Glossary of Terms

Constipation – passage of small amounts of hard, dry bowel movements, usually fewer than three times a week. People who are constipated may find it difficult and painful to have a bowel movement. Other symptoms of constipation include feeling bloated, uncomfortable, and sluggish. <back to top>

Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) – a disorder that interferes with the normal functions of the large intestine (colon). It is characterized by a group of symptoms—crampy abdominal pain, bloating, constipation, and diarrhea.  One in five Americans has IBS, making it one of the most common disorders diagnosed by doctors. It occurs more often in women than in men, and it usually begins around age 20.

Diverticulosis – Many people have small pouches in their colons that bulge outward through weak spots, like an inner tube that pokes through weak places in a tire. Each pouch is called a diverticulum. Pouches (plural) are called diverticula. The condition of having diverticula is called diverticulosis. About 10 percent of Americans over the age of 40 have diverticulosis. The condition becomes more common as people age. About half of all people over the age of 60 have diverticulosis. When the pouches become infected or inflamed, the condition is called diverticulitis. This happens in 10 to 25 percent of people with diverticulosis. Diverticulosis and diverticulitis are also called diverticular disease.

Acid Reflux – Gastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD, occurs when the lower esophageal sphincter (LES) does not close properly and stomach contents leak back, or reflux, into the esophagus. The LES is a ring of muscle at the bottom of the esophagus that acts like a valve between the esophagus and stomach. The esophagus carries food from the mouth to the stomach.  When refluxed stomach acid touches the lining of the esophagus, it causes a burning sensation in the chest or throat called heartburn. The fluid may even be tasted in the back of the mouth, and this is called acid indigestion. Occasional heartburn is common but does not necessarily mean one has GERD. Heartburn that occurs more than twice a week may be considered GERD, and it can eventually lead to more serious health problems.  Anyone, including infants, children, and pregnant women, can have GERD.

Diarrhea – loose, watery stools occurring more than three times in one day—is a common problem that usually lasts a day or two and goes away on its own without any special treatment. However, prolonged diarrhea can be a sign of other problems. People with diarrhea may pass more than a quart of stool a day.  Diarrhea can cause dehydration, which means the body lacks enough fluid to function properly. Dehydration is particularly dangerous in children and the elderly, and it must be treated promptly to avoid serious health problems.  People of all ages can get diarrhea. The average adult has a bout of diarrhea about four times a year.

Peristalsis – The large, hollow organs of the digestive system contain muscle that enables their walls to move. The movement of organ walls can propel food and liquid and also can mix the contents within each organ. Typical movement of the esophagus, stomach, and intestine is called peristalsis. The action of peristalsis looks like an ocean wave moving through the muscle. The muscle of the organ produces a narrowing and then propels the narrowed portion slowly down the length of the organ. These waves of narrowing push the food and fluid in front of them through each hollow organ.

Candida – Candida albicans: A yeast-like fungal organism found in small amounts in the normal human intestinal tract. Normally kept in check by the body’s own helpful bacteria, C. albicans can increase in numbers when this balance is disturbed to cause candidiasis of the intestinal tract, or yeast infections of other parts of the body. C. albicans causes thrush.” (Commonly mispronounced, say KAN’-di-duh, not Kan-DEE’-duh)

Our immune system is designed to defend us from illness. But many medical conditions in our modern world can compromise it: excessive use of antibiotics or steroids, oral contraceptives, overly-acidic pH levels from processed foods and stress, hormone imbalances, exposure to environmental toxins (often molds) and chronic illness. Our exposure to all these modern medical conditions sets us up for the fall into the medical condition known as Candida yeast overgrowth.

When our immune systems are compromised, a normal yeast present in our bodies, called Candida, can “morph” from being a beneficial yeast into a HARMFUL FUNGUS. This fungal yeast can quickly grow out of the normal balance that nature intended and overwhelm the beneficial flora (acidophilus type bacteria) that normally keeps natural yeast levels in check.

This yeast OVERGROWTH condition is called CANDIDIASIS. This new fungal form of yeast develops rhizoids (long, burrowing legs) that hook into and can penetrate the mucus membranes in the intestinal tract and cause serious bowel pain.

As time goes on, the morphed fungal yeast may burrow right through the intestinal wall. This condition, called Leaky Gut Syndrome, allows partially digested proteins and the yeast itself to travel into the bloodstream where they become toxins.

As undigested foods directly enter the bloodstream this may cause an immediate allergic reaction to those foods. Once the Yeast infection has access to the whole body, you have system-wide or Systemic Candidiasis.

* Glossary of terms provided by:

  • National Institute of Diabetes & Digestive & Kidney Diseases

  • Medterms.com