Doctablet Glossary of Medical Terms


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  • a

  • ACE Inhibitors
    ACE inhibitors block the Angiotensin Converting Enzyme (A.C.E.), by doing this they regulate the amount of salt and therefore water in the body. They are used to lower blood pressure by themselves or in combination with other medications. Also, they are one of the most important parts of any(...)
  • Aldosterone
    The main hormone in the body responsible for keeping salt (sodium) and water inside and letting go of potassium. Aldosterone is produced by the adrenal glands when the kidneys notice low blood pressure. A condition of excessive aldosterone production, known as the Conn Syndrome, causes a(...)
  • Angina
    Also known as "typical chest pain", is the type of symptom that occurs when a person is having a heart attack. The term describes a pressure or burning sensation that occurs in the center of the chest. This can radiate to the left shoulder and down the left arm, neck, and jaw. It is often(...)
  • Angiotensin Receptor Blockers
    These medications are selective inhibitors of the Angiotensin II Receptor. In this way they regulate salt, water and blood pressure in the body. They are used for blood pressure control, but in general are weak antihypertensives and require the use of additional medications to be effective.(...)
  • Atrium
    The two top chambers of the heart. They work to "receive" the blood that returns to the heart from different sources: the veins and the lungs.
  • b

  • B vitamins
    (often referred to as b-complex ): a group of essential (for the body to work properly) water-soluble vitamins (meaning they don’t get stored in fat and your kidney can filter them out) that are important for energy and help covert the food we eat into the energy we use for life. Amongst their(...)
  • Beta Blockers
    Used for a variety of different conditions ranging from heart failure, blood pressure control and even stage fright, beta blockers are known to block the beta receptor in the human body. By doing this, they slow the heart down, and regulate the amount of salt the kidney gets rid of. Side(...)
  • Body Mass Index
    The Body Mass Index is a simple calculation that helps compare a person’s weight to the general population. It was originally developed to study large numbers of people. Now it is used to determine if an individual’s weight is appropriate. Depending on the result, BMI divides people into 5(...)
  • c

  • Calcium Channel Blockers
    Calcium channel blockers dilate blood vessels. In this manner they lower blood pressure. Side effects can include swelling in the lower extremity. They rarely cause any other side effects. Examples include Amlodipine and Nifedipine.
  • Carbohydrates
    One of the three main nutrients in food that provides the energy needed for life. Carbohydrate-containing foods are broken down by the body into smaller sugar building blocks.
  • Cardiomyopathy
    A general medical term that describes an abnormal heart muscle. There are different kinds of abnormalities that can occur in the heart muscle: Dilated cardiomyopathy: the heart muscle becomes weak. Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy: the heart muscle becomes thick. Restrictive(...)
  • Celiac disease
    An abnormal reaction to gluten in the diet that affects the absorption of key nutrients by damaging cells whose job it is to absorb things from the small intestine.
  • Cells
    Building blocks of living organisms. For example, if a large apartment building were a living thing, the smaller apartments within the building would be the cells. Each individual apartment (cell) is a functioning unit.
  • Cervix
    Narrow passage formed from the bottom of the uterus that connects the uterus to the vagina. Named because of its “neck-like” shape.
  • d

  • Diuretics
    Commonly known as "water pills", these medications are the cornerstone of blood pressure treatment. Without them it may be hard to achieve good pressure control. Side effects are rare and include abnormal levels in the salts in your body and increased urination. Examples of these medications(...)
  • DXA
    a test doctors order to determine the strength of the bone. The DXA test uses X-ray waves that pass through the bones in the hip and lower back. The weaker the bone, the more energy waves can pass through it. This DXA test measures bone mineral density and compares your bone density to young,(...)
  • f

  • FSH
    Follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) is produced by the “master” pituitary gland. In females it helps to control the menstrual cycle and egg production, while in males it helps to with the production of sperm.
  • g

  • Glucagon
    A hormone made by the pancreas that works the opposite of insulin. Glucagon frees sugar from storage in the liver, so the body can use it while you are fasting.
  • h

  • Hormone
    Proteins released from parts of the body called glands. They help to send messages from one place in the body to parts that are farther away  
  • HPV
    Group of viruses that cause genital warts and cervical cancer. Spread by genital skin-to-skin contact, HPV infection is the most common sexually transmitted disease, affecting 75% of sexually active adults before the age of 50. Most patients are asymptomatic from HPV infection. Out of the more(...)
  • i

  • Insulin
    A hormone made by the pancreas. Insulin sends a message to the body to push sugar into the cell so it can be used or stored.
  • l

  • LH
    Luteinizing hormone (LH) is produced by the “master” pituitary gland. In females it helps to control the menstrual cycle and release of the mature egg, while in males it controls the production of testosterone.
  • Liver
    The liver is a large, vital organ located in the right upper part of the belly. This organ is involved with approximately 500 different functions. The major functions are listed below: 1) The liver produces bile, which assists in the digestion of fats. 2) It breaks down small molecules,(...)
  • m

  • Milliliter
    A measurement used in the metric system that is used to describe the volume or the amount of a fluid.    The milliliter is often abbreviated ‘mL.’
  • mL
    A measurement used in the metric system that is used to describe the volume or the amount of a fluid.    The milliliter is often abbreviated ‘mL.’
  • n

  • Nodule
    A small lump or mass, generally rounded in shape although it can also present with irregular form. Nodules can appear in the thyroid gland, skin and lungs.
  • o

  • Osteoporosis
    a weakened structure of the bone. Osteoporosis is not something you can feel and does not cause pain (do not confuse with osteoarthritis). Osteoporosis is diagnosed on a DXA scan, or if a person has a bone fracture in a location that usually only breaks if it is fragile (hip and lumbar spine).
  • p

  • Pancreas
    A small organ located just behind your stomach that is responsible for making and releasing digestive enzymes into the intestine and insulin into the blood.
  • Pericardium
    The pericardium is the bag that holds the heart inside. Its made of two bags, one inside the other. The pericardium allows the heart to move freely, shields it from other organs and protects it from infections that can occur in the lungs. The pericardium is made out of a partially elastic(...)
  • Protein
    one of the three ingredients in food that provide energy to the body. Proteins are necessary for life, and are important building blocks for the body — including the muscle and bone.
  • r

  • Regurgitation
    A term used to describe what happens when a valve does not fully close, allowing fluid to escape backward. This can happen in the heart valves, causing valvular regurgitation. Regurgitation can be mild, moderate or severe. It can cause symptoms like shortness of breath if it is severe, and can(...)
  • s

  • Stenosis
    Stenosis is the medical word to describe a narrowing or tightening where there should not be one.  This can happen in different places in the body, and cause different problems depending on where it is. Examples include valve stenosis, artery stenosis, and spinal stenosis.  Coronary artery(...)
  • v

  • Ventricle
    The lower chambers of the heart. There are two ventricles, each with a different function. The right ventricle is a receiving chamber where blood from veins accumulates before it moves on into the lungs. The left ventricle is a muscular cavity whose function is to push blood out into the body.
  • x

  • X Rays
    A painless test that uses waves of energy shot from a machine that pass through the body. The structures in the body limit the amount of waves that make it through to the other side where the picture is caught. In areas of more bone, the rays are blocked, so less rays pass through. Less dense(...)