NURS 680B Module 1 Assignment Gastrointestinal System

NURS 680B Module 1 Assignment Gastrointestinal System
NURS 680B Module 1 Assignment Gastrointestinal System
Gastrointestinal System (Shadow Health)
In this online assignment, you will:
Assess the gastrointestinal system of your patient, Tina Jones.
Document your findings in the SOAP note template within Shadow Health for practice.
Complete self-reflection prompts to help you think more deeply about your performance in the assignment. Reflective writing develops clinical reasoning skills as you grow and improve as a clinician, and gives instructors insight into your learning process. The more detail and depth provided in your responses, the more you will benefit from this activity.
This assignment is to be completed in Shadow Health. Even though your activity and responses will be recorded in Shadow Health’s system, complete the assignment in Blackboard as follows:
Click on the assignment name above.
Select the “Write Submission” option.
Type the word “Confirmed.”
Click “Submit” to save.
NURS 680B Module 1 Assignment Gastrointestinal System
This assignment will take you approximately 65-85 minutes to complete.
In order to use the voice-to-text functionality in Shadow Health (not required), you will need to use the latest version of Chrome web browser.
You are welcome to revisit your Shadow Health assignment as many times as as you like, up until the assignment due date deadline; to leave the assignment open, do not click on “Submit” until you are satisfied with your performance.
If you accidentally submit your assignment and would like to revisit it, contact the Shadow Health support team (see below). The assignment cannot be reopened after the assignment due date.
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Sometimes “tummy trouble” is something serious. According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, somewhere between 60 million and 70 million Americans suffer from gastrointestinal problems, leading to nearly 250,000 deaths each year. These conditions are responsible for close to 50 million hospital visits and 21.7 million hospital admissions annually, according to the NDDK. What’s more – treating and managing digestive diseases come with a staggering price tag of more than $141.8 billion to the US healthcare system.
Gastrointestinal conditions are disorders of the digestive system, an extensive and complex system that breaks down food in order to absorb water and extract nutrients, minerals and vitamins for the body’s use, while then removing unabsorbed waste (yes, we’re talking about poop).
Also known as the gastrointestinal (GI) tract, the digestive system comprises a range of vital digestive organs, including:

The mouth
Esophagus (the “feeding pipe”)
Small and large bowels
Rectum, and anus

The GI tract also includes connected organs – the liver, gallbladder, and pancreas.

“Unfortunately, there are many different gastrointestinal issues, so it is easy to mistakenly neglect them. Some GI problems are mild and usually go away on their own, but some conditions are serious enough that you have to see a physician or gastroenterologist.”

Dr S. Guandalini, MD
Founder of the University of Chicago Celiac Disease Center

General symptoms of gastrointestinal conditions
Symptoms of digestive disorders obviously vary from condition to condition and from person to person. However, some symptoms are common to most gastrointestinal problems. Common symptoms include:

Abdominal discomfort (bloating, pain or cramps)
Unintentional weight loss
Vomiting and nausea
Acid reflux (heartburn)
Diarrhea, constipation (or sometimes both)
Fecal incontinence
Loss of appetite
Difficulty swallowing.

If you see blood in your vomit or stool, get in touch with your physician immediately.

“Please remember, the only way to address these problems and get rid of these symptoms is to get proper diagnosis and treatment from a medical physician.” says Dr. Guandalini.

What causes gastrointestinal conditions?
Common causes of gastrointestinal problems include:
A low fiber diet‍
Fiber, a sort of carbohydrates found in plants that cannot be digested, is crucial when it comes to digestive health. It helps you feel full and aids in the digestion of certain foods. Everyone is talking about gut health – your microbiome health, and fiber is an important part of this. Fibers are a much welcome food for the trillions of beneficial bacteria (your microbiota) that happily inhabit our large intestine, which in turn provide wide-ranging health benefits.
The total daily recommended fiber intake is 25 grams for women and 38 grams for men under age 50. If you’re older than 50, you will need to consume slightly less (around 21 grams for women and 30 grams for men). The good thing is that fiber is easily available in foods such as fruits (almost entirely in the skin, however), whole grains, legumes, beans, and vegetables.
A diet low in fiber can be a great way to help reduce bloating and ease digestive problems, ranging from constipation, to abdominal pain, and even the onset of colon cancer.
Being stressed
‍Stress and anxiety don’t only affect your mental health; they can also take a toll on your digestive health, especially the gut microbiota. Recent medical studies have shown that there is an established link between the GI tract and the brain. The two are always in bi-directional communication – always sending messages to each other – which is why the gut has more neurons than the whole spinal cord.
Being stressed has been found to cause a broad range of digestive issues that include: appetite loss, inflammation, bloating, cramping and changes in microbiota.
Not drinking enough water
Water is important to your digestive health because it helps cleanse the whole gastrointestinal tract. In particular, water softens the stool, helping prevent constipation. More crucially, water is known to aid your digestive system by helping break down food, assisting the GI tract to absorb nutrients faster and more effectively. If you don’t drink enough water, you are inviting all sorts of digestive problems.
You can increase your intake of water by drinking unsweetened coffee, tea, or even sparkling water to get to those 8 glasses of liquid a day! Just avoid sugary drinks like soda!
Eating a lot of dairy foods
Dairy is relatively new to the human diet –  it was not really consumed for the first 200,000-plus years of mankind’s existence. Milk and cheeses are usually loaded with fats and proteins that are difficult to digest, and according to some medical evidence have a pro-inflammatory effect. That’s why consuming large amounts of dairy products can cause bloating, gas, constipation, and abdominal cramps.
Inactive lifestyle
‍Not getting enough physical exercise is not good for your overall health and digestive health. That is why doctors recommend a combination of exercise, diet changes avoiding foods that cause inflammation and increasing intake of foods that actually fight inflammation, and when necessary medication to remedy certain GI problems.
Aging is unavoidable – sadly – and age adds another predisposition for gastrointestinal disorders. As we age, digestive glands decrease in activity, affecting gut motility, reflux, and certain digestive conditions develop. The risk of developing cancers related to the digestive system also increases with age.
Genetic factors
‍Another unavoidable factor – your genes! Many immune and autoimmune gastrointestinal disorders have a genetic component, which means they have an hereditary basis. In some cases, these modified genes are all it takes to develop a Gi disorder (think cystic fibrosis, or hereditary pancreatitis). Thankfully, in most instances they simply predispose you to the disease, meaning there are factors in the environment that need to be in play. This means that while your genes are a part of the story – it’s not the entire store. Lifestyle changes can help intervene. Examples of predisposed genetic conditions are ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease, celiac disease, and some liver conditions.
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