Diabetes (Mellitus, Type 1 and Type 2) Glossary of Terms

The following are health and medical definitions of terms that appear in the Diabetes (Mellitus, Type 1 and Type 2) article.

Abdomen: The belly, that part of the body that contains all of the structures between the...

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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.

Absorption: Uptake. For example, intestinal absorption is the uptake of food (or other sub...

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Acute: Of abrupt onset, in reference to a disease. Acute often also connotes an illness th...

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Adrenal gland: A small gland located on top of the kidney. The adrenal glands produce horm...

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Adult-onset diabetes: Type 2 diabetes. See also Diabetes, type 2.

Aging: The process of becoming older, a process that is genetically determined and environ...

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Amputation: Removal of part or all of a body part that is enclosed by skin. Amputation can...

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Aneurysm: A localized widening (dilatation) of an artery, a vein, or the heart. At the poi...

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Aortic: Pertaining to the aorta, the largest artery in the body.

Aortic aneurysm: An outpouching (a local widening) of the largest artery in the body, the ...

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Appendicitis: Inflammation of the appendix, usually associated with infection of the appen...

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Arms: An appendage in anatomy and in clinical trials. See: Arm.

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Artery: A vessel that carries blood high in oxygen content away