Dictionary Of Terms Used In This Book



First Draft © Dennis Rocke & Dr J. M. Mungavin 1983

Updated Dennis Rocke © 2022


Acidosis acid ash
Agoraphobia fear of open spaces
Anaemia iron deficiency
Androgen male sex hormone
Aneurysm is a blood filled sac or pouch formed by the dilation of the artery wall that is susceptible to rupture and haemorrhage
Angina Pectoris a crushing or gripping pain in the chest often related to exertion of excitement caused by insufficient blood passing through the arteries of the heart
Arteriosclerosis a thickening and hardening of the walls of arteries, leading to loss of their elasticity
Atheroma plaques patches of unnatural formations on tissues on inner arterial walls, also on tooth surfaces
Atherosclerosis similar disease to arteriosclerosis
Autolysis self digestion
Biliary colic abdominal pain
Bronchiectasis a lung disorder where one or more of the bronchi or air passages leading from the trachea (windpipe) are distorted and stretched and therefore have damaged linings. This used to be quite common and was caused from a childhood chest infection such as measles, tuberculosis, pertussis (whooping cough) or a severe bacterial pneumonia
Bum as in digestion when we eat food the digestion is also known as burning or assimilation by the body
Calorie unit of heat
Cardiac Infarct an area of dead tissue, resulting from a complete blockage of its blood supply
Carcinoma cancer comprised of cells, the type that covers the skin and mucous membranes and form the linings of the organs. Many forms are curable if treatment is begun early
Catalyst any substance that changes the speed of a chemical reaction without itself being changed
Cirrhosis of the liver chronic, progressive inflammation of the liver
Clostridium Difficile a bacteria that produces a toxin that irritates the colon
Coagulate to convert from a fluid into curds
Cochlea a spiral organ in the inner ear that receive sounds and tells the brain what they are.
Collagen intercellular cement
Cystitis an inflammation of the inner lining of the bladder
Cytoplasm substance that surrounds the nucleus of a cell
Dentine the substance beneath the enamel
Deoxyribonucleic acid is encoded in the DNA of the chromosome. The long DNA molecules consist of two intertwining chains coiled around a common axis, rather like spiral ladders, with thousands of connection rungs or steps. The rungs are built of four simple chemical units, the four setter of the gene code repeated thousands upon thousands of times in different sequences along the length of the chain
Desensitisation reduction of a person’s allergic reaction to a specific substance such as pollen of house dust. When a doctor administers spaced injections of small amounts of extracts of specific allergens, a reduction of sensitivity occurs. Hay fever injection is a specific example
Dextrose a form of glucose
Diabetes mellitus Greek term for sugar diabetes (Greek term for siphon or to flow through, this refers to an excessive flow of mine and consequently an excessive thirst)
Diabetes insipidus a hormone imbalance with the same type of symptom as Diabetes mellitus, an enormous flow of urine and it’s accompanying excessive thirst
Diabetes (Bronzed) this has an association with haemochromatosis which is a progressive disease characterised by abnormal iron deposits in many bodily organs associated with the bronzing of the skin, diabetes and an impairment of liver and pancreas functions
Distension swelling up
Diuretics drugs that increase the output of urine and dispose of excess fluid
Dysphagia at first a difficulty in swallowing solid foods such as meats. Within a month or two difficulty with semi-solids and eventually fluids
Dyspnoea a complaint of difficult breathing and distress, often but not always to do with lung or heart disease
Emaciation the wasting away of flesh
Embolus a blood clot
Emphysema to much air in the lung, usually from destruction by disease of the divisions between the air sacs. Sometimes cause by distension
Empirically proven proven by experiment
Enamel protective covering of the tooth
Epigastrium a hand stretched across the lower end of the breastbone covers the epigastrium
Exophthalmic goitre bulging eyes, a condition characteristic of some kinds of thyroid disease
Familial runs in the family
Fibrous tissue consisting of, containing, or resembling fibres
Gangrene a part of the body that has lost its vitality and in turn causes the effected part to decay
Gastroenterologist specialist doctor who studies and treats diseases of the digestive system
Glycogen a white insoluble, starch like compound occurring in animal tissues such as the liver and convertible into dextrose
Goitre a morbid enlargement of the thyroid gland
Gonads sex organs
Halitosis bad breath
Haemochromatosis is a progressive disease characterised by abnormal iron deposits in many bodily organs associated with the bronzing of the skin, diabetes and an impairment of liver and pancreas functions
Haemoglobin the colouring matter of red blood cells haemoglobin contains a protein part (globis) joined with an iron-containing pigment haem (from which comes the prefix haem for many medical words indicating some relationship to the blood). Haem is the oxygen-carrying portion of haemoglobin. Haemoglobin picks up oxygen in the lungs, holds it loosely, carries it in arterial blood and delivers it as fuel to cells. In exchange, the blood plasma picks up carbon dioxide that every cell must excrete. The plasma then carries it to the lungs where the exhalation ejects carbon dioxide from the body, whilst fresh inhalation recharges the oxygen supply. Iron is the key element of this remarkable gas-transportation, but the protein part (globis) is vital too. Taking iron as a supplement does not benefit all types of anaemia
Haemophilia a bleeding disease. Hope that haemophilia may be conquered received great impetus in 1967 with the development of an anti-haemophiliac globulin for preventing bleeding episodes
Haemoptysis coughing up blood
Haemorrhoids piles
