Glossary G

Back to glossary

Galactose (guh-LAK-tos)
A type of sugar in milk products and sugar beets. The body also makes galactose.

Galactosemia (guh-LAK-toh-SEE-mee-uh)
Buildup of galactose in the blood. Caused by lack of one of the enzymes needed to break down galactose into glucose.

Gallbladder (GAWL-blah-dur)
The organ that stores the bile made in the liver. Connected to the liver by bile ducts. The gallbladder can store about 1 cup of bile. Eating signals the gallbladder to empty the bile through the bile ducts to help digest fats.

Gallstones (GAWL-stonz)
The solid masses or stones made of cholesterol or bilirubin that form in the gallbladder or bile ducts.

Gardner’s Syndrome (GARD-nurz sin-drohm)
A condition in which many polyps form throughout the digestive tract. Because these polyps are likely to cause cancer, the colon and rectum are often removed to prevent colorectal cancer.

Gas (gas)
Air that comes from normal breakdown of food. The gases are passed out of the body through the rectum (flatus) or the mouth (burp).

Gastrectomy (gah-STREK-tuh-mee)
An operation to remove all or part of the stomach.

Gastric (GAH-strik)
Related to the stomach.

Gastric Juices (GAH-strik JOO-suz)
Liquids produced in the stomach to help break down food and kill bacteria.

Gastric Resection (GAH-strik ree-SEK-shun)
An operation to remove part or all of the stomach.

Gastric Ulcer (GAH-strik UL-sur)
See Stomach Ulcer.

Gastrin (GAH-strin)
A hormone released after eating. Gastrin causes the stomach to produce more acid.

Gastritis (gah-STRY-tis)
An inflammation of the stomach lining.

Gastrocolic Reflex (GAH-stroh-KAW-lick REE-fleks)
Increase of muscle movement in the gastrointestinal tract when food enters an empty stomach. May cause the urge to have a bowel movement right after eating.

Gastroenteritis (GAH-stroh-en-tuh-RY-tis)
An infection or irritation of the stomach and intestines. May be caused by bacteria or parasites from spoiled food or unclean water. Other causes include eating food that irritates the stomach lining and emotional upsets such as anger, fear, or stress. Symptoms include diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, and abdominal cramping. See also Infectious Diarrhea and Travelers’ Diarrhea.

Causes of gastroenteritis:

  • Bacteria
  • Escherichia coli
  • Salmonella
  • Shigella
  • Viruses
  • Norwalk virus
  • Rotavirus
  • Parasites
  • Cryptosporidia
  • Entamoeba histolytica
  • Giardia lamblia

Gastroenterologist (GAH-stroh-en-tuh-RAW-luh-jist)
A doctor who specializes in digestive diseases.

Gastroenterology (GAH-stroh-en-tuh-RAW-luh-jee)
The field of medicine concerned with the function and disorders of the digestive system.

Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) (GAH-stroh-eh-SAW-fuh-JEE-ul REE-fluks duh-zeez)
Flow of the stomach’s contents back up into the esophagus. Happens when the muscle between the esophagus and the stomach (the lower esophageal sphincter) is weak or relaxes when it shouldn’t. May cause esophagitis. Also called esophageal reflux or reflux esophagitis.

Gastrointestinal (GI) (GAH-stroh-in-TES-tuh-nul)
Related to the gastrointestinal tract.

Gastrointestinal (GI) Tract (GAH-stroh-in-TES-tuh-nul trakt)
The large, muscular tube that extends from the mouth to the anus, where the movement of muscles and release of hormones and enzymes digest food. Also called the alimentary canal or digestive tract.

Gastroparesis (GAH-stroh-puh-REE-sis)
Nerve or muscle damage in the stomach. Causes slow digestion and emptying, vomiting, nausea, or bloating. Also called delayed gastric emptying.

Gastrostomy (gah-STRAW-stuh-mee)
An artificial opening from the stomach to a hole (stoma) in the abdomen where a feeding tube is inserted. See also Enteral Nutrition.

See Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease.

See Gastrointestinal.

Giant Hypertrophic Gastritis (JY-unt hy-pur-TROH-fik gah-STRY-tis)
See Menetrier’s Disease.

Giardiasis (jee-ar-DY-uh-sus)
An infection with the parasite Giardia lamblia from spoiled food or unclean water. May cause diarrhea. See also Gastroenteritis.

Gilbert Syndrome (GIL-burt sin-drohm)
A buildup of bilirubin in the blood. Caused by lack of a liver enzyme needed to break down bilirubin. See also Bilirubin.

Globus Sensation (GLOH-bus sen-SAY-shun)
A constant feeling of a lump in the throat. Usually related to stress.

Glucose (GLOO-kohss)
A simple sugar the body manufactures from carbohydrates in the diet. Glucose is the body’s main source of energy. See also Carbohydrates.

Gluten (GLOO-ten)
A protein found in wheat, rye, barley, and oats. In people who can’t digest it, gluten damages the lining of the small intestine or causes sores on the skin.

Gluten Intolerance (GLOO-ten in-TAH-luh-runs)
See Celiac Disease.

Gluten Sensitive Enteropathy (GLOO-ten SEN-suh-tiv en-tuh-RAW-puh-thee)
A general term that refers to celiac disease and dermatitis herpetiformis.

Glycogen (GLY-koh-jen)
A sugar stored in the liver and muscles. It releases glucose into the blood when cells need it for energy. Glycogen is the chief source of stored fuel in the body.

Glycogen Storage Diseases (GLY-koh-jen STOR-ij duh-ZEEZ-uz)
A group of birth defects. These diseases change the way the liver breaks down glycogen. See also Glycogen.

Granuloma (gran-yoo-LOH-ma)
A mass of red, irritated tissue in the GI tract found in Crohn’s disease.

Granulomatous Colitis (gran-yoo-LOH-muh-tus koh-LY-tis)
Another name for Crohn’s disease of the colon.

Granulomatous Enteritis (gran-yoo-LOH-muh-tus en-tuh-RY-tis)
Another name for Crohn’s disease of the small intestine.

Gullet (GUH-let)
See Esophagus.

Gut (gut)
See Intestines.

Back to glossary