MEDICAL PROBLEMS IN TBI: BOWEL PROGRAM IN TRAUMATIC BRAIN INJURY: GASTROINTESTINAL TRACT AND NORMAL BOWEL MOVEMENT

Bowel The intestine through which solid material of body passes.
Bowel Program "Habit time" that has been developed, to empty the bowel and prevent accidents.
Defecation Passage of the stool out of the body.
Peristalsis "Wave-like action" of bowel, eventually moving stool into the rectum.
Rectum The lowest part of the bowel
Sphincter The muscle surrounding and closing the rectum
Stool or fecal material Waste products passed through the bowel.

     When you swallow food, food goes into the stomach where there are enzymes. Enzymes are chemicals that act on the food and speed up the digestion process.

     After passing out of the stomach, food first goes through the small intestine, and then to the large intestine which is also called the "bowel". In the intestines, nutrients and liquids produced during the digestion process are taken up, or absorbed, by the body. The remaining solid waste, or stool, is left in the bowel.

     The rectum is empty until the stool is ready to be evacuated. This is when your rectum sends a message to your brain and you get the urge to have a bowel movement.

Based on Brain Injury Patient Care and Education Manual, by Pinecrest Rehabilitation Hospital; Neuro section of the Trauma Manual, Jackson Memorial Hospital; and Recovering from Head Injury; a Guide for Patients, by Nova University Neuropsychology Service, and edited for PoinTIS by the Louis Calder Memorial Library of the University of Miami School of Medicine and the PoinTIS Advisory Committee, and on Rehabilitation of Persons with Traumatic Brain Injury, NIH Consensus Statement 1998 Oct. 26-28.