THE JKL MEDICAL DICTIONARY


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C C C

C: Abbreviation for "cardiovascular".
C. Diffocoele: Ailment/disease colitis.
CA: Abbreviation for "clear to auscultation", "cancer".
CABG: Post Coronary Artery Bypass Graft.
C&S: Abbreviation for "culture and sensitivity".
CACATION: Defecation.
CACHECTIC: Pertaining to cachexia (general ill health).
CACHEXIA: State of constitutional disorder, general ill health and malnutrition.
CAD: Abbreviation for "coronary artery disease".
CADAVER: A dead body.
CADAVERIC DONOR: A recently deceased person whose body is to be used to harvest organs for transplants.
CADAVERIC GRAFT: Tissue donated from a deceased body.
CADUCEUS: The wand of Hermes ... a symbol of the medical industry.
CAECUM: First portion of the large intestines.
CAFE-AU-LAIT: Dark brown spots of the skin present sine birth and associated with Type I neurofibromatosis.
CAG: Abbreviation for ... "chronic atrophic gastritis" ... "continuous ambulatory gamma globulin" ... "cholangiogram" ... "coronary angiogram".
CAGE: A test for alcoholism. Abbreviation for ... "Cut down, Annoyed by criticism, Guilty about drinking, Eye-opener drinks".
CAISSON DISEASE: A condition where nitrogen in the blood turns to bubbles due to a rapid decrease in atmospheric pressure.
CALCANEAL: Relating to the heel.
CALCANEUS: Bone at the rear of the tarsus (heel bone).
CALCEMIA: An abnormally large amount of calcium in circulating blood.
CALCIFICATION: Hardening.
CALCIPHYLAXIS: A condition of hypersensitivity of tissue which results in calcifications.
CALCIUM: In the body, calcium at high blood levels causes excessive urination, kidney stones, weakened bones, weakened strength and even coma. The amount of calcium in the blood stream is determined by the functioning of the parathyroid glands.
CALCIUM CHANNEL BLOCKERS: They locate around the minute muscles that surround arteries. These types of drugs prevent calcium from entering the muscle thus keeping the artery wide open and pressure does not rise. Examples are Adalat, Calan, Norvasc, Verapamil, diltiazem (Cardizem), nifedipine (Procardia), and verapamil (Isoptin) Note, calcium blockers do not affect the absorption of calcium into bone.
CALCIUM OXALATE STONE: Kidney stone.
CALCULOSIS: The presence of "calculi" (stone deposit that can occur in any tissue of the body).
CALCULUS: A stone deposit that can occur in any tissue of the body. Made from mineral salts that clump together. Most common areas for occurrence are kidneys, gallbladder, and joints. Plural is calculi.
CALIECTASIS: Dilation of the calices.
CALLOSITY: An area of thickened skin due to constant rubbing ... usually occurs on areas of the feet or hands.
CALLOUS: An area of thickened skin due to constant rubbing ... usually occurs on areas of the feet or hands.
CALLUS: New growth which occurs at the area of a bone fracture.
CALMANT: Sedative.
CALVARIA: Roof of the skull ... skullcap.
CALVES-LEGG-PERTHES DISEASE: Currently being researched.
CALVITIES: Lack of hair on the head ... baldness.
CALYOR: Heat from inflammation.
CALYX: A cup-shaped structure of the body. An example is an area of the kidney that collects urine and leads it into a tube directing toward the bladder.
CALYCES: Plural of Calyx.
CAMPHOR TEST: Liver disease test conducted by the oral intake of camphor (medication made from the camphor tree). If glycuronic acid appears in the urine then the liver does not indicate disease.
CAMPIMETER: Hand held device used to measure central visual field.
CANALICULUS: The space that separates cells in the anastomosing (a combining of two hollow tube like structures.) cords of cells that comprise a liver lobule.
CANAL OF HERING: A channel occurring at the periphery of the portal tracts - between a bile canaliculus and interlobular bile duct.
CANCER: Term which is applied to more than 100 diseases. A common factor is that abnormal cells multiply without control. Cancer cells can spread through the bloodstream and lymphatic system to other parts of the body. Malignant tumors that replace normal tissues are an endangerment to life. These tumors are either classified as carcinomas (occur in the tissues which line or cover organ tissues) or sarcomas (occur in tissues which support and connect the body). Cancer can spread throughout the body by a process called metastases by the blood or lymph system.
CANCROID: A type of skin cancer.
CANDIDIASIS: Infections caused by the candida fungi. It can cause vaginitis, diaper rash, dermatitis, and thrush.
CANDIDURIA: Presence in the urine of Candida organisms.
CANKER: Refers to a type of ulcer in the mouth.
CANNULA: A small, hollow tube that is typically inserted into a body duct or cavity for drainage.
CANNULATED REAMER: A small, hollow surgical instrument with cutting edges for enlarging or altering the shape of a hole.
CANTHUS: Each corner of the eye.
CAP: Abbreviation for ... "community acquired pneumonia".
CAPILLARIES: The smallest blood vessels (about one cell thick). They allow the transfer of nutrients from the blood stream to body cells and the elimination of waste products from cells back into the blood stream for removal.
CAPILLARY REFILL: A test which identifies circulation problems or edema. Typically, pressure is put on a fingernail and the examiner observes that the nailbed turns white ... (s)he then measures the amount of time it takes for the nailbed to return to it's normal pink color ... a good capillary refill is considered to be less than two seconds.
CAPITAL: Refers to the head of the femur (thigh bone).
CAPITATE: Bone in the center of the wrist.
CAPITELLUM: The rounded head of a bone.
CAPITIS: 1. The expanded or rounded area of any anatomical structure. 2. The rounded extremity of a bone. 3. The end of a muscle attached to a part of the skeleton that is not as movable.
CAPNOMETER: Device used to measure the pressure of carbon dioxide.
CAPSID: The protective shell which surrounds a virus' genetic material.
CAPSOMERE: A subunit of the protein coat (capsid) that surrounds the genetic material of a virus.
CAPSULE: Thick tissue in the form of a "sleeve" which serves to stabilize the shoulder joint.
CAPSULAR SCISSORS: Surgical instrument / aid designed to cut the thick tissue which resembles a "sleeve" and serves to stabilize the shoulder and other joints.
CAPUT: Refers to the "head".
CAPUT MADUSAE: Veins around the umbilicus which have become dilated ... observed in newborn infants and people with cirrhosis of the liver (resembles the snake headed Medusa).
CAPUT SUCCEDANEUM: A collection of fluid sometimes seen under the scalp of newborn babies.
CARBON DIOXIDE: The odorless gas that is produced as the byproduct of breathing.
CARBOHYDRATES: 1. Cellulose, starches and sugars. 2. A category of essential foods that provide energy for the body. They provide approximately four calories per gram (the same as protein) and less than half the amount of calories in fats.
CARBUNCLE: Boil.
CARBOXY: Combining form that means carbon dioxide.
CARBOXY HEMOGLOBIN: Carbon dioxide in hemoglobin.
CARCIN / O: A combining word-form which means "carcinoma".
CARCINOGEN: A substance that can induce cancer.
CARCINOGENIC: Cancer causing.
CARCINOID: Small, rare tumor of the digestive tract.
CARCINOID TUMORS: Small, rare tumor of the digestive tract or lung airways. Symptoms can be varied and sometimes include asthma attacks and diarrhea. The chemical secreted can cause damage to heart valves. The drug Sandostatin can be used to control many of the symptoms.
CARCINOLYSIS: Refers to the destruction of carcinoma.
CARCINOMA: 1. A recent cancerous growth. 2. Cancer that starts within the covering of an organ or tissues that cover the surfaces of the body.
CARCINOMA IN SITU: A neoplastic lesion in which the cells of the tumor are limited to the epithelium without invasion into adjacent areas. This phase is considered curable.
CARDI / O: A combining word-form that means " heart".
CARDIA: Refers to the "stomach".
CARDIAC: Referring to the heart.
CARDIAC ARREST: Heart stoppage.
CARDIAC ARRHYTHMIA: An abnormal heart rate or rhythm.
CARDIAC CATHETER: A device used to detect defects of the heart by taking samples of pressure and/or blood from the heart chambers.
CARDIAC ENZYMES: CK total, CK-MB, CPK, myoglobin, theophylline, troponin, troponin I,
CARDIAC OPENING: The opening which leads into the heart from the feeding tube (esophagus).
CARDINAL: Of primary importance.
CARDINAL LIGAMENTS: Primary (most important) ligaments.
CARDIOGENIC: Having origins in the heart.
CARDIOLITE: Stress test.
