intestinal tract

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Related to intestinal tract: small intestine


pertaining to the intestine.
intestinal bypass a surgical procedure in which all but a short section of the proximal jejunum and terminal ileum is bypassed in order to bring about malabsorption of digested food. The procedure is done for the purpose of correcting obesity. Patients having this type of surgery must be meticulously managed so that severe nutritional cirrhosis and serious loss of water and electrolytes are avoided. Called also jejunoileal bypass and jejunoileal shunt.
intestinal flu a popular term for what may be any of several disorders of the stomach and intestinal tract. The symptoms are nausea, diarrhea, abdominal cramps, and fever. During the acute stage all foods should be avoided. Carbonated soft drinks such as ginger ale or cola can be taken in moderation to relieve the nausea. When the symptoms subside, the diet should at first be confined to liquids and soft, bland foods. Milk and dairy products, butter and fats generally, fruits, and greens should be avoided completely until the patient is free of all symptoms.
intestinal obstruction any hindrance to the passage of the intestinal contents. Causes may be mechanical or neural or both. Some of the more common mechanical causes are hernia, adhesions of the peritoneum, volvulus, intussusception, malignant or benign tumor, congenital defect, and local inflammation, as in diverticulitis. Failure of peristalsis (adynamic ileus) is frequently associated with peritonitis; it also may occur with gallstones, uremia, heavy metal poisoning, infection, and spinal injury.
Symptoms. The most characteristic symptoms are abdominal pain, vomiting, and distention. The symptoms may be mild at first and in its early stages the condition can be confused with less serious disorders of the intestinal tract. Under no circumstances should the patient be given a cathartic or other laxative, because that will aggravate the situation. If the obstruction continues the patient suffers from dehydration and shock because of inadequate absorption of fluids, electrolytes, and nutrients from the intestinal tract. If the bowel becomes strangulated and circulation to the bowel wall is obstructed, the patient shows signs of peritonitis with extreme tenderness and rigidity of the abdomen.
Diagnosis. The diagnosis of obstruction can usually, but not always, be made from plain abdominal radiographs. If there is a question, a gastrointestinal series with barium will usually resolve the issue quickly.
Treatment. The basic steps of treatment are decompression of the intestine, replacement of fluids and electrolytes, and removal of the cause of the obstruction. Decompression is accomplished by intubation with a special tube (usually the miller-abbott tube) designed to reach past the pyloric sphincter and into the intestine. Constant suction is then applied to remove accumulations of gas and liquids. Fluids, sodium chloride, and glucose are administered intravenously at a specific rate as prescribed. Transfusions of whole blood plasma may be given as necessary to restore normal blood values.

Surgical removal of the cause of obstruction is necessary in cases of complete obstruction. If there is no evidence of strangulation of the bowel, the surgeon may choose to postpone surgery until dehydration and shock have been overcome and a normal electrolyte balance is restored. The type of surgical procedure performed depends on the cause of the obstruction and whether or not the intestine is gangrenous. In some cases a colostomy may be necessary along with removal of the damaged portion of the bowel. A surgical incision into the cecum with insertion of a drainage tube (cecostomy) may be done when intestinal intubation is not successful in relieving distention.
Patient Care. Assessment of the patient with intestinal obstruction includes noting the location and character of abdominal pain, degree of distention, character of the bowel sounds, and occurrence or absence of bowel movements or passing of flatus. Should defecation occur, a specimen is saved for examination and laboratory analysis. If there is vomiting, the amount and special characteristics of the vomitus should be noted and recorded. In severe cases of obstruction of the small bowel the vomitus may contain fecal material because of the reversal of peristalsis and forcing of the intestinal contents backward into the stomach. Foods and fluids by mouth are restricted. Frequent mouth care is necessary to relieve the dryness and foul taste that accompanies intestinal obstruction and vomiting. Urinary output is measured and recorded because of the possibility of decreased urinary output related to dehydration.
Preoperative Care. If conservative measures fail to relieve the obstruction, or if the bowel has become strangulated, surgery is indicated. Suction siphonage, once initiated, is continued and the intestinal tube is left in place when the patient goes to the operating room.
Postoperative Care. Routine postoperative care of the patient with abdominal surgery is indicated. Specific measures depend on the type of surgical procedure done. Suction siphonage is usually continued until peristalsis resumes. Results of the assessment of bowel sounds and the passing of flatus or feces should be noted on the patient's chart because they indicate a return of normal peristaltic movements of the bowel. In some cases a cecostomy tube or rectal tube is inserted during surgery; the tube is attached to a drainage system and the amount and type of material collected in the system are recorded. If there is evidence that the tube has become obstructed the surgeon should be notified. The skin around the site of insertion of a cecostomy tube should be protected with a skin barrier. The area must be washed frequently to avoid erosion of the skin by intestinal contents leaking around the tube. (See colostomy for patient care after that procedure.)
intestinal tract the small and large intestines in continuity; this long, coiled tube is the part of the digestive system where most of the digestion of food takes place. (See color plates.) The small intestine has three parts: the duodenum (connected to the stomach), the jejunum, and the ileum. The small intestine is small in diameter but very long (about 6.1 m). The large intestine, which starts just below the ileum, is about 1.5 m long. It is made up of the cecum (to which the appendix is attached), the colon (comprising the ascending, transverse, and descending colon and the sigmoid), and the rectum.

