine; used to prevent vomiting
extrapyramidal system (EPS) side effects side effects which can include tremors, muscular rigidity, and difficulty initiating movement (akinesia); side effect of some drug therapies like antipsychotics and some antiemetics
serotonin type 3 (5-HT3) receptor antagonists a drug class that is used to prevent and treat severe nausea and vomiting associated with chemotherapeutic medicines, radiation treatment, or anesthesia and works by blocking serotonin type 3 (5-HT3) receptors in the brain and GI tract
neurokinin 1 (NK1) inhibitor a drug class that is used to prevent nausea and vomiting induced by chemotherapy drugs or anesthesia and works by blocking NK1 receptors, preventing substance P from stimulating nausea
hemorrhoidal cushion protects the anal sphincters from becoming damaged over time
hemorrhoid the swelling of blood vessels near the anus
fiber nutrient and drugs that enhance GI motitlity and help pass stool easier; resolve symptoms of hemorrhoids and constipation
topical hemorrhoid agents a class of drugs used to decrease symptoms of itching and pain caused by hemorrhoids
witch hazel an astringent that is used externally on sores, bruises, and swelling
irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) a chronic disease that features frequent and painful constipation or diarrhea without any structural or dietary problems
ulcerative colitis a condition of excessive inflammation of the GI tract causing ulcers and chronic diarrhea
Crohn’s disease an autoimmune disease where the immune system malfunctions and attacks tissue lining of the entire GI tract causing chronic diarrhea
ginger a plant that can be used to reduce nausea associated with surgery, vertigo, and motion sickness
probiotics products that contain live cultures of yeast or bacteria and are used for diarrhea, constipation, H. pylori infection, and antibiotic-induced diarrhea
lactobacilli gram-positive bacteria that are normal flora of the human GI tract
Saccharomyces boulardii a yeast organism that lives in the human GI tract and are used for the prevention of antibiotic-associated diarrhea
bifidobacteria bacteria tat promote healthy flora in the human GI tract; used for diarrhea
Created by: softcrylic



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