CARDIOMYOPATHY: Slow disease of the myocardium (heart muscle). It is a term that signifies a number of conditions that targets the heart muscle. It causes shortness of breath with minimal exertion. Also, see "hypertrophic cardiomyopathy".
CARDIOPATHY: Any disease of the heart.
CARDIOPLASTY: A procedure that takes the large back muscle wrapping it around the heart and stimulating it in synchronization with the heart beat to assist a heart not beating properly.
CARDIOPULMONARY RESUSCITATION: A technique that is used to restore breathing circulation ... it involves compressing the heart and administering artificial respiration.
CARDIOVASCULAR: Referring to the heart and blood vessels.
CARDIOVERSION: The act of restoring the heart's normal rhythm by the use of electric shock.
CARIES: Microbe destruction of teeth.
CARINA: A structure resembling a ridge.
CARMINATIVE: A substance that relieves flatulence.
CARNAL: Referring to the flesh.
CARNAL KNOWLEDGE: Knowledge of sex.
CARNITINE: A free amino acid. Thought to assist the body in fighting diseases of the kidneys, liver, muscles and cardiovascular system. It may help in the treatment of diabetes. L-carnitine helps in the building of muscle.
CAROTENE: A yellow or red pigment which the body converts into vitamin A ... found in carrots, sweet potatoes, some vegetables eggs and milk.
CAROTENOIDS: 1. A classification of compounds that are related to vitamin A. The carotenoid which is best known is beta-carotene ... others include alpha and gamma-carotene, lutein and lycopene. 2. Something that resembles "carotene" (a yellow or red pigment which the body converts into vitamin A ... Found in carrots, sweet potatoes, some vegetables, eggs and milk). Carotenoids like beta carotene and alpha carotene have been shown to be powerful antioxidants that can provide powerful health benefits.
CAROTID ARTERY: On each side of the neck ... they bring blood to the brain. Each divides into two arteries, the internal and external carotid. Sometimes, strokes are a result of cholesterol clogging these arteries.
CAROTID GLAND: A tiny gland existing between the external and internal carotid arteries.
CARPAL: Referring to the wrist.
CARPAL TUNNEL SYNDROME: A restriction (narrowing) of the large nerve which passes through the wrist and to the fingers. The restriction is usually due to a narrowing of the tissue that surrounds the nerve. Symptoms include numbness/tingling of the middle/ring finger and pain that worsens at night -time. The pressure can sometimes be relieved on the narrowed tissue by resting the wrist with a wrist splint (which can decrease inflammation in the tunnel). Inflammation relieving medications like Aleve, Naproxen, Motrin, and Advil can also be used to decrease inflammation. Vitamin B6 has a reputation of decreasing symptoms though scientific literature does not support it in the year 2000. Note that there are other aliments that mimic "carpal tunnel syndrome" ... an underactive thyroid gland ... diabetes ... rheumatism ... etcetera.
CARPUS: Wrist.
CARTILAGE: Also called "gristle". It cushions and protects joints. It supports area of the body in a similar manner as bone. However, it does not contain blood vessels and does not repair itself after injury. Tears and cuts must be surgically repaired.
CASE CONTROL STUDY: A study which takes into account the risk factors of those with a disease versus those without it.
CAST: A device (mold) which is meant to keep bone(s) in place.
CASTLEMAN'S DISEASE: Also called "angiofollicular lymph node hyperplasia". A rare disease of lymph tissue (lymph nodes & lymphocytes). The disease can come in early or later life. In early life it typically affects a single group of nodes. While in later life, it may affect many groups of nodes. Sometimes it affects a related group of nodes which in turn causes symptoms to adjacent body parts ... a cough might develop due to lymph nodes of the chest pressing on the breathing tubes. The serious form of the disease is treated (year 2000) using a combination of chemotherapy and drugs of the cortisone family.
CAT: Abbreviation for ... "computerized axial tomography".
CATA-: A prefix (word part) meaning "down".
CATABOLIC: Something which tears "down" compounds which are complex in nature to simpler ones.
CATABOLISM: The tearing "down" of compounds which are complex in nature to simpler ones.
CATALEPSY: Inability to move muscles.
CATALYSE: To speed-up.
CATALYST: A substance which effects chemical reactions but does not take part in it.
CATAMENIA: The commencement of a females first menses.
CATAPHORIA: A turning downwards of the axis of eyes. This visual disturbance is a permanent condition.
CATARACTS: Opacities in the lens of the eye caused by disease, aging and heredity. Cataracts are due to free radicals which causes oxidation of lens protein in the same way that oxidation causes metals to rust. "Antioxidants" like Vitamin C and vitamin E counters the effects of oxidation. One treatment for cataracts is the placement of an "array multi focal lens" in which a large proportion of patients do not require glasses afterwards.
CATARRH: Illnesses that result in inflamed membranes and mucus discharge.
CATATONIA: A situation in which a person has periods of rigidity. It sometimes happens to people with mood disorders, schizophrenia.
CATATONIC: Referring to "catatonia".
CATCHER'S MASK: A device that is made up of a tube and two balloons ... the balloons are inflated in the throat for the purpose of putting pressure on bleeding varices (dilated (enlarged) veins).
CATECHOLAMINES: A group of biogenic amines like epinephrine, norepinephrine and dopamine.
CATGUT: Twisted intestines obtained from sheep and used as a thread in surgical procedures.
CATH: Abbreviation for ... "catheter".
CATHARTIC: Something which causes evacuation of the bowels.
CATHARSIS: A "purging".
CATHECTIC: Pertaining to "cathexis".
CATHETER: A cylindrical device (tube) which permits the passing of fluid into (or out of) a body cavity. A heart catheterization is a test for a leaky heart valve; it is threaded into the heart from a blood vessel in the arm or groin. When it arrives in the heart a dye squirts through the heart valve so it can be seen on an X-ray. (Angio; 20-gauge; BROVIACTM catheter; Groscean; GROSHONGTM catheter; HICKMANTM catheter; Peritoneal; Pt; Tenckhoff; Tesio) NOTE: BROVIAC, GROSHONG and HICKMAN are trademarks of C.R. Bard, Inc and its related company, BCR, Inc
CATHETERIZATION: A technique primarily used to drain fluids away from the body using a cylindrical device (tube) that permits the passing of fluid out of (sometimes into) a body cavity. The catheter may also be used to widen a narrow vein or artery. A heart catheterization is a test for a leaky heart valve; it is threaded into the heart from a blood vessel in the arm or groin. When it arrives in the heart a dye squirts through the heart valve so it can be seen on an X-ray. (TYPES OF CATHETERS: Angio; 20-gauge; BROVIACTM catheter; Groscean; GROSHONGTM catheter; HICKMANTM catheter; Peritoneal; Pt; Tenckhoff; Tesio). NOTE: BROVIAC is a trademark of C.R. Bard, Inc and its related company, BCR, Inc
CATHEXIS: A term used during psychoanalysis ... it is the investment of psychic energy.
CATION: An ion having a positive electrical charge.
CATNIP: Purported to induce sleep when ingested as tea. It has been used to relieve anxiety, as a diaphoretic, for relieving diarrhea and soothing an upset stomach.
CAT SCAN: Abbreviation for "computerized axil tomography scan". An x?ray procedure which produces a three dimensional image of the body or a body part for purpose of identifying abnormalities.
CAUDATE: Having a tail.
CAUDATE LOBE: Also called ... "lobus caudatus" ... "pigelian lobe". One of the lobes of the liver located next to the inferior vena cava and connected to the right lobe.
CAULIFLOWER EARS: An ear deformity which results from a pool of blood which seeps into the cartilage. It must be drained to prevent it from hardening and protruding with the appearance of cauliflower. Treatment is typically the use of a syringe to draw the blood out. Silicone forms and splints are applied to prevent blood from seeping back in.
CAUSAL: The cause of ... Note that statistical methods are not sufficient to establish a causal relationship between factors - causation only occurs when one fact definitely alters the possibility of a second fact.
CAUSTIC: That which is burning or irritating.
CAUTERIZE: The destruction of tissue with a hot instrument, electricity or caustic substance.
CAUTERY: The destruction of tissue with a hot instrument, electricity or caustic substance.
CAVAL: Refers to a vena cava
CBC: Abbreviation for ... "complete blood count"
C BILE: Bile from the liver. Hepatic bile typically drained from the duodenum following an emptied gallbladder.
CC: Abbreviation for ... "cubic centimeter" (one thousandth of a liter; 1 milliliter).
CCE: Abbreviation for "clubbing, cyanosis, edema".
CCU: Abbreviation for "cardiac care unit".
CD4 CELL: Another word for ... "helper T-cell" (T lymphocyte cells which act in association with B lymphocyte cells to allow the formation of antibodies).
