The digestive diseases dictionary
National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
National Digestive Diseases
NATIONAL INSTITUTES OF HEALTH
Some terms listed have many meanings; only those meanings that relate to
digestion or digestive diseases are included. Words that appear in bold italic
are listed elsewhere in the dictionary.
Information in this dictionary is not a substitute for a visit to your doctor.
Talk with a health professional if you have a digestive problem.
The U.S. Government does not endorse or favor any specific commercial
product or company. Trade, proprietary, or company names appearing in
this document are used only because they are considered necessary in the
context of the information provided. If a product is not mentioned, the
omission does not mean or imply that the product is unsatisfactory.
National Digestive Diseases
NATIONAL INSTITUTES OF HEALTH
This pronunciation guide uses letters and letter combinations, rather than
phonetic symbols, to stand for the various sounds in the English language.
eh (used at the end
of a syllable or when
ih (used at the end
of a syllable or when
eye (used at the beginning
of a syllable or
when standing alone)
(AB-doh-men): the area
between the chest and the hips
a lack of hydrochloric acid
containing the stomach, small
digestive juices of the stomach.
intestine, large intestine, liver,
(CHAR-kohl): a substance that
may be used to treat accidental
ih-nuhl) (MY-grayn): sudden,
or intentional ingestion of toxic
repeated attacks of abdominal
, and vomiting
usually in children who later
(uh-KYOOT): refers to
develop migraine headaches. A
conditions that happen suddenly
headache may also be present.
and last a short time. Acute is
the opposite of chronic,
way nutrients are taken up by the
viruses that cause gastroenteritis
and respiratory infection.
rare disorder of the esophagus
making it difficult to swallow
about 1 week after exposure.
food because the muscle at the
Infections occur all year round
end of the esophagus does not
and most often in children less
relax enough for the passage
than 2 years old.
a condition that occurs when a
person swallows too much air,
and frequent belching.
inherited condition causing a
lack of the enzyme
digest milk sugar.
Alagille syndrome (ah-lah-ZHEEL)
amino acids (uh-MEE-noh)
(SIN-drohm): a genetic
(ASS-idz): the basic building
condition causing multiple
blocks of proteins. The body
abnormalities in the body,
produces many amino acids and
including in the liver. A lower
others come from food, which
than normal number of bile ducts
the body breaks down for use by
inside the liver reduces bile
the cells. See protein.
ampulla of Vater (am-PUL-luh)
alimentary canal (al-ih-MEN
(uhv) (VAH-tur): the opening
tur-ee) (kuh-NAL): see
of the common bile duct and
pancreatic duct into the
alkaline reflux esophagitis (AL
duodenum. Also called papilla of
kuh-lyn) (REE-fluhks) (uh-sof
uh-JY-tiss): the development
anal fissure (AY-nuhl) (FISH-ur):
of esophagitis due to prolonged
a small tear in the anus that may
contact of the esophagus with
cause itching, pain, or bleeding.
nonacidic gastric contents.
allergy (AL-ur-jee): a condition in
which the body's immune system
has an over-reaction to certain
foods, animals, plants, or other
an acute or chronic infection
caused by amoebas, a type of
parasite. Symptoms vary from
mild diarrhea to frequent, watery
anal fistula (AY-nuhl) (FISS-tyoo
diarrhea and loss of water
luh): a passage that develops
and fluids in the body. See
between the anus and the skin.
Most fistulas are the result of an
abscess or infection that spreads
to the skin. Fistulas are typical
of Crohn's disease.
anorectal function tests (AY-noh
siss): a surgical connection of
two body parts. An example is
(tests): tests used to diagnose
an operation in which part of
abnormal functioning of the anus
the colon is removed and the two
or rectum and to evaluate anal
remaining ends are joined.
sphincter muscle function.
anemia (uh-NEE-mee-uh): a
anoscopy (an-OSS-kuh-pee): a
condition caused when the
test to look for anal fissures,
body does not have enough
fistulas, hemorrhoids, or cancer.
red blood cells or hemoglobin.
A special instrument called an
Hemoglobin is a protein in the
anoscope is used to look into the
blood that carries oxygen.
antacids (ant-ASS-idz): medicines
PLAY-zee-uh): abnormal or
that neutralize acids in
enlarged blood vessels in the
the stomach. (Brand names:
Maalox, Mylanta, Di-Gel.)
antibiotic (AN-tee-by-OT-ik): a
an x ray that uses dye to detect
medicine that kills bacteria.
blood vessels in organs.
Examples are cephalexin and
amoxicillin. (Brand names:
related to, or involving, both
the rectum and anus.
anorectal abscess (AY-noh-REK
that are often used to treat
tuhl) (AB-sess): a collection of
muscle spasms in the intestine.
pus in a cavity in the anorectal
Examples are dicyclomine and
hyoscyamine. (Brand names:
anorectal atresia (AY-noh-REK
tuhl) (uh-TREE-zee-uh): the
lack of a normal opening
REE-uhlz): medicines that help
between the rectum and anus.
control diarrhea. An example
is loperamide. (Brand name:
aorto-enteric fistula (ay-OR-toh-en
medicines used to treat nausea
TUR-ik) (FISS-tyoo-luh): a rare
and vomiting. Examples are
condition in which a prosthetic
aortic graft causes an opening
and ondansetron. (Brand
into the duodenum.
names: Compazine, Phenergan,
mee): an operation to remove
MOD-iks): medicines that
help reduce muscle spasms in
the intestines. Examples are
inflammation of the appendix.
dicyclomine and atropine.
appendix (uh-PEN-diks): a 4-inch
(Brand names: Bentyl,
pouch attached to the cecum, the
first part of the large intestine.
The appendix's function, if any,
an operation to remove the
lower portion of the stomach,
ascending colon (uh-SEN-ding)
called the antrum. This
(KOH-lon): the beginning part
operation helps reduce the
of the colon, usually on the right
amount of stomach acid. It is
side of the abdomen.
rarely used when a person has
complications from ulcers.
ascites (uh-SY-teez): a buildup
of fluid in the abdomen usually
antrum (AN-truhm): the lower
caused by severe liver disease
part of the stomach, which is
such as cirrhosis.
lined with mucus and produces
a virus that causes vomiting
anus (AY-nuhss): the opening
and diarrhea within 1 to 3 days
at the end of the digestive tract
of exposure and is most active
where bowel contents leave the
during the winter months. It
infects primarily infants, young
children, and older adults.
barium (BA-ree-uhm): a chalky
MAT-ik): the condition of
liquid used to coat the inside of
having a disease but none of its
organs so they will show up on
atonic colon (uh-TON-ik) (KOH
barium enema x ray (BA-ree-uhm)
lon): a lack of normal muscle
(EN-uh-muh) (eks) (ray): x ray
tone or strength in the colon.
of the rectum, colon, and lower
It may result in chronic
part of the small intestine. A
constipation. Also called lazy
barium enema is given first.
Barium coats the insides of
organs so they will show up on
atresia (uh-TREE-zee-uh): the
the x ray. Also called lower GI
lack of a normal opening in the
esophagus, intestines, bile ducts,
barium meal (BA-ree-uhm) (meel):
x rays of the esophagus, stomach,
atrophic gastritis (uh-TROF-ik)
and duodenum. The patient
swallows barium before x rays
irritation of the stomach lining
are taken. Barium makes the
that causes loss of the stomach
organs show up on x rays. Also
lining and glands.
called upper GI series.
autoimmune hepatitis (AW-toh-ih-
Barrett's esophagus (BA-ruhts)
MYOON) (HEP-uh-TY-tiss): a
(uh-SOF-uh-guhss): a condition
liver disease in which the body's
in which the tissue lining the
immune system damages liver
esophagus is replaced by tissue
cells for unknown reasons.
that is similar to the lining of the
intestine. It is commonly found
in people with gastroesophageal
reflux disease (GERD).
belching (BELCH-ing): see eructation.
biliary dyskinesia (BIL-ee-air
Bernstein test (BURN-steen)
refers to a group of functional
(test): a test used to find out if
disorders of the biliary system and
heartburn is caused by acid in
the esophagus. The test involves
dripping a mild acid, similar to
biliary stricture (BIL-ee-air-ee)
stomach acid, through a tube
(STRIK-choor): a narrowing of
placed in the esophagus.
the biliary tract from scar tissue
that results from injury, disease,
bezoar (BEE-zor): a ball of food,
pancreatitis, infection, gallstones,
mucus, vegetable fiber, hair, or
or cancer. See stricture.
other material that cannot be
digested in the stomach. Bezoars
biliary system (BIL-ee-air-ee)
can cause blockage, ulcers, and
(SISS-tuhm): see biliary tract.
biliary tract (BIL-ee-air-ee) (trakt):
bile (byl): fluid made by the liver
made up of the gallbladder and
and stored in the gallbladder that
the bile ducts. Also called biliary
helps break down fats and get rid
system or biliary tree.
of wastes in the body.
bile acids (byl) (ASS-idz): acids
made by the liver that work with
bile to break down fats.
bile ducts (byl) (duhkts): tubes that
carry bile from the liver to the
gallbladder for storage and to the
small intestine for use in digestion.
biliary atresia (BIL-ee-air-ee)
(uh-TREE-zee-uh): a condition
Common bile duct
present from birth in which
the bile ducts inside or outside
the liver do not have normal
openings. Bile becomes trapped
in the liver, causing jaundice and
cirrhosis. Without surgery the
condition may cause death.
biliary tree (BIL-ee-air-ee) (tree):
blue rubber bleb nevus syndrome
see biliary tract.
