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Chapter 8, Diseases and Conditions of the digestive System

Digestive System Function

Comprises of alimentary canal
digestive tract and the accessory organs

Units or Organs of digestive system

must be normal in structure and function to regular the ingestion, digestion and absorption of nutrients

The accessory organs locations

outside the gastrointestinal (GI) tract, manufacture and secrete endocrine and exocrine enzymes, secretions that are essential to the breakdown, digestions, and absorption of nutrients.

Accessory Organs

Salivary glands

Main Organs

Small intestine
large intestine

Diseases of the GI tract

affect health and threaten life becasue they interfere with the critical functions of ingestion an digestion of food, absorption of nutrients for metabolism, and elimination of wastes.

General categories of disease

erosion of tissue, inflammation, infection, benign and malignant tumors, obstruction, interference with blood or nerve supply, malnutrition and absorption syndromes.

teeth function

mastication (chewing) to break down food into pieces that can be swallowed and digested easily.

chewing malfunction

caused by decay, infection of the teeth or gums, malocclusion, or missing teeth can interfere with the chewing phase of the digestive process.

Missing teeth Description

Permanent teeth are missing

Missing Teeth S&S

missing teeth can alter teh bite; that is, how the teeth come together (occlusion). Malocclusion eventually leads to jaw pain, called temporomandibular joint disease

Missing Teeth Etiology

the most common is loss form dental decay in all age groups, dental injury, may be impacted and prevented from erupting by the root of an adjacent tooth

Impacted Third Molars Description

An impacted third molar is malpositioned, thereby preventing normal eruptions.

Impacted Third Molars S&S

also known as wisdom teeth, are the last teeth in the back of the mouth and can become impacted. Usually erupt between the ages of 17 & 21. In some people one or more never erupt.

Gingivitis Description

an inflammation of the swelling of the gums

Gingivitis S&S

if not treated, it will lead to destruction of the gums and bone disease called periodontitis

Gingivitis Etiology

Plaque is a sticky deposit of mucus, food particles adn bacteria that builds up around teh base of the teeth as a result of inadequate brushing and flossing.

Periodontitis Description

also called periodontal disease, it is destructive gum and bone disease around one or more teeth.

Periodontitis S&S

is the end result of gingivitis that was treated too late or not at all.

TMJ Description

a symptom complex related to inflammation, disease, or dysfunction of the temporomandibular joint.


joints are inflamed
jaw movement is markedly limited
severe pain or aching in or around the ears and jaw joints that make it worse by chewing.
may all be present

Thrush Description

candidiasis of the oral mucosa, involving the mouth, tongue, palate and gums

Thrush Etiology

may occur during lowered resistance or as a result of prolonged treatment with antibiotics.

Oral Leukoplakia Description

hyperkerotosis or epidermal thickening of the buccal mucosa, palate, or lower lip.

Oral Leukoplakia Treatment

finding and eliminating the source of the irritation.

The alimentary canal or GI tract

a hollow continuous tube that extends from the mouth to the anus. It propels the products of digestion by peristalsis, a coordinated, wavelike muscular motion that forces food along the alimentary canal. It is also the site of the processes of mechanical and chemical breakdown of food.

Mechanical and chemical breakdown of food

as it passes though the GI tract, food is broken down into molecules that can be absorbed though the intestinal wall for distribution to body cells for metabolism via the bloodstream.

proximal colon

water and electrolytes are absorbed in this; waste material is stored in the rectum and indigestible wastes are voluntarily evacuated thought the anus

Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)

refers to clinical manifestations of regurgitation of stomach and duodenal contents into the esophagus

Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease Treatment

elevating the head of the bed about 6 inches
a light evening meal 4 hours before bedtime
nothing eaten 3 yours before bed time
use of an H2-receptor antagonist, such as ranitidine or famotidine or a proton pump inhibitor

Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease Prognosis

complication include ulceration, Barrett's esophagus, a precancerous condition

Gastric and Duodenal Peptic Ulcers Define

the protective mucous membrane of teh stomach or upper intestinal tract breaks down, the lining is prone to ulceration.

Gastric and Duodenal Peptic Ulcers Etiology

A crucial causal factor of peptic ulcers is Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) infection
use of NSAIDS
contributing catalysts are teh ingestion of gastric irritants
the use of ulcerogenic drugs

Gastric and Duodenal Peptic Ulcers Diagnosis

patient's history
physical examination
barium radiographic films of the upper GI tract to look for abnormal appearance
visualized though upper-GI tract endoscopy
The patient's stool also is checked for evidence of blood.
A biopsy, with microscopic study of the tissue, rules out or confirms the presence of cancer.

Gastric and Duodenal Peptic Ulcers Treatment

changes in the diet
adjustments in lifestyle
drug therapy

Gastritis Description

an inflammation of the lining of the stomach; the acute form is common disorder.

Gastritis Etiology

inflammation associated with H. pylori
Many agents damage teh gastric lining
anti inflammatory drugs
smoking tobacco
mechanical injury
allergic reaction to foods

Gastric Cancer Description

malignancy occurring in the stomach

Gastric Cancer S&S

frequently asymptomatic

Gastric Cancer Treatment

Gastric resection
total gasrectomy is performed for lesions of the proximal stomach (upper third)
subtotal gastrectomy with resection of adjacent nodal tissue
Palliative measures to relieve obstruction, pain, or bleeding may include resection, radiation therapy, endoscopic laser therapy adn endoscopic stent placement

Acute appendicitis Description

inflammation of the appendix

Acute appendicitis S&S

may vomit, runs a fever and have diarrhea or constipation.