CD4 COUNT: The quantity of "helper T-cells" found in a cubic millimeter of blood. This is a good indicator of immune system health. A diagnosis of AIDS is made if the CD4 count is less than 200.
CD8: Abbreviation for ... "cluster of differentiation 8". Also called ... "killer T-cell".
CDU: Abbreviation for "Chemical Dependency Unit".
CEBATOME: Surgical instrument / aid.
CECOSTOMY: A surgical opening into the large intestine (near the appendix) for the purpose of evacuation.
CECUM: A pouch in the colon that represents the first area of the large intestines.
-CELE: A suffix which means ... "hernia".
CELIAC: Relating to the abdomen.
CELIAC DISEASE: A digestive disease in which the digestive tract reacts negatively to Gluten which is a protein from oats, wheat, barley and rye. Symptoms include diarrhea, loss of weight, gas, deficiency of minerals and vitamins. Treatment requires the elimination of gluten from the diet. For more information contact The Celiac Disease Foundation at 13251 Ventura Blvd, Suite 1, Studio City, California 91604 (year 2000).
CELIAC SPRUE: A disease with unknown etiology which affects adults and children to inhibit digestion. See "celiac disease". For more information contact The Celiac Disease Foundation at 13251 Ventura Blvd, Suite 1, Studio City, California 91604 (year 2000).
CELITIS: Abdominal inflammation.
CELL: The smallest subdivision of a living organism able to exist independently ... Cells are composed of a wall (membrane), cytoplasm (semi-liquid material which fills the cell structure) and the nucleus (the center of the cell which contains genes).
CELL MEMBRANE: The surface of a cell which acts to enclose and protect the inner contents.
CELL OR FLARE: Eye exam; anterior chamber during slit lamp exam.
CELLA: A room or cell.
CELLULAR: Referring to "cells" (The smallest subdivision of a living organism able to exist independently)
CELLULITE: Deposits of fat or possibly other materials trapped in areas beneath the skin.
CELLULITIS: Infection of the skin (including tissues beneath) usually by strep or staphylococcus germs that infects skin cells through minute scratches. Cellulitis can occur rapidly enough to actually observe its progress with the naked eye. Use antibiotics to treat … can lead to blood poisoning and tissue damage. Symptoms include redness, fever, tenderness and chills.
CELLULOSE: A dietary fiber which is the primary component of vegetable tissue.
CELSIUS: Also called ... "Centigrade". A system of temperature measurement commonly used in Europe. To convert Fahrenheit to Celsius use the following formula ... C = (F-32) X 5/9. To convert Celsius to Fahrenheit use ... F=(C X 5/9) + 32.
-CENTESIS: A suffix which means ... the removal of fluid via a surgical puncture.
CENTI: A prefix meaning ... "one-thousandth".
CENTIGRADE: Also called ... "Celsius". A system of temperature measurement commonly used in Europe. To convert Fahrenheit to Celsius use the following formula ... C = (F-32) X 5/9. To convert Celsius to Fahrenheit use ... F=(C X 5/9) + 32.
CENTO: A prefix meaning ... a "hundred times".
CENTRAL LINE: An area in the blood circulatory system which is central in location ... typically in the subclavian or jugular veins of the neck, also the femoral veins in the groin.
CENTRAL NERVOUS SYSTEM: A portion of the nervous system which includes the brain and spinal column.
CENTRAL VEIN: A vein located in the lobules of the liver which runs from the base to the apex (the top, end or tip).
CENTRIFUGE: A device which separates substances from one another by spinning them at high speeds.
CEPHAL / O: A combining word-form that means "head".
CEPHALGIA: Headache.
CEPHALEDEMA: Swelling of the head.
CEPHALIC: Pertaining to the head.
CEPHALIZATION: Tendency of nerve system to move foreword to the brain.
CEPHALHEMATOMA: Broken blood vessels in the head.
CEPHALOTRACTOR: An instrument used to assist and obstetrician with the delivery of a baby.
CEREBELLUM: Also called ... "the little brain" It is the part of the brain located at the base of the skull, behind the brainstem ... it helps to control coordinated body movements and breathing.
CEREBRAL: Pertaining to the brain.
CEREBRAL PALSY: A disorder which is not progressive. It is caused by brain damage to effect movement and posture. The ailment affects one in 400 babies worldwide (year 2000). It was generally believed that a lack of oxygen during labor or birth was the primary cause but the latest research suggests that a majority of cases develop during pregnancy.
CEREBRATION: Mental functioning.
CEREBRO / O: A combining word-form which means "brain - cerebrum".
CEREBROSIDE: Specialized lipids (substances which are soluble in the same solvents as oils and fats) which are seen in the myelin sheaths of nerves ... made up of ceramide and a monosaccharide.
CEREBROSPINAL: Referring the brain and spinal cord.
CEREBROSPINAL FLUID: The fluid that acts as a shock absorber for the brain and spinal cord.
CEREBRUM: Largest and uppermost section of the brain especially the frontal area … the site of most of its activity, including sensory and motor functions
CEROID: A yellow-brown pigment seen in the liver during cirrhosis.
CERUMEN: Earwax.
CERVIC / O: A combining word-form that means "neck".
CERVICAL: Referring to the neck or a neck like structure like the cervix of the uterus.
CERVICAL CANCER: Risk factors include ... 1) 5+ pregnancies. 2) First intercourse prior to 18 years of age. 3) History of gonorrhea. 4) Multiple sex partners. 5) Infertility. 6) HPV. 7) Several studies have shown a relationship between cigarette smoking and cervical cancer. Note that folate appears to stabilize or improve precancerous cervical abnormalities. In early stages the conventional treatment is surgery while in the later stages it is radiation. Therapy can also include chemotherapy and hormonal therapy.
CERVICAL DYSPLASIA: Pre?cancerous condition (diagnosed by a PAP test) where the cells lining the cervix do not organize correctly.
CERVICITIS: Inflammation of membrane of the deep structures of cervix uteri.
CERVICOPLASTY: Plastic surgery of the neck.
CERVIX: The lower part of the uterus. Also, the neck.
CERVIX UTERI: The lower area of the uterus.
CESAREAN SECTION: An operation to remove a baby from the womb.
CESIUM: A radioactive isotope sometimes used in radiotherapy.
CF100TL: A model number of colonoscope.
CFC: Abbreviation for "cerebrospinal fluid culture".
CFS: Abbreviation for "chronic fatigue syndrome".
CGL: Abbreviation for ... "chronic granulocytic leukemia".
CHADWICK'S SIGN: A characteristic sign of pregnancy in which the vagina and cervix have a bluish color.
CHALAZION: A swelling of the upper or lower eyelids. It develops due to an obstruction in a gland of the eyelash.
CHAMBERS (HEART): The heart has four cavities (chambers) ... left atrium, right atrium, left ventricle and right ventricle ... they are responsible for directing blood through the heart and pumping it out for use in the body. Between each upper and lower chamber lies a one-way heart valve that is responsible for preventing reverse blood flow.
CHAMFER: 1) A channel. 2. A beveled edge.
CHANCRE CHANCROID: The main sore of syphilis which develops at site of infection 10-30 days after infection. It is typically caused by Haemophilus ducreyi and can be very painful. Treatment typically involves the use of sulfonamide medications or tetracycline.
CHANDALLIER SIGN: Relating to female pelvic exam. Pain with movement of the cervix.
CHARCOT JOINT: A nerve ailment ... it occurs because pain transmissions are not relayed to the brain from joints held too long in one position. Note that this damage is typically caused by the complications associated with diabetes.
CHARCOT-MARIE ATROPHY: Progressive neuropathic (peroneal muscular atrophy).
CHARCOT-MARIE-TOOTH DISEASE: Named after European physicians who identified the nerve disorder. It is a group of inherited diseases. The basic problem is that nerve impulses are prevented from reaching the muscles which results in muscle shrinkage. Leg muscles are usually targeted but the forearm and hand muscles can also be affected. There is no cure for this disease but physical therapists can show sufferers how to use healthy muscles to counteract the effects of weakened ones. More information can be obtained from the Charcot-Marie-Tooth Association at (800) 606-2682.
CHARCOT'S SYNDROME: Intermittent claudication (limping).
CHARNLEY RETRACTOR: A type of surgical instrument that is designed to hold back the edges of tissues to exposed organs or other internal body structures.
CHD: Abbreviation for ... "coronary heart disease".
CHEILITIS: Lip inflammation.
CHEILOSIS: A disorder of lips usually resulting from a lack of vitamins.
CHELATION THERAPY: A treatment by which excess toxins are removed from the body. Chelating agents include alfalfa, fiber, potassium, Coenzyme Q10, sea kelp, Vitamin A, beta-carotene, Vitamin B complex, Vitamin B-3 (Niacin), Vitamin B-12, Vitamin E, Vitamin C.
