What Does That Mean?

The physicians at GI Associates have at least ten years of medical experience, so sometimes the words and phrases they use can be difficult for the average person to understand. We have tried to take some of the most common words they use and have written a description that is much easier for you to understand. GI Associates is interested in you becoming more informed when it comes to your health. That’s just another reason why GI Associates is a preferred health care provider.

  • Colonoscopy

    A procedure that is done by a physician using a flexible fiber-optic instrument inserted through the rectum in order to examine the colon.

  • Colorectal Cancer or Colon Cancer

    A cancerous tumor that forms on the inner wall of the large intestine. The exact causes of colon cancer are still unknown though research shows there are environmental and hereditary factors that play a role in its development. There may be no symptoms in the early stages; therefore it is important to be screened regularly.

  • Constipation

    When there is difficulty emptying the bowels because of hardened stool.

  • Crohn's Disease

    A chronic inflammatory disease of the intestines, primarily affecting the lower part of the small intestine, called the ileum. It can affect any part of the large or small intestine, stomach or esophagus.

  • Diarrhea

    When bowel movements are passed more often than usual and in a liquid state.

  • Doctor of Osteopathy (DO)

    A doctor who has received medical training that emphasizes the treatment of medical disorders through the manipulation and massage of the bones, joints, and muscles.

  • Encopresis

    When a child who has been toilet trained soils their clothes, usually without knowing it.

  • Endoscope

    During an examination, a physician may use a lighted, flexible instrument that allows them to see the inside of your digestive tract. It can be inserted either in the mouth or the anus, depending on which area of the digestive tract the physician is examining. It can be referred to by different names depending on which area of the digestive tract the physician is using: esophagoscopy (esophagus), astroscopy (stomach), upper endoscopy (small intestine), sigmoidoscopy (lower part of the large intestine), and colonoscopy (entire large intestine).

  • Esophagus

    A kind of pipe-like structure that leads from the mouth to the stomach.

  • Fistula

    An abnormal connection that forms between two internal organs or two different parts of the intestine. This is most commonly seen in Crohn's disease.

  • Gastrointestinal

    Relating to the stomach and the intestines.

  • Gastrointestinal Reflux

    A painful burning feeling in your chest or throat that occurs when stomach acid backs up into the esophagus. It is also known as heartburn.

  • Gastroparesis

    Also called delayed gastric emptying, gastroparesis is a medical condition consisting of a paresis (partial paralysis) of the stomach, resulting in food remaining in the stomach for a longer period of time than normal. Normally, the stomach contracts to move food down into the small intestine for digestion. The vagus nerve controls these contractions. Gastroparesis may occur when the vagus nerve is damaged and the muscles of the stomach and intestines do not work normally. Food then moves slowly or stops moving through the digestive tract.

  • Gilbert's Syndrome

    Gilbert’s Syndrome is a relatively common, benign (not cancerous) liver disorder. It is more common in males and is characterized by a mild, fluctuating increase in serum bilirubin, a yellow pigment excreted by the liver into bile.

  • Incontinence

    When you lose control of your bowels.

  • Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)

    Diseases that cause inflammation to the bowel including Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis.

  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)

    When the colon muscle contracts more readily causing abdominal pain and cramps, excess gas, bloating and either diarrhea or constipation. Also called Spastic Colon.

  • Lower Esophageal Sphincter (LES)

    A valve-like structure that opens to let food into the stomach and then closes to keep the food and stomach acid from going back up.

  • Pancreatic Cancer

    The growth of abnormal cells in the pancreas.

  • Pancreatitis

    A rare disease in which the pancreas is inflamed can be classified in two different types: acute and chronic.

  • Pathology

    The science of studying the causes and effects of diseases, especially the branch of medicine that deals with the laboratory examination of samples of body tissue for diagnostic or forensic purposes.

  • Peptic Ulcer Disease

    An ulcer that is usually acidic and thus extremely painful, that affects one in eight Americans.

  • Polyps

    Usually smaller non-cancerous growths that appear on the inner colon lining that could develop into cancer. Colon polyps and the early stages of cancer can have no symptoms so it is important to be screened regularly.

  • Stool

    Waste matter that has been discharged from the bowels after food has been digested.

  • Ulcerative Colitis

    A disease that causes inflammation and ulcers in the lining of the large intestine. It usually only affects the rectum and lower part of the colon. However, it can affect the entire colon.