(bloo) (RUHB-ur) (bleb) (NEE
vuhss) (SIN-drohm): a rare
bilirubin (BIL-ih-ROO-bin): a
condition with painful lesions
reddish-yellow substance formed
found in the small intestine,
when hemoglobin breaks down.
colon, and sometimes stomach
Bilirubin is found in bile and
and parts of the nervous system
blood and is normally passed
that may cause gastrointestinal
in stool. Too much bilirubin
accumulating in the blood is the
cause of jaundice.
rumbling sounds caused by gas
biofeedback (BY-oh-FEED-bak): a
moving through the intestines.
machine that measures physical
Also known as stomach
responses. It is used to treat
both physical and psychological
problems, including motility
bowel (boul): another word for the
small and large intestines.
biopsy (BY-op-see): a procedure
bowel movement (boul) (MOOV
in which a tiny piece of a body
ment): body wastes passed
part, such as the colon or liver,
through the rectum and anus.
is removed for examination with
bowel obstruction (boul)
bismuth subsalicylate (BIZ-muhth)
or complete blockage of the
small or large intestine.
nonprescription medicine used
to treat diarrhea, heartburn,
bowel prep (boul) (prep): the
indigestion, and nausea. It can
process used to clean the
be part of the treatment for
colon with enemas or a special
ulcers caused by the bacterium
drink that causes frequent
Helicobacter pylori. (Brand
bowel movements. It is used
before surgery of the colon, a
colonoscopy, or a barium enema
bloating (BLOHT-ing): a fullness
x ray. See lavage.
or swelling in the abdomen that
often occurs after meals.
Brooke ileostomy (bruk) (IL-ee
calcivirus (KAL-see-VY-riss): a
OSS-tuh-mee): a procedure
family of viruses divided into the
in which one end of the small
noroviruses and the sapoviruses.
intestine is brought through an
They can infect people of all
opening in the abdominal wall
ages and are transmitted from
and sewn to the skin to create a
person to person and through
stoma. It is performed when the
contaminated water or food—
entire colon must be removed or
especially oysters from
Budd-Chiari syndrome (buhd-kee
calculi (KAL-kyoo-ly): stones or
AH-ree) (SIN-drohm): a rare
solid lumps such as gallstones.
liver disease in which the veins
that drain blood from the liver
are blocked or narrowed.
BAK-tur) (py-LOR-eye): the
original name for the bacterium
bulking agents (BUHLK-ing) (AY
that causes ulcers. The new
jents): laxatives that make bowel
name is Helicobacter pylori.
movements soft and easy to pass.
burping: see eructation.
siss): an infection caused by
the Candida fungus, which lives
naturally in the gastrointestinal
drayts): one of the three main
classes of food and a source
of energy. Carbohydrates are
the sugars and starches found
in breads, cereals, fruits, and
vegetables. During digestion,
carbohydrates are changed into
simple sugars glucose, galactose,
and fructose, which are stored in
the liver until cells need them for
Caroli's disease (kah-ROH-leez)
celiac sprue (SEE-lee-ak) (sproo):
(dih-ZEEZ): a rare, inherited
see celiac disease.
condition in which the bile ducts
in the liver are enlarged and
chloride channel activators
may cause irritation, infection,
gallstones, or cancer.
used to increase intestinal fluid
cathartics (kuh-THAR-tiks): see
and motility to help stool pass,
thereby reducing the symptoms
of constipation. An example is
catheter (KATH-uh-tur): a thin,
lubiprostone. (Brand name:
flexible tube that carries fluids
Amitiza.) See laxatives.
into or out of the body.
C. difficile (see) (duh-FISS-uh-lee):
OG-ruh-fee): a series of x rays
see Clostridium difficile.
of the bile ducts.
cecostomy (see-KOSS-toh-mee): a
tube that goes through the skin
irritated or infected bile ducts.
into the beginning of the large
intestine to remove gas or feces.
This procedure is a short-term
TEK-toh-mee): an operation to
way to protect part of the colon
remove the gallbladder.
while it heals after surgery.
cecum (SEE-kuhm): the beginning
tiss): an irritated gallbladder.
of the large intestine. The cecum
is connected to the lower part
cholecystogram, oral (KOH-lee
of the small intestine, called the
an x ray of the gallbladder and
bile ducts. The patient takes
celiac disease (SEE-lee-ak) (dih-
pills containing a special dye
ZEEZ): an immune reaction
that makes the organs show
to gluten, a protein found in
up on x ray. Also called
wheat, rye, and barley. The
disease causes damage to the
lining of the small intestine and
cholecystography, oral (KOH-lee
prevents absorption of nutrients.
Also called celiac sprue, gluten
see cholecystogram, oral.
intolerance, and nontropical sprue.
chronic idiopathic constipation
KY-nin): a hormone released
in the small intestine that causes
muscles in the gallbladder and
shuhn): constipation caused
the colon to tighten and relax.
by a disturbance of colonic or
anorectal motor function of
presence of gallstones in the
chyme (kym): a thick liquid made
of partially digested food and
stomach juices. This liquid is
made in the stomach and moves
THY-uh-siss): the presence of
into the small intestine for further
gallstones in the gallbladder.
cirrhosis (sur-ROH-siss): a chronic
reduced bile flow, which may be
liver condition caused by scar
caused by drugs or liver diseases.
tissue and cell damage, which
cholesterol (koh-LESS-tur-ol): a
makes it hard for the liver to
fatlike substance in the body.
remove poisons or toxins such as
The body makes and needs some
alcohol and drugs from the blood.
cholesterol, which also comes
These toxins build up in the blood
from foods such as butter and
and may impact brain function.
egg yolks. Too much cholesterol
may cause gallstones or a buildup
of fat in the arteries that causes
a disease called atherosclerosis
that slows or stops blood flow.
chronic (KRON-ik): refers to
disorders that last a long time,
often years. Chronic is the
opposite of acute, or brief.
chronic atrophic gastritis
(gass-TRY-tiss): end stage of
chronic inflammation of the
stomach, usually caused by
H. pylori, resulting in reduced
Clostridium difficile (C. difficile)
colon (KOH-lon): the part of the
large intestine extending from the
FISS-uh-lee): a bacterium
cecum to, but not including, the
naturally present in the large
rectum. See large intestine.
intestine that can make a toxin
that causes diarrhea.
colectomy (koh-LEK-toh-mee): an
operation to remove all or part
of the colon.
colic (KOL-ik): attacks of
abdominal pain. Infant colic
refers to extended crying of
unknown cause in infants.
colitis (koh-LY-tiss): irritation of
collagenous colitis (ko-LAJ-uh
nuhss) (koh-LY-tiss): a type of
colonic conduit (ko-LON-ik)
colitis having an abnormal band
(KON-doo-it): a surgical
of collagen, which is a threadlike
procedure that uses a section of
the large bowel, instead of the
small intestine, to form a channel
for urinary drainage.
colonic inertia (ko-LON-ik) (in
UR-shuh): a condition of the
colon when the muscles do
not work properly, causing
colonoscopic polypectomy (koh
colorectal transit study (KOH
PEK-tuh-mee): the removal
(STUHD-ee): a test that reveals
of tumorlike growths called
how stool moves through the
polyps by using a device inserted
colon. The patient swallows
through a colonoscope.
capsules that contain small
markers and an x ray tracks
the movement of the capsules
pee): a test to look into the
through the colon.
rectum and colon that uses a long,
flexible, narrow tube with a light
and tiny camera on the end. The
an operation that attaches
tube is called a colonoscope.
the colon to an opening in the
abdomen called a stoma. An
colon polyps (KOH-lon) (POL-ips):
ostomy pouch, attached to the
small, fleshy, mushroom-shaped
stoma and worn outside the
growths in the colon.
body, collects stool. A temporary
colostomy may be created to
allow the rectum to heal from
injury or surgery.
colorectal cancer (KOH-loh-REK
common bile duct (KOM-on) (byl)
tuhl) (KAN-sur): cancer that
(duhkt): the tube that carries
starts in the colon (also called
bile from the liver to the small
the large intestine) or the rectum
(the end of the large intestine).
common bile duct obstruction
Several digestive diseases may
(KOM-on) (byl) (duhkt) (ob
increase a person's risk of
STRUHK-shuhn): a blockage
colorectal cancer, including
of the common bile duct, often
caused by gallstones or cancer.
computerized tomography (CT)
STIHR-oydz): medicines such
(toh-MOG-ruh-fee) (skan): an
as cortisone and hydrocortisone.
x ray that produces pictures
These medicines reduce
of the body. Also called a
irritation from Crohn's disease
computed axial tomography
and ulcerative colitis. They
(CAT) scan or computed
may be taken either by mouth
tomography (CT) scan.
or as suppositories. (Brand
names: Cortone Acetate,
shuhn): a condition in which a
person usually has fewer than
Crohn's disease (krohnz) (dih-
three bowel movements in a week.
ZEEZ): a form of inflammatory
The bowel movements may
bowel disease that causes
irritation in the gastrointestinal
(GI) tract. It usually affects
continence (KON-tih-nenss): the
the lower small intestine (also
ability to control the timing of
called the ileum) or the colon,
urination or a bowel movement.
but it can also affect any part
continent ileostomy (KON-tih
of the GI tract. Also called
nent) (IL-ee-OSS-tuh-mee): an
regional enteritis and ileitis. See
operation to create an internal
inflammatory bowel disease and
pouch from part of the small
intestine. Stool that collects
in the pouch is removed by
RID-ee-uh): a parasite that can
inserting a small tube through an
cause gastrointestinal infection
opening made in the abdomen.
and diarrhea. See gastroenteritis.