CHEM 7: A battery of seven blood tests ... sodium, potassium, chloride, bicarbonate, BUN (blood urea nitrogen), creatinine and glucose.
CHEMOBRAIN: A phenomenon that results from chemotherapy ... sometimes it permanently dulls memory and thinking.
CHEMOEMBOLIZATION: Restriction of blood flow to a body area via intravenous drugs.
CHEMOPROPHYLAXIS: Chemical drug treatment designed to prevent the occurrence of disease in the future.
CHEMOSIS: Abnormal swelling of the mucous membrane covering the eyeball and lining the eyelids.
CHEMOTAXIS: Movement of cells (or organisms) due to chemicals.
CHEMOTHERAPY: Usually refers to treatment of cancer using chemicals.
CHENODEOXYCHOLIC ACID: A drug used to dissolve gallstones (cholesterol).
CHERRY ANGIOMA: A papule which is ruby red in color and caused by a weakening of a capillary wall.
CHEYNE-STOKES RESPIRATIONS: A breathing pattern that slowly increases in depth and/or rate for 30-120 seconds ... then a 5-30 second period of apnea (lack of breathing). Often will be a result of encephalopathy.
CHF: Abbreviation for "congestive heart failure".
CHIKEN POX: A virus that lives in nerve cells to travel down nerve roots to the skin that may result in cold sores on the lips or shingles. A disease that usually inflicts children between the ages of one and 15. Typical treatment includes keeping the child at home for approximately five days. The illness is known for a mild to moderate blister-like rash. Rare complications can put the child in the hospital with infections (bacterial and skin), pneumonia, heart/liver infections and meningitis. Fatality is rare but no unheard of. A vaccine is available which shows a 95% protection rate against severe cases of the disease and 70-90% in other varieties. One injection is required for those under the age of 12 and two (28 days apart) for those who are older.
CHLAMYDIA: An "STD" (sexually transmitted disease) that is often a cause of pelvic inflammatory disease. A genus of bacteria that is fairly easy to treat with antibiotics. Millions of infections occur every year primarily among young people. An infection causes men to experience painful symptoms but most women experience no symptoms at all. There is growing evidence that this bacterium secretes a protein that mimics an enzyme contained in the heart muscle. It appears this protein results in an inflamed heart muscle. Azithromycin is a generic drug that can often cure it with a single dose.
CHLAMYDIA PNEUMONIAE: An extremely common species of bacteria that causes respiratory infection. A high proportion of people are infected and most have no symptoms. It is found in atherosclerosis tissue (does not mean that it is the cause of the problem ... the bacteria has been found in a high percentage of healthy people also). Note that this is not the same bacterium that is associated with sexually transmitted disease.
CHLORELLA: Also called ... "Chlorella Pyrenoidosa". This algae at the base of the Earth's food chain has the most significant nutrients of any food sources ever studied ... note that it has the highest amount of chlorophyll known.
CHLOREMIA: A diminished amount of red corpuscles in blood.
CHLORIDE: A compound which contains chlorine. When blood testing shows an increase in serum chloride it can be due to: 1. Renal failure, 2. Dehydration, 3. Renal tubular acidosis, 4. Diabetes insipidus, 5. Diarrhea, 6. Toxicity due to calicylates, 7. Respiratory alkalosis, 8. Hypothalamic lesions, 9. Hyperfunction of the adrenal cortex (center of the adrenal gland).
CHLORINE: As a gas it is highly toxic. However when in the form of chloride compounds it becomes an essential nutrient (mineral). Helps to maintain the cellular balance of fluids internally and externally.
CHLOROFORM: A gas sometimes used as an antiseptic.
CHLORPROMAZINE: Also called ... "Thorazine" and "Ormazine". Used as a tranquilizer in the treatment of anxiety and agitation.
CHOLAGOGUE: A substance that encourages bile to flow into the intestines.
CHOLANGIOGRAM: X-ray produced picture of the primary bile ducts. During and after surgery a dye is injected into the common bile duct through a tube placed in the incision to drain the bile. The purpose is to discover small gallstones.
CHOLANGIOGRAPHY: Bile duct x-ray.
CHOLANGITIS: Bile duct inflammation.
CHOLANPOIESIS: A process which occurs in the liver and produces cholic acid or bile.
CHOLECYST: Another word for ... "gallbladder".
CHOLECYSTECTOMY: The removal of the gallbladder by surgical means.
CHOLECYSTITIS: Inflammation of the gall bladder.
CHOLECYSTOGRAPHY: An x-ray examination of the gallbladder. To improve the quality of the film an oral dye may be swallowed which is ultimately passed into the bile to reach the gallbladder.
CHOLEDOCH: Also called ... "common bile duct", "ductus choledochus", "choledoch duct", and "choledochus". The bile duct that occurs where the cystic and hepatic ducts unite. It excretes bile into a small nipple-like growth at the duodenum.
CHOLEDOCH DUCT: Also called ... "common bile duct", "ductus choledochus", "choledoch", and "choledochus". The bile duct that occurs where the cystic and hepatic ducts unite. It excretes bile into a small nipple-like growth at the duodenum.
CHOLEDOCHOLITHIASIS: The condition of having a gallstone in the common bile duct.
CHOLEDOCHOPLASTY: Surgical bile duct repair.
CHOLEDOCHUS: Also called ... "common bile duct", "ductus choledochus", "choledoch duct", and "choledoch". The bile duct that occurs where the cystic and hepatic ducts unite. It excretes bile into a small nipple-like growth at the duodenum.
CHOLELITH: A gallstone.
CHOLELITHIASIS: Gallstones in the gallbladder. This condition affects 1 in 5 people over the age of 40. More common in women. Symptoms can be stomach discomfort, burping, or intolerance for certain foods.
CHOLEMIA: A condition of bile in a blood samples … usually an indication of liver disease.
CHOLERA: A disease of the intestines which typically occurs in tropical regions.
CHOLERESIS: Abnormally increased bile flow from the liver.
CHOLERIC: A term which means "irritable".
CHOLERETIC: Something that increases bile secretion by the liver.
CHOLESTASIS: A stopping of the flow of bile.
CHOLESTASIS, INTRAHEPATIC: A stoppage of the flow of bile typically due to damaged liver cells or a blockage of intrahepatic bile ducts.
CHOLESTEATOMA: A mass resembling a tumor ... epidermoid cyst.
CHOLESTEROL: A substance which is crystalline in nature. It is produced by the body and is a necessary part of cell membranes. It also assists in the absorption and transport of fatty acids. A normal amount is less than 200 mg/dl (total value). Abnormal amounts ( 350 mg/dl or 9 mmol/L) can threaten health. The preferred method of lowering high cholesterol is a life style change that includes exercise, weight loss and a low fat - low cholesterol diet. Many medications are prescribed including Lipitor. HDL cholesterol (normal 35 or higher) is considered "good cholesterol" and LDL (normal less than 130) is the "bad".
CHOLESTYRAMINE: A cholesterol lowering medication which works in the intestines by binding with cholesterol which contains bile acids and eliminating them through the bowels.
CHOLINE: One of the "other vitamin B's". It is directly involved in the metabolism (the process within the body that maintains and produces life) of chemical ... it crosses the blood-brain barrier into spinal fluid. It is required for the use of fats in the body (supports weight loss). It also helps the functioning of gallbladder, liver, nerves, manufacture of hormones, manufacture of lecithin, breakdown of fats and cholesterol.
CHOLINERGIC: Referring to nerve fibers that release a chemical at the connection of nerves and muscles.
CHLOASMA: Spots on the skin that occurs during pregnancy.
CHONDRAL: Referring to cartilage.
CHONDRITIS: Inflammation of cartilage.
CHONDRO: A prefix which refers to "cartilage".
CHONDROITIN: Functions to attract fluids into molecules in joint cartilage that acts as shock absorbers for bones and as a means of bringing nourishment and lubrication into the cartilage.
CHONDROMA: A usually benign tumor within cartilage.
CHONDROMALACIA: Softening of cartilage.
CHONDROPLASIA: Cartilage development.
CHONDROLPLASTY: The surgical repair of cartilage.
CHO-PAT KNEE STRAP: It is worn below the knee to apply pressure on the tendon to relieve pain. Typically used by sufferers of Osgood-Schlatter Disease.
CHOREA: Disease of the nervous system.
CHORION: Outermost extra embryonic membrane. As pregnancy progresses it becomes the placenta.
CHROMATELOPSIA: Inability to distinguish colors.
