Papakupu , Glossary
Glossary terms A–Z navigation
Glossary terms A–Z definitions
Allergy is a disorder of the immune system often also referred to as atopy. Allergic reactions occur to normally harmless environmental substances known as allergens; these reactions are acquired, predictable, and rapid. Strictly, allergy is one of four forms of hypersensitivity and is called type I (or immediate) hypersensitivity.
Anemia is a decrease in normal number of red blood cells (RBCs) or less than the normal quantity of hemoglobin in the blood. However, it can include decreased oxygen-binding ability of each hemoglobin molecule due to deformity or lack in numerical development as in some other types of hemoglobin deficiency.
Arthritis is a group of conditions involving damage to the joints of the body.
Asthma is a common chronic disorder of the airways that is complex and characterized by variable and recurring symptoms, airflow obstruction, bronchial hyperresponsiveness (bronchospasm), and an underlying inflammation.
Bronchitis is inflammation of the mucous membranes of the bronchi, the airways that carry airflow from the trachea into the lungs. Bronchitis can be classified into two categories, acute and chronic, each of which has unique etiologies, pathologies, and therapies.
Cancer is a class of diseases in which a group of cells display uncontrolled growth (division beyond the normal limits), invasion (intrusion on and destruction of adjacent tissues), and sometimes metastasis (spread to other locations in the body via lymph or blood).
Cardiovascular disease refers to a class of diseases that involve the heart or blood vessels (arteries and veins).
Cervical cancer is malignant cancer of the cervix uteri or cervical area. It may present with vaginal bleeding but symptoms may be absent until the cancer is in its advanced stages. Treatment consists of surgery (including local excision) in early stages and chemotherapy and radiotherapy in advanced stages of the disease.
Chickenpox is a highly contagious illness caused by primary infection with varicella zoster virus (VZV). It generally starts with a vesicular skin rash appearing in two or three waves, mainly on the body and head rather than the hands and becoming itchy raw pockmarks, small open sores which heal mostly without scarring.
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) refers to chronic bronchitis and emphysema, a pair of two commonly co-existing diseases of the lungs in which the airways become narrowed. This leads to a limitation of the flow of air to and from the lungs causing shortness of breath. In contrast to asthma, the limitation of airflow is poorly reversible and usually gets progressively worse over time.
Crohn's disease (also known as granulomatous colitis and regional enteritis) is an inflammatory disease of the intestines that may affect any part of the gastrointestinal tract from anus to mouth, causing a wide variety of symptoms. It primarily causes abdominal pain, diarrhea (which may be bloody), vomiting, or weight loss, but may also cause complications outside of the gastrointestinal tract such as skin rashes, arthritis and inflammation of the eye.
Diabetes is a syndrome of disordered metabolism, usually due to a combination of hereditary and environmental causes, resulting in abnormally high blood sugar levels (hyperglycemia).
Eczema is a disease in a form of dermatitis, or inflammation of the epidermis. The term eczema is broadly applied to a range of persistent skin conditions. These include dryness and recurring skin rashes which are characterized by one or more of these symptoms: redness, skin edema (swelling), itching and dryness, crusting, flaking, blistering, cracking, oozing, or bleeding. Areas of temporary skin discoloration may appear and are sometimes due to healed lesions, although scarring is rare.
Epilepsy is a common chronic neurological disorder characterized by recurrent unprovoked seizures. These seizures are transient signs and/or symptoms of abnormal, excessive or synchronous neuronal activity in the brain.
In medicine, gallstones (choleliths) are crystalline bodies formed within the body by accretion or concretion of normal or abnormal bile components. Gallstones can occur anywhere within the biliary tree, including the gallbladder and the common bile duct. Obstruction of the common bile duct is choledocholithiasis; obstruction of the biliary tree can cause jaundice; obstruction of the outlet of the pancreatic exocrine system can cause pancreatitis.
Gastritis is an inflammation of the lining of the stomach, and has many possible causes. The main acute causes are excessive alcohol consumption or prolonged use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (also known as NSAIDs) such as aspirin or ibuprofen.
Glue ear (Otitis media)
Glue ear (Otitis media) is inflammation of the middle ear, or middle ear infection. Otitis media occurs in the area between the ear drum (the end of the outer ear) and the inner ear, including a duct known as the Eustachian tube. It is one of the two categories of ear inflammation that can underlie what is commonly called an earache, the other being otitis externa. Diseases other than ear infections can also cause ear pain, including cancers of any structure that shares nerve supply with the ear.