CT scan: see computerized
the passage of bowel contents
through the rectum and anus.
CVS (SEE-VEE-ESS): see cyclic
fee): an x-ray test of the anus
cyclic vomiting syndrome (CVS)
and rectum that shows how the
(SIK-lik) (VOM-it-ing) (SIN
muscles work to move stool. The
drohm): sudden, repeated
patient sits on a toilet placed
attacks of severe vomiting,
next to the x-ray machine.
nausea, and physical exhaustion
with no apparent cause that
occur in children and adults, but
shuhn): loss of fluids from the
more often in children. Attacks
body, sometimes caused by
can last from a few hours to
diarrhea. It may result in the loss
10 days. The episodes begin and
of important salts and minerals.
end suddenly. Loss of fluids
and changes in body chemicals
delayed gastric emptying (duh-
can require immediate medical
LAYD) (GASS-trik) (EMP-tee
ing): see gastroparesis.
cystic duct (SISS-tik) (duhkt): the
dermatitis herpetiformis (DUR
tube that carries bile from the
gallbladder into the common
FOR-miss): a skin disorder
associated with celiac disease and
characterized by severe itching
cystic duct obstruction (SISS-tik)
(duhkt) (ob-STRUHK-shuhn): a
blockage of the cystic duct, often
descending colon (dee-SEND-ing)
caused by gallstones.
(KOH-lon): the part of the colon
where stool is stored. It is usually
located on the left side of the
diaphragm (DY-uh-fram): the
muscle wall between the chest
and the abdomen. It is the major
muscle used for breathing.
digestive system (dy-JESS-tiv)
frequent, loose, and watery
(SISS-tuhm): the organs in
bowel movements. Common
the body that break down and
causes include gastrointestinal
absorb food. Organs that make
infections, irritable bowel
up the digestive system are the
syndrome, medicines, and
mouth, esophagus, stomach, small
intestine, large intestine, rectum,
and anus. Organs that help with
dietitian (dy-uh-TISH-uhn): a
digestion but are not part of the
nutrition expert who helps
digestive tract are the tongue,
people plan what and how
salivary glands, pancreas, liver,
much food to eat.
Dieulafoy's lesion (dyoo-lah-
FWAHZ) (LEE-zhuhn): a
small erosion in the stomach
that causes heavy gastrointestinal
diffuse esophageal spasm (dih-
contractions down the length
of the esophagus that may cause
pain or trouble swallowing.
medicines that aid or stimulate
digestion. Examples are digestive
enzymes for people with lactase
deficiency or damage to the
pancreas. (Brand names:
digestive tract (dy-JESS-tiv) (trakt):
see gastrointestinal tract.
digestion (dy-JESS-chuhn): the
process the body uses to
bloating or swelling of the
break down food into simple
substances for energy, growth,
and cell repair.
the plural form of diverticulum.
luhm): a small pouch in the
colon. These pouches are not
painful and harmful unless they
tiss): a condition that occurs
when small pouches in the
dry mouth: see xerostomia.
colon called diverticula become
Dubin-Johnson syndrome (DOO
bin-JON-suhn) (SIN-drohm): a
rare, inherited form of chronic
dumping syndrome (DUHMP-ing)
(SIN-drohm): see rapid gastric
duodenal ulcer (DOO-oh-DEE
nuhl) (UHL-sur): an ulcer in
the lining of the first part of the
small intestine, also called the
an irritation of the first part of
the small intestine, also called the
LOH-siss): a condition that
occurs when small pouches in
the first part of the small
the colon called diverticula push
outward through weak spots.
dysentery (DISS-en-tair-ee): an
E. coli (ee) (KOH-ly): see
infectious disease of the colon.
Symptoms include bloody,
mucus-filled diarrhea; abdominal
EGD (EE-JEE-DEE): see
pain; fever; and loss of fluids
dyspepsia (diss-PEP-see-uh): upper
abdominal discomfort, often
procedure that uses an electrical
provoked by eating, that may
current passed through an
be accompanied by fullness,
instrument to stop bleeding.
bloating, nausea, or other
gastrointestinal symptoms. Also
chemicals in the body fluids
that are parts of salts, including
sodium, potassium, magnesium,
problems with swallowing
food or liquid, usually caused
ELISA (uh-LEE-suh): see enzyme-
by blockage or injury to the
linked immunosorbent assay.
accidental passage of a bowel
movement. A common disorder
endoscope (EN-doh-skohp): a
small, flexible tube with a light
and a camera on the end that is
used to look into the esophagus,
stomach, duodenum, colon, or
rectum. It can also be used
to take tissue from the body
for testing or to take color
photographs of the inside of
the body. Colonoscopes and
sigmoidoscopes are types of
endoscopic papillotomy (en
enteral nutrition (EN-tur-uhl)
(noo-TRISH-uhn): a way to
uh-mee): see endoscopic
provide food through a tube
placed in the nose, stomach, or
small intestine. A tube in the
nose is called a nasogastric or
nasoenteral tube. A tube may
be placed into the stomach or
small intestine through a hole
called a gastrostomy, percutaneous
a test that uses an x ray to look
endoscopic gastrostomy (PEG),
into the bile and pancreatic ducts.
jejunostomy, or percutaneous
The doctor inserts an endoscope
endoscopic jejunostomy (PEJ).
through the mouth into the
Also called tube feeding.
duodenum and bile ducts. Dye is
sent through the tube into the
enteritis (EN-tur-EYE-tiss): an
ducts, which makes the ducts
irritation of the small intestine.
show up on an x ray.
enterocele (EN-tur-o-SEEL): a
endoscopic sphincterotomy (en
hernia in the intestines. See
uh-mee): an operation to cut
the muscle between the common
enterokinase deficiency (EN-tur-oh
bile duct and the pancreatic duct.
The operation uses a catheter
a rare disorder of protein
and wire to remove gallstones
or other blockages. Also called
pee): an examination of the
endoscopy (en-DOSS-kuh-pee): a
small intestine with an endoscope.
procedure that uses an endoscope
The endoscope is inserted
to diagnose or treat a condition.
through the mouth and stomach
into the small intestine.
enema (EN-uh-muh): a liquid put
into the rectum to clear out the
bowel or administer drugs.
enterostomal therapy (ET) nurse
epithelial cells (EP-ih-THEE-lee
uhl) (selz): one of many kinds of
(THAIR-uh-pee) (nurss): a
cells that form the epithelium and
nurse who cares for patients who
have an ostomy.
uhm): the inner and outer tissue
mee): an ostomy, or opening,
covering digestive tract organs.
into the intestines through the
see endoscopic retrograde
enzyme (EN-zym): proteins in
the body that control chemical
reactions in the body, including
energy production and
a noisy release of gas from the
stomach through the mouth.
Also called belching or burping.
assay (ELISA) (EN-zym-linkt)
erythema nodosum (AIR-ih
say): a type of blood test usually
swelling or red sores on the
used to measure antibodies.
lower legs during flare-ups of
Crohn's disease and ulcerative
eosinophilic esophagitis (EE-oh
colitis. These sores show that the
disease is active and usually go
JY-tiss): a disease in which the
away when the disease is treated.
lining of the esophagus becomes
infiltrated with a type of white
Escherichia coli (E. coli) (esh
blood cell called an eosinophil.
uh-RIK-ee-uh) (KOH-ly): a
family of bacteria found in the
eosinophilic gastroenteritis (EE
gastrointestinal tract. Some forms
may cause diarrhea.
en-tur-EYE-tiss): an irritation
of the stomach, small intestine, or
large intestine caused by a type
of white blood cell called an
esophageal atresia (uh-SOF-uh
esophageal pH monitoring (uh
a birth defect in which the
(MON-ih-tur-ing): a test to
esophagus lacks the opening
measure the amount of acid in
to allow food to pass into the
esophageal reflux (uh-SOF-uh
JEE-uhl) (REE-fluhks): see
gastroesophageal reflux disease.
esophageal spasms (uh-SOF-uh
JEE-uhl) (SPA-zumz): muscle
contractions in the esophagus
that cause pain in the chest or
esophageal stricture (uh-SOF-uh
Normal esophageal development.
JEE-uhl) (STRIK-choor): a
narrowing of the esophagus often
caused by acid flowing back from
the stomach or cancer. This
condition may require surgery.
esophageal ulcer (uh-SOF-uh-JEE
uhl) (UHL-sur): a sore in the
esophagus caused by long-term
inflammation, infection, pills, or
One form of esophageal atresia.
esophageal varices (uh-SOF-uh
JEE-uhl) (VAIR-ih-seez): large
esophageal manometry (uh-SOF
veins in the esophagus that occur
when the liver is not working
tree): a test to measure muscle
properly. If the veins burst, the
contraction in the esophagus.
bleeding can cause death.
esophageal perforation (uh-SOF
shuhn): a hole in the esophagus,
which may be caused by a
disease or medical procedure.
failure to thrive (FAYL-yoor) (too)
an irritation of the esophagus,
(thryv): a condition that occurs
usually caused by acid that flows
when a child grows at a slower
up from the stomach.
familial adenomatous polyposis
(FAP) (fa-MIL-ee-uhl) (AD-uh
pee): an exam of the upper
POH-siss): an inherited disease
digestive tract using an endoscope.
characterized by the presence of
100 or more polyps in the colon.
