STOMACHACHE
STOMACH
LOCATION
Muscle layers
Ruga
Duodenum
Oesophagus
Oesophageal
sphincter
Mucosa
Submucosa
secretion from the stomach lining. Gas-
tric juice contains pepsin, an enzyme that
breaks down protein; hydrochloric acid,
which kills bacteria and creates the opti-
mum
pH
for pepsin activity; and intrinsic
factor, which is essential for absorption
of vitamin B
12
in the small intestine. The
gastric lining also secretes mucus to
stop the stomach digesting itself.
The muscular stomach wall produces
rhythmic contractions that churn the food
and gastric juice to aid digestion. Partly
digested food is squirted into the duo-
denum at regular intervals by stomach
contractions and by relaxation of the
ring of muscle at the stomach outlet.
stomachache
Discomfort in the upper
abdomen. (See also
indigestion.)
stomach cancer
A malignant tumour
that arises from the lining of the
stomach
.
The exact cause is unknown, but
Helico-
bacter pylori
infection is thought to be
linked to increased incidence. Other like-
ly factors include smoking and alcohol
intake; diet may also play a part, in par-
ticular eating large amounts of salted or
pickled foods. Pernicious
anaemia
, a par-
tial
gastrectomy
, and belonging to blood
group A also seem to increase the risk.
Stomach cancer rarely affects people
under 40 and is more common in men.
There may also be other symptoms indis-
tinguishable from those of
peptic ulcer.
Diagnosis is usually made by
gastros-
copy
or by a
barium X-ray examination.
The only effective treatment is total gas-
trectomy. In advanced cases in which the
tumour has spread,
radiotherapy
and
anticancer drugs
may prolong life,
stomach, disorders of the The stom-
ach may be affected by various disorders,
including gastrointestinal infections,
pep-
tic ulcers,
gastritis,
pyloric stenosis,
volvulus, pofysps,
and
stomach cancer.
stomach imaging See
barium X-ray
examinations.
stomach pump See
lavage, gastric.
stomach ulcer A type of
peptic ulcer.
stomatitis Any form of inflammation or
ulceration of the mouth,
stones Small, hard collections of solid
material within the body. (See also
cal-
culus, urinary tract; gallstones.)
stool Another word for
faeces.
stork mark A small, flat, harmless,
pinkish-red skin blemish found in many
newborn babies. Such marks, which may
be temporary, are a type of
haem an-
gioma
and are usually found around the
eyes and at the nape of the neck.
strabismus
See
squint.
strain
Tearing or stretching of
muscle
fibres as a result of suddenly pulling
them too far. There is bleeding into the
damaged area of muscle, causing pain,
swelling, muscle spasm, and bruising.
Treatment may include applying an
ice-
pack
, resting the affected part, taking
analgesic drugs,
and
physiotherapy.
strangulation
The constriction, usually
by twisting or compression, of a tube or
passage in the body, blocking blood
flow and interfering with the function of
the affected organ. Strangulation may
occur with a
hernia
, for example.
Strangulation of the neck causes com-
pression of the
jugular veins
, preventing
blood from flowing out of the brain, and
compression of the windpipe, which
restricts breathing. The victim loses con-
sciousness, and brain damage and death
from lack of oxygen follow.
strangury
A symptom characterized by
a painful and frequent desire to empty
the bladder, although only a few drops
of urine can be passed. Causes include
STRANGURY
S
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