Acute appendicitis Diagnosis

maximal tenderness of the abdomen at McBurney's point

Hiatal Hernia Description

defect in teh diaphragm that permits a segment of the stomach to slide into the thoracic cavity.

Hiatal Hernia Etiology

weakness that develops in the diaphragm

Crohn's Disease Description

chronic inflammatory disorder of the gastrointestinal tract that affects up to 480,000 persons in the US. It is also called regional enteritis

Crohn's Disease S&S

chronic, inflammatory disorder fo the alimentary canal in which all layers of the bowel wall are edematous and inflamed, chronic diarrhea

Gastroenteritis Description

acute inflammation of the lining of the stomach and intestines.

Gastroenteritis S&S

traveler's diarrhea characterized by:
degrees of anorexia
abdominal cramping
frequent loose stools
profuse vomiting

Gastroenteritis Etiology

ingestion of disease-causing bacteria or parasites from contaminated food or water

Intestinal Obstruction Description

Intestinal obstruction is mechanical or functional blockage of the intestines.

Intestinal Obstruction Etiology

Neoplasm (benign or malignant
fecal impaction
Volvulus (twisted bowel)
Intussusception (telescoped bowel)

Intestinal Obstruction S&S

partial or complete blockage of the bowel

Diverticulosis Description

progressive condition, common with age, characterized by defects in the muscular wall of the large intestine.

Diverticulosis S&S

out-pouches of the mucosa penetrate weak points in the muscular layer of the large intestine.

Diverticulosis Etiology

increased with age

Colorectal Cancer Description

a cancer that arises in any part of the colon or the rectum. The third most common cause of cancer death for each sex.

Colorectal Cancer S&S

early stages are often vague adn nonspecific
change in bowel habits
iron-deficiency anemia

Colorectal Cancer Diagnosis

fecal occult blood test along with either a double-contrast barium enema or a colonoscopy

Colorectal Cancer Patient Teaching

patient should be informed that family members have increased risk and should undergo screening.

Pseudomenbranous Enterocolitis Description

acute inflammation with a plaque-like adhesion of necrotic debris and mucus adhered to the damaged superficial mucosa of the small and large intestines.

Pseudomenbranous Enterocolitis Etiology

related to the use of broad-spectrum antibiotics

Irritable Bowel Syndrome Description

a functional bowel disorder with
erratic dysfunction of bowels habits

Irritable Bowel Syndrome S&S

change in bowel habits
predominant with diarrhea
or alternation between the two

Irritable Bowel Syndrome Etiology

The exact cause is unknown

Peritonitis Description

the inflammation of the peritoneum, can be acute or chronic and local or generalized.

Peritonitis S&S

large serous membrane that lines the abdominal cavity and folds over the visceral organs is normally transparent and sterile. When it is irritated or infected it becomes hyperemic and edematous

Diseases of the Liver, Biliary Tract, and Pancreas

accessory organs of digestion that introduce digestive hormones and enzymes into the alimentary canal, ensuring that the nutrients critical to life can be absorbed selectively by the small intestines into the bloodstream

Cirrhosis of the Liver Description

chronic degenerative disease that is irreversible

Cirrhosis of the Liver S&S

twice as common in men as in women
symptoms are vague and mild in early stages
loss of appetite and weight
nausea and vomiting
abdominal distention
tends to bleed and bruise more easily
skin appears jaundiced
skin dry with pruritus
Small, red, spider marks may appear
Changes in teh endocrine system
testicular atrophy
loss of chest hair in the male

Hepatitis A Description

highly contagious

Hepatitis A Etiology

highly contagious
transmitted by the fecal-oral route from contaminated food (including shellfish and contaminated raw fruit and vegetables)
infectious hepatitis becasue it frequently occurs at schools, camps or institutions

Hepatitis B S&S

can mimic flu

Hepatitis B Prevention

common enough to cause concern about unvaccinated health care workers

Hepatitis B Patient Teaching

Safe practices are taught for procedures that involve blood or body fluids to avoid transmission of HBV

Hepatitis C S&S

considered a widespread epidemic, the most common blood-borne infection in the United Sates.

Cancer of the Liver Etiology

Primary cancer of the liver is rare in more developed areas of the world. Secondary liver cancer is more common and usually develops as a metastasis from another site in the body.

Cholelithiasis (Gallstones) Description

a common condition in which there is an abnormal presence of calculi or gallstones that from in the bile

Cholelithiasis (Gallstones) S&S

colicky pain or biliary colic signals the obstruction.
The pain is in the epigastric
radiating to teh right upper back

Cholecystitis Description

chronic inflammation of the gallbladder usually associated with obstruction of the cystic duct

Pancreatic Cancer Etiology

the forth-leading cause of cancer-related death in the United States.
Twice as common in men

Malnutrition S&S

eating too much or too little food

Malnutrition Etiology

Kwashiorkor-like secondary protein-energy malnutrition occurs primarily in association wit increased metabolic acute illnesses, such as trauma, burns and sepsis.


*a condition of toxicity resulting from an excess fo any vitamin, but especially the fat-soluble vitamins A and D
*Vitamin D is considered highly toxic, expecially in infants with children. It can cause calcification of soft tissue, poor appetite, weakness, kidney damage, excessive thirst and urination with mental changes.

Fact about Obesity

Fatness and the regional distribution of fat have a strong genetic component.

Food Poisoning Etiology

discover what was eaten

Anorexia Nervosa Description

an eating disorder, is linked to a psychological disturbance in which hunger is denied by self-imposed starvation, resulting form a distorted body image and a compulsion to be thin.

Anorexia Nervosa Diagnosis

cardiac irregularity and electrolyte balance

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