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The Gastrointestinal System

Is composed of the:

  • Mouth
  • Salivary Glands
  • Esophagus
  • Stomach
  1. Small Intestine
  2. Large Intestine (Colon)
  • Liver
  • Gallbladder
  • Pancreas

Diagnostic Assessment:

– Barium Swallow  (Upper GI)

– Barium Enema (Lower GI )

– Esophagogastroduodenoscopy (EGD)

  • Visualization of the upper GIT by endoscope.

Common Procedures:

– Paracentesis

– Liver biopsy

– Gastroscopy

Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease

  • Inappropriate relaxation of the LES
  • The backflow of GI contents into esophagus
  • Gastric acid and pepsin causes tissue injury
  • Results in a Barret’s Epithelium


  • Dyspepsia (Heart Burn) Pain that up and down the chest region.
  • Regurgitation (monitor for crackles in lungs) aspiration risk.
  • Hypersalivation
  • Dysphagia (due to narrowing of eshpagus/ constriction)

Hiatal Hernia

– protrusion of the stomach through the esophageal hiatus of the diaphragm

  • There are two types:
  1. Sliding Hernia- almost like GERD (Major Concern- reflux and it’s complications)
  2. Rolling Hernia- the fundus rolls through the esophagial hiatus and into the thorax.


Barium swallow study w/ fluoroscopy

Peptic Ulcer Disease

Gastric Carcinoma

– carcinoma in the stomach


  • Infection (H. Pylori)
  • Pernicious Anmeia
  • Barret’s Esophagus
  • Salted Food/Meats

Colorectal Cancer

– Cancer of the Colon or rectum.

  • Causes/Factors
  • Diet with high levels of fats, fried foods and refined carbs


  • Change in stool (consistency, color)
  • Rectal Bleeding, anemia
  • Mahogany colored or bright colored stools



Inflammatory Bowel Diseases:

The Liver



– Chronic disease that affects the liver.

Gallbladder Disease:

Cholecystitis & Cholelithiasis

The Pancreas


– a progressive and chronic destruction of the pancreas

Types of Pancreatitis

  • Alcohol induced pancreatitis
  • Chronic obstructive pancreatitis


  • Pain in LUQ (Left Upper Quadrant)
  • Ascites, jaundice

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