XII Glossary

Borborygmus: Hyperperistalsis, often referred to as “stomach growling.”

Distention: An expansion of the abdomen caused by the accumulation of air or fluid. Patients often report “feeling bloated.”

Dysphagia: Difficulty swallowing.

Dysuria: Painful urination.

Guarding: Voluntary contraction of abdominal wall musculature; may be related to fear, anxiety, or presence of cold hands.

Hematochezia: Passage of bloody stool.

Hematemesis: Blood-tinged mucus secretions from the lungs.

Hyperactive bowel sounds: Increased peristaltic activity; may be related to diarrhea, obstruction, or digestion of a meal.

Hypoactive bowel sounds: Decreased peristaltic activity; may be related to constipation following abdominal surgery or with an ileus.

Melena: Stool dark in color and tarry in consistency.

Protuberant: Convex or bulging appearance.

Rebound tenderness: Pain when hand is withdrawn during palpation.

Rigidity: Involuntary contraction of the abdominal musculature in response to peritoneal inflammation.

Scaphoid: Sunken appearance.

Striae: White or silver markings from stretching of the skin.

Urinary frequency: Urination every hour or two.

Urinary incontinence: Involuntary leakage of urine.

Urinary urgency: An intense urge to urinate that can lead to urinary incontinence.


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