Allergic rhinitis triggered by the pollens of specific seasonal plants is commonly known as "hay fever", because it is most prevalent during haying season. However, it is possible to suffer from hay fever throughout the year.
Myocardial infarction, commonly known as a heart attack, occurs when the blood supply to part of the heart is interrupted causing some heart cells to die. This is most commonly due to occlusion (blockage) of a coronary artery following the rupture of a vulnerable atherosclerotic plaque, which is an unstable collection of lipids (like cholesterol) and white blood cells (especially macrophages) in the wall of an artery.
Heart failure, also called congestive heart failure (or CHF), and congestive cardiac failure (CCF), is a condition that can result from any structural or functional cardiac disorder that impairs the ability of the heart to fill with or pump a sufficient amount of blood throughout the body. Therefore leading to the heart and body's failure.
Hepatitis A is a highly contagious liver disease caused by the hepatitis A virus, which is most commonly transmitted by the fecal-oral route via contaminated food or drinking water.
Hypertension, also referred to as high blood pressure, HTN or HPN, is a medical condition in which the blood pressure is chronically elevated. In current usage, the word "hypertension" without a qualifier normally refers to systemic, arterial hypertension. The other type is pulmonary hypertension and involves lung circulation.
Irritable bowel syndrome
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a blanket term for a variety of diseases causing discomfort in the gastro-intestinal tract. It is also called spastic colon, is a functional bowel disorder characterized by chronic abdominal pain, discomfort, bloating, and alteration of bowel habits in the absence of any organic cause.
Jaundice, also known as icterus, is a yellowish discoloration of the skin, the conjunctival membranes over the sclerae (whites of the eyes), and other mucous membranes caused by hyperbilirubinemia (increased levels of bilirubin in the blood). This hyperbilirubinemia subsequently causes increased levels of bilirubin in the extracellular fluids.
Kidney stones are solid concretions (crystal aggregations) formed in the kidneys from dissolved urinary minerals. The terms nephrolithiasis and urolithiasis refer to the condition of having calculi in the kidneys and urinary tract, respectively. Bladder stones can form or pass into the urinary bladder. Ureterolithiasis is the condition of having a calculus in the ureter (the tube connecting the kidneys and the bladder).
Leukemia is a cancer of the blood or bone marrow and is characterized by an abnormal proliferation (production by multiplication) of blood cells, usually white blood cells (leukocytes). Leukemia is a broad term covering a spectrum of diseases. In turn, it is part of the even broader group of diseases called hematological neoplasms.
Lung cancer is a disease of uncontrolled cell growth in tissues of the lung. This growth may lead to metastasis, which is the invasion of adjacent tissue and infiltration beyond the lungs. The vast majority of primary lung cancers are carcinomas of the lung, derived from epithelial cells. The most common symptoms are shortness of breath, coughing (including coughing up blood), and weight loss.
Measles is an infection of the respiratory system caused by a virus. Symptoms include fever, cough, runny nose, red eyes and a generalized, maculopapular, erythematous rash.
Melanoma is a malignant tumor of melanocytes which are found predominantly in skin but also in the bowel and the eye (see uveal melanoma). It is one of the rarer types of skin cancer but causes the majority of skin cancer related deaths.
Meningitis, often known as spinal meningitis, is an infection of the spinal cord. It is usually the result of a viral or bacterial infection.
Menopause is the permanent cessation of reproductive fertility some time before the end of the natural lifespan.
Mental disorder or mental illness is a psychological or behavioral pattern that occurs in an individual and is thought to cause distress or disability that is not expected as part of normal development or culture.
Migraine is a neurological syndrome characterized by altered bodily perceptions, headaches, and nausea. The typical migraine headache is unilateral and pulsating, lasting from 4 to 72 hours; symptoms include nausea, vomiting, photophobia (increased sensitivity to bright light), and hyperacusis (increased sensitivity to sound).
Obesity is a medical condition in which excess body fat has accumulated to the extent that it may have an adverse effect on health, leading to reduced life expectancy.
Osteoporosis is a disease that develops when bones lose calcium and other minerals. It results in bones that are porous and brittle.
Parkinson’s disease is a degenerative disorder of the central nervous system that often impairs the sufferer's motor skills and speech.
A peptic ulcer is an ulcer (defined as mucosal erosions equal to or greater than 0.5 cm) of an area of the gastrointestinal tract that is usually acidic and thus extremely painful (can be cancerous). As many as 80% of ulcers are associated with Helicobacter pylori, a spiral-shaped bacterium that lives in the acidic environment of the stomach.
