The following are health and medical definitions of terms that appear in the arnica (arnica montana) - topical article.
Allergic reaction: The hypersensitive response of the immune system of an allergic individual to a substance.
Aspirin: A good example of a tradename that entered into the language, Aspirin was once the Bayer trademark for acetylsalicylic acid.
Breast milk: Milk from the breast. Human milk contains a balance of nutrients that closely matches infant requirements for brain development, growth and a healthy immune system. Human milk also contains immunologic agents and other compounds that act against viruses, bacteria, and parasites. Since an infant's immune system is not fully developed until age 2, human milk provides a distinct advantage over formula.
Breathing: The process of respiration, during which air is inhaled into the lungs through the mouth or nose due to muscle contraction, and then exhaled due to muscle relaxation.
Diarrhea: A familiar phenomenon with unusually frequent or unusually liquid bowel movements, excessive watery evacuations of fecal material. The opposite of constipation. The word "diarrhea" with its odd spelling is a near steal from the Greek "diarrhoia" meaning "a flowing through." Plato and Aristotle may have had diarrhoia while today we have diarrhea. There are myriad infectious and noninfectious causes of diarrhea.
Dizziness: Painless head discomfort with many possible causes including disturbances of vision, the brain, balance (vestibular) system of the inner ear, and gastrointestinal system. Dizziness is a medically indistinct term which laypersons use to describe a variety of conditions ranging from lightheadedness, unsteadiness to vertigo.
Drain: A device for removing fluid from a cavity or wound. A drain is typically a tube or wick. As a verb, to allow fluid to be released from a confined area.
Enoxaparin: A low-molecular-weight version of heparin which acts like heparin as an anticoagulant (anti-clotting) medication. Enoxaparin is used to prevent thromboembolic complications (clots that travel from their site of origin through the blood stream to clog up another vessel). Enoxaparin is also used in the early treatment of blood clots in the lungs (pulmonary embolisms).
FDA: The Food and Drug Administration, an agency within the U.S. Public Health Service, which is a part of the Department of Health and Human Services.
Flush: (1) A redness of the skin, typically over the cheeks or neck. A flush is usually temporary and brought on by excitement, exercise, fever, or embarrassment. Flushing is an involuntary (uncontrollable) response of the nervous system leading to widening of the capillaries of the involved skin. Also referred to as a blush (or, as a verb, to blush). Flushing may also be caused by medications or other substances that cause widening of the capillaries, such as niacin. (2) Flush also means to wash out a wound or body area.
Generic: 1. The chemical name of a drug. 2. A term referring to the chemical makeup of a drug rather than to the advertised brand name under which the drug may be sold. 3.A term referring to any drug marketed under its chemical name without advertising.
Heart: The muscle that pumps blood received from veins into arteries throughout the body. It is positioned in the chest behind the sternum (breastbone; in front of the trachea, esophagus, and aorta; and above the diaphragm muscle that separates the chest and abdominal cavities. The normal heart is about the size of a closed fist, and weighs about 10.5 ounces. It is cone-shaped, with the point of the cone pointing down to the left. Two-thirds of the heart lies in the left side of the chest with the balance in the right chest.
Heart attack: The death of heart muscle due to the loss of blood supply. The loss of blood supply is usually caused by a complete blockage of a coronary artery, one of the arteries that supplies blood to the heart muscle. Death of the heart muscle, in turn, causes chest pain and electrical instability of the heart muscle tissue.
Herbal: 1. An adjective, referring to herbs, as in an herbal tea.
Infant: A child up to 2 years (24 months) of age.
Laboratory: A place for doing tests and research procedures and preparing chemicals, etc. Although "laboratory" looks very like the Latin "laboratorium" (a place to labor, a work place), the word "laboratory" came from the Latin "elaborare" (to work out, as a problem, and with great pains), as evidenced by the Old English spelling "elaboratory" designating "a place where learned effort was applied to the solution of scientific problems."