The digestion of food is completed in the small intestine. The digested food is absorbed through the walls of the small intestine into the blood. Indigestible parts of the food pass into the large intestine. Here the liquid from the wastes is gradually absorbed back into the body through the intestinal walls. The waste itself is formed into fairly solid feces and pushed down into the rectum for evacuation.

Among the disorders of the intestinal tract are the disturbances of function, such as diarrhea, constipation, and irritable bowel syndrome; the organic diseases, ulcerative colitis, appendicitis, and ileitis; and communicable diseases, such as dysentery. Irritable bowel syndrome is characterized by constipation, sometimes alternating with diarrhea. Ulcerative colitis is a disorder in which ulcers may appear in the wall of the large intestine. Ileitis is a disorder of the ileum, or lower portion of the small intestine. A symptom of both is diarrhea. Dysentery, which is characterized by diarrhea, is the result of infection by bacteria, viruses, or various parasites.


a longitudinal assemblage of tissues or organs, especially a number of anatomic structures arranged in series and serving a common function, such as the gastrointestinal or urinary tract; also used in reference to a bundle (or fasciculus) of nerve fibers having a common origin, function, and termination within the central nervous system.
alimentary tract alimentary canal.
biliary tract the organs, ducts, and other structures that participate in secretion (the liver), storage (the gallbladder), and delivery (hepatic and bile ducts) of bile into the duodenum. See illustration.
Anatomy of the gallbladder and biliary tract. From Aspinall and Taylor-Robinson, 2002.
corticospinal t's two groups of nerve fibers (the anterior and lateral corticospinal tracts) that originate in the cerebral cortex and run through the spinal cord.
digestive tract alimentary canal.
dorsolateral tract a group of nerve fibers in the lateral funiculus of the spinal cord dorsal to the posterior column.
extrapyramidal tract extrapyramidal system.
gastrointestinal tract the stomach and intestine in continuity; see also digestive system.
iliotibial tract a thickened longitudinal band of fascia lata extending from the tensor muscle downward to the lateral condyle of the tibia.
intestinal tract see intestinal tract.
optic tract the nerve tract proceeding backward from the optic chiasm, around the cerebral peduncle, and dividing into a lateral and medial root, which end in the superior colliculus and lateral geniculate body, respectively.
pyramidal t's collections of motor nerve fibers arising in the brain and passing down through the spinal cord to motor cells in the anterior horns.
respiratory tract respiratory system.
urinary tract the organs and passageways concerned in the production and excretion of urine from the kidneys to the urinary meatus; see also urinary system.
uveal tract the vascular tunic of the eye, comprising the choroid, ciliary body, and iris.

intestinal tract

Etymology: L, intestinum + tractus
the segments of the small and large intestines between the pyloric valve and the rectum. The intestinal tract forms part of the digestive tract.

in·tes·ti·nal tract

(in-tes'ti-năl trakt)
Collective term for the small and large intestines and the colon.

intestinal tract

The INTESTINE. The whole of the tubular structure of the digestive system stretching from the outlet of the stomach to the anus. Also known as the intestinal canal.


pertaining to the intestine.