The polyps lead to colorectal
esophagus (uh-SOF-uh-guhss): the
cancer if not treated.
organ that connects the mouth
to the stomach. Also called the
FAP (EF-AY-PEE): see familial
fat: 1. one of the three main
EL): see extracorporeal shock
nutrients in food. Foods that
provide fat are butter, margarine,
salad dressing, oil, nuts, meat,
ET nurse (EE-TEE) (nurss): see
poultry, fish, and some dairy
enterostomal therapy nurse.
products. 2. a greasy liquid or
solid material found in the human
excrete (eks-KREET): when the
body, animals, and some plants.
body gets rid of waste.
In the body, excess calories are
stored as fat, providing a reserve
extracorporeal shock wave
supply of energy.
lithotripsy (ESWL) (EKS
fatty liver (FAT-ee) (LIV-ur): see
a method of breaking up bile
fecal fat test (FEE-kuhl) (fat)
stones, gallstones, and pancreatic
(test): a test to measure the
and renal stones that uses a
body's ability to break down and
specialized tool and shock waves.
absorb fat by examining stool
extrahepatic biliary tree (EKS-truh
fecal incontinence (FEE-kuhl) (in
(tree): the bile ducts located
KON-tih-nenss): being unable
outside the liver.
to hold stool in the colon and
fecal occult blood test (FOBT)
FHF (EF-AYCH-EF): see
fulminant hepatic failure.
(bluhd) (test): a test to see
whether there is blood in the
fiber (FY-bur): a substance in
stool that is not visible to the
foods that comes from plants.
naked eye. A sample of stool is
Fiber helps keep stool soft
placed on a chemical strip that
so that it moves smoothly
changes color if blood is present.
through the colon. Soluble fiber
Hidden blood in the stool may
dissolves in water and is found
be a sign of colorectal cancer.
in beans, fruit, and oat products.
Insoluble fiber does not dissolve
in water and is found in whole-
grain products and vegetables.
fistula (FISS-tyoo-luh): an
abnormal passage between two
organs, or between an organ and
the outside of the body, caused
when damaged tissues come into
contact and join together while
excessive gas in the stomach or
intestine that can cause bloating
Fecal occult blood test.
feces (FEE-seez): the solid waste
flatus (FLAY-tuhss): gas passed
that passes through the rectum
through the rectum.
as a bowel movement. Feces
are undigested food, bacteria,
FOBT (EF-OH-BEE-TEE): see
mucus, and dead cells. Also
fecal occult blood test.
foodborne illness (FOOD
born) (IL-ness): an acute
shuhn): the process of bacteria
gastrointestinal infection caused
breaking down undigested food
by food that contains harmful
and releasing alcohols, acids,
bacteria or toxins. Symptoms
include diarrhea, abdominal
pain, fever, and chills.
fulminant hepatic failure (FHF)
galactose (guh-LAK-tohss): a
type of sugar in milk products
(FAYL-yoor): liver failure that
and sugar beets. The body also
occurs suddenly in a previously
healthy person. The most
common causes of FHF are
acute hepatitis, acetaminophen
mee-uh): a buildup of galactose
overdose, and liver damage
in the blood caused by the lack
from prescription drugs.
of one of the enzymes needed to
break down galactose.
functional disorders (FUHNK
gallbladder (GAWL-blad-ur): the
disorders such as irritable bowel
organ that stores the bile made
syndrome that are of unknown
in the liver and that is connected
cause. Symptoms such as gas,
to the liver by bile ducts. The
pain, constipation, and diarrhea
gallbladder can store about
come back repeatedly but
2 tablespoons of bile. Eating
without signs of disease or
signals the gallbladder to empty
damage. Emotional stress can
the bile through the bile ducts to
trigger symptoms. Also called
help the body digest fats.
gallstones (GAWL-stohnz): the
fungus (FUHNG-guhss): a mold or
solid masses or stones made of
yeast such as Candida that may
cholesterol or bilirubin that form
in the gallbladder or bile ducts.
Gallbladder with stones
Common bile duct
Greater duodenal papilla (ampulla of Vater)
Gardner's syndrome (GARD-nurz)
gastric juices (GASS-trik) (JOO
SIN-drohm): a condition
sez): liquids produced in the
in which many polyps form
stomach to help break down food
throughout the digestive tract.
and kill bacteria.
Because these polyps are likely
to become cancerous, the colon
gastric resection (GASS-trik) (ree
and rectum are often removed to
SEK-shuhn): an operation to
prevent colorectal cancer.
remove part or all of the stomach.
gastric ulcer (GASS-trik) (UHL
gas: air that results from the normal
breakdown of food. The gases
sur): an open sore in the lining
are passed out of the body
of the stomach. Also called
through the rectum (flatus) or the
gastrin (GASS-trin): a hormone
released after eating that causes
an operation to remove all or part
the stomach to produce more acid.
of the stomach.
gastric (GASS-trik): related to the
inflammation of the stomach lining.
gastrocolic reflex (GASS-troh-KOL
gastric hypersecretion (GASS-trik)
ik) (REE-fleks): an increase
of muscle movement in the
the oversecretion of gastric acid
gastrointestinal tract when food
and the hallmark symptom of
enters an empty stomach. It may
cause the urge to have a bowel
movement right after eating.
Some Causes of Gastroenteritis
EYE-tiss): an infection or irritation
– Escherichia coli
of the stomach and intestines,
which may be caused by viruses
or by bacteria or parasites from
spoiled food or unclean water.
– Norwalk virus
Other causes include eating food
that irritates the stomach lining
and emotional upsets such as
anger, fear, or stress. Symptoms
include diarrhea, nausea, vomiting,
– Entamoeba histolytica
and abdominal cramping. See
– Giardia lamblia
infectious diarrhea and traveler's
gastrointestinal tract (GI tract)
tur-OL-uh-jist): a doctor who
specializes in digestive diseases.
(trakt): the large, muscular tube
that extends from the mouth to
the anus, where the movement of
EN-tur-OL-uh-jee): the field
muscles, along with the release
of medicine focusing on the
of hormones and enzymes, allows
function and disorders of the
for the digestion of food. Also
called the alimentary canal or
gastroesophageal reflux disease
REE-siss): nerve or muscle
(dih-ZEEZ): a condition in
damage in the stomach that
which stomach contents flow
causes slow emptying, vomiting,
back up into the esophagus.
nausea, or bloating. Also called
GERD happens when the
delayed gastric emptying.
muscle between the esophagus
and the stomach (the lower
esophageal sphincter) is weak or
mee): an artificial opening from
relaxes when it should not. It
the stomach to a hole (stoma)
may cause esophagitis. Also
in the abdomen where a feeding
called esophageal reflux or reflux
tube is inserted. See enteral
gastrointestinal (GI) (GASS-troh
GERD (gurd): see gastroesophageal
to the gastrointestinal tract.
GI (JEE-EYE): see gastrointestinal.
giardiasis (JEE-ar-DY-uh-siss): an
infection of the parasite Giardia
smooth cystic structures attached
lamblia caused by spoiled food
to the border of the intestines,
or unclean water. It can cause
which are most commonly seen
diarrhea. See gastroenteritis.
in the ileum.
Gilbert syndrome (zheel-BAIR)
glycogen (GLY-koh-jen): the stored
(SIN-drohm): a buildup of
form of sugar in the liver and
bilirubin in the blood caused by
muscles that releases glucose into
the lack of a liver enzyme needed
the blood when cells need it for
to break it down. See bilirubin.
energy. Glycogen is the chief
source of stored fuel in the body.
GI tract (JEE-EYE) (trakt): see
glycogen storage diseases (GLY
koh-jen) (STOR-uhj) (dih-
globus sensation (GLOH-buhss)
ZEEZ-iz): a group of birth
(sen-SAY-shuhn): a constant
defects that changes the way the
feeling of a lump in the throat
liver breaks down glycogen.
that is usually related to stress.
glucose (GLOO-kohss): a simple
muh): a type of immune
sugar the body manufactures
reaction seen in some diseases.
from carbohydrates in the
diet. Glucose is the body's
granulomatous colitis (GRAN-yoo
main source of energy. See
another name for Crohn's disease
of the colon.
gluten (GLOO-tuhn): a protein
found in wheat, rye, and barley.
granulomatous enteritis (GRAN
In people with celiac disease,
gluten damages the lining of the
EYE-tiss): another name for
small intestine or causes sores on
Crohn's disease of the small
the skin. See celiac disease.
gluten intolerance (GLOO-tuhn)
gullet (GUHL-uht): see esophagus.
(in-TOL-ur-uhnss): see celiac
gut: see intestines.
gluten sensitive enteropathy
(EN-tur-OP-uh-thee): a general
term that refers to celiac disease
and dermatitis herpetiformis.
H2 blockers (AYCH-TOO) (BLOK
Tips to Control Heartburn
urz): medicines that reduce
the amount of acid the stomach
• Avoid foods and beverages that
worsen symptoms or irritate
signals the stomach to make
the esophagus lining, such as
acid. Examples of H2 blockers
fried, spicy, and acidic foods.
include cimetidine, famotidine,
• Lose weight if overweight.
nizatidine, and ranitidine.
(Brand names: Tagamet,
• Stop smoking.
Pepcid, Axid, Zantac.) They are
• Elevate the head of the bed
used to treat ulcer symptoms.
Nonprescription H2 blockers are
• Avoid lying down 2 to 3 hours
Zantac 75, Axid AR, Pepcid-AC,
• Take an antacid.
HBIg (AYCH-BEE-EYE-JEE): see
hepatitis B immunoglobulin.
Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori)
heartburn (HART-burn): a
painful, burning feeling in the
LOR-eye): a spiral-shaped
chest caused by stomach acid
bacterium found in the stomach.
flowing back into the esophagus.
