Alcoholism Glossary of Terms

The following are health and medical definitions of terms that appear in the Alcoholism article.

Abdominal: Relating to the abdomen, the belly, that part of the body that contains all of ...

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Abdominal pain: Pain in the belly. Abdominal pain can be acute or chronic. It may reflect ...

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Abnormal: Outside the expected norm, or uncharacteristic of a particular patient.

Abstinence: The voluntary self-denial of food, drink, or sex. Today, abstinence most commo...

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Addiction: An uncontrollable craving, seeking, and use of a substance such as alcohol or a...

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Alcohol abuse: Use of alcoholic beverages to excess, either on individual occasions (binge...

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Alcoholics Anonymous: A free self-help organization founded to assist people addicted to a...

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Alcoholism: Physical dependence on alcohol to the extent that stopping alcohol use would b...

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Anemia: The condition of having a lower-than-normal number of red blood cells or quantity ...

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Antidepressants: Anything, and especially a drug, used to prevent or treat depression.

Anxiety: A feeling of apprehension and fear, characterized by physical symptoms such as pa...

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Atrophy: A wasting away or diminution. Muscle atrophy is a decrease in muscle mass, often ...

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Benzodiazepines: A class of drugs that act as tranquilizers and are commonly used in the t...

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Binge drinking: The dangerous practice of consuming large quantities of alcoholic beverag...

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Bipolar disorder: A mood disorder sometimes called manic-depressive illness or manic-depr...

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Bladder: A hollow organ in the lower abdomen that stores urine. The kidneys filter waste f...

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Blood pressure: The blood pressure is the pressure of the blood within the arteries. It is...

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Brain: The portion of the central nervous system that is located within the skull. It func...

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Breathing: The process of respiration, during which air is inhaled into the lungs through ...

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Calcium: A mineral found mainly in the hard part of bones, where it is stored. Calcium is ...

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Carbohydrate: One of the three nutrient compounds, along with fat and protein, used as ene...

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Carbohydrates: Mainly sugars and starches, together constituting one of the three principa...

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Cardiomyopathy: Disease of the heart muscle (myocardium).

Cell: The basic structural and functional unit of any living thing. Each cell is a small c...

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Cerebellar: Pertaining to the cerebellum, the part of the brain in the back of the head be...

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Child abuse: A complex set of behaviors that include child neglect and the physical, emoti...

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Chronic: In medicine, lasting a long time. A chronic condition is one that lasts 3 months ...

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Chronic disease: A disease that persists for a long time. A chronic disease is one lasting...

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Cirrhosis: Liver disease characterized by irreversible scarring. Alcohol and viral hepatit...

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Cocaine: A substance derived from the leaves of the coca plant that is a bitter, addictive...

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Congestive heart failure: Inability of the heart to keep up with the demands on it, with f...

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Dehydration: Excessive loss of body water. Diseases of the gastrointestinal tract that cau...

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Delirium: A sudden state of severe confusion and rapid changes in brain function, sometime...

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Delirium tremens: A central nervous system symptom of alcohol withdrawal that is seen in c...

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Dementia: Significant loss of intellectual abilities, such as memory capacity, that is sev...

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Depression: An illness that involves the body, mood, and thoughts and that affects the way...

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Diabetes: Usually refers to diabetes mellitus or, less often, to diabetes insipidus. Diabe...

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Diagnosis: 1 The nature of a disease; the identification of an illness. 2 A ...

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Dopamine: An important neurotransmitter (messenger) in the brain.

Electrolyte: A substance that dissociates into ions in solution and acquires the capacity ...

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Emergency department: The department of a hospital responsible for the provision of medica...

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Encephalopathy: Disease, damage, or malfunction of the brain. In general, encephalopathy i...

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Essential: In medicine, of unknown cause, as in essential hypertension (high blood pressur...

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Family history: The family structure and relationships within the family, including inform...

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Folate: Folic acid, one of the B vitamins that is a key factor in the synthesis (the makin...

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Formication: The illusion or hallucination that ants or other insects are creeping on or u...

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Gastritis: Inflammation of the stomach.

Gastrointestinal: Adjective referring collectively to the stomach and small and large inte...

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Gene: The basic biological unit of heredity. A segment of deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) need...

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Genetic: Having to do with genes and genetic
information.

Hallucination: A profound distortion in a person's perception of reality, typically accomp...

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Hangover: A common nonmedical term for the disagreeable physical effects following excessi...

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Heart: The muscle that pumps blood received from veins into arteries throughout the body. ...

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Heart disease: Any disorder that affects the heart. Sometimes the term "heart disease" is ...

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Heart failure: Inability of the heart to keep up with the demands on it and, specifically...

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Heart rate: The number of heartbeats per unit of time, usually per minute. The heart rate ...

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Heroin: Semisynthetic drug derived from morphine. Discovered in 1874, it was introduced co...

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High blood pressure: A repeatedly elevated blood pressure exceeding 140 over 90 mmHg. Chro...

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Hygiene: The science of preventive medicine and the preservation of health. Also commonly ...

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Indicate: In medicine, to make a treatment or procedure advisable because of a particular ...