CHROMIUM: Mineral that assists the body in the control of blood sugars. Assists in the normalization of blood cholesterol levels ... improves HDL (high density lipoprotein) blood levels ... it is of importance in building muscles and reducing obesity/controlling appetite.
CHROMIUM PICOLINATE: An ingredient found in many weight loss preparations ... it has a simulating effect on insulin.
CHROMOCYSTOSCOPY: Also called ... "cystochromoscopy". An interior bladder exam to determine the proper functioning of the uretal orifices.
CHROMOCYTE: A cell that is pigmented like a red blood cell.
CHROMOSOME: Small strand of genes contained in the nucleus of cells. Typically, people have 46 in total (23 pairs) contained in the nucleus of each cell ... one set coming from the mother and the other set coming from the father.
CHRONIC: A long period of time.
CHRONIC ACTIVE HEPATITIS: A long lasting inflammation of the liver that results in damaged liver cells.
CHRONIC FATIGUE SYNDROME: An immune system disease which results in a fatigued state which includes swollen glands, fever, weakness, balance problems, brain lesions, depression and severe lack of energy sometimes lasting for years. The exact cause is unknown but some researchers suspect viral infection. Boosting the immune system would be logical treatment.
CHRONIC LYMPHOCYTIC LEUKEMIA: A common leukemia contracted by adults and considered "non-threatening". The diagnosis of CLL is given when a blood count indicates an abnormal amount of lymphocytes (one of the five types of white blood cells). Typical symptoms that require treatment includes ... swollen lymph nodes, loss of weight, enlarged liver/spleen and fevers. If the symptoms are not apparent then treatment is postponed until they are.
CHRONIC OBSTRUCTIVE PULMONARY DISEASE: Also called COPD that prevents oxygen and air from reaching the lungs. It is a common ailment that involves three spin-off diseases ... 1) emphysema 2) chronic bronchitis 3) asthma. Symptoms include being out of breath with minor exertion (no problems when sitting) ... a cough with thick, yellow sputum due to pus invading the lung airways (bronchi).
CHRONICITY: The state of being chronic.
CHRONOBIOLOGY: Field of science that deals with the natural daily changes in body chemistry.
CHRONOTROPIC: Relating to "speed".
CHURG-STRAUS SYNDROME: Described by Dr. Churg and Dr. Straus in 1951. Also called "allergic granulomatosis angiitis". It is an inflammation of blood vessels and the problems that occur to organs serviced by these vessels. Symptoms include fever and sometimes problems with breathing. Damage to the kidneys and heart can result if the veins that are inflamed are serving these areas. If the intestines are involved then stomach pain may occur. When left untreated the prognosis is death. Treatment typically involves the use of cortisone drugs like Prednisone. No cause has been found in the year 2001.
CHYLOMICRONS: Small, particles of fat which exist in lymph fluid.
CHYME: Food that has been turned into a liquid by digestive fluids in the stomach.
CICATRIX: Scar tissue that is soft, red as it heals.
CICATRIZATION: Another word for ... "scarring".
-CIDAL: A suffix which means ... "killing".
CILIA: Hair like structures of the body that trap foreign materials.
CILIARY: Referring to the eyelashes or other structures of the eye.
CIRCADIAN RHYTHMS: Daily changes in body functions that are responsible for sleep versus awake cycles. Body temperature is low in the morning and high in the evening. The manufacture of cholesterol by the liver reaches maximum at night ... logic dictates that taking a cholesterol lowering medication prior to bed is prudent.
CIRCUMORAL: Perioral.
CIRRHOGENIC: Something which results in cirrhosis of the liver.
CIRRHOSIS: Disease of the liver ... hardening of tissue distorts the liver and impedes it from performing its many tasks. Causes include excessive alcohol consumption, virus infections, bile duct obstruction, hemochromatosis, heart failure, etcetera.
CIRRHOTIC: Referring to "cirrhosis".
CIRSECTOMY: The excision of a portion of a varicose vein.
CISTERN: A cavity.
CISTERNOGRAPHY: A study (via radiographic means) of the cavities of the brain following the introduction of a contrast.
CK: Abbreviation for "creatine kinase".
CK-MB: An enzyme of creatine kinase with muscle and brain subunits.
CLAMP: A surgical instrument often used to control bleeding.
CLARA CELL: A rounded, club shaped, nonciliated cell protruding between cells in bronchiolar epithelium.
CLAUDICATION: Limping.
CLAVICLE: Horizontal bone just above the first rib (collar-bone).
CLAVUS: A corn.
CLEFT PALATE: Fissure in the palate (roof of the mouth) that divides the mouth from the nasal cavity.
CLIMACTERIC: Change of life.
CLINICAL: Referring to bedside treatment ... diagnosis based on direct observations.
CLINICAL DEPRESSION: A lack of interest in normal activities combined with a sad mood that persists for a minimum of two weeks even though there is no external stimulus.
CLINICAL SYNDROME: A group of symptoms which are typically seen during a disease process.
CLIPS: Surgical instrument / device which is used to line up a wound to stop bleeding and promote healing.
CLL: Abbreviation for ... "chronic lymphocytic leukemia". It is the most common leukemia contracted by adults and is considered "non-threatening". The diagnosis of CLL is given when a blood count indicates an abnormal amount of lymphocytes (one of the five types of white blood cells). Typical symptoms that require treatment includes ... swollen lymph nodes, loss of weight, enlarged liver/spleen and fevers. If the symptoms are not apparent then treatment is postponed until they are.
CLONIC: Marked by alternate contraction and relaxation of a muscle (see clonus).
CLONUS: Abnormal activity of the nerves sending signals to the muscles.
CLOSTRIDIUM DIFFICILE: Bacteria which resides in the intestines and causes colitis. It releases a substance that is poisonous to result in diarrhea.
CLUBBING: An abnormal enlargement of the tips of the finger and toes.
CLUB FOOT: A deformity that occurs during fetal growth ... the cause is unknown. Assuming that both feet are affected, the soles of the feet face each other, resembling hands that are held together in prayer. Correction of the condition is achieved by placing the feet in a normal position and then applying a cast (which is changed every 1-2 weeks). Proper positioning is usually achieved in approximately three months. A "holding" cast is then applied for the purpose of keeping the feet in the correct position for 3-6 more months. Finally, the infant wears corrective footwear until (s)he is able to walk. In the rare instance that these measures do not correct the defect, a surgical procedure can be performed between the ages of six months and one year of age.
CLUE CELLS: Abnormal cells of the vagina (precancerous).
CLUSTER HEADACHES: Headaches which typically come in bunches ... can occur daily for weeks at a time. Sometime they are absent from a person's life for long periods of time (years) only to return when least expected. Pain is usually localized on one side ... often behind an eye. Mucus drips from the naris (nostril) and the eye fills with tears. Treatment may include oxygen, Ergotamine, Imitrex. Preventative measures include lithium, verapamil and prednisone. It has been found that many sufferers are sensitive to foods such as yogurt, caffeine, alcohol, herring, avocados and sausage. Keeping a "meal journal" may pinpoint the food that triggers the attacks.
-CLYSIS: A suffix which means ... "cleaning".
CMT: Abbreviation for "cervical motion tenderness".
CMV VIRUS: Cytomegalovirus ... a form of herpes. In the year 2000 it is estimated that as many as 80% of people are infected and generally do not know it. Tests in rats show that those infected with CMV rapidly develop arthrosclerosis. Further testing showed that if the infection was treated promptly, atherosclerosis was prevented. Of course, rats are not humans!
CNS: Abbreviation for "central nervous system".
CNV: Abbreviation for "cutaneous necrotizing vasculitis".
CO-: A prefix (word part) meaning "together" or "with".
COAG PANEL: Blood test to examine clotting factors.
COAGULATION: Another word for ... "clotting".
COAGULOPATHY: A condition which affects blood's coagulability.
COALESCENCE: A combining of parts.
COARCTATION: Refers to a constriction. Usually associated with a condition of the aorta.
COBALAMIN: A compound which contains the dimethylbenzimidazolylcobamide nucleus of vitamin B-12. It is required for normal cell functioning (bone marrow, nervous system and gastrointestinal tract).
COCCI: Plural of "coccus".
COCCIDIOIDOMYCOSIS: Currently being researched.
-COCCUS: A suffix which means ... "a bacteria" which is spherical in shape.
COCCYG/ O: A combining word-form which means "tailbone" - "coccyx".
COCCYGEAL: Pertaining to the "coccyx".
COCCYGODYNIA: Tailbone (coccyx) pain.
COCCYX: Tailbone ... small bone in vertebral column ... os coccygis.
COCHLEA: A cavity of the inner ear.
COCK-UP: A type of wrist splint.
CODE FORM: A hospital form.
COENZYME: A molecule that assists enzymes.
COITUS: Sexual intercourse.
