Cat Reading Topics
  • Absorption – the process by which nutrients from digested food move from the gut into the body and how cells exchange nutrients and water with the blood stream
  • Absorption, Passive – osmosis, a selective diffusion process [see Osmosis]
  • Active Transport – requires energy and a specific carrier molecule
  • Adenosine Triphosphate (ATP) – a chemical synthesized by the mitochondria in cells to produce energy
  • Amino Acids – the 'building blocks' of protein; protein is constructed of chains of amino acids which are folded into complex arrangements
  • Artery – a blood vessel which carries oxygenated blood away from the heart
  • Arteriole – the smallest division of the arteries
  • ATP - [see Adenosine Triphosphate]
  • Bacterial Translocation – gut bacteria or their by-products moving across the gut wall barrier into circulation
  • Barrier Function – active function of the gut wall which protects and limits access to the inner body
  • Bile – a digestive juice secreted by the liver and stored in the gall bladder; bile emulsifies fats [see Emulsify]
  • Brush Border – an apt term for an epithelial surface covered with microvilli [see Epithelium and Microvilli]
  • Carnivore, Carnivorous – species who eats mainly other animals
  • Cecum – a blind pouch at the beginning of the large intestine
  • Central Nervous System – the brain and spinal cord
  • Cholagogue – a drug or other substance which promotes the discharge of bile from the gall bladder, purging it downward
  • Chyle – milky mix of emulsified dietary fat and lymph [see Bile, Emulsify, and Lymph]
  • Chyme – thick semifluid mass of partly digested food made in the stomach
  • Circulatory System – a system for delivery and pick-up
  • CNS - see Central Nervous System
  • Colon – a term for the large bowel or large intestine
  • Detoxify - to remove or to make safe, said of chemicals and poisons
  • Diffusion, Facilitated – diffusion requiring a carrier but not usually an energy source
  • Diffusion, Passive – movement of molecules or ions from an area of high concentration to an area of lower concentration
  • Digestion – the processes, both mechanical and chemical, by which food is broken down into absorbable form [see Absorption]
  • Digestive System – the digestive tract plus the internal organs of pancreas, liver and gall bladder [see Digestive Tract]
  • Digestive Tract – a complex specialized tube running from mouth to anus; the outside-the-inner-body part of the Digestive System
  • Duct – a tubular channel used to deliver a secretion or substance
  • Duodenum – the first section of the small intestine where the chyme is neutralized by buffers from the pancreas and bile delivered from the gall bladder
  • Electrolytes – dissolved ions, usually of minerals, that conduct electrical impulses which facilitate movement in and out of cells
  • Emulsify – to create a suspension of two substances, like oil and water, that would normally not mix
  • Endocrine – glands in the body, such as the thyroid, pituatary, pancreas, which secrete hormones directly into the blood stream to give orders and directions elsewhere
  • Endocrinopathic – trouble in the endocrine gland system, too much hormone production, too little hormone production [see Hormone]
  • Endocytosis – absorption by engulfing [see Pinocytosis and Phagocytosis]
  • ENS – [see Enteric Nervous System]
  • Enteric Nervous System – a subdivision of the Peripheral Nervous System that directly controls the gastrointestinal system
  • Enzymes - biomolecules constructed of amino acids that speed up biochemical reactions without themselves changing in the process
  • Epithelium – tissue which covers a surface or lines an organ and is composed of cells which secrete or transport or regulate; the skin (epidermis) is one form of epithelium
  • Feces – see Poop
  • Fermentable Fiber – fiber which the gut bacteria can utilize
  • Fiber – undigestible/nonabsorbable leftovers from plant digestion consisting of mainly complex sugar molecules
  • Fiber, Dietary – fiber naturally present in food ingredients
  • Fiber, Functional – fiber added to food items
  • Fiber, Soluble – fiber which can dissolve in water
  • Fiber, Insoluble – fiber which does not dissolve in water
  • Gall Bladder - storage organ for bile synthesized in the liver
  • Gastric Acid – a very acidic solution composed mainly of hydrochloric acid secreted into the stomach by special glands
  • Gland – A cell or group of cells or organ that produces a secretion for use elsewhere
  • Goblet Cells – specialized cells whose sole function is to secrete mucin which dissolves in water to form mucous (see Mucous)
  • Gut Bacteria – microscopic organisms living in the bowel in numbers which outnumber the cells of the body
  • Hematochezia – visible bright red blood on the stool [see Melena]
  • Hepatic – of the liver, involving the liver
  • Hormone – a chemical which controls and regulates the activity of certain cells or organsKitten
  • Ileocecal Valve – the valve between the small intestine and the large intestine (see Sphincter)
  • Ileum – last section of the small intestine where absorption of Vitamin B12 and resorption of bile salts occurs and whose wall contains an abundance of Peyer's Patches
  • ICC – [see Interstitial Cells of Cajal]
  • Infection – inflammation in response to foreign invasion by bacteria or other invasive organisms (see Inflammation and Pus)
  • Inflammation – the body's innate and initial response to injury or other troubles characterized by pain, heat, redness, swelling and possible impairment of function (see Pus and Infection)
  • Interstitial Cells of Cajal – cells in the wall of the gut that act as pacemakers for movement contractions, that set the pace of action
  • Interstitial Fluid – the body's fluid outside the blood vessels
  • Involuntary – not under one's own control
  • Jujenum – longest and middle section of the small intestine where most absorption of nutrients occurs
  • Lacteal – the chyle collecting vessel in the middle of each villus [see Chyle and Villi/Villus}
  • Laxative – a food or drug that facilitates pooping
  • Leukocytes – white blood cells
  • Lumen – the interior space of a tubular organ such as an intestine or blood vessel
  • Lymph – interstitial fluid once that fluid has moved into the lymph system [see Interstitial Fluid]
  • Melena – occult or hidden blood mixed into the stool from a bleed higher in the digestive tract, often resulting in a dark tarry stool [see Hematochezia]
  • Mesentery – tissue constructed of folds of the peritoneum which supports the small intestine like a flexible scaffolding and carries the blood supply to the small intestine for absorption and transport of nutrients
  • Mesocolon – the mesentery of the large intestine [see Mesentery]
  • Metabolism, Metabolic – body processes at the cellular level
  • Microvilli – smaller villi covering the villi
  • Mitochondria – the power generators of a cell, power used to fuel cell division, absorption, etc. [see Adenosine Triphosphate or ATP]
  • Molecule – the smallest particle of a substance that retains the chemical and physical properties of the substance and is composed of two or more atoms. A molecule of water is an example; two atoms of hydrogen and one of oxygen forms a molecule of water.