Pneumonia has many possible causes, but it is usually an infection of the streptococcus or mycoplasma bacteria. These bacteria can live in the human body without causing infection for years, and only surface when another illness has lowered the person's immunity to disease.
Psoriasis is a chronic, non-contagious autoimmune disease which affects the skin and joints. It commonly causes red scaly patches to appear on the skin. The scaly patches caused by psoriasis, called psoriatic plaques, are areas of inflammation and excessive skin production. Skin rapidly accumulates at these sites and takes on a silvery-white appearance. Plaques frequently occur on the skin of the elbows and knees, but can affect any area including the scalp and genitals.
Renal failure or kidney failure is a situation in which the kidneys fail to function adequately. It is divided in acute and chronic forms; either form may be due to a large number of other medical problems.
Respiratory Disease is the term for diseases of the respiratory system. These include diseases of the lung, pleural cavity, bronchial tubes, trachea, upper respiratory tract and of the nerves and muscles of breathing. Respiratory diseases range from mild and self-limiting such as the common cold to life-threatening such as bacterial pneumonia or pulmonary embolism.
Schizophrenia is a psychiatric diagnosis that describes a mental disorder characterized by abnormalities in the perception or expression of reality. Distortions in perception may affect all five senses, including sight, hearing, taste, smell and touch, but most commonly manifest as auditory hallucinations, paranoid or bizarre delusions, or disorganized speech and thinking with significant social or occupational dysfunction.
Sciatica is a set of symptoms including pain that may be caused by general compression and/or irritation of one of five nerve roots that give rise to the sciatic nerve, or by compression or irritation of the sciatic nerve itself. The pain is felt in the lower back, buttock, and/or various parts of the leg and foot. In addition to pain, which is sometimes severe, there may be numbness, muscular weakness, pins and needles or tingling and difficulty in moving or controlling the leg. Typically, the symptoms are only felt on one side of the body.
Herpes zoster (or simply zoster), commonly known as shingles, is a viral disease characterized by a painful skin rash with blisters in a limited area on one side of the body, often in a stripe. The initial infection with varicella zoster virus (VZV) causes the acute (short-lived) illness chickenpox, and generally occurs in children and young people. Once an episode of chickenpox has resolved, the virus is not eliminated from the body but can go on to cause shingles—an illness with very different symptoms—often many years after the initial infection.
Stress is a biological term which refers to the consequences of the failure of a human or animal to respond appropriately to emotional or physical threats to the organism, whether actual or imagined.
A stroke is the rapidly developing loss of brain function(s) due to disturbance in the blood supply to the brain. This can be due to ischemia (lack of blood supply) caused by thrombosis or embolism or due to a hemorrhage. As a result, the affected area of the brain is unable to function, leading to inability to move one or more limbs on one side of the body, inability to understand or formulate speech, or inability to see one side of the visual field.
Thrombosis is the formation of a blood clot (thrombus) inside a blood vessel, obstructing the flow of blood through the circulatory system. When a blood vessel is injured, the body uses platelets and fibrin to form a blood clot, because the first step in repairing it (hemostasis) is to prevent loss of blood. If that mechanism causes too much clotting, and the clot breaks free, an embolus is formed.
Tuberculosis is a common and often deadly infectious disease caused by mycobacteria, in humans mainly Mycobacterium tuberculosis . Tuberculosis usually attacks the lungs (as pulmonary TB) but can also affect the central nervous system, the lymphatic system, the circulatory system, the genitourinary system, the gastrointestinal system, bones, joints, and even the skin.
Type 1 diabetes (Type I diabetes)
Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease that results in destruction of insulin-producing beta cells of the pancreas. Lack of insulin causes an increase of fasting blood glucose (around 70-120 mg/dL in nondiabetic people) that begins to appear in the urine above the renal threshold (about 190-200 mg/dl in most people), thus connecting to the symptom by which the disease was identified in antiquity, sweet urine. Glycosuria or glucose in the urine causes the patients to urinate more frequently, and drink more than normal (polydipsia). Classically, these were the characteristic symptoms which prompted discovery of the disease.
Type 2 diabetes (Type II diabetes)
Type 2 diabetes is a disorder that is characterized by high blood glucose in the context of insulin resistance and relative insulin deficiency.
A wart (also known as verruca) is generally a small, rough tumor, typically on hands and feet but often other locations, that can resemble a cauliflower or a solid blister. Warts are common, and are caused by a viral infection, specifically by the human papillomavirus (HPV) and are contagious when in contact with the skin of an infected person.