COLD: A viral disease of the throat and nasal area which results in nasal congestion, fever and coughing.
COLD SORES: Lesions of the mouth (and vicinity) commonly caused by the herpes simplex virus.
COLECTOMY: Excision of a portion of the large intestines.
COLES FEMININUS: Another word for "clitoris".
COLIC: Abdominal pains resulting from tension or obstruction of organs or structures like ... bile ducts ... intestines ... uterus. Also, relating to the colon.
COLITIS: Inflammation of the colon; ulcerative colitis.
COLLAGEN: 1. Can be thought of as the body's packing material ... it is what keeps the skin taut. 2. Collagen is the protein glue that holds us together.
COLLAGENOUS: Refers to "collagen".
COLLATERAL: Secondary or accessory ... a small branch.
COLLATERAL LIGAMENTS: Secondary ligaments.
COLLES FRACTURE: A fracture of the low end of the radius with displacement of the distal fragment dorsally.
COLOBOMA: A defect (especially of the eye).
COLON: Portion of the large intestine which connects the cecum to the rectum.
COLON CANCER: Cancer of the large bowel. It is the second leading cause of cancer death in the United States (year 2000). By the time it is identified most people already have metastatic disease.. The primary indication of colon cancer is bright red blood of the rectum with change of bowel habits like constipation followed by diarrhea. To decrease the risk of colon cancer, increase fiber, calcium and antioxidants. Aspirin taken two times a week has been shown to cut the risk.
COLONOSCOPE: A diagnostics device that is inserted into the anus to provide a camera view.
COLONOSCOPY: A flexible lighted tube used by physicians to view the entire colon. The tip contains a camera and electric noose to remove polyps. It requires laxatives and the consumption of large amounts of water prior to the procedure. Often a painkiller is required by the patient resulting from bloating and cramping (due to air which the instrument inflates the colon with). The procedure is usually performed to prevent and diagnose cancer. If all is well the procedure requires approximately 20 minutes while removal of polyps may require 35 minutes.
COLOSTOMY: A surgical opening in the colon.
COLOSTRUM: A fluid discharged by the breasts during pregnancy and a few days following.
COLPALGIA: Pain of the vagina.
COLPATITIS: Inflammation of the vagina.
COLPOSCOPE: A diagnostics instrument use to examine the vagina and cervix.
COLPOSCOPY: Examination of the cervix and vagina by means of a colposcope. The cervix (lower part of the uterus) is first painted with a solution that is similar to vinegar that causes tissues infected with the HPV virus to turn white. These areas can then be analyzed via a biopsy.
COLUMELLA: A column; Columella auris, nasi, cochleae.
COLUMELLAR: A word that is derived from the word column.
COMA: A loss of consciousness.
COMES: Blood vessel paralleling another one (or a nerve).
COMMINUTED FRACTURE: Many breaks in a bone.
COMMISSURE: A line or point where a junction occurs.
COMMON BILE DUCT: Also called ... "ductus choledochus", "choledoch duct", "choledoch", "choledochus". It is a vessel that carries digestive fluids from the liver to the small intestines. The bile duct occurs where the cystic and hepatic ducts unite. It excretes bile into a small nipple-like growth at the duodenum.
COMMON HEPATIC DUCT: The passageway which drains bile from the two hepatic ducts of the liver.
COMORBIDITY: Two or more diseases occurring at the same time.
COMPLEMENT: A substance commonly found in blood serum which causes the death of many bacteria and other antigens. It is a collection of 20 or more proteins.
COMPLEMENTARY MEDICINE: Healing therapies not taught in medical schools or used in hospitals.
COMPLETE BLOOD COUNT (CBC): Performed with a laboratory machine. Includes hemoglobin (Hg, Hgb), hematocrit (Hct, crit), H&H (hemoglobin and hematocrit), platelets. red cell count, red cell indices (MCV, MCH, MCHC), WBC (white blood cell count). Sometimes includes percentages of lymphocytes, granulocytes, monocytes, eosinophils and basophils and/or a measure of RDW.
COMPLETE BLOOD COUNT WITH DIFFERENTIAL WHITE CELL COUNT (CBC with diff): This test includes everything contained in the "Complete Blood Cell Count" plus a differential count of 100 or more white cells which includes bands, polys, segs, lymphs, eos, baso, MCH, MCHC, MCV and mono's. Also includes platelet count, red blood cell count.
COMPOUND: In chemistry it is defined as a union of two or more elements ... in pharmacy it is a preparation of two or more ingredients.
COMPOUND FRACTURE: A bone fracture whereby the broken bone comes through the skin.
COMPRESSIVE DRESSING: A wound covering that applies pressure to the injury.
COMPUTERIZED TOMOGRAPHY: Also called ... "CT scan". A painless x-ray test which rotates the patient to construct a three dimensional view.
CON-: A prefix (word part) meaning "together" or "with".
CONCEPTUS: That which develops from the process of conception.
CONCOMITANT: To accompany.
CONCUSSION: An injury to the brain that affects brain cells. Symptoms include dizziness, mental confusion and/or a loss of consciousness. Sometimes a headache and feeling of mental fogginess exists. Concussed persons often cannot remember things that were happening during or shortly after the "impact". A serious concussion is considered one in which the sufferer is unable to think clearly for 15 minutes ... usually accompanied by a blank stare and does not respond to conversation. The most serious concussions are ones in which a person loses consciousness. A disaster (death, permanent brain deficits) can occur if "second impact syndrome" develops (a swelling of the brain) ... this can occur when a person sustains a second concussion prior to a first-one being healed. Even a minor jolt to the head can result in brain swelling. The inability to regulate blood flow ... cause engorgement of blood vessels ... results in the swollen brain. Next, the person loses consciousness and a coma ensues
CONDYLE: A lump at the end of a bone where muscles attach to join other bones.
CONDYLOMA: Similar to a wart. Located on the penis, vulva, anus.
CONDYLOMA ACUMINATUM: A wart like growth on the anus or genitals caused by sexual contact with a partner who is infected with the human papilloma virus. Malignant changes have been reported although rarely.
CONE BIOPSY: The removal of a wedge of the cervix for the purpose of performing an analysis.
CONEXUS: Connected structures.
CONFABULATE: To hold a discussion.
CONFABULATION: Making incorrect responses during a conversation, and a readiness to give believable answers that have no basis in fact.
CONFLUENT: Joining together.
CONGENITAL: A condition present from birth but not always inherited.
CONGESTION: A fluid buildup in any part of the body.
CONGESTIVE HEART FAILURE: CHF ... Congestive heart failure is a condition which involves the lungs because the heart is too weak to pump an adequate amount of blood ... it then backs up into the lungs and fills them with fluid (similar to a drowning victim). CHF causes people to be breathless, especially while lying down. Sometimes, a narrowed heart valve is the cause of the problem whereby a physician can open or replace the valve. The most common cause of heart failure is an inadequate supply of blood to the heart. Ace inhibitor drugs can help by opening blood vessels so the heart does not need to pump as hard. Diuretics like HydroDIURIL ease strain on the heart by draining abundant fluid from the circulation, limiting salt does the same. Finally, Digitalis drugs give the heart muscles an extra boost.
CONJUGATE: To bring together and join.
CONJUGATED BILIRUBIN: Direct bilirubin that has been taken up by liver cells and joined to make bilirubin diglucuronide.
CONJUNCTIVAE: Two membranes which line the inner surface of the eyelids. It is dull and thick. The second conjunctiva covers the front part of the eye (it is transparent).
CONJUNCTIVITIS: Pink Eye ... inflammation of the transparent covering over the front of the eye.
CONOID: Shaped like a cone.
CONSENSUAL: Related to a reflex action in which stimulation in one part of the body results in a response in another part.
CONSOLIDANT: Assisting in healing of parts.
CONSTIPATION: Difficulty in passing stools.
CONSTITUTIONAL: Essential, basic.
CONSTRICTIVE PERICARDITIS: A condition whereby the heart is prevented from expanding fully due to a shrinking of heart's out sac.
CONSUMPTION: Tuberculosis.
CONTINENCE: 1. Ability to hold in urine or stools. 2. Being able to control impulsiveness.
CONTRA-: A prefix (word part) meaning "opposite" or "against".
CONTRACTILE: Making smaller.
CONTRACTILITY: The ability of muscles to become shorter or develop increased tension.
CONTRACTION: The tightening of a muscle which causes it to become shorter and thicker.
CONTRACTION DEFORMITY: Tissue shortening to cause a deformity like a scar.
CONTRACTURE: Tissue shortening ... scar. A contracture is a shortening of a muscle not in use. Types of fractures include Dupuytren's, fixed, functional ischemic contracture of the left ventricle, organic contracture, Volkmann's contracture
CONTRAINDICATION: Circumstance that makes the use of a remedy inadvisable.
