XI Glossary

Bolus: A slippery mass of partially broken-down food that moves down the digestive tract as you swallow.

Chemical digestion: Digestion of food by enzymes found in saliva that break down food particles into smaller components.

Colostomy: Surgery to create a stoma in the colon.

Cyanosis: Blue coloration around the mouth and in the extremities (i.e., feet and hands) that occurs when there is decreased oxygenated blood flow to the tissues.

Epiglottis: A small flap that closes over the trachea when swallowing to prevent food and fluids from going into the lungs.

Esophagus: The muscular tube from the mouth to the stomach.

Fine motor skills: Small movements such as those in the wrists and hands.

Gross motor skills: Large movements controlled by the legs and trunk of the body.

Incontinence: Failure of voluntary control of urination.

Involuntary muscle: Muscles controlled by the autonomic nervous system, including smooth muscle within the digestive system and respiratory system and the cardiac muscle in the heart that pumps blood throughout the body.

Large intestine: The long, tube-like organ that is connected to the small intestine at one end and the anus at the other.

Mechanical digestion: Digestion that begins with chewing when teeth crush and grind large food particles into smaller pieces that are easy to swallow.

Neurotransmitters: Chemicals in the body used for nerve communication.

Osteoarthritis: A medical diagnosis that refers to inflammation of joints due to wear and tear throughout one’s life.

Peristalsis: Contractions that move the bolus through the esophagus, stomach, small intestine, and large intestine.

Pharynx: The hollow tube that starts behind the nose and ends at the trachea and esophagus.

Skeletal muscle: Muscle that produces movement, assists in maintaining posture, protects internal organs, and generates body heat.

Small intestine: A long tube-like organ that connects the stomach and the large intestine where nutrients are absorbed from a food bolus.

Stoma: A surgically created opening in the abdominal wall where a healthy part of the intestine is attached.

Tendons: Strong bands of dense, regular connective tissue that connect muscles to bones.

Trachea: The hollow tube, otherwise known as the windpipe, that leads to the lungs.

Voluntary muscle: Muscle that a person is able to consciously control.


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