gastr-, gastro. gaster, gastero: Combining forms meaning stomach, which are derived from the Greek word gaster of the same meaning. These forms are used to combine with other forms or suffixes to form words related to the stomach. For instance, the suffix -ic, which means "pertaining to" is added to gastr to make the familiar term gastric which simply means "pertaining to the stomach" or "of the stomach."
Gastritis, which means inflammation of the stomach, is formed by adding the suffix -itis to gastr.
In many terms the form enter/o is added to gastr to make words that refer to the stomach plus the intestines. Gastroenteritis is formed this way and the addition of itis makes it refer to inflammation of the stomach and intestines.
Gastrointestinal means "pertaining to the stomach and intestine." The form intestin/o is added to gastro and the suffix -al is added to the end to form the word. The suffix -al, like -ic above, means "pertaining to."
Gastroenterology is the branch of medicine concerned with studying the physiology and pathology (diseases of) the stomach, intestines, and related structures of the digestive tract such as the esophagus, gallbladder, liver, and pancreas. Here, the suffix -ology is added, which means "study of, knowledge of, or science of." It comes from the Greek work logos meaning "word, or reason."
Notice, here, that the meaning of the word has been extended past the meaning of the roots. This is for the convenience of the terminology of medical science and should not be taken to be a rule. For instance, gastroenteritis, would usually not refer to inflammation of the esophagus alone; esophagitis being used instead.
A gastroenterologist is a specialist in the study and treatment of diseases of the digestive tract. Here the suffix -ist is added to gastroenterology. This suffix means "specialist."
This page created 19 Oct 2012 19:45
Last updated 18 Jul 2016 19:36