intestinal accident
sudden change in normal intestinal structure or disposition, e.g. intestinal volvulus.
intestinal adenomatosis
see porcine intestinal adenomatosis.
intestinal adhesions
relics of inflammatory incidents binding loops of intestine together or to peritoneum; have the effect of obstruction or luminal constriction.
intestinal aganglionosis
see colonic aganglionosis.
intestinal amphistomiasis
intestinal arterial thromboembolism
see verminous mesenteric arteritis.
intestinal atony
occurs reflexly as a result of peritonitis, of severe inflammation or distention in other parts of the alimentary tract and abdominal viscera, or directly as a result of severe inflammation, as distinct from the early excitation or movement that occurs with mild or early inflammation. See also paralytic ileus.
intestinal clostridiosis
a rare disease of the horse manifested by an acute, highly fatal diarrhea associated with the presence in the gut of large numbers of Clostridium perfringens type A.
intestinal compression
by a tissue mass, e.g. tumor, organ enlargement, causing partial or complete obstruction.
intestinal constriction
by adhesion, local blood clot causing partial or complete obstruction.
intestinal crypts
simple, branched, tubular invaginations of mucosa at the base of the villi.
intestinal dilatation
the causes of the dilatation are fluid, feces or flatus (gas). All cause pain of varying degree, and initially an increase in motility, followed by atony. In distention of long duration, e.g. with feces, the distended bowels are easily palpable and are usually the cause of some abdominal distention. In acute dilatation the distention and palpability of the loops of intestine are less obvious and later in their appearance than other signs.
intestinal displacement
causing partial or complete obstruction, e.g. displacement of the colon in horses.
intestinal diverticulum
may cause intestinal compression and obstruction, e.g. Meckel's diverticulum.
intestinal fibrinous casts
gelatinous, sausage-shaped masses, like casts of the intestinal lumen, resulting from severe inflammation and protein loss from the bowel wall.
intestinal fluids
fluids in the lumen of the intestine; the balance between intake and absorption of these fluids determines the form of the feces; disruption can cause diarrhea or constipation.
intestinal foreign body
has most importance as a cause of intestinal obstruction. It may also cause laceration and intestinal hemorrhage or penetration of the intestinal wall and the development of peritonitis.
intestinal granuloma
resulting from chronic local inflammation; cause constriction of the intestinal lumen.
intestinal hemorrhage
into the small intestine causes the appearance of red-black feces (melena); from the large intestine the appearance is typical of whole blood, which may be mixed homogeneously with feces or be scattered through them as clots.
intestinal hemorrhage syndrome
proliferative hemorrhagic enteropathy.
intestinal hypermotility
causes abdominal pain, increased gut sounds, diarrhea and decreased opportunity for the absorption of nutrients. It occurs as a result of irritation to the intestinal lining, as in enteritis, to stimulation of the parasympathetic nervous system by the use of parasympathomimetic drugs, or to changes in the composition of the gut contents such as occurs when there is a malabsorption problem.
intestinal hypersecretion
occurs as a result of distention and as a major part of the response to enterotoxic Escherichia coli toxin. The effect is to increase the fluidity of the gut contents; diarrhea results.
intestinal hypomotility
see atonia.
intestinal idiopathic muscular hypertrophy
ileal muscular hypertrophy.
intestinal ileocecal valve impaction
see intestinal obstruction colic.
intestinal impaction
see impaction colic.
intestinal incarceration
passage of a loop of intestine through a small orifice, e.g. inguinal canal, with resulting swelling, obstruction and occlusion of blood supply.
intestinal infarction
may be nonstrangulating, presenting a clinical picture of subacute but still fatal colic, or strangulating, e.g. when torsion precedes the development of the infarct, a much more acute and potentially fatal situation; see thromboembolic colic, intestinal infarction.
intestinal inflammation
intestinal intramural hematoma
causes a swelling in the bowel wall and partial obstruction of the lumen.
intestinal linear foreign body
see linear foreign body.
intestinal lipofuscinosis
brown discoloration of the intestinal muscularis, especially the terminal small intestine.
intestinal obstruction
any hindrance to the passage of the intestinal contents. Causes may be acute, such as those caused by foreign body, phytobezoar, intussusception, volvulus and strangulation. There is sudden onset of abdominal pain, cessation of feces evacuation, vomiting in dogs and cats, gastric distention in horses, rumen distention in ruminants, loops of intestine distended with fluid and gas palpable per rectum or visible radiographically, shock and dehydration. Obstruction may also be chronic and manifested by intermittent vomiting and abdominal pain, chronic intestinal distention, loud intestinal sounds, and palpable distended loops of intestine. See also intestinal obstruction colic.
intestinal parasitism
infestation of the intestinal lumen and wall by nematodes, cestodes and immature trematodes.
intestinal polyp
see polyp; may cause intermittent bowel obstruction or erratic passage of feces.
porcine intestinal hemorrhagic syndrome
see proliferative hemorrhagic enteropathy.
intestinal portals
openings to the closed foregut and hindgut of the embryo.
intestinal pseudo-obstruction
the patient presents a clinical picture of intestinal obstruction with no surgically correctable lesion, e.g. paralytic ileus.
intestinal reflux
is part of the reaction to increased gut motility resulting in gastric dilatation and the vomiting of intestinal contents, even feces.
intestinal rupture
can occur as a result of extreme distention. More commonly it follows compromise to a section of gut, e.g. strangulation, in which a necrotic section of gut wall collapses. The effects of perforation of the gut wall through a deep ulcer are similar but not so sudden. The result of a rupture is sudden death due to shock and endotoxemia. With a slower leak the result is an initial stage of acute peritonitis accompanied by fever and abdominal pain.
intestinal sclerosis
mild to obvious bowel dilation with mononuclear inflammatory infiltrate in the smooth muscle fibers plus interstitial fibrosis and atrophy of smooth muscle cells.
intestinal secretory-absorptive imbalance
includes excessive absorptive function, e.g. thrifty bowel syndrome, or over-secretion, the classical malabsorption syndrome, e.g. in enteric colibacillosis.
intestinal segmental ischemic necrosis of mares
occurs spontaneously in the small colon of pregnant or postpartum mares; intestinal rupture and death follow quickly.
intestinal smooth muscle intrinsic disease
see intestinal sclerosis (above).
intestinal spasm
intestinal stenosis
constriction of the bowel lumen, as a result of incomplete aplasia, cicatricial contraction after injury or infection, leads to a syndrome of chronic or intermittent subacute abdominal pain.
intestinal strangulation
occurs in an incarcerated hernia, umbilical, inguinal, mesenteric tear, uterine ligament, or a volvulus. There may be a double problem of acute intestinal obstruction plus an intestinal infarction characterized by profound shock and toxemia, paralytic ileus and a blood-stained paracentesis specimen. Less severe but still lethal strangulations occur as a result of tightening of a lipoma pedicle, displacement of dorsal colon in the horse over the gastrosplenic ligament.
intestinal torsion
is a common cause of acute intestinal obstruction. There is an obstruction to the movements of contents and compromise to the circulation of the twisted segment.
intestinal tract
the small and large intestines in continuity. The long, coiled tube of the intestine is the part of the digestive system where most of the digestion of food takes place. The small intestine has three parts: the duodenum, jejunum and ileum; the large intestine, the cecum, colon and rectum.
intestinal tympany
is part of most cases of intestinal obstruction. Primary cases of intestinal tympany are rare and confined in their occurrence to the horse. See also flatulent colic.