H. pylori damages the stomach
Changing the diet and other
and tissue in the first part of the
lifestyle habits can help prevent
small intestine, causing ulcers.
heartburn. Heartburn may
Previously called Campylobacter
be a symptom of GERD. See
gastroesophageal reflux disease.
disease that occurs when
the body absorbs too much
iron or receives many blood
transfusions. The body stores
the excess iron in the liver,
pancreas, and other organs and
can cause cirrhosis. Also called
iron overload disease.
hepatitis (HEP-uh-TY-tiss): an
DEK-tuh-mee): an operation to
irritation of the liver that
sometimes causes permanent
damage. Hepatitis may be
swollen blood vessels in and
caused by viruses, medicines,
around the anus and lower
rectum. Continual straining to
hepatitis A (HEP-uh-TY-tiss)
have a bowel movement causes
(ay): a virus most often spread
them to stretch and swell.
through unclean food and water.
They cause itching, pain, and
hepatitis B (HEP-uh-TY-tiss)
(bee): a virus commonly spread
through sexual intercourse,
blood transfusion, sharing
needles with infected people, or
from mother to newborn at birth.
Hepatitis B is more common and
much more easily spread than
the AIDS virus and may lead to
cirrhosis and liver cancer.
hepatitis B immunoglobulin (HBIg)
(HEP-uh-TY-tiss) (bee) (IM
vaccination that gives short-term
hepatic (heh-PAT-ik): related to
protection against hepatitis B.
hepatic coma (heh-PAT-ik)
hepatitis B vaccine (HEP-uh-TY
(KOH-muh): see hepatic
tiss) (bee) (vak-SEEN): a
vaccination to prevent hepatitis B.
The vaccine leads the body to
hepatic encephalopathy (heh-PAT
make its own protection
(antibodies) against the virus.
a condition that may cause loss
of consciousness and coma. It
is usually the result of advanced
liver disease. Also called hepatic
hepatitis C (HEP-uh-TY-tiss)
(see): a virus spread by blood
SISS-ih-tee): refers to damage
transfusion (prior to July
a medicine or other substance
1992) and possibly by sexual
does to the liver.
intercourse or sharing needles
with infected people. Hepatitis
hernia (HUR-nee-uh): the part of
C can lead to cirrhosis and liver
an internal organ that pushes
cancer. Hepatitis C used to be
through an opening in the
called non-A, non-B hepatitis.
organ's wall. Most hernias occur
in the abdominal area. For an
hepatitis D (HEP-uh-TY-tiss) (dee):
example, see inguinal hernia.
a virus that occurs mostly in
people who share needles with
infected people. Only people
fee): an operation to repair
who have hepatitis B can get
hiatal hernia (hy-AY-tuhl) (HUR-
hepatitis E (HEP-uh-TY-tiss) (ee):
nee-uh): an opening in the
a virus spread mostly through
diaphragm that allows the upper
unclean water. This type
part of the stomach to move up
of hepatitis is common in
into the chest. It may cause
developing countries. It has not
heartburn from stomach acid
occurred in the United States.
flowing back up through the
opening. See diaphragm. Also
called hiatus hernia.
a doctor who specializes
in liver diseases.
the field of medicine focusing on
the functions and disorders of
hepatorenal syndrome (HEP-uh
unexplained kidney failure seen
in people with severe liver or
biliary tract disease.
Hirschsprung disease (HURSH
hydrogen breath test (HY-droh
spruhng) (dih-ZEEZ): a birth
jen) (breth) (test): a test for
defect in which some nerve cells
lactose intolerance that measures
are lacking in the large intestine,
breath samples for hydrogen
causing the intestine not to move
levels. The body makes too
stool and become blocked. It
much hydrogen when lactose is
causes the abdomen to swell. See
not broken down properly in the
hormone (HOR-mohn): a natural
chemical produced in one part
men-TAY-shuhn): see parenteral
of the body and released into
the blood to trigger or regulate
particular functions of the body.
The digestive system makes
a large number of different
condition of having too much
bilirubin in the blood, which
occurs when the liver does not
H. pylori (aych) (py-LOR-eye): see
work normally or blood breaks
down too quickly. Symptoms
hydrochloric acid (HY-droh-
KLOR-ik) (ASS-id): an acid
made in the stomach that works
HY-dree-uh): having too much
with pepsin and other enzymes to
hydrochloric acid in the stomach.
break down proteins.
hyperplastic polyps (HY-pur-
hydrogen (HY-droh-jen): an
PLASS-tik) (POL-ips): the most
odorless, colorless, flammable
common form of polyps, usually
gas that combines chemically to
found in the sigmoid colon and
rectum. These polyps are not
thought to progress to cancer.
(gass-TRY-tiss): see Ménétrier
IBD (EYE-BEE-DEE): see
inflammatory bowel disease.
IBS (EYE-BEE-ESS): see irritable
ileal (IL-ee-uhl): related to the
ileum, the lowest end of the small
ileal pouch (IL-ee-uhl) (pouch):
see ileoanal reservoir.
ileitis (IL-ee-EYE-tiss): see
Ileoanal pouch anastomosis.
ileoanal pouch anastomosis (IL
ileoanal reservoir (IL-ee-oh
ee-oh-AY-nuhl) (pouch) (uh
AY-nuhl) (REZ-ur-vwar): a
colonlike pouch created from the
operation to remove the colon
last several inches of the ileum.
and inner lining of the rectum.
The pouch allows stool to exit
The outer muscle of the rectum
through the anus after the
is not removed. The bottom end
colon is removed. Also called
of the small intestine (ileum) is
a J-pouch or pelvic pouch.
pulled through the remaining
rectum and joined to the anus,
ileocecal valve (IL-ee-oh-SEE
allowing stool to pass normally.
kuhl) (valv): one or more flaps
Also called ileoanal pull-through
of tissue between the lower part
of the small intestine (ileum)
and the upper part of the large
ileoanal pull-through intestine (IL
(in-TESS-tin): see ileoanal pouch
irritation of the lower part of the
small intestine (ileum) and the
beginning part of the colon.
inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)
an operation that attaches the
small intestine to an opening
in the abdomen called a stoma.
disorders that cause irritation
An ostomy pouch, attached to
and ulcers in the gastrointestinal
the stoma and worn outside the
tract. The most common
body, collects stool.
disorders are ulcerative colitis
ileum (IL-ee-uhm): the lower end
and Crohn's disease.
of the small intestine.
inguinal hernia (ING-gwih-nuhl)
impaction (im-PAK-shuhn): when
(HUR-nee-uh): a condition in
an object is trapped in a body
which intra-abdominal fat or
passage. Examples are stones in
part of the small intestine bulges
the bile duct, hardened stool
through a weak area in the lower
in the colon, or food in the
imperforate anus (im-PUR-foh
rayt) (AY-nuhss): a birth defect
in which the anal canal fails
to develop. The condition is
treated with an operation.
infectious diarrhea (in-FEK-shuhss)
caused by infection from
bacteria, viruses, or parasites.
See traveler's diarrhea and
infectious gastroenteritis (in-FEK
EYE-tiss): see gastroenteritis.
intestinal adhesions (in-TESS-tih
nuhl) (ad-HEE-zhuhnz): bands
SEP-shuhn): a disorder that
of fibrous tissue that can connect
causes part of the intestines to
the loops of the intestines to
fold into another part, causing
each other, to other abdominal
blockage. It is most common in
organs, or to the abdominal wall.
infants and can be treated with
These bands can pull sections of
the intestines out of place and
may block the passage of food.
iron overload disease (EYE-urn)
(OH-vur-lohd) (dih-ZEEZ): see
intestinal flora (in-TESS-tih-nuhl)
(FLOH-ruh): the bacteria,
yeasts, and fungi that normally
grow in the intestines and colon.
cleansing of a cavity or tube with
fluid. Example: when an enema
intestinal mucosa (in-TESS-tih
is given through a colostomy
nuhl) (myoo-KOH-suh): the
stoma to cleanse the large bowel.
inner surface lining of the
intestines where the cells absorb
irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
(IHR-ih-tuh-buhl) (boul) (SIN
drohm): a disorder of unknown
cause that is associated with
abdominal pain, bloating, and
altered bowel habits. Also called
disorder that causes symptoms of
spastic colon or mucous colitis.
blockage, but no actual blockage,
such as constipation, vomiting,
ischemic colitis (iss-KEE-mik)
and pain. See obstruction.
(koh-LY-tiss): irritation of
the colon caused by decreased
intestines (in-TESS-tinz): also
blood flow. It may cause bloody
called the gut. See large intestine
and small intestine.
intolerance (in-TOL-ur-uhnss): a
reaction to a food, drug, or other
jaundice (JAWN-diss): a sign of
karaya (kuh-RY-uh): a plant-
many disorders. The skin and
derived adhesive used in ostomy
eyes turn yellow from too much
bilirubin in the blood. See
Kupffer's cells (KOOP-furz) (selz):
cells that line the liver. These
cells remove waste such as
mee): an operation to create an
bacteria from the blood.
opening, called a stoma, between
the jejunum and the abdomen.
See enteral nutrition.
jejunum (juh-JOO-nuhm): the
middle section of the small
intestine between the duodenum
J-pouch: see ileoanal reservoir.
lactase (LAK-tayss): an enzyme
in the small intestine needed to
digest milk sugar (lactose).
operation to remove the
lactase deficiency (LAK-tayss)
gallbladder. The doctor inserts
(duh-FISH-en-see): a lack of the
a laparoscope and other surgical
lactase enzyme, causing lactose
instruments through small holes
made in the abdomen. The
lactose (LAK-tohss): the sugar
camera allows the doctor to see
found in milk. The body breaks
the gallbladder on a television
lactose down into galactose and
screen. The doctor removes the
gallbladder through the holes.
lactose intolerance (LAK-tohss) (in
TOL-ur-uhnss): being unable to
digest lactose, the sugar in milk.
