Last night was “Gastroenterology: Clinical” at Georgetown Mini-medical school. Dr. Bruce Luxon was the presenter, and he had a perfect blend of expertise, good teaching method, and a relaxed attitude. He also had some amazing, gory films of endoscopies that were fascinating to see.

We’re going to back up and cover more of the anatomy next week, but these are the high points: Esophagus. Stomach. Duodenum. Small Intestine. Colon. Kidney.

GI diseases: Reflux. GERD. Irritiable bowel. Constipation. Ulcers. H.Pylori. Diverticulitis. Colon cancer. Liver disease.

I was curious about the role of the diaphragm in GI health. The diaphragm muscle sits on top of the stomach and, along with the upper sphincter, helps keep the stomach closed so all that acid stays in place. A hiatal hernia occurs when a piece of the stomach pops above that sphincter and the diaphragm.

Question: In the body of Christ, what is the diaphragm?

Dysphagia = difficulty swallowing. It is a significant warning sign that there are strictures in the esophagus, and there is something more serious going on than just reflux.

Endoscopy is truly amazing. It combines diagnosis and treatment in one procedure. We saw a polyp being clamped, cauterized and removed. Also a spurting blood vessel in the esophagus being “lassoed” to literally save a person’s life.

You cannot live without a liver. You can live without a lot of organs, but not without a liver. Love your liver.

Word to remember: Idiopathic (meaning “we don’t know the cause”)

Quick Quiz: Word from last week: Teratoma?


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