Portal Hypertension – symptoms and treatment

Portal Hypertension Definition Portal Hypertension – high pressure in the portal VEIN, the large BLOOD vessel that carries blood from the abdominal organs to the LIVER. CIRRHOSIS, in which SCAR tissue replaces liver tissue as a consequence of repeated INFLAMMATION, is the primary cause of portal hypertension. Right HEART FAILURE also can cause portal hypertension. About 40 percent of the blood that enters […]

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Achalasia – definition and symptoms

Achlasia Definition Achalasia is a disorder of the ESOPHAGUS in which the lower esophageal sphincter, the ring of MUSCLE at the entry to the STOMACH, remains constricted, failing to allow food to pass into the stomach. Researchers believe the cause is a reduced number of inhibitory nerve cells, the specialized neurons that direct involuntary muscle tissue to relax. The […]

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Diarrhea – causes and treatment

Diarrhea Definition Watery or frequent bowel movements. Diarrhea can have serious health consequences for the very young, the very old, and those who have debilitating illnesses. It is important to increase fluid consumption when diarrhea is present as DEHYDRATION can occur very quickly. Diarrhea in an infant under six months old requires immediate medical attention. For […]

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Hepatomegaly – definition, causes

Definition of Hepatomegaly Hepatomegaly – an enlarged LIVER. It is a symptom of numerous conditions involving the liver. Its presence or absence has no correlation to the seriousness of the underlying liver disease. Because hepatomegaly is a symptom rather than a condition, it often resolves when the underlying condition comes under control. Chronic liver conditions may result in […]

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Primary Biliary Cirrhosis – diagnosis, symptoms and treatment

Primary Biliary Cirrhosis Definition An autoimmune disorder in which chronic and progressive INFLAMMATION destroys the intrahepatic BILE DUCTS (bile ducts within the LIVER), blocking the flow of BILE. Primary biliary CIRRHOSIS appears to run in families, suggesting a hereditary component. Early symptoms include fatigue, tenderness or PAIN in the upper right abdomen, and itching (PRURITIS). Over time, signs of liver damage, […]

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Anal Atresia – definition

Anal Atresia Definition Anal Atresia is a CONGENITAL ANOMALY, also called imperforate ANUS, in which the anal opening that allows the elimination of feces is missing or misplaced. Diagnosis typically takes place within 24 to 48 hours following birth, with the passage of, or failure to have, the first BOWEL MOVEMENT. Complete anal atresia requires immediate surgery to […]

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Diverticular Disease – symptoms and treatment

Diverticular Disease Definition A chronic condition in which pockets of the gastrointestinal mucosa (inner lining of the intestines) bulge through weakened areas of the intestinal wall, forming HERNIA-like protrusions called diverticula.Diverticula may form anywhere along the gastrointestinal tract from the ESOPHAGUS to the RECTUM, though are most common in the sigmoid COLON. Most diverticular disease develops over […]

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Hiatal Hernia – definition, symptoms and treatment

Hiatal Hernia definition Hiatal Hernia – a weakening in the DIAPHRAGM, the muscular wall that separates the thoracic cavity (chest) from the abdominal cavity, that allows part of the upper STOMACH to slide upward into the chest. The weakening develops in the natural lapse in the diaphragm’s continuity, called the hiatus, that allows the ESOPHAGUS to join the […]

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Primary Sclerosing Cholangitis

Primary Sclerosing Cholangitis definition Primary Sclerosing Cholangitis – a progressive and chronic condition in which segments of the BILE DUCTS become inflamed, causing SCAR tissue (sclerosis) that narrows and stiffens them. The scarring reduces and eventually destroys the ability of the ducts to carry BILE. About 75 percent of people who have primary sclerosing cholangitis also have INFLAMMATORY BOWEL DISEASE (IBD), suggesting […]

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Anal Fissure – causes, symptoms and treatment

Causes of Anal Fissure and Symptoms Anal Fissure – small tears in the tissue around the ANUS. Anal fissures can be internal or external. They typically are painful and may bleed with bowel movements, resulting in small amounts of bright red BLOOD on the toilet tissue or in the toilet bowl. The most common cause of anal fissure […]

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