Patient discussion about intestinal tract

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 intestinal tract
References in periodicals archive ?
The intestinal tract of adult fish was fixed with Bouin's fixing solution and preserved in 70% ethanol.
The stenotic portion of the distal intestinal tract could be observed after EBD in 27 patients, and inflammation in the distal intestinal tract was found in 18 of these patients.
Proteobacteria and Verrucomicrobia are often observed as minor groups within vertebrate intestinal tracts, along with members of Bifidobacteria, lactic acid bacteria, Fusobacteria, Actinobacteria, Spirochetes, Deinococcus, and Cyanobacteria (Pryor, G.
Populations of aerobic and facultative anaerobic heterotrophic bacteria occurring in the intestinal tract of the investigated fish were estimated using a dilution plate technique.
The three functions of the intestinal tract are digestion, absorption and elimination.
We observed two well-defined bands in the intestinal tract of H.
Researchers speculated that the toxin had been in the whale's intestinal tract or had been absorbed into its skin from sand.
College Station, TX 77845) have shown that levels of these bacteria can be reduced in the intestinal tract of pigs and cows if they're given sodium chlorate before they are slaughtered.
To survive, they often have to depend on parenteral nutrition--that is, direct infusion of nutrients into the bloodstream that bypasses the intestinal tract.
Probiotics are fermented foods that contain certain live and active cultures that are believed to help improve the balance of bacteria in the intestinal tract.
Your digestive tract contains billions of probiotic bacteria, the friendly micro organisms that help keep your intestinal tract healthy.
Women with ovarian endometriosis should be checked for involvement elsewhere, because disease is almost always present in the pelvis or intestinal tract as well, reported Dr.