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Gastrointestinal Diseases: Dermatological Manifestations Case Study

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Updated: Jun 21st, 2020

Introduction

A gastrointestinal disease is a form of infection that affects the gastrointestinal tract (GIT), which is composed of the stomach, the liver, gallbladder, rectum, intestines, and the esophagus, among others (Widmaier, Raff & Strang, 2011). The diseases negatively impact millions of people across the world on an annual basis. Symptoms may vary from mild to debilitating, depending on the disorder involved and the status of the immune system of an individual (Widmaier et al., 2011). They can be grouped into categories, i.e., structural disorders and functional disorders (McCance & Huether, 2013).

In most cases, the components of the GIT perform complementary functions, implying that when one component is affected, then the others also are negatively impacted. Therefore, it is important for nurses and other healthcare professionals to understand the pathophysiology and clinical manifestations of various GIT infections, so that they can offer the best therapies (McCance & Huether, 2013). This paper focuses on highlighting some of the dermatological manifestations of gastrointestinal diseases. In addition, I a chart format, it highlights ten GIT diseases, their pathophysiology, and clinical signs.

Some dermatological signs of GIT diseases

A significant number of GIT disorders is associated with dermatological symptoms. Good knowledge of the relationship between the GIT and cutaneous symptoms is critical in alerting a clinician to diagnose a disorder within the GI tract. The following are some of the cutaneous symptoms that result from GI tract diseases (McCance & Huether, 2013):

  1. Periorificial granulomas
  2. Acral rash
  3. Koilonychia
  4. Skin tumors
  5. Mucosal hyperplasia
  6. Vesicles/blisters/erosions
  7. Plaques
  8. Vascular malformation
  9. Palpable purpura
  10. Lichenoid papules
  11. Ulcers with undermined borders

Ten GIT disorders, their pathophysiology, and clinical manifestations

GIT Disease Pathophysiology Clinical Manifestations
Familial adenomatous Polyposis Autosomal inheritance of MUTYH genes
  • Formation of adenomatous polyps on the epithelium of the large intestine
Peutz-Jeghers Syndrome Mutation on the STK11 gene located on chromosome 19 that leads to nonfunctional proteins
  • Benign hemartomatous polyps in the GIT
Juvenile Polyposis syndrome Autosomal inheritance of BMPR1A and SMAD4 genes, leading to the production of altered proteins
  • Appearance of multiple juvenile polyps in GIT
Cowden Syndrome Loss of function or mutation in the PTEN gene, resulting in the production of altered protein products
  • Multiple tumor-like growths called hamartomas
Bannayan-Riley-Ruvalcaba syndrome Autosomal inheritance of PTEN genes that results in the formation of altered proteins
  • Multiple subcutaneous lipomas
  • Macrocephaly and hemangioma
Malignant acanthosis nigracans Insulin-mediated activation of ILGF receptors on keratinocytes
  • Hyperpigmentation of the skin on armpits and neck
  • Folding of the skin
Tylosis Autosomal inheritance that results in loss of function of key genes
  • Thickening of palms and soles
  • Difficulty in walking
Necrotic migrating erythema Hypeglucagonemia that is associated with relatively high levels of glucagon in a patient
  • Blistering rash on the skin
  • Intestinal malabsorption
PEPD Autosomal inheritance
  • Itches and discomforts
  • Blistering rash
  • Pain in the mandibular region
  • Flushing
Plummer-Vinson Syndrome Autosomal inheritance
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Blocked esophagus

Figure 1. A chart showing ten GIT diseases, their pathophysiology, and clinical symptoms.

Conclusion

In conclusion, this paper has demonstrated that GIT disorders result in some clinical manifestations that are evident on the skin of patients. It appears that most of the GI tract diseases are caused by alteration of genes in the body. Nurses and other healthcare professionals can offer the best therapies if they can understand the correlation between a GIT disease and cutaneous symptoms. This can go a long way in improving health outcomes of patients.

References

McCance, K. L., & Huether, S. E. (Eds.). (2013). Pathophysiology: The biologic basis for disease in adults and children. Amsterdam, Netherlands: Elsevier Health Sciences.

Widmaier, E. P., Raff, H., & Strang, K. T. (2011). Vander’s human physiology: the mechanisms of body function. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill Higher Education.

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IvyPanda. (2020) 'Gastrointestinal Diseases: Dermatological Manifestations'. 21 June.

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