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Diseases » Melena » Glossary

Glossary for Melena

  • Anal Cancer: Cancer (malignant) that develops in the tissues of the anus.
  • Anal fissure: Tear in the anal region.
  • Ancylostoma duodenale: An infestation with Ancylostoma duodenale which is a parasitic hookwork whichcan cause serious disease in humans - usually occurs in people who work barefoot in damp soil. The hookworms suck blood from the intestines of the host which can result in anemia if there is a large number of worms.
  • Angiodysplasia: Abnormality of small blood vessels - especially in the intestinal tract - which can result in bleeding. The size of the lesion involved determines the severity of the condition. Small amounts of bleeding from one lesion often goes unnoticed but multiple large lesions may cause heavy bleeding and result in black tarry stool and anemia.
  • Angiostrongyliasis: Infection by a parasitic worm (Angiostrongylus). Infection can occur through eating contaminated raw animals such as snails, slugs, prawns or crabs which act as hosts to these parasites.
  • Anthrax: A serious infectious bacterial disease that can be fatal.
  • Balantidiasis: Intestinal infection with a parasitic protozoa (Balantidium coli) resulting in intestinal inflammation. It is usually transmitted through direct or indirect contact with pig fecal matter.
  • Banti's syndrome: A rare condition where chronic congestive spleen enlargement causes it to destroy red blood cells too early. The spleen becomes enlarged due to an obstruction of blood flow in the organ and the resulting increase in blood pressure.
  • Barrett syndrome: A chronic peptic ulcer of the esophagus.
  • Bloody stool: Blood appearing in the stool.
  • Bowel strangulation: Twisting of the bowel often around fibrous bands, causing decreased blood supply and death of bowel tissue.
  • Caustic or corrosive substance ingestion: Ingestion of a caustic (alkaline) or corrosive (acidic) substance. Many cases occur when children ingest cleaning products found in the home.
  • Choriocarcinoma, infantile: A rare malignant cancer that originates in the placenta. It is an aggressive cancer which generally results in infant death.
  • Colorectal cancer: Cancer of the colon (bowel) or rectum.
  • Crohn's disease: Chronic autoimmune inflammatory bowel disease affecting digestion.
  • Degos Disease: A rare disorder where lesions caused by blood vessel inflammation and blockage form on the skin and eventually in the internal organs, especially in the small intestine.
  • Dermatomyositis: A muscle disease characterized by chronic muscle inflammation resulting in progressive muscle weakness and a characteristic rash.
  • Ehlers-Danlos syndrome: A group of inherited connective tissue disorders primarily involving the joints and skin. There are 11 disorders in the group.
  • Endometriosis: Misplaced uterus tissue causing scar tissue.
  • Entamoeba histolytica: Parasitic digestive infection.
  • Essential thrombocytosis - same as essential thrombocythemia: A rare blood disorder where the blood contains too many platelets due to excessive megakaryocytes (platelet-producing cells). Platelets are essential for blood clotting but in essential thrombocythemia excessive platelets can cause the blood to form abnormal clots. If the platelets are defective as well then bleeding problems can occur. The severity of the condition is variable.
  • Gastrointestinal bleeding: Internal bleeding in the digestive tract
  • Hematochezia: is the passage of bright red, bloody stools from the rectum
  • Hemorrhagic thrombocythemia: A rare blood disorder characterized by increased number of platelets in the blood which often results in an enlarged spleen, bleeding and blood vessel blockages.
  • Hepatorenal tyrosinemia: A rare genetic metabolic disorder characterized by a deficiency of particular enzymes which prevents the breakdown of tyrosine which then builds up in the liver. Type 1 involves a deficiency of the enzyme fumaril acetoacetate hydrolase.
  • Kaposi's Sarcoma: A soft tissue cancer once very rare, now associated with AIDS.
  • Katayama fever: An acute disease due to infection with Schistosoma parasites. Transmission can occur through contact with infected waters.
  • Mallory-Weiss syndrome: A laceration of the lining of the gastroesophageal junction or just above it - often caused by severe vomiting.
  • Microscopic Polyangiitis: A condition which is characterized by inflammation of microscopic blood or lymph vessels
  • Ménétrier's disease: Rare chronic disease with excessive growth of skin folds in the stomach.
  • Pelvic fracture: A fracture in the bone of the pelvis
  • Peutz-Jeghers Syndrome: A rare genetic disorder characterized by the development of numerous benign nodules on the inside lining of the intestinal wall as well as excess skin pigmentation usually around the lips and inner lining of the mouth.
  • Portal hypertension: High blood pressure that occurs in the veins leading to the liver. It is usually a result of some sort of liver disease or problem.
  • Strongyloidiasis: A parasitic infectious disease involving the intestines and caused by the nematode Strongyloides stercoralis. Infection usually occurs in crowded, unsanitized populations.
  • Typhoid fever: Fever from bacterial food poisoning.
  • Ulcerative colitis: Inflammation and ulcers in the large intestine
  • Vasculitis: Inflammation of a blood or lymph vessel
  • Watermelon stomach: The dilation of the blood vessels in the antral of the stomach
  • Wiskott-Aldrich Syndrome: An inherited immune system disorder that affects only males and is characterized by recurring infections, eczema and reduced level of blood platelets (thrombocytopenia).


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