DIC
DIGESTIVE SYSTEM
emergency treatment of
epilepsy
,
and to
treat alcohol withdrawal symptoms. It
may also be given intravenously to pro-
duce sedation in people undergoing
certain procedures, such as
endoscopy
.
Diazepam may cause drowsiness, diz-
ziness, and confusion; therefore driving
and hazardous work should be avoided.
Diazepam can be habit-forming.
DIC
See
disseminated intravascular co-
agulation
.
diclofenac
A
nonsteroidal anti-inflam-
matory drug
(NSAID) used to relieve
pain and stiffness in
arthritis
and to
hasten recovery following injury. Side
effects may include nausea, abdominal
pain, and peptic ulcer.
diet
See
nutrition
.
diet and disease
Several diseases are
linked with diet. Diseases due to a defi-
ciency are rare in developed countries,
but many disorders are due partly to
overconsumption of certain foods. A
diet high in fats may contribute to
atherosclerosis
and heart disease. A
high-fat diet has also been linked with
cancer of the bowel (see
colon, cancer
of
) and
breast cancer
.
Obesity
increases
the risk of many other disorders, includ-
ing
diabetes mellitus
and
stroke
.
Overconsumption of
alcohol
can lead
to various
alcohol-related disorders
.
A
high salt intake predisposes a person
towards
hypertension
. Some compon-
ents of the diet protect against disease.
For example, fibre protects against
di-
verticular disease
, chronic
constipation
,
and
haemorrhoids
.
Many people's diets contain too few
natural vitamins. Pregnant women need
high intakes of
folic acid
to reduce the
risk of
neural tube defects.
Although many illnesses are commonly
ascribed to
food allergy
, it is only rarely
that a definite link is proved. (See also
nutritional disorders
).
dietetics
The application of nutritional
science to maintain or restore health. It
involves a knowledge of the composi-
tion of foods, the effects of cooking and
processing, and dietary requirements,
as well as psychological aspects, such as
eating habits (see
nutrition
).
diethylstilbestrol
A synthetic form of
the female sex hormone
oestrogen
,
occasionally used to treat prostate can-
cer (see
prostate, cancer of
) and, in
postmenopausal women only,
breast
cancer
. Common side effects include
nausea,
oedema
, and breast enlarge-
ment (
gynaecomastia
) in men.
differentiation
The process by which
the cells of the early
embryo
diversify to
form the distinct tissues and organs. It
also means the degree to which the
microscopic appearance of cancerous
tissue resembles normal tissue.
diffusion
The spread of a substance in
a fluid from an area of high concentra-
tion to one of lower concentration.
diflunisal
A
nonsteroidal anti-inflamma-
tory drug
(NSAID) used to relieve joint
pain and stiffness in types of
arthritis
.
The drug is also given for back pain,
sprains, and strains. Side effects include
nausea, diarrhoea, and a rash.
digestion
The process by which food is
broken down into smaller components
that can be transported and used by the
body. (See also
digestive system
).
digestive system
The group of organs
responsible for
digestion
. It consists of
the digestive tract (also known as the
alimentary tract or canal) and various
associated organs. The digestive tract
consists of the
mouth
,
pharynx
,
oesoph-
agus
,
stomach
,
intestines
, and the
anus
.
The intestines are the small intestine
(comprising the
duodenum
,
jejunum
,
and
ileum
) and the large intestine (com-
prising the
caecum
,
colon
, and
rectum
).
The associated organs, such as the
sali-
vary glands
,
liver
, and
pancreas
, secrete
digestive juices that break down food as
it goes through the tract.
Food and the products of digestion
are moved from the throat to the rec-
tum by
peristalsis
(waves of muscular
contractions of the intestinal wall).
Food is broken down into simpler sub-
stances before being absorbed into the
bloodstream.Physical breakdown is per-
formed by the teeth, which cut and chew,
and the stomach, which churns the
food. The chemical breakdown of food
is performed by the action of
enzymes
,
acids, and salts.
Carbohydrates
are broken down into
simple sugars.
Proteins
are broken down
into
polypeptides
,
peptides
, and
amino
D
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