CONTRECOUP: Injury from a trauma at another area ... i.e., a skull fracture caused by an injury to the opposite side.
CONTUSION: Bruise / injury in which the skin is not broken.
CONVALESCENSE: The recuperation period following an illness, injury, surgery ...
CONVEX: Raised and slight rounded.
CONVOLUTIONS: Folds that curve inward ... examples include the cerebrum and the intestines.
CONVULSION: A seizure of voluntary muscles which results from abnormal stimulation of the brain.
COPD: Abbreviation for "chronic obstructive pulmonary disease". This is a general term for emphysema and chronic bronchitis that prevents oxygen and air from reaching the lungs. It is a common ailment that involves three spinoff diseases ... 1) emphysema 2) chronic bronchitis 3) asthma. Symptoms include being out of breath with minor exertion (no problems when sitting) ... a cough with thick, yellow sputum due to pus invading the lung airways (bronchi).
COPPER: A mineral that is found in all body tissues and contained in enzymes that are essential to good health. Deficiency of copper is associated with nervous system degeneration, anemia, musculoskeletal defects, reproductive problems, cardiovascular lesions, high blood cholesterol levels, decreased immune functions. Natural sources include mushrooms, nuts, raisins, currants and legumes.
COPROPORPHYRIN: One of the compounds seen in normal stool that results from the decomposition of bilirubin.
COR: Relating to the heart.
CORACOID: Something which resembles the beak of a crow. The term is often used to describe a method of cutting using a scapula.
CORACOACROMIAL LIGAMENT: Currently being researched.
CORD: Long, rounded flexible structure like the vocal, spinal, nerve or umbilical cord.
CORDIS: ... of the heart.
CORI CYCLE: The process of breaking down carbohydrates ... 1. The conversion of lactic acid into glycogen that occurs in muscle tissue, 2. The transfer of the lactic acid into the bloodstream that is then transported to the liver where it is transferred into glycogen, 3. The breakdown of glycogen to glucose in the liver, 4. The transfer of the glucose to muscles via the blood stream and reconverting it into glycogen.
CORIUM: Skin layer beneath the epidermis.
CORN: Soft or hard thickening of the skin on the foot.
CORNEA: The cornea is the transparent tissue that constitutes a major portion of the eye ... makes up anterior sixth of the outer wall of the eye (sclerae).
CORNEUM: Skins outer layer.
CORNU: Any "horny" structure.
CORNUA: Plural of "cornu".
CORONA: Another word for "crown".
CORONARY: A word which refers to the coronary arteries (the heart arteries that bring blood to the heart muscles).
CORONARY ARTERY BYPASS: The excision of leg veins for use in major heart surgery ... bypass of blocked heart arteries.
CORONARY ARTERY DISEASE: An obstruction of the arteries that supply the heart muscle with cholesterol, fat and other substances. The main symptom is chest pain with physical exertion.
CORONARY ATHEROSCLEROSIS: Thickening of the walls of coronary arteries.
CORONARY HEART DISEASE: An obstruction of the arteries that supply the heart muscle with cholesterol, fat and other substances. The main symptom is chest pain with physical exertion.
CORONARY LIGAMENT: Folds in the thin membrane (sack) that covers most of the abdominal organs connecting the diaphragm and liver.
CORONARY THROMBOSIS: Blood clot occurring in the vessels that supply blood to the heart.
CORONOID: Referring to certain processes and other parts of bones which looks like a "crow's beak".
CORPECTOMY: Currently being researched.
COR PULMONALE: A diseased heart due to a lung disease. Results in an increase in the size of the right ventricle.
CORPUS: Major portion of an organ.
CORPUSCLE: Blood cell.
CORPUS CALLOSUM: Nerve fibers located in the brain that connect the cortical hemispheres.
CORSUCATION: Sensation of flashing lights.
CORTEX: Outer layer i.e., brain, bone and other organs. In the brain it is the tightly packed folds that handle though processes.
CORTICAL: The outer layer of bone which is compact, dense, hard and very strong.
CORTICAL ATROPHY SEIZURE DISORDER:
CORTICOSTEROIDS: Hormones coming from the outer layer of the adrenal gland. These medications help to reduce irritation associated with ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease.
CORTISOL: Also called the "stress hormone". A hormone that raises blood pressure when stress occurs in the human body.
CORTISONE: A group of drugs which are the most effective available for decreasing inflammation. Cortisone creams are often effective at reducing itching. Side effects can include high blood pressure, weak bones, and cataracts. Also, fat sometimes migrates from the arms and legs to the face and trunk. Note, cortisone is a hormone excreted by the adrenal glands.
COSTAE: The bone of the rib cage ... twelve on both sides to make a total of 24.
CORYZA: Acute rhinitis. Often a symptom of the common cold.
COSMESIS: Having to do with bodily beauty. In the medical world it is a concern for the appearance of the patient following surgery.
CONSTITUTIONAL SIGNS: Sometimes used as a heading instead of "vital signs".
COST / O: A combining word-form that means "ribs".
COSTALGIA: Pain of the ribs.
COSTOCHONDRAL: Referring to costal rib cartilages.
COSTOCHONDRITIS: Inflammation of costal cartilage (one or more of the bands which tie the ribs to the breastbone); involves local tenderness and pain of the anterior chest wall. Symptoms include pain with every twist and turn of the chest, coughing and deep breathing ... the pain is so intense that it sometimes is mistaken for a heart attack. Anti-inflammatory drugs are typically prescribed ... if this fails then cortisone is injected into the inflamed area. The ailment usually disappears within a year.
COSTOCLAVICULAR: Referring to ribs and collarbone (clavicle).
COSTOPHRENIC ANGLE: The angle at the bottom of the lung between the diaphragm and chest wall.
COSTOVERTEBRAL: Referring to a rib and the spinal column.
COSTOVERTEBRAL ANGLE TENDERNESS: Referring to a rib and the spinal column.
COUCHING: The movement of a cataract so it does not interfere with seeing ... done in lieu of stripping the lens from the eye.
COUMARIN: A classification of anticoagulant substances.
COUNTERIRRITANT: A medication used to increase superficial irritation in order to relieve deeper inflammation.
COUPLETS: Relating to cardiac tests.
COVER-ROLL: Wound dressing ... properly spelled Cover-Roll.
COWPER'S CYST: A cyst on a bulbourethral gland (globular penis and urethra) which is resistant to dislodgement.
COWPER'S GLAND: Also called ... the "bulbourethral gland". Refers to the globular penis and urethra.
COWPER'S LIGAMENT: A portion of the fascia lata in front of the pectineus muscle.
COX-2 INHIBITOR: A class of drugs which block pain producing prostaglandins but not those that protect the stomach. Celebrex and Vioxx are medications included in this class of drugs. Note: People with kidney of liver problems should not take these drugs.
COXALGIA: Pain of the hip.
COXSACKIE VIRUS: Any of 30 viruses that inflict the intestines. The virus gets its name from Coxsackie, N.Y. where it was first identified. Usually the virus results in a bad cold with rhinorrhea (a runny nose) and a sore throat. Sometimes however, it can invade the heart muscle to cause myocarditis (inflammation of heart muscle). The virus is transported by white blood cells (which typically fight viruses) and causes them to release enzymes that attack the heart (causing it to be scarred, enlarged and weakened. The virus replicates itself more readily in warm weather
COXSACKIE 1: Is a form of the Coxsackie virus that is responsible for hand, foot and mouth disease in small children.
COXSACKIE 3: It is a form of the Coxsackie virus that may attack the heart and sometimes the brain. This is a serious condition in children and can cause death.
CPAP: Abbreviation for ... "continuous positive airway pressure".
CPK: Creatine phosphokinase.
CPR: Abbreviation for Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation ... a method of maintaining respirations and heart beat until the arrival of medical personnel.
CRANI / O: A combining word-form which means "skull".
CRANIAL NERVES: Twenty-four nerves (12 pairs) which connect directly to the brain. They include fibers (voluntary) which lead to ... eye muscles ... heart ... salivary glands ... lung muscles (smooth) ... intestines.

        I Smell (olfactory).
        II Vision (optic).
        III Pupil response, ptosis, eye movements
        IV " " " " "
        VI " " " " "

        V Cornea reflex, sensation in face, biting.
        VII Raise eyebrows, close eyes, smile.
        VIII Acoustic.

        IX Speech, palate movement.
        X " " "

        XI Shrug the shoulders.
        XII Sticking out the tongue.

CRANIOPATHY: Refers to diseases of the scalp.
CRANIUM: Skull.
