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the part of the alimentary canal extending from the pyloric opening of the stomach to the anus. It is a membranous tube, comprising the small intestine and large intestine; called also bowel and gut. See also intestinal tract, and see color plates.
Miller-Keane Encyclopedia and Dictionary of Medicine, Nursing, and Allied Health, Seventh Edition. © 2003 by Saunders, an imprint of Elsevier, Inc. All rights reserved.


(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


n. often intestines
The portion of the digestive tract extending from the stomach to the anus and, in humans and other mammals, consisting of two segments, the small intestine and the large intestine.
Internal; civil: the intestine affairs of the nation.
The American Heritage® Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2007, 2004 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.


(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


(in-tes'tin) [L. intestinum]
The portion of the alimentary canal that extends from the pylorus of the stomach to the anus. It includes the duodenum, jejunum, ileum (small intestine), and colon (large intestine) and is responsible for the completion of digestion and the absorption of nutrients and water. Synonym: bowel; gut (1) See: abdomen
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SMALL INTESTINE: (duodenum, jejunum, ileum)
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large intestine

The large intestine extends from the ileum to the anus and is about 1.5 m (5 ft) in length. It absorbs water, minerals, and vitamins from the intestinal contents and eliminates undigested material during defecation. The mucosa has no villi but contains glands that secrete mucus. Hyperactivity of the colon may cause diarrhea. See: illustration

The first part of the large intestine is the cecum, a pouch on the right side into which the ileum empties. Attached to the cecum is the vermiform appendix, about 7.5 to 10.4 cm (3 to 4 in) long. The ascending colon extends from the cecum upward to the undersurface of the liver, where it turns left (hepatic flexure) and becomes the transverse colon, which continues toward the spleen and turns downward (splenic flexure) to become the descending colon. At the level of the pelvic brim, the descending colon turns inward in the shape of the letter S and is then called the sigmoid colon. The rectum, about 10.2 to 12.7 cm (4 to 5 in) long, is the straight part that continues downward; the last 2.5 cm (1 in) is called the anal canal, which surrounds the anus.


small intestine

The first part of the small intestine is the duodenum, approx. 8 to 11 in (20 to 28 cm) long, which receives chyme from the stomach through the pyloric orifice and, by way of the common bile duct, bile from the liver and gallbladder, and pancreatic juice from the pancreas. The second part is the jejunum, about 9 ft (2.8 m) long. The third part is the ileum, about 13 ft (4 m) long. The ileum opens into the cecum of the large intestine, and the ileocecal valve prevents backup of intestinal contents.

The wall of the small intestine has circular folds (plicae circulares), which are folds of the mucosa and submucosa that look like accordion pleats. The mucosa is further folded into villi, which look like small (0.5 to 1.5 mm long) projections. The free surfaces of the epithelial cells have microscopic folds called microvilli that are collectively called the brush border. All of the folds increase the surface area for absorption of the end products of digestion. Intestinal glands (of Lieberkühn) between the bases of the villi secrete enzymes. The duodenum has submucosal Brunner's glands that secrete mucus. Enzymes secreted by the small intestine are peptidases, which complete protein digestion, and sucrase, maltase, and lactase, which digest disaccharides to monosaccharides. Some of these enzymes function in the brush border rather than in the lumen of the intestine. Hormones secreted by the duodenum are gastric inhibitory peptide, secretin, and cholecystokinin; these influence secretions or motility of other parts of the digestive tract.

The end products of digestion (amino acids, monosaccharides, fatty acids, glycerol, vitamins, minerals, and water) are absorbed into the capillaries or lacteals within the villi. Blood from the small intestine passes through the liver by way of the portal vein before returning to the heart.

See: duodenum; liver; pancreas
Medical Dictionary, © 2009 Farlex and Partners


The part of the digestive system lying between the outlet of the stomach (the PYLORUS) and the ANUS. It consists, sequentially, of the DUODENUM, the JEJUNUM, the ILEUM, the wide, pouch-like caecum, that carries the APPENDIX, the large intestine, or COLON, the S-shaped SIGMOID colon, the RECTUM and anus.
Collins Dictionary of Medicine © Robert M. Youngson 2004, 2005


the part of the alimentary canal that lies between the stomach and the anus. Usually it is coiled and the internal surface is greatly increased by the presence of folds and projections (VILLI) to allow efficient digestion and absorption. Anteriorly, the intestine is lined with an EPITHELIUM containing ENZYME and MUCUS-secreting glands, and in higher vertebrates it is referred to as the SMALL INTESTINE. The posterior, large intestine, dehydrates the faeces which are stored here until voided in DEFECATION.
Collins Dictionary of Biology, 3rd ed. © W. G. Hale, V. A. Saunders, J. P. Margham 2005


Also called the bowels and divided into large and small intestine, they extend from the stomach to the anus, where waste products exit the body. The small intestine is about 20 ft (6.1m) long and the large intestine, about 5 ft (1.5m) long.
Mentioned in: Colostomy, Enemas
Gale Encyclopedia of Medicine. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

Patient discussion about intestine

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 intestine
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References in periodicals archive ?
Then the effects of intestinal trefoil factor (TFF3) in intestinal disease was explored.
Furthermore, in agreement with previous studies, (2,3,4,6,7,10) this study found that stomach and intestinal diseases, arthritis, CVDs, diabetes, migraine or frequent headaches, COPD and kidney disease were positively associated with depression.
To date, many publications3-5 have reported the utility of CTE and MRE in assessing small intestinal diseases, but very few studies have actually compared the efficacy of the two techniques and indicated whether or not they can complement each other for better diagnosis.3-5
The study says that maintaining stability of the microbial organisms in the gut is essential to avoid onset of inflammatory intestinal diseases and extra-intestinal diseases (such as psoriasis), and that one to two percent of all colorectal cancers develop from a background of IBD, such as CD and UC.
"Jade is one of the inspiring individuals who light the way for thousands of other people with intestinal diseases by showing that the world is brimming with possibilities," said Nino Pionati, a president at ConvaTec, which sponsored the
Deaths with a code for an infectious intestinal disease (ID), either as the underlying cause of death or a contributing cause of death, were extracted for 2001-2006 for persons >65 years of age (Table 1).
Recent investigation has also revealed beneficial effects on infectious intestinal diseases and irritable bowel syndrome.
Women's symptoms for ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease ( debilitating intestinal diseases that affect men and women ( vary considerably each month, requiring frequent medication adjustments.
He has given his herbal mixes, usually in capsules, to 300 patients suffering from ailments including Crohn's disease, ulcerative colitis, chronic diarrhoea and other gastro- intestinal diseases.
Colonoscopy, the insertion of a flexible fiber optic instrument along the entire length of the large bowel, is a highly recommended procedure for the detection of early cancer, as well as other intestinal diseases. Its cost and the inconvenience to patients, however, impose severe limitations on its use.
For instance, Birkenmeier says, "there are no well-defined mouse models for colitis and related human intestinal diseases."
These include intestinal diseases, inappropriate diet, or a disturbance in the delicate mechanisms that govern the muscular activities of the stomach and small intestine.

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