Pathophysiology DQ 12 student reply Mydeli Capo

The following is another student post to one of the class question, Please react to this adding some extra information relate to the question but different from what the student already did. it doesn’t have to be to long. short but valuable. 


A group of student nurses has been asked to do a conference on the importance of the gastrointestinal system. They open their presentation with the following statement: “As nurses, we spend every day, as part of our routine assessment, asking patients whether they have moved their bowels today. We are not asking just for the sake of asking, as this normal bodily function hinges on many factors.”

a.            What concepts of gastrointestinal function do you believe the students are trying to portray in relation to this statement?



The gastrointestinal system houses very important organs whose function is vital to the overall health of the human body. It is in charge of digestion, absorption and excretion through processes such as motility, secretion of enzymes and the breakdown of food (Grossman & Porth, 2014). When nurses ask questions regarding the bowel function, size, consistency and color, they are gaining information that could help identify issues, recognize normal or abnormal side effects to some medications as well as ruling out complications.

Bowel movements are a direct reflection of how the gastrointestinal system is functioning. The frequency of bowel movements is not the same for everyone and it does not mean it is wrong or right. The frequency of bowel movements is deemed normal according to each individual. However, when it deviates to the normal standard for that person it requires further evaluation. If a person experiences pain, straining, bleeding or discomfort when having a bowel movement, it may be an indication of a problem (Bharucha, Seide, Zinsmeister & Melton, 2008).

Constipation can be a problem without any precedent, a side effect of medication or a complication from other conditions (Grossman & Porth, 2014). On the other hand, frequent bowel movements characterized by being unformed and loose are considered diarrhea. It can happen due to an infection, poor tolerance to certain foods or disease of the intestine (Grossman & Porth, 2014). Identifying a pattern can help assess conditions and rule out complications. It is an essential aspect of the interview and assessment.


Bharucha, A. E., Seide, B. M., Zinsmeister, A. R., & Melton, L. J. (2008). Insights into normal and disordered bowel habits from bowel diaries. The American Journal of Gastroenterology, 103(3), 692-698. doi:

Grossman, S. C., & Porth, C. M. (2014). Porths pathophysiology concepts of altered health states. Philadelphia: Wolters Kluwer Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.

Leave a Comment