This condition occurs when the
body cannot produce lactase.
lactose tolerance test (LAK-tohss)
(TOL-ur-uhnss) (test): a test for
lactase deficiency. The patient
drinks a liquid that contains milk
sugar. Then the patient's blood
is tested to measure the amount
of milk sugar in the blood.
pee): a procedure that uses a
a thin tube with a tiny video
laparoscope to look at and take
camera attached that is used to
tissue from the inside of the
look inside the body to view the
surface of organs. See endoscope.
mee): an operation that opens
up the abdomen.
large intestine (larj) (in-TESS-tin):
liver (LIV-ur): the largest
the part of the intestine that
abdominal organ. The liver
includes the appendix, cecum,
carries out many important
colon, and rectum. The large
functions, such as making
intestine absorbs water from
important blood proteins and
stool and changes it from a liquid
bile, changing food into energy,
to a solid form. The large
and cleaning alcohol and poisons
intestine is 5 feet long.
lavage (luh-VAHZH): a cleaning of
liver enzyme tests (LIV-ur) (EN
the stomach and colon that uses
zym) (tests): blood tests that
a special drink and enemas. See
may indicate abnormalities of
the liver or biliary system. Also
called liver function tests.
medicines that relieve long-term
liver function tests (LIV-ur)
constipation. Also called
(FUHNK-shuhn) (tests): see
liver enzyme tests.
lazy colon (LAY-zee) (KOH-lon):
loop ileostomy (loop) (IL-ee-OSS
see atonic colon.
tuh-mee): a temporary ileostomy
in which a loop of the small
levator syndrome (leh-VAY-tur)
intestine is pulled through the
(SIN-drohm): a feeling of
abdominal wall to create a stoma.
fullness in the anus and rectum
with occasional pain caused by
lower esophageal ring (LOH-wur)
an abnormal ring of tissue that
may partially block the lower
esophagus. Also called Schatzki's
lower esophageal sphincter
lower GI series (LOH-wur) (JEE
EYE) (SIHR-eez): see barium
JEE-uhl) (SFINGK-tur): the
enema x ray.
muscle between the esophagus
and stomach. When a person
swallows, this muscle relaxes to
TAY-zee-uh): an obstruction of
let food pass from the esophagus
lymph drainage from the small
to the stomach. It stays closed
intestine causing malabsorption.
at other times to keep stomach
lymphocytic colitis (LIM-foh
contents from flowing back into
SIT-ik) (koh-LY-tiss): an
inflammatory bowel disease that
affects the large bowel. Also
called microscopic colitis because
there is no sign of inflammation
on the surface of the colon
during a colonoscopy.
Lower esophageal sphincter.
magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
shuhn): when the bowel does
(IM-uhj-ing): a test that takes
not rotate completely during
pictures of the body's soft
tissues. The pictures do not use
tests that measure muscle
pressure and movements in
the gastrointestinal tract. See
esophageal manometry and rectal
Meckel's diverticulum (MEK-uhlz)
bulge in the small intestine that is
a remnant of the umbilical cord
Magnetic resonance imaging.
that persists in about 2 percent
of people. It can cause bleeding
malabsorption syndromes (MAL
conditions that occur when the
small intestine cannot absorb
a huge, swollen colon that
nutrients from foods.
results from several different
conditions. In children,
Mallory-Weiss tear (MAL-uh-
megacolon is more common in
ree-WYSS) (tair): a tear in
boys than girls. See Hirschsprung
the lower end of the esophagus
caused by severe vomiting.
melena (meh-LEE-nuh): blood in
uhn): a condition caused by not
eating enough food or not eating
Ménétrier disease (MAYN-ay-tree-
a balanced diet.
AY) (dih-ZEEZ): a long-term
disorder that causes large, coiled
folds in the stomach. Also called
mucosal protective drugs (myoo
the way cells change food into
energy after food is digested and
(druhgz): medicines that protect
absorbed into the blood.
the stomach lining from acid.
Examples are sucralfate and
microvillus inclusion disease
misoprostol. (Brand names:
Carafate, Cytotec, Mylanta,
zhuhn) (dih-ZEEZ): a disease
characterized by severe diarrhea
beginning the first few days after
mucous colitis (MYOO-kuhss)
birth. It is life threatening.
(koh-LY-tiss): see irritable bowel
motility (moh-TIL-ih-tee): the
movement of food through the
mucus (MYOO-kuhss): a clear
liquid made by the intestines that
coats and protects tissues in the
motility disorders (moh-TIL-ih-tee)
(diss-OR-durz): see functional
MRI (EM-AR-EYE): see magnetic
mucosal lining (myoo-KOH
suhl) (LYN-ing): the lining of
gastrointestinal tract organs that
absorb nutrients and fluid, form
a barrier, and produce mucus.
NASH (nuhsh): see nonalcoholic
Nissen fundoplication (NISS-uhn)
an operation to sew the top of
nausea (NAW-zee-uh): the feeling
the stomach (fundus) around
of needing to throw up, or vomit.
the esophagus. It is used to stop
stomach contents from flowing
necrosis (nuh-KROH-siss): death
back into the esophagus (reflux)
of cells or tissues.
and to repair a hiatal hernia.
necrotizing enterocolitis (NEH
LY-tiss): a condition in which
part of the tissue in the intestines
is destroyed. It occurs mainly in
neonatal hepatitis (NEE-oh
irritation of the liver with no
known cause. It occurs in
newborns and its symptoms
include jaundice and liver cell
a common, often "silent," liver
disease that resembles alcoholic
liver disease but occurs in people
who drink little or no alcohol.
new and abnormal growth of
The major characteristic of
tissue that may or may not be
NASH is fat in the liver, along
cancerous. Also called a tumor.
with inflammation and damage.
nontropical sprue (NON-TRAH
pih-kuhl) (sproo): see celiac
nonulcer dyspepsia (NON-UHL
sur) (diss-PEP-see-uh): constant
a blockage in the gastrointestinal
pain or discomfort in the upper
tract that prevents the flow of
gastrointestinal (GI) tract.
liquids or solids.
Symptoms include burning,
nausea, and bloating, but not
occult bleeding (uh-KUHLT)
ulcers. It is a functional disorder.
(BLEED-ing): blood in
stool that is not visible to the
Norwalk virus (NOR-wok) (VY
naked eye. It may be a sign of
ruhss): a virus that may cause
inflammation or a disease such
gastrointestinal infection and
as colorectal cancer.
diarrhea. See gastroenteritis.
oral dissolution therapy (OR
nutcracker esophagus (nuht-
a condition in which the muscle
infrequently used method of
contraction in the esophagus is
dissolving cholesterol gallstones.
too strong, causing chest pain or
The patient takes the oral
medications chenodiol and
ursodiol. These medicines are
most often used for people
who cannot have an operation.
(Brand names: Chenix,
osmotics (oz-MOT-iks): drugs that
draw fluid into the colon and
soften stool, making it easier
to pass. This class of drugs is
useful for people with idiopathic
constipation and includes
lactulose and polyethylene
glycol electrolyte solution.
(Brand names: Cephulac,
Miralax.) See laxatives.
ostomate (OSS-toh-mayt): a person
pancreas (PAN-kree-uhss): a gland
who has an ostomy. Also called
that makes the hormone insulin
an ostomist in some countries.
and enzymes and fluids for
ostomy (OSS-tuh-mee): an
operation that makes it possible
for stool to leave the body
an irritation of the pancreas that
through an opening made in
can cause it to stop working. It
the abdomen. An ostomy is
is most often caused by gallstones
necessary when part or all of
or alcohol abuse.
the intestines are removed or
blocked. Colostomy and ileostomy
papilla of Vater (puh-PIL-uh) (uhv)
are types of ostomy.
(VAH-tur): see ampulla of Vater.
papillary stenosis (PAP-ih-
LAIR-ee) (steh-NOH-siss): a
condition in which the openings
of the bile ducts and pancreatic
parenteral nutrition (puh-REN
a way to provide an intravenous
liquid food mixture through a
special tube in the chest. Also
called hyperalimentation or total
parietal cells (puh-RY-uh-tuhl)
(selz): cells in the stomach wall
that make hydrochloric acid.
pediatric gastroenterologist (PEE
OL-uh-jist): a doctor who treats
children who have digestive
pelvic pouch: see ileoanal reservoir.
pepsin (PEP-sin): an enzyme made
in the stomach that breaks down
peptic (PEP-tik): related to the
LAN-jee-OG-ruh-fee): an x ray
stomach and the duodenum,
of the gallbladder and bile ducts.
where pepsin is present.
A dye is injected through the
peptic ulcer (PEP-tik) (UHL-sur):
abdomen and liver to make the
a sore in the lining of the
organs show up on the x ray.
esophagus, stomach, or duodenum,
perforated ulcer (PUR-foh-RAYT
usually caused by the bacterium
ed) (UHL-sur): an ulcer that
Helicobacter pylori. An ulcer in
breaks through the wall of
the stomach is a gastric ulcer;
the stomach or the duodenum,
an ulcer in the duodenum is a
causing stomach contents to leak
into the abdominal cavity.
a hole in the wall of an organ.
perianal (PAIR-ee-AY-nuhl): the
area around the anus.
related to the perineum.
the area between the anus and
nee-uhss): the passage of an
a wavelike movement of muscles
instrument through the skin to
in the gastrointestinal (GI) tract.
allow access to the organs.