  • Monocyte – a phagocytic white blood cells [see Phagocyte]
  • Mucin – a substance composed of glycosylated proteins emitted by the goblet cells which forms mucous in contact with water [see Goblet Cells and Mucous]Kitten
  • Mucous or Mucus – buffered slippery secretion of mucous membrane, a gel which lubricates and protects the membranes themselves and plays a role in immune function at the local level
  • Mucous (or Mucus) Membrane – mucous-secreting tissue lining all body passages that lead to the outer world
  • Muscle – specialized tissue with the ability to contract and to conduct electrical impulses
  • Neutrophil – a phagocytic white blood cell [see Phagocyte]
  • Omnivore, Omnivorous – species who eat both animal and plant foods
  • Organ – a fully differentiated structural and functional unit in an animal that is specialized for some particular function
  • Osmosis – diffusion of water across a selectively permeable membrane
  • Pepsin – a protyletic (protein digesting) enzyme produced by special cells in the stomach to initiate protein digestion
  • Peripheral Nervous System - the nerves belonging to other than the Central Nervous System and the Enteric Nervous System
  • Peristalsis – the rhythmic rippling motion of muscles in the digestive tract to move its contents along [see Segmentation]
  • Peritoneum – the membrane lining the body cavity
  • Peyer's Patches – patches of lymphoid tissue or lymphoid nodules especially prevalent on the wall of the ileum which contain large amounts of lymphocytes and other cells of the immune system
  • pH – a measure of how acid or alkaline a solution is
  • Phagocyte – white blood cells whose assignment is to move out of the blood into tissue or lymph to destroy bacteria or consume debris
  • Phagocytosis – absorption by 'eating' large molecules [see Endocytosis]
  • Pinocytosis – absorption by 'sipping' small water soluble molecules [see Endocytosis]
  • Plicae Circulares – folds of the inner lining of the small intestine
  • PNS - see Peripheral Nervous System
  • Poop – familiar term for waste material discharged from the bowel
  • Probiotics – supplement of beneficial live microorganisms such as bacteria and yeasts
  • Pus – the hallmark of inflammation, a mix of white blood cells, fluid from damaged cells, and cellular debris (see Infection and Inflammation)
  • Pyloric Sphincter – the valve between the stomach and the small intestine (see Sphincter)
  • Rectum – the poop storage area of the large bowel
  • Resorb or Resorption – to absorb again [see Absorption], essentially a reversal of direction
  • Rugae – series of ridges produced by folding of the wall of an organ. Think origami. The stomach wall is folded into rugae, it is not smooth like a bowling ball.
  • Saliva – a mix of mucous, water, enzymes and electrolytes which serves to lubricate food's passage down the esophagus as well as cleansing and protecting the mouth
  • Segmentation – mixing contractions of the digestive tract; works in concert with peristalsis
  • Septicemia – toxic systemic bacterial infection
  • Short Chain Fatty Acids (SCFAs) – fermentation by-products of gut bacteria
  • Smooth Muscle – type of muscle in the gut wall as opposed to striated muscle; involuntary muscle
  • Sphincter/Valve – a ring of muscle that contracts to close an opening and relaxes to open
  • Striated Muscle – skeletal muscle (voluntary) and heart muscle (involuntary)
  • Stool – see Poop
  • Synthesize – to make something new out of different parts, whether a chemical or a rag rug or a casserole from leftovers
  • Translocation – change of location; gut bacterial breach of the barrier of the gut wall into the blood stream
  • Valve – see Sphincter
  • Vein – a blood vessel that carries deoxygenated blood back to the heart for reoxygenation
  • Venule – the smallest division of the veins
  • Villi (plural) and Villus (singular) – literally "shaggy hair", fingerlike projections on the wall of the small intestine, each covered in turn with microvilli
  • Voluntary – under one's own control
  • Water – the original, and still the most widely used, solvent; indispensable in poop to prevent constipation

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QuickReview
Feline Constipation  Org
Cat Happy with Glossary Book
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Introduction
The First Lesson
Gut 101 – Full Version
Overview
Food
Mouth
Esophagus
Stomach
Gut 101 – Condensed
Gut 102 - Full Version
Small Intestine
Large Intestine
Gut 102 – Condensed
Water
Gut Bacteria and Fiber
Poop
What Goes Wrong?
Acute Treatment
Saline Laxatives
Stimulant Laxatives
Enemas
Suppositories
Lubricant Laxatives
Stool Softeners
Osmotic Laxatives
Prevention
Diet
Fiber or Prebiotics
Probiotics
Vitamins and Minerals
Osmotic Laxatives
Glossary
Review
Contact and More
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