C-REACTIVE PROTEIN: 1. This is a substance that is often looked for during a blood test because it is an indicator of acute inflammation. This protein is produced by the liver when the liver in inflamed. Levels of C-reactive protein in the blood stream may be an indication of ... heart attack, lupus, cancer, tuberculosis, rheumatic fever, rheumatoid arthritis or pneumococcal pneumonia. 2. A B-globulin present in the serum (plasma) of those with certain types of degenerative, inflammatory and neoplastic diseases. It is thought that inflammatory cells also secrete the substance and promotes the growth of atherosclerosis. Men who have high levels are more likely to have heart attacks. Those who take daily aspirin have the lowest levels of "CRP".
CREATINE: Nitrogen compound made in the body ... combines with phosphorous to form high-energy phosphate. Body creatine is found in muscles. It promotes the manufacture of a chemical energy molecule called ATP (Adenosine Triphosphate). Creatine increases the size of muscles as well as unable strength. In the 1st quarter of 1999 no serious problems have been associated with its use. Creatine is excreted in the urine as creatinine.
CREATINE PHOSPHOKINASE: An enzyme that is tested for in laboratory diagnostics to determine if a heart attack has occurred. This enzyme is found in cardiac muscle, smooth muscle and skeletal muscle.
CREATININE: Substance common in blood, urine, and muscle tissue. Formed from making creatine. Medical establishments will often test for this waste product in urine and blood because it is an indicator of kidney function.
CREMASTER: A muscle which covers the spermatic cord and draws up the testes.
CRF: Abbreviation for "Chronic Renal Failure".
CREPITATION: A sound ... like throwing fine salt into the fire.
CREPITUS: A sound like throwing fine salt into the fire.
CREST SYNDROME: A type of scleroderma, an ailment in which the skin becomes tight and hard. It is usually confined to one area of the body. It can result in calcium deposits under the skin. Sometimes attacks internal organs but rarely kidneys and lungs.
CRIB DEATH: Also called ... "sudden infant death syndrome". It strikes normal (?) babies and even the most prompt emergency treatment is usually ineffective.
CRICOID CARTILAGE: The lower-back area of the larynx.
CRICOTHYROIDOTOMY: A surgical procedure designed to make a viable airway in the throat when swelling or bleeding makes it impossible to perform an intubation (insertion of a tubular device into the throat).
CROHN'S DISEASE: It is a chronic granulomatous disease of unknown cause ... inflammation of the intestinal tract. Also called "regional ileitis" because doctors used to think that it only involved the final part of the digestive tract ... the ileum. It is now known that the disease can affect any part of the digestive system. It involves the gastrointestinal tract from mouth to anus. It is a form of inflammatory bowel disease that does not run in families. Typical symptoms include fever, diarrhea, weight loss and abdominal pain. The best that can be hoped for in the year 2000 is to control the disease rather than cure it. The drug Remicade has been shown to be quite effective at reducing digestive tract inflammation. Contact the Crohn's and Colitis Foundation at 1-800-343-3673.
CRP: Abbreviation for ... "C-reactive protein".
CROUP: A virus infection of the upper and lower breathing tract that occurs in infants and very young children. Symptoms include coughing and difficulty in breathing.
CRUCIATE: Shaped like or resembling a cross. Referred to during knee examinations.
CRUCIATE LIGAMENT: Fibrous tissue (resembles a cross in shape) which connects the ends of bones.
CRUCIATE LIGAMENT OF THE ATLAS: Ligament that resembles a cross in shape and connects to the atlas (top spine bone) and base of the skull above and connective to the 2nd spine bone (axis) which is below.
CRUCIFIERS: Plant family that includes broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, etcetera.
CRURA: Plural of "crus".
CRUS: A structure which resembles a leg, i.e. of the diaphragm.
CRUVEILHIER BAUMGARTEN: Cirrhosis of the liver with patent umbilical or paraumbilical veins and varicose periumbilical veins (caput medusae).
CRYOSURGERY: The use of cold temperature to relieve swelling and pain.
CRYOTHERAPY: Therapy which uses extreme cold.
CRYPT: A pit on a surface ... recess ... depression that resembles a pit.
CRYPTOCOCCAL: Pertaining to the yeast like organism "cryptococcus".
CRYPTOCOCCUS: Yeast like organisms.
CRYPTOCOCCUS NEOFORMANS: A fungus which reproduces by budding. Can infect humans via the respiratory tract. Can result in meningitis, headaches and/or a stiff neck.
CRYPTOGENIC: Another word for ... "cause unknown".
CRYPTOSPORIDIUM: Common opportunistic parasite of humans (and other animals) that flourish under conditions of decreased immunity situations.
CRYSTALLURIA: Urine which contains crystals.
C-SPINE: Cervical (neck) spine.
CT: Abbreviation for ... "computed tomography". Note that CT scans are not always accurate in the early stages of diseases.
CTG: Abbreviation for ... "cholesterol triglyceride".
CT SCAN: Abbreviation for "computed tomography" scan. Note that CT scans are not always accurate in the early stages of diseases.
CUBITUS: Relating to the ulna or elbow ... sometimes relates to the hand and forearm.
CUBOID BONE: The foot bone (tarsal) on the outside of the foot next to the heel bone.
CUFF: A device placed around the upper arm to perform blood pressure evaluations ... tension controlled with air pressure.
CULTURE: Urine, tissue or pus which is smeared onto an agar plate to promote the growth of bacteria which is causing an infection. Laboratories do this so they can select an effective antibiotic.
CURETTE: An instrument which resembles a scoop ... with sharp edges ... used for "curettage" (the scraping of cells or other material from the wall of a body cavity).
CURETTAGE: Scraping cells and other material from the surface or wall of a body cavity.
CUSHING'S SYNDROME: A rare condition resulting from an overactive adrenal cortex. characteristics of this syndrome include weakness, increased body hair, red marks on the face.
CUTANE / O: A combining word-form that means "skin".
CUTANEOUS: Relating to the skin.
CUTICLE: Outer layer of skin.
CUTIS: Term for the combination of epidermis and dermis layers of skin.
CVA: 1. Cardiovascular accident. 2. Costovertebral angle. 3. Cerebrovascular accident.
CVAT: Costovertebral angle tenderness.
CVHCHP: An abbreviation for a clinic in Michigan.
CVS: Abbreviation for "cardiovascular system".
CYANOSIS: A condition characterized by a blue color of the skin ... typically due to a lack of oxygen.
CYCLIC COMPOUND: A compound whose atoms form a ring.
CYST / O: A combining word-form which means "urinary bladder".
CYST: A pouch containing a fluid or semifluid material.
CYSTIC DUCT: Pathway of the urinary bladder.
CYSTECTOMY: 1) Cyst removal. 2) Gallbladder removal. 3) Bladder removal.
CYSTEINE: A chemical found in most proteins ... high concentrations found in Keratin.
CYSTIC BILE: Bile that has been stored in the gallbladder prior to being injected into the intestines.
CYSTIC FIBROSIS: A childhood and adolescent disease that is inherited ... affects the exocrine (sweat) glands of the body.
CYSTINE: A chemical ... disulfide product ... sometimes seen in urine.
CYSTIC: Referring to gallbladder, urinary bladder or cysts.
CYSTITIS: Inflammation of the urinary bladder. The lining (the "interstitium") disintegrates and the bladder shrinks and is no longer able to hold large quantities of urine. Anyone can develop the condition but women are more susceptible (90% of patients). Elmiron is an oral medication that often relieves the pain. The Interstitial Cystitis Association can be reached at 1-800-435-7422.
CYSTOCELE: Hernia of the bladder usually into the vagina.
CYSTOGRAM: An x-ray of the urinary bladder.
-CYTE: A suffix that means ... "cell".
CYTO: A combining word for which means ... "cell".
CYTOKINE: Hormone like protein secreted by many types of body cells.
CYTOLOGY: The study of cells including their origin, pathology and functioning.
CYTOMA: A word which has fallen out of favor in the medical industry. It refers to neoplasms (tumors) primarily made up of neoplastic cells containing no stoma (supportive tissue).
CYTOMEGALOVIRUS: Often referred to as CMV ... a form of herpes. In the year 2000 it is estimated that as many as 80% of people are infected and generally do not know it. Tests in rats show that those infected with CMV rapidly develop arthrosclerosis. Further testing showed that if the infection was treated promptly, atherosclerosis was prevented. Of course, rats are not humans!
CYSTOSCOPE: A device (lighted tube) commonly used to inspect a bladder.
CYSTOSCOPY: Inspection of the interior of the bladder using a cystoscope.
CYTOSIS: More than the usual number of cells.
CYTOTOXIN: Toxin on specific organs.

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