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bowel bypass syndrome a syndrome that may occur one to six years after jejunoileal bypass, characterized by rash, malaise, myalgia, polyarthralgia, sterile skin pustules, and a flulike illness; it is probably caused by circulating immune complexes that include bacterial antigens resulting from bacterial overgrowth in the bypassed bowel.
bowel sounds relatively high-pitched abdominal sounds caused by the propulsion of the intestinal contents through the lower alimentary tract. Auscultation of bowel sounds is best accomplished by using a diaphragm-type stethoscope rather than a bell-shaped one. Normal bowel sounds are characterized by bubbling and gurgling noises that vary in frequency, intensity, and pitch. In the presence of distention from flatus, the sounds are hyperresonant and can be heard over the entire abdomen.

The absence of bowel sounds is symptomatic of greatly decreased or totally absent peristaltic movement. This can occur in such conditions as paralytic ileus, advanced intestinal obstruction, gangrene of the bowel, enterocolic ulceration, myxedema, and spinal cord injury. In the early stages of bowel obstruction, high-pitched splashing sounds are heard in the intestine proximal to the obstruction. As the obstruction continues to constrict the lumen of the bowel, the sounds are of shorter duration and eventually cease altogether as the obstruction to the lumen of the bowel becomes complete.

Increased motility of the bowel usually results from some sort of irritating stimulus, such as gastroenteritis with diarrhea, bleeding in the intestine, and emotional disorders. Hyperactivity of the bowel produces a rush of sounds, with waves of loud, gurgling, and tinkling sounds called borborygmi.
bowel training
1. a nursing intervention classification defined as assisting the patient to learn to evacuate the bowel at specific intervals.
2. a program designed to help the patient having difficulty with the regulation and control of defecation. A program of this type may be indicated in cases ranging from chronic constipation to paralysis, as in paraplegia and hemiplegia. Patients who suffer from lesions or congenital anomalies of the intestinal tract also may benefit from such a program.

Before planning a program of bowel control it is necessary to determine the cause of the difficulty, the patient's former bowel habits, and specific symptoms. The plan devised will depend on the patient's needs and physical, mental, and emotional capacities for cooperation in the planning and implementation of the program. It is necessary to know whether the person can realistically be expected to achieve complete control, or if neural damage or anatomical and structural changes in the intestine prevent reaching this goal. For example, a colostomy patient cannot achieve complete control over bowel movements, but regulation of diet and fluid intake can affect the number and consistency of the stools, giving some sense of security. Diet also is important in all other types of bowel training in which the goal is regularity of defecation and stools of normal consistency.

It is important that patients participate as much as possible in planning the program. They will need to give an accurate history of bowel habits, former use of laxatives and enemas, usual time of day for bowel movements, and the frequency, and whether or not they are aware of the urge to defecate. As the program is carried out, revisions may be necessary as the patient learns which techniques are most helpful.

The major components of a bowel training program are choosing the location to ensure some degree of privacy, getting the patient into a sitting position, having him attempt defecation at a specific time that is most natural for him, regulating the food and fluid intake, and establishing some plan of regular exercise and physical activity.

In some cases of paralysis it may be necessary to stimulate bowel function through the use of suppositories and digital stimulation. Enemas, laxatives, and bulk-forming medications are used only if necessary, not on a regular basis if at all possible. These measures may be necessary, however, at the beginning of a bowel training program to remove constipated stool and fecal impaction.
Miller-Keane Encyclopedia and Dictionary of Medicine, Nursing, and Allied Health, Seventh Edition. © 2003 by Saunders, an imprint of Elsevier, Inc. All rights reserved.

small-bow·el ser·ies

radiographic examination of the small intestine following the oral administration of contrast medium, usually barium sulfate. Compare: small bowel enema.


(in-tes'tin), [TA]
The digestive tube passing from the stomach to the anus. It is divided primarily into the small intestine (intestinum tenue) and the large intestine (intestinum crassum).
Synonym(s): bowel, gut (1) , intestinum (1)
[L. intestinum]
Farlex Partner Medical Dictionary © Farlex 2012


A popular term for the gastrointestinal tract from the distal stomach to the distal rectosigmoid.
Segen's Medical Dictionary. © 2012 Farlex, Inc. All rights reserved.


A general term for the small and large intestines; intestine
McGraw-Hill Concise Dictionary of Modern Medicine. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.


(in-tes'tin) [TA]
1. The digestive tube passing from the stomach to the anus. It is divided primarily into the intestinum tenue (small intestine) and the intestinum crassum (large intestine).
2. Inward; inner.
Synonym(s): intestinum [TA] , bowel, gut (1) .
[L. intestinum ]
Medical Dictionary for the Health Professions and Nursing © Farlex 2012


The intestine. A tube, about 8 m long, which extends from the throat to the anus and consists of the oesophagus, stomach, duodenum, jejunum, ileum, colon, sigmoid colon, rectum and anal canal.
Collins Dictionary of Medicine © Robert M. Youngson 2004, 2005


The intestine; a tube-like structure that extends from the stomach to the anus. Some digestive processes are carried out in the bowel before food passes out of the body as waste.
Mentioned in: Antiacne Drugs
Gale Encyclopedia of Medicine. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

Patient discussion about bowel

Q. I recently had my surgery for bowel obstruction? I recently had my surgery for bowel obstruction? None of the diet was restricted for me by doctor but should I go for any special diet.

A. I had surgery in 08/08 during having a c-section and hernia repair, and I'm having diarrhea all the time. I don't know what to eat nor what medicines to take. Only Immodium AD helps temporary. If I have an appointment, I don't eat breakfast or lunch. I come home and eat dinner. About 30 minutes after eating, I'm in the bathroom. Can someone help me please? I have to return back to work next month, and I don't want to be in the bathroom more than I am at my desk.

Q. Can Alcoholism makes you vulnerable to intestine infections? A friend of mine is a heavy drinker, he had something like 5 infections in the past year. Is it connected?

A. yes

Q. What is the connection between bowel disease and arthritis? My son suffers from ulcerative colitis, and the doctor said that his recent joint pain can be as a result of the colitis. Why is that?

A. Although ulcerative colitis happens mainly in the colon, it is a systemic disease, and patients may present with symptoms and complications outside the colon. These include musculoskeletal complications such as arthritis (for instance- ankylosing spondylitis). The exact mechanism of this injury is unknown.

More discussions about bowel
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