Herpes Zoster shingles
Histamine is the chemical that the body uses to react to allergies
Hypertension high blood pressure
Hypoglycaemia deficiency of sugar in the blood
Hypoxia insufficient oxygen supply to the cells and tissues
Hypnogogic the borderline between the conscious and unconscious
Ingested food eaten and travelled to stomach
Ischaemic a local deficiency of blood supply, due to spasm or obstruction of an artery
Junket a sweet dessert made of flavoured milk set to a curd with rennet
Kilo-joules 1.000 joules
Labyrinthitus inflammation of the semi-circular canals. This is also accompanied by vomiting and unsteadiness. This is usually a side effect of another complaint such as influenza
Lactation breast feeding
Libido sex drive
Lipids a broad term for fats and fatlike substances
Lymphoedema obstruction of the lymphatic drainage system
Macrocytes giant red blood cells
Mastectomy surgical removal of the breast
Membranous labyrinth the balance control canals of the inner ear
Menier’s Disease this is a lot more alarming as the sufferer can actually fall to the ground during an attack which may be accompanied by severe vomiting, tinnitus, nystagmus and unsteadiness
Metabolic the chemical processes that occur in living organisms, resulting in growth, production of energy and elimination of waste material
Metabolism how the body deals with the like of proteins
Metastasis spread of disease from one part of the body to an unconnected part, by transfer of cells or organisms by the blood or lymph channels
Multiple sclerosis wearing of the myelin sheath – covering of the nerve axons which transmit nerve impulses in the body.
Myasthenia gravis a chronic disease characterised by rapid fatigue of certain muscles, with prolonged time of recovery of function. The muscles of the eyes and throat are most often affected. Producing such symptoms as inability to raise the eyelids, difficulty in swallowing and talking, loss of chewing power, impairment of breathing. The muscles do not waste away
Nystagmus jerky eye movements
Oedema water retention
Oesophagus the gullet, the canal by which food passes to the stomach
Optimum the most favourable
Osmotic pressure the mixing of gasses or liquids separated by membranous tissues, Le. osmosis the act of the liquid or gas passing through the membrane and then mixing together for the benefit of the body or otherwise
Osteomalacia adult rickets. A softening of the bone, abnormal flexibility, brittleness and loss of calcium salts
Osteoporosis enlargement of canals or spaces in bone
Palpates manipulates
Pancreas organ of the body that produces insulin
Paroxysmal sudden violent attacks
Pellagra a disease attacking the skin and causing nervous disorders and mania.
Peripheral vascular disease narrowing of the blood vessels in the leg
PeristaItic action wave like movements of constriction and relaxation which propels food along the digestive tube. Encircling muscles squeeze food forward while the muscles in front of the food relax. The latter muscles constrict in their turn, and so on
Pertussis whooping cough
Phlebitis inflammation of the walls of a vein, which may lead to a formation of a clot
Pitting the skin marked by hollow scars that never fade
Postherpetic Neuralgia a form of neuralgia
Prognosis course of disease
Pulmonary embolism an obstruction of a blood vessel by an embolus that can be any abnormal substance-blood clot, fat globule, air bubble, or clump of cells. Which sweeps along the blood stream until it lodges in a vessel and blocks the blood flow. Consequences vary according to the size of the blocked vessel.
Purine a colourless crystalline solid that can be prepared from uric acid
Pyorrhoea inflammation and gradual destruction of the supporting tissues of teeth. Pockets form and enlarge between the gum surface and the teeth, debris and bacteria fill the pockets, pus forms and bone is absorbed, eventually becomes loose and is lost because of lack of support.
Rennet a substance containing the enzyme rennin, prepared from the stomach of calves and used for curdling milk in the making of cheese and junket
Resynthesised the process of producing a compound by a chemical reaction or series of reactions, usually from simpler or commonly available starting materials
Retinal Haemorrhages retinopathy-tiny haemorrhages in the retina at the back of the eye
Ribonucleic acid is the ribonucleic acid which, in the cytoplasm directs the cell to manufacture specific enzymes and other proteins by specifying the making of amino acids in orderly sequences
Rickets caused by lack of mineral matter in the bones this is a disease suffered by children where the bones become soft causing bow-legs and especially effecting the spine. Also causes emaciation
Seborrhoea greasy scalp
Sebum lubrication of the skin. Protects the skin from becoming sodden when immersed in water or cracking when exposed to the sun or other dry atmosphere. It also protects the body from bacteria or fungi
Sodium salt
Sympathectomy an operation where the nerves that control the diameter of the arteries are cut
Synthetic man made
Thrombin an enzyme in blood oozing from a wound but not present in circulating blood. It acts upon blood protein to produce fibrin, essential portion of blood clot
Thrombosis formation of a clot in a blood vessel and the partial or complete plugging of the vessel that ensues. The most familiar example is ‘Coronary Thrombosis’ but the process can / occur in many vessels apart from those which supply the heart
Thrombus a clot which forms in the blood vessel
Thyroidectomy the thyroid completely removed by surgery
Thyroxin a hormone that regulates much of the physical and mental activities
Tinnitus noises in the ears
Toxaemia a poisoned condition caused by absorption of toxic substances into the blood, produced by bacteria or body cells but without bacteria present in the blood
Trachea the windpipe.
Urethra the tube which carries the urine from the bladder
Varicella Zoster a virus which causes shingles and chicken pox
Viscosity thickness
Voiding emptying of