Esophageal Varices – diagnosis and treatment

Esophageal Varices Definition Enlarged and weakened veins in the walls of the esophagus. Esophageal varices result from portal hypertension, a condition of impaired blood flow into the liver, and are potentially life-threatening should they rupture and hemorrhage. Portal hypertension is a common complication of conditions such as cirrhosis and chronic hepatitis that cause scar tissue to develop within the liver. Esophageal Varices Symptoms […]

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Hepatitis – Types A, B, C, D – Symptoms and Treatment

Hepatitis Definition Hepatitis – inflammation of the liver. There are numerous kinds and causes. Most hepatitis results from specific viruses that cause infections of the liver, alcohol abuse, and hepatotoxic drugs. Hepatitis is the leading cause of liver failure, and reason for liver transplantation, in the United States. Types of hepatitis Infectious (viral) Hepatitis The viruses that cause viral […]

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Pancreatitis – Symptoms and Treatment

Pancreatitis Definition Pancreatitis – inflammation of the pancreas that can be acute (comes on suddenly) or chronic (ongoing). Acute pancreatitis can be life-threatening and requires emergency medical treatment. Between them, excessive alcohol consumption and gallstones account for more than 80 percent of pancreatitis. Other causes include cystic fibrosis, viral infection (notably with the mumps virus), side effectS of certain medications, and trauma to […]

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Toxic Megacolon – Definition and Symptoms

Toxic Megacolon Definition Toxic Megacolon is a serious condition in which a loss of muscle tone in the lower colon (typically the sigmoid colon) causes the preceding segment of colon to greatly enlarge (dilate). Air accumulates in the dilated bowel, increasing the pressure. Without prompt treatment intestinal perforation (rupture) is highly likely, with consequential peritonitis. Toxic megacolon is a potentially lifethreatening […]

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Cholestasis – Symptoms and Diagnosis

Definition of Cholestasis Inadequate or lack of bile flow resulting from either obstruction of the bile ducts or dysfunctions of the liveR. Common symptoms include: Jaundice (yellow discoloration of the skin) Pruritus (generalized itching) Easy bruising Pale stools and dark urine Xanthomas (fatty deposits in the dermis layer of the skin) Conditions that can cause cholestasis CONDITIONS biliary atresia gallstones hepatitis hepatoxins liver disease of […]

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Esophagitis, Symptoms, Treatment, Diagnostic Path

Esophagitis Definition Inflammation of the esophagus – The most common cause of esophagitis is irritation from stomach contents that backflow into the esophagus, such as occurs with gastroesophageal reflux disorder (GERD) and achalasia. Infection resulting from herpes simplex, cytomegalovirus (cmv), or yeast (Candida) also can involve the esophagus to cause esophagitis. Symptoms include painful or difficult swallowing and dyspepsia. The diagnostic path may include endoscopy to […]

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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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Peptic Ulcer Disease – Symptoms and Treatment

Peptic Ulcer Disease Definition Peptic Ulcer Disease – a condition in which ulcers form in the lining (mucosa) of the lower stomach and upper duodenum (first segment of the small intestine). The two most common causes of peptic ulcer disease are infection with helicobacter pylori and chronic or long-term use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (nsaids). Peptic ulcer disease affects millions of Americans. In most situations, […]

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Vomiting – definition

Vomiting Definition and Information The forceful expulsion of contents from the stomach, also called emesis. The force of vomiting may also draw digestive material from the duodenum (first section of the small intestine). Like sneezing and coughing, vomiting is a protective and reflexive mechanism to rid the body of substances that threaten its well-being. Vomiting occurs in response to nerve […]

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Familial Adenomatous Polyposis (FAP)

Familial Adenomatous Polyposis Definition A genetic disorder in which hundreds of intestinal polyps grow in the rectum and colon. FAP is an extreme risk for early-onset colorectal cancer. This autosomal dominant disorder results from a defective gene, inherited from one parent, in which there is a mutation of the adenomatous polyposis coli (APC) gene. The ACP gene regulates the […]

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