Glossary


 

A

Abdomen
Area between the chest and the hips that contains the stomach, small intestine, large intestine, liver, gall bladder, pancreas, and spleen
Acute
Sudden onset of symptoms
Amino Acids
A group of 20 different kinds of small molecules that link together in long chains to form proteins. Often referred to as the "building blocks" of proteins
Anastomosis, intestinal
Reattachment of two portions of bowel together
Antispasmodic
Drugs that inhibit smooth muscle contraction in the gastrointestinal tract
Anus
The opening of the rectum
Autonomic nervous system
The part of the nervous system that controls involuntary actions of internal organs such as the bowel

 

B

Barium
A metallic, chemical, chalky, liquid used to coat the inside of organs so that they will show up on an x-ray
Bile
Secretions of the liver that aid in digestion and absorption, and stimulate peristalsis
Biliary tract
Gall bladder and the bile ducts
Biopsy
Tissue sample
Bowel
The intestines

 

C

Capsule Endoscopy
A procedure that lets your doctor examine the lining of the middle part of your gastrointestinal tract, which includes the three portions of the small intestine (duodenum, jejunum, ileum). Your doctor will use a pill sized video capsule which has its own lens and light source and will view the images on a video monitor. You might hear your doctor or other medical staff refer to capsule endoscopy as small bowel endoscopy, capsule enteroscopy, or wireless endoscopy
Celiac disease
An allergic reaction of the lining of the small intestine in response to the protein gliadin (a component of gluten). Gliadin is found in wheat, rye, barley, and oats. Celiac disease is also called celiac sprue, and gluten intolerance
Cell
The basic unit of any living organism. It is a small, watery, compartment filled with chemicals and a complete copy of the organism's genome
Cholecystectomy
surgical removal of the gallbladder.
Chronic
Symptoms occurring over a long period of time
Colectomy
Removal of part or the entire colon
Colitis
Inflammation of the colon
Colon
The large intestine
Colonoscopy
Colonoscopy is a fiberoptic (endoscopic) procedure in which a thin, flexible, lighted viewing tube (a colonoscope) is threaded up through the rectum for the purpose of inspecting the entire colon and rectum and, if there is an abnormality, taking a tissue sample of it (biopsy) for examination under a microscope, or removing it
Colostomy
A surgically created opening of the colon to the abdominal wall, allowing the diversion of fecal waste
Congenital
Conditions existing at birth, but not through heredity
Contrast radiology (GI)
A test in which a contrast material (i.e., Barium) is used to coat the rectum, colon, and lower part of the small intestine so they show up on an x-ray
Constipation
Reduced stool frequency, or hard stools, difficulty passing stools, or painful bowel movements
Crohn's disease
A form of inflammatory bowel disease

 

D

Diaphragm
The muscle wall between the chest and the abdomen
Diarrhea
Passing frequent and loose stools that can be watery. Acute diarrhea goes away in a few weeks, and becomes chronic when it lasts longer than 4 weeks
Dilatation
Expansion of an organ or vessel
Distention
A swelling of the abdomen
Diverticulitis
Occurs when a diverticulum become infected or irritated
Diverticula (diverticulosis)
Small pouches in the colon
Duodenum
The first part of the small intestine
Dysphagia
The sensation of food sticking in the esophagus

 

E

Endoscope
A thin, flexible tube with a light and a lens on the end used to look into the esophagus, stomach, duodenum, small intestine, colon, or rectum
Endoscopy
A procedure that uses an endoscope to diagnose or treat a condition. There are many types of endoscopy; examples include colonoscopy, sigmoidoscopy, gastroscopy, enteroscopy, and esophogogastroduodenoscopy (EGD)
Enteral nutrition
Food provided through a tube placed in the nose, stomach, or small intestine
Enteritis
An irritation of the small intestine
Enterocolitis
Inflammation of the intestines ganglion: A mass of nerve cells
Enteroscopy
Examination of the inside of the small intestine using an endoscope
Enteric nervous system (ENS)
Autonomic nervous system within the walls of the digestive tract. The ENS regulates digestion and the muscle contractions that eliminate solid waste
Eosinophilic gastroenteritis
A rare disease characterized by food-related reactions, infiltration of certain white blood cells (eosinophils) in the GI tract, and an increase in the number of eosinophils in the blood
Epithelium
The inner and outer tissue covering digestive tract organs
Esophagitis
An irritation of the esophagus
Esophagus
The organ that connects the mouth to the stomach
Esophagogastroduodenoscopy (EGD)
Examination of the inside of the esophagus, stomach, and duodenum using an endoscope. (Also called Gastroscopy or Upper Endoscopy)

 

F

Feces
Waste eliminated from the bowels
Food allergy
An immune system response by which the body creates antibodies as a reaction to certain food. Studies show that true food allergies are present in only 1-2% of adults

 

G

Gallbladder
An organ located next to the liver that helps digest food. One can get gallstones and cholecystitis (inflammation of the gallbladder)
Gastric
Related to the stomach
Gastric Empying Scan
a test performed to measure the amount of time it takes for the stomach to empty
Gastric Juices
Liquids produced in the stomach to help break down food and kill bacteria
Gastritis
An inflammation of the stomach lining
Gastroenteritis
An infection or irritation of the stomach and intestines
Gastroenterologist
A doctor who specializes in digestive diseases or disorders
Gastroenterology
The field of medicine concerned with the function and disorders of the digestive system
Gastrointestinal (GI) tract
The muscular tube from the mouth to the anus, also called the alimentary canal or digestive tract
Gastroscopy
Examination of the inside of the esophagus, stomach, and duodenum using an endoscope
Gene
The functional and physical unit of heredity passed from parent to offspring. Genes are pieces of DNA, and most genes contain the information for making a specific protein
GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease)
Also called acid reflux, a condition where the contents of the stomach regurgitates (or backs up) into the esophagus (food pipe), causing discomfort and sometimes esophageal injury
Gluten intolerance
See Celiac disease