Peristalsis moves food and liquid
through the GI tract.
uhm): the lining of the
porphyria (por-FIHR-ee-uh): a
an infection of the peritoneum.
group of rare, usually inherited
disorders that affect the skin
pernicious anemia (pur-NISH-uhss)
or nervous system and may
cause abdominal pain. When
caused by a lack of vitamin B12.
a person has porphyria, cells
The body needs B12 to make red
fail to change porphyrins (body
blood cells and nerve cells.
chemicals) into heme, the
Peutz-Jeghers syndrome (PUTS
substance that gives blood its red
JAY-gurz) (SIN-drohm): an
color. Porphyrins then build up
inherited condition causing many
in the body and cause illness.
polyps to grow in the intestine.
portal hypertension (POR-tuhl)
It poses an increased risk of
blood pressure in the portal
pharynx (FAIR-ingks): the space
vein. This vein carries blood into
behind the mouth that serves
the liver. Portal hypertension
as a passage for food from the
is a common complication
mouth to the esophagus and for
of cirrhosis and may cause
air from the nose and mouth to
esophageal varices and ascites.
the larynx, or voice box.
portal vein (POR-tuhl) (vayn):
polyp (POL-ip): a growth on the
the large vein that carries blood
surface of an organ. People
from the intestines and spleen to
who have polyps in the colon
may have an increased risk of
portosystemic shunt (POR-toh-siss
TEM-ik): an operation to create
an opening between the portal
mee): the surgical removal of
vein and other veins around
the liver to treat portal
polyposis (POL-ih-POH-siss): the
presence of many polyps.
primary sclerosing cholangitis
mee) (SIN-drohm): symptoms
persisting after removal of the
tiss): irritation, scarring, and
gallbladder or new symptoms
narrowing of the bile ducts inside
caused by its removal.
and outside the liver. Bile builds
up in the liver and may damage
its cells. Many people with this
condition also have ulcerative
(SIN-drohm): a condition that
can occur after an operation
to remove the stomach
proctalgia fugax (prok-TAL-jee-uh)
(gastrectomy). It causes food to
(FYOO-gaks): short episodes of
empty too quickly. Also called
intense pain in the rectum. It is
dumping syndrome or rapid
caused by muscle spasms around
postvagotomy stasis (POST-vay
an operation to remove the
delayed stomach emptying, which
can occur after surgery affecting
the vagus nerve.
proctitis (prok-TY-tiss): irritation
of the rectum.
pouch: 1. a special bag worn over a
stoma to collect stool. Also called
an ostomy appliance. 2. an
LEK-tuh-mee): an operation
internal, surgically constructed
to remove the colon and rectum.
cavity. See ileoanal pouch
Also called coloproctectomy.
primary biliary cirrhosis (PRY
LY-tiss): irritation of the colon
mair-ee) (BIL-ee-air-ee) (sur
ROH-siss): a chronic liver
disease that slowly destroys the
bile ducts in the liver, preventing
the release of bile. Long-term
irritation of the liver may cause
scarring and cirrhosis in later
stages of the disease.
prolapse (PROH-laps): a condition
a doctor who specializes in
that occurs when a body part
disorders of the anus and rectum.
slips from its normal position.
proctoscope (PROK-toh-skohp): a
protein (PROH-teen): one of the
short, rigid metal tube used to
three main nutrients in food.
look into the rectum and anus.
Foods that provide protein
include meat, poultry, fish,
cheese, milk, dairy products,
looking into the rectum and anus
eggs, and dried beans. Proteins
with a proctoscope.
are also used in the body for cell
structure, fighting infection, and
moy-DY-tiss): irritation of the
other functions. The stomach,
rectum and the sigmoid colon.
small intestine, and pancreas
break down proteins into amino
acids. After the body's cells
use protein, it is broken down
endoscopic examination of the
into waste products containing
rectum and sigmoid colon. See
nitrogen that must be removed
by the kidneys. The blood
prokinetic drugs (PROH-kih
absorbs amino acids and uses
NET-ik) (druhgz): medicines
them to build and mend cells.
that cause muscles in the
See amino acids.
gastrointestinal tract to move
proton pump inhibitors (PROH
food. Examples are bethanechol
ton) (puhmp) (in-HIB-ih-turz):
and metoclopramide. (Brand
medicines that stop the stomach's
names: Duvoid, Reglan.)
acid pump. Examples include
omeprazole, lansoprazole, and
esomeprazole. (Brand names:
Prilosec, Prevacid, Nexium.)
pruritus ani (proo-RY-tuhss) (AY
radiation colitis (RAY-dee-AY
nee): itching around the anus.
shuhn) (koh-LY-tiss): damage to
the colon from radiation therapy.
pseudomembranous colitis (SOO
radiation enteritis (RAY-dee
LY-tiss): severe irritation of
the colon caused by Clostridium
damage to the small intestine
difficile bacterium. It occurs
from radiation therapy.
after taking oral antibiotics,
which kill bacteria that normally
radionuclide bleeding scans
live in the colon.
(BLEED-ing) (skanz): tests to
pyloric sphincter (py-LOR-ik)
find gastrointestinal bleeding.
(SFINGK-tur): the muscle
Radioactive material is injected
between the stomach and the
in the body to highlight organs
on a special camera. Also called
pyloric stenosis (py-LOR-ik) (steh
NOH-siss): a narrowing of the
rapid gastric emptying (RA-pid)
opening between the stomach
(GASS-trik) (EMP-tee-ing): a
and the small intestine.
condition that occurs when food
moves too fast from the stomach
to the small intestine. Symptoms
tee): an operation to widen the
include nausea, pain, weakness,
opening between the stomach
and sweating. This syndrome
and the small intestine, which
most often affects people who
allows stomach contents to pass
have had stomach operations.
more freely from the stomach.
Also called dumping syndrome or
pylorus (py-LOH-ruhss): the
opening from the stomach into
the top of the small intestine
rectal manometry (REK-tuhl)
reflux esophagitis (REE-fluhks)
(muh-NOM-uh-tree): a test
that uses a thin tube and
of the esophagus occurring
balloon to measure pressure
when stomach contents flow
and movements of the rectal
back into the esophagus. See
and anal sphincter muscles. It
gastroesophageal reflux disease.
is used most often to diagnose
chronic constipation and fecal
regional enteritis (REE-juhn-uhl)
(EN-tur-EYE-tiss): see Crohn's
rectal prolapse (REK-tuhl) (proh-
LAPS): a condition in which the
rectum slips so that it protrudes
shuhn): see reflux.
from the anus.
resection (ree-SEK-shuhn): the
rectum (REK-tuhm): the lower end
surgical removal of an organ.
of the large intestine leading to
retching (RECH-ing): dry vomiting.
revision (ree-VIH-zhuhn): an
reflux (REE-fluhks): a condition
operation to modify the effects
that occurs when gastric juices
of a previous operation.
or small amounts of food from
the stomach flow back into the
esophagus and mouth. Also
saliva (suh-LY-vuh): a mixture
the most common cause of
of water, protein, and salts
infectious diarrhea in the
produced in the mouth that
United States, especially in
makes food easy to swallow and
children less than 2 years old.
begins the process of digestion.
Children between the ages of
6 to 32 weeks can be vaccinated
against the virus. (Brand name:
a bacterium that may cause
intestinal infection and diarrhea.
rupture (RUHP-chur): a break or
tear in any organ or soft tissue.
sarcoidosis (SAR-koy-DOH-siss): a
condition that causes granulomas
in the liver, lungs, and spleen.
Schatzki's ring (SHAHT-skeez)
(ring): see lower esophageal ring.
scintigraphy (sin-TIG-ruh-fee): see
radionuclide bleeding scans.
THAIR-uh-pee): a method of
stopping upper gastrointestinal
bleeding. A needle is inserted
through an endoscope to send
hardening agents to the place
that is bleeding.
secretin (seh-KREE-tin): a
hormone made in the duodenum
that causes the stomach to make
pepsin, the liver to make bile, and
the pancreas to make digestive
short stature (short) (STACH
shuhn): the process by which
yoor): a person who is
muscles in the intestines move
significantly below the average
food and wastes through the
height, possibly due to a disease
or medical condition such as
serotonin agonists (SAIR-oh
TOH-nin) (AG-on-ists): these
drugs help the muscles in the
intestines work correctly when a
drohm): a digestive and
slow-moving digestive system is
respiratory disorder in children
caused by low levels of serotonin.
that causes a lack of certain
Serotonin is a neurotransmitter
digestive enzymes and few
found mostly in the digestive
white blood cells. Symptoms
tract. See laxatives.
may include diarrhea and short
an infection with the bacterium
sigmoid colon (SIG-moyd) (KOH
Shigella, which usually causes a
lon): the lower part of the colon
high fever, acute diarrhea, and
that empties into the rectum.
dehydration. See gastroenteritis.
short bowel syndrome (short)
kuh-pee): looking into the
(boul) (SIN-drohm): problems
sigmoid colon and rectum with
related to absorbing nutrients
a flexible or rigid tube called a
after removal of part of the small
intestine. Symptoms include
diarrhea, weakness, and weight
sitz bath (sits) (bath): a special
loss. Also called short gut
plastic tub that allows a person
to sit in a few inches of warm
water to help relieve the
short gut syndrome (short) (guht)
discomfort of hemorrhoids or
(SIN-drohm): see short bowel
small bowel enema (smal) (boul)
spasms (SPA-zumz): muscle
(EN-uh-muh): x rays of the
movements, such as those in the
small intestine taken as barium
colon, that cause pain, cramps,
liquid passes through the organ.