Mouth: 1. The upper opening of the digestive tract, beginning with the lips and containing the teeth, gums, and tongue. Foodstuffs are broken down mechanically in the mouth by chewing and saliva is added as a lubricant. Saliva contains amylase, an enzyme that digests starch. 2. Any opening or aperture in the body. The mouth in both senses of the word is also called the os, the Latin word for an opening, or mouth. The o in os is pronounced as in hope. The genitive form of os is oris from which comes the word oral.
Nursing: 1) Profession concerned with the provision of services essential to the maintenance and restoration of health by attending the needs of sick persons. 2) Feeding a infant at the breast.
Pain: An unpleasant sensation that can range from mild, localized discomfort to agony. Pain has both physical and emotional components. The physical part of pain results from nerve stimulation. Pain may be contained to a discrete area, as in an injury, or it can be more diffuse, as in disorders like fibromyalgia. Pain is mediated by specific nerve fibers that carry the pain impulses to the brain where their conscious appreciation may be modified by many factors.
Pharmacist: A professional who fills prescriptions, and in the case of a compounding pharmacist, makes them. Pharmacists are familiar with medication ingredients, interactions, cautions, and hints.
Poison: Any substance that can cause severe distress or death if ingested, breathed in, or absorbed through the skin. Many substances that normally cause no problems, including water and most vitamins, can be poisonous if taken in too large of a quantity. Poison treatment depends on the substance: if there are treatment instructions on the substance's container and you are sure it contained no other item, follow those directions immediately. Always contact your nearest Poison Control Center if you are concerned about possible poison ingestion.
Poison Control Center: Special information centers set up to inform Americans about how to respond to potential poisoning. These centers maintain a database of poisons and appropriate emergency treatment. The Poison Control Center in your area should be listed with other community service numbers in the front of your telephone book, and can also be reached immediately through any telephone operator.
Pregnancy: The state of carrying a developing embryo or fetus within the female body. This condition can be indicated by positive results on an over-the-counter urine test, and confirmed through a blood test, ultrasound, detection of fetal heartbeat, or an X-ray. Pregnancy lasts for about nine months, measured from the date of the woman's last menstrual period (LMP). It is conventionally divided into three trimesters, each roughly three months long.
Prescription: A physician's order for the preparation and administration of a drug or device for a patient. A prescription has several parts. They include the superscription or heading with the symbol "R" or "Rx", which stands for the word recipe (meaning, in Latin, to take); the inscription, which contains the names and quantities of the ingredients; the subscription or directions for compounding the drug; and the signature which is often preceded by the sign "s" standing for signa (Latin for mark), giving the directions to be marked on the container.
Ragweed: Any of a number of weedy composite herbs that produce a pollen that is a frequent cause of allergies. Of all allergy sufferers in the United States, 75% are allergic to ragweed.
Rash: Breaking out (eruption) of the skin. Medically, a rash is referred to as an exanthem.
Shortness of breath: Difficulty in breathing. Medically referred to as dyspnea. Shortness of breath can be caused by respiratory (breathing passages and lungs) or circulatory (heart and blood vessels) conditions. See also dyspnea.
Stomach: 1. The sac-shaped digestive organ that is located in the upper abdomen, under the ribs. The upper part of the stomach connects to the esophagus, and the lower part leads into the small intestine.
Stroke: The sudden death of some brain cells due to a lack of oxygen when the blood flow to the brain is impaired by blockage or rupture of an artery to the brain. A stroke is also called a cerebrovascular accident or, for short, a CVA.
Topical: Pertaining to a particular surface area. A topical agent is applied to a certain area of the skin and is intended to affect only the area to which it is applied. Whether its effects are indeed limited to that area depends upon whether the agent stays where it is put or is absorbed into the blood stream.
Warfarin: An anticoagulant drug (brand names: Coumarin, Panwarfin, Sofarin) taken to prevent the blood from clotting and to treat blood clots and overly thick blood. Warfarin is also used to reduce the risk of clots causing strokes or heart attacks.
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