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Injury: Harm or hurt. To harm, hurt, or wound. The word injure may be in physical or emot...

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Inpatient: A patient whose care requires a stay in a hospital. As opposed to an outpatient...

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Insomnia: The perception or complaint of inadequate or poor-quality sleep due to a number ...

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Intervention: The act of intervening, interfering or interceding with the intent of modify...

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Ketoacidosis: A feature of uncontrolled diabetes mellitus characterized by a combination o...

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Ketone: A chemical substances that the body makes when it does not have enough insulin in ...

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Ketone bodies: Chemicals that the body makes when there is not enough insulin in the blood...

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Liver: The largest solid organ in the body, situated in the upper part of the abdomen on t...

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Lungs: The lungs are a pair of breathing organs located with the chest which remove carbon...

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Magnesium: A mineral involved in many processes in the body including nerve signaling, the...

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Malnutrition: A term used to refer to any condition in which the body does not receive eno...

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Metabolism: The whole range of biochemical processes that occur within a living organism. ...

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Mouth: 1. The upper opening of the digestive tract, beginning with the lips and con...

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Narcotic: 1. A drug that causes insensibility or stupor. A narcotic induces narcosi...

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Nausea: Stomach queasiness, the urge to vomit. Nausea can be brought on by many causes, in...

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Neck: The part of the body joining the head to the shoulders. Also, any narrow or constric...

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Neuritis: Inflammation of nerves. There are many causes of neuritis, including various vir...

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Neuropathy: Any disease or malfunction of the nerves.

Onset: In medicine, the first appearance of the signs or symptoms of an illness as, for ex...

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Optic: Having to do with vision.

Outpatient: A patient who is not hospitalized, but instead comes to a physician?s office, ...

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Pain: An unpleasant sensation that can range from mild, localized discomfort to agony. Pa...

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Pancreatitis: Inflammation of the pancreas. Of the many causes of pancreatitis, the most c...

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Paralysis: Loss of voluntary movement (motor function). Paralysis that affects only one mu...

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Placebo: A "sugar pill" or any dummy medication or treatment.

Potassium: The major positive ion (cation) found inside cells. The chemical notation for p...

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Prognosis: The forecast of the probable outcome or course of a disease; the patient's chan...

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Protein: One of the three nutrients used as energy sources (calories) by the body. Protein...

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Psychiatric: Pertaining to or within the purview of psychiatry, the medical specialty conc...

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Psychosis: In the general sense, a mental illness that markedly interferes with a person'...

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Pulse: The rhythmic dilation of an artery that results from beating of the heart. Pulse is...

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Receptor: 1. In cell biology, a structure on the surface of a cell (or inside a cel...

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Recurrent: Appearing or occurring again. For example, a recurrent fever is a fever that ha...

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Rehab: An abbreviation for rehabilitation.

Rehabilitation: The process of helping a person who has suffered an illness or injury rest...

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Relapse: The return of signs and symptoms of a disease after a remission.

Reuptake: The reabsorption of a secreted substance by the cell that originally produced an...

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Risk factor: Something that increases a person's chances of developing a disease. For exam...

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Seizure: Uncontrolled electrical activity in the brain, which may produce a physical conv...

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Serotonin: A neurotransmitter that is involved in the transmission of nerve impulses. Sero...

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Sleep: The body's rest cycle.

Sleep hygiene: A series of practices and non-medical treatments for insomnia. Sleep hygien...

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Stage: As regards cancer, the extent of a cancer, especially whether the disease has spre...

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Stress: In a medical or biological context stress is a physical, mental, or emotional fact...

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Substance: 1. Material with particular features.
2. The material that...

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Substance abuse: The excessive use of a substance, especially alcohol or a drug. (There is...

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Succumb: To lose the will to oppose something or to give up and accept something that you ...

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Suicidal: Pertaining to suicide. the taking of ones own life. As in a suicidal gesture, su...

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Sweating: The act of secreting fluid from the skin by the sweat (sudoriferous) glands. The...

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Symptom: Any subjective evidence of disease. In contrast, a sign is objective. Blood comin...

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Syndrome: A combination of symptoms and signs that together represent a disease process.

TACE: Transarterial chemoembolization, a procedure in which the blood supply to a tumor is...

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Tactile: Having to do with touch. For example, tactile signs of disease are signs that are...

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Therapy: The treatment of disease. Therapy is synonymous with treatment.

Thiamine: Vitamin B1. Thiamine (vitamin B1) acts as a coenzyme in the metabolism of the bo...

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Tremor: An abnormal, repetitive shaking movement of the body. Tremors have many causes and...

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Vertebra: A vertebra is one of 33 bony segments that form the spinal column of humans. Th...

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Vitamin B1: Thiamine. Vitamin B1 (thiamine) acts as a coenzyme in the metabolism of the bo...

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Vomit: Matter from the stomach that has come up into and may be ejected beyond the mouth, ...

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Weight loss: Weight loss is a decrease in body weight resulting from either voluntary (die...

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Withdrawal symptoms: Abnormal physical or psychological features that follow the abrupt di...

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Medical Dictionary