Also called small bowel follow-
through. See lower GI series.
spastic colon (SPASS-tik) (KOH
lon): see irritable bowel
small bowel follow-through (smal)
(boul) (FAH-loh-THROO): see
small bowel enema.
sphincter (SFINGK-tur): a ringlike
band of muscle that opens
small intestine (smal) (in-TESS
and closes an opening in the
tin): the organ where most
body. An example is the muscle
digestion occurs. It measures
between the esophagus and the
about 20 feet and includes the
stomach known as the lower
duodenum, jejunum, and ileum.
small intestine mucosal biopsy
sphincter of Oddi (SFINGK-tur)
(smal) (in-TESS-tin) (myoo
(uhv) (OD-ee): the muscle
KOH-suhl) (BY-op-see): the
between the common bile duct
standard test for diagnosing
and pancreatic ducts.
spleen: the organ that cleans blood
solitary rectal ulcer (SAH-luh-
and makes white blood cells.
TAIR-ee) (REK-tuhl) (UHL
White blood cells attack bacteria
sur): a rare type of ulcer in the
and other foreign cells.
rectum that can develop because
of straining to have a bowel
splenic flexure syndrome (SPLEN
ik) (FLEK-shur) (SIN-drohm):
a condition that occurs when air
or gas collects in the upper parts
STAT-in): a hormone in the
of the colon and causes pain in
pancreas that helps the body
the upper left abdomen. The
know when to make the
pain often moves to the left chest
hormones insulin, glucagon,
and may be confused with heart
gastrin, secretin, and renin.
squamous epithelium (SKWAY
stoma (STOH-muh): an opening in
the abdomen that is created by an
tissue in an organ such as the
operation (ostomy). It is usually
mouth or esophagus that consists
covered by an external pouch
of layers of flat cells.
that collects stool. A pouch
is not needed for a continent
uh): a condition in which the
body cannot absorb fat. It causes
a buildup of fat in the stool and
loose, greasy, and foul-smelling
the buildup of fat in liver cells,
commonly caused by alcoholism.
Other causes include obesity,
diabetes, and pregnancy. Also
called fatty liver.
stomach (STUHM-uhk): the organ
stenosis (steh-NOH-siss): the
between the esophagus and the
abnormal narrowing of a normal
small intestine. The stomach is
opening in the esophagus,
where the digestion of protein
intestines, or anus.
stimulant laxatives (STIM-yoo
stomach ulcer (STUHM-uhk)
luhnt) (LAK-suh-tivz): drugs
(UHL-sur): see gastric ulcer.
that cause rhythmic muscle
contractions in the intestines.
stool: see feces.
(Brand names: Senokot,
Correctol, Dulcolax.) See
stress ulcer (stress) (UHL-sur):
an upper gastrointestinal ulcer
resulting from physical injury
such as surgery, major burns, or
a critical head injury.
stricture (STRIK-choor): the
TEF (TEE-EE-EF): see
abnormal narrowing of a body
opening. Also called stenosis.
See esophageal stricture and
tenesmus (teh-NEZ-muhss): a
feeling of a continuous need
to have a bowel movement. It
may be painful and associated
with cramps and involuntary
straining. It is common in
conditions affecting the rectum,
such as ulcerative colitis.
total parenteral nutrition (TPN)
uhl) (noo-TRISH-uhn): see
TPN (TEE-PEE-EN): see total
tracheoesophageal fistula (TEF)
JEE-uhl) (FISS-tyoo-luh): a
condition that occurs when
suh): a layer of connective tissue
there is a connection between
underneath the mucosa, a layer
the esophagus and the trachea,
of smooth muscle.
or windpipe, causing food and
saliva to enter the lungs. It is
most often caused by cancer.
transverse colon (tranz-VURSS)
(KOH-lon): the part of the colon
that goes across the abdomen
from right to left.
traveler's diarrhea (TRAV-lurz)
ulcer (UHL-sur): a sore on the
(DY-uh-REE-uh): an infection
skin's surface or on the stomach
caused by ingesting unclean food
or intestinal lining.
or drink. It often occurs during
travel outside of one's own
ulcerative colitis (UHL-sur-uh-tiv)
country. See gastroenteritis.
(koh-LY-tiss): a disease that
causes ulcers and irritation in
triple therapy (TRIH-puhl)
the inner lining of the colon and
rectum. See inflammatory bowel
combination of three antibiotics
used to treat Helicobacter pylori
infection and ulcers. Drugs that
ulcerative jejunoileitis (UHL
stop the body from making acid
are often added to the triple
IL-ee-EYE-tiss): a severe
therapy to relieve symptoms.
complication of celiac disease
causing ulcerations and strictures
tropical sprue (TRAH-pih-kuhl)
of the small intestine.
(sproo): a condition of unknown
cause producing abnormalities
upper GI endoscopy (UHP-pur)
in the lining of the small intestine
that prevent the body from
pee): looking into the esophagus,
absorbing food normally.
stomach, and duodenum with an
endoscope. See endoscopy.
tube feeding: see enteral nutrition.
upper GI series (UHP-pur) (JEE
EYE) (SIHR-eez): see barium
urea breath test (yoo-REE-uh)
(breth) (test): a test used to
detect Helicobacter pylori (H.
pylori) infection. The test
detects the presence of urease,
an enzyme made by H. pylori.
villi (VIL-eye): tiny, fingerlike
an operation to cut the vagus
projections on the surface of
nerve. This procedure causes the
the small intestine that help with
stomach to produce less acid but
also to empty abnormally.
vagus nerve (VAY-guhss) (nurv):
the nerve in the stomach that
controls the making of stomach
acid and stomach emptying.
valve: one or more flaps of tissue
in the lining of an organ that
controls the flow of fluid and
varices (VAIR-ih-seez): stretched
viral gastroenteritis (VY-ruhl)
veins such as those that form in
the esophagus due to cirrhosis.
an intestinal infection caused by
VC (VEE-SEE): see virtual
several viruses, which is highly
contagious and causes millions
of cases of diarrhea each year.
viral hepatitis (VY-ruhl) (HEP-uh
be performed with computerized
TY-tiss): hepatitis caused by a
tomography (CT), also called
virus. Five different viruses (A,
a CT scan, or with magnetic
B, C, D, and E) most commonly
resonance imaging (MRI).
cause this form of hepatitis.
Other rare viruses may also
volvulus (VOL-vyoo-luhss): a
cause viral hepatitis. See
twisting of the stomach or large
intestine. It can be caused by
the stomach being in the wrong
position, a foreign substance,
or abnormal joining of one part
of the stomach or intestine to
another. Volvulus can lead to
hepatitis A • contaminated food
blockage, perforation, peritonitis,
and poor blood flow.
hepatitis B • sexual intercourse
• sharing infected
• blood transfusion • mother to newborn
hepatitis C • sexual intercourse
• sharing infected
• blood transfusion
hepatitis D • sharing infected
hepatitis E • contaminated water
from poor sanitation
virtual colonoscopy (VC) (VUR
vomiting (VOM-it-ing): forceful
release of stomach contents
pee): a procedure that uses
through the mouth.
x rays and computers to produce
two- and three-dimensional
images of the colon and displays
them on a screen. A VC can
wafer (WAY-fur): a molded plate
Wilson disease (WIL-suhn) (dih-
that is part of an ostomy pouch
ZEEZ): an inherited disorder in
which too much copper builds up
in the liver and is slowly released
watermelon stomach (WAH-tur
into other parts of the body. The
overload can cause severe liver
parallel red sores in the stomach
and brain damage if not treated
that look like the stripes on a
webs: thin membranous structures
within the lining of the esophagus
that can narrow the esophageal
lumen, or space in the interior of
Normal esophagus and
esophagus with webs.
Zenker's diverticulum (ZEN
uh): dry mouth. Xerostomia
can be caused by a number of
pouches in the esophagus caused
conditions, including rheumatoid
by increased pressure in and
arthritis, diabetes, kidney failure,
around the esophagus.
infection with HIV (the virus
that causes AIDS), drugs used to
treat depression, and radiation
treatment for mouth or throat
drohm): a group of symptoms
that occur when a tumor called
a gastrinoma forms. The tumor,
which can be cancerous, releases
large amounts of the hormone
called gastrin. The gastrin causes
too much acid in the duodenum,
resulting in ulcers, bleeding, and
National Digestive Diseases
2 Information Way Bethesda, MD 20892–3570 Phone: 1–800–891–5389 TTY: 1–866–569–1162 Fax: 703–738–4929 Email: [email protected] Internet: www.digestive.niddk.nih.gov
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AND HUMAN SERVICES
National Institutes of Health
NIH Publication No. 09–2750
Sri Shankaracharya Sadhana Panchakam SHARP AS EDGE OF A RAZOR, AND DIFFICULT TO TREAD IS THE PATH TO PERFECTION. SO THE SAGES DECLARE. Sri Shankaracharya Sadhana Panchakam. Narrow and ancient is the Path, that stretches far. That has been found by me, has been realised by the Wise.
Trustees of Agricultural Issue 1, First Quater January-March,2016 Livestock Value Chain TA P P Trustees of Agricultural Executive EditorProfessor Leonard Kamwanja Content DevelopmentCharles Mkoka PhotographyCharles Mkoka & Amos Gumulira Layout & Design Stephen Schade Mbalule