 

H

H2-blockers
A class of medicines that reduce the amount of acid the stomach produces
Hemorrhoids
Veins around or inside the anus or lower rectum that are swollen and inflamed
Hepatolite/HIDA scan
A test performed to determine gallbladder inflammation. If CCK is used, it also measures gallbladder function. If these are abnormal, the gallbladder may need to be removed surgically
Hereditary
Genetically transmitted or transmittable from parent to offspring
Hiatal hernia
A small opening in the diaphragm that allows a part of the stomach to move up into the chest

 

I

Ileostomy
A surgically created opening of the abdominal wall to the ileum, allowing the diversion of fecal waste
Ileum
The lower third of the small intestine, adjoining the colon
Imaging
Tests that produce pictures of areas inside the body
Inflammation
Redness, swelling, pain, and/or a feeling of heat in an area of the body. This is a protective reaction to injury, disease, or irritation of the tissues
Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)
A set of chronic diseases characterized by irritation and ulcers in the gastrointestinal tract. The most common disorders are ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease
Ingestion
Taking into the body by mouth
Inherited
Transmitted through genes from parents to offspring
Intestines
Also known as the bowels, or the long, tube-like organ in the human body that completes digestion or the breaking down of food. They consist of the small intestine and the large intestine
Ischemic colitis
Colitis caused by decreased blood flow to the colon

 

J

Jejunostomy (J-tube)
A method of enteral feeding in which a tube is surgically placed in the small intestine

 

K

L

Lactose
A sugar found commonly in milk and dairy products
Lactose intolerance
The inability to digest or absorb lactose
Laparoscopy
The insertion of a thin, lighted tube (called a laparoscope) through the abdominal wall to inspect the inside of the abdomen and remove tissue samples
Large intestine
The long, tube-like organ that is connected to the small intestine at one end and the anus at the other. The large intestine has four parts: cecum, colon, rectum, and anal canal. Partly digested food moves through the cecum into the colon, where water and some nutrients and electrolytes are removed. The remaining material, solid waste called stool, moves through the colon, is stored in the rectum, and leaves the body through the anal canal and anus
Laxative
A compound that increases fecal water content

 

M

Manometry
A test that measures pressure or contractions in the gastrointestinal tract
Motility
Movement of content within the gastrointestinal tract

 

N

Nasogastric tube (NG-tube)
A tube placed through a nasal passageway into the stomach
Nutrient
A chemical compound (such as protein, fat, carbohydrate, vitamins, or minerals) that make up foods
Nutrition
The taking in and use of food and other nourishing material by the body

 

O

P

Paracentesis
Removal of fluid from the abdominal cavity
PEG tube
See Enteral Nutrition Above
Peptic ulcer
A sore in the lining of the esophagus, stomach, or duodenum, usually caused by the bacterium Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) or use of NSAID medications. An ulcer in the stomach is a gastric ulcer; an ulcer in the duodenum is a duodenal ulcer
Perineum
The area of the body between the anus and the vulva in females, and between the anus and the scrotum in males
Polyp
A benign growth involving the lining of the GI tract (noncancerous tumors or neoplasms). They can occur in several locations in the gastrointestinal tract but are most common in the colon. They vary in size from less than a quarter of an inch to several inches in diameter. They look like small bumps growing from the lining of the bowel and protruding into the lumen (bowel cavity). They sometimes grow on a "stalk" and look like mushrooms. Many patients have several polyps scattered in different parts of the colon

 

Q

R

Rectum
The lower end of the large intestine, leading to the anus
Resection, intestinal
The surgical removal of a diseased portion of the intestines

 

S

Sigmoid colon
The S-shaped section of the colon that connects to the rectum
Sigmoidoscopy
Examination of the inside of the sigmoid colon and rectum using an endoscope -- a thin, lighted tube (sigmoidoscope). Samples of tissue or cells may be collected for examination under a microscope. Also called proctosigmoidoscopy
Small intestine
The part of the digestive tract that is located between the stomach and the large intestine
Sphincter
Ring of muscle that opens and closes and acts as a valve in various "check points" of the GI tract
Spinal cord
A column of nerve tissue that runs from the base of the skull down the back. It is surrounded by three protective membranes, and is enclosed within the vertebrae (back bones). The spinal cord and the brain make up the central nervous system, and spinal cord nerves carry most messages between the brain and the rest of the body

 

T

U

Ulcerative colitis
A form of inflammatory bowel disease that causes ulcers and inflammation in the inner lining of the colon and rectum
Ultrasound
An imaging method in which high-frequency sound waves are used to outline a part of the body
Upper endoscope
Examination of the inside of the esophagus, stomach, and duodenum using an endoscope
Upper GI series
X-rays of the esophagus, stomach, and duodenum

 

V

Valsalva maneuver
Voluntary increasing pressure in the abdominal cavity with the diaphragm and abdominal muscles to bear down on the rectum to facilitate defecation
Villi
Tiny finger-like projections on the surface of the small intestine that help absorb nutrients

 

W

X

Y

Z

Location
Dr. Joseph Saracino, MD
2602 N. Herritage Street
Kinston, NC 28501
Phone: 252-242-1005
Office Hours

Get in touch

252-242-1005