Glossary B

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Barium (BAIR-ee-um)
A chalky liquid used to coat the inside of organs so that they will show up on an x-ray.

Barium Enema X-Ray (BAIR-ee-um EN-uh-muh EKS-ray)
See Lower GI Series.

Barium Meal
See Upper GI Series.

Barrett’s Esophagus (BAH-ruts eh-SAW-fuh-gus)
Peptic ulcer of the lower esophagus. It is caused by the presence of cells that normally stay in the stomach lining.

Belching (BELL-ching)
Noisy release of gas from the stomach through the mouth. Also called burping.

Bernstein Test (BURN-styn test)
A test to find out if heartburn is caused by acid in the esophagus. The test involves dripping a mild acid, similar to stomach acid, through a tube placed in the esophagus.

Bezoar (BEE-zor)
A ball of food, mucus, vegetable fiber, hair, or other material that cannot be digested in the stomach. Bezoars can cause blockage, ulcers, and bleeding.

Bile (BY-ul)
Fluid made by the liver and stored in the gallbladder. Bile helps break down fats and gets rid of wastes in the body.

Bile Acids (BY-ul ASS-idz)
Acids made by the liver that work with bile to break down fats.

Bile Ducts (BY-ul dukts)
Tubes that carry bile from the liver to the gallbladder for storage and to the small intestine for use in digestion.

Biliary Atresia (BILL-ee-air-ee uh-TREEZ-ya)
A condition present from birth in which the bile ducts inside or outside the liver do not have normal openings. Bile becomes trapped in the liver, causing jaundice and cirrhosis. Without surgery the condition may cause death.

Biliary Dyskinesia (BILL-ee-air-ee dis-kuh-NEEZ-ya)
See postcholecystectomy syndrome.

Biliary Stricture (BILL-ee-air-ee STRIK-sher)
A narrowing of the biliary tract from scar tissue. The scar tissue may result from injury, disease, pancreatitis, infection, or gallstones. See also Stricture.

Biliary System
See Biliary Tract.

Biliary Tract
The gallbladder and the bile ducts. Also called biliary system or biliary tree.

Biliary Tree
See Biliary Tract.

Bilirubin (BILL-ee-ROO-bin)
The substance formed when hemoglobin breaks down. Bilirubin gives bile its color. Bilirubin is normally passed in stool. Too much bilirubin causes jaundice.

Bismuth Subsalicylate (BIZ-muth SUB-sal-ih-SIL-ayt)
A nonprescription medicine such as Pepto-Bismol. Used to treat diarrhea, heartburn, indigestion, and nausea. It is also part of the treatment for ulcers caused by the bacterium Helicobacter pylori (HELL-uh-koh-BAK-tur py-LOH-ree).

Bloating (BLO-ting)
Fullness or swelling in the abdomen that often occurs after meals.

Borborygmi (BOR-boh-RIG-mee)
Rumbling sounds caused by gas moving through the intestines (stomach “growling”).

Bowel (BAH-wul)
Another word for the small and large intestines.

Bowel Movement (BAH-wul MOOV-munt)
Body wastes passed through the rectum and anus.

Bowel Prep
The process used to clean the colon with enemas and a special drink. Used before surgery of the colon, colonoscopy, or barium x-ray. See also Lavage.

Budd-Chiari Syndrome (BUD kee-AH-ree sin-drohm)
A rare liver disease in which the veins that drain blood from the liver are blocked or narrowed.

Bulking Agents (BUL-king AY-jents)
Laxatives that make bowel movements soft and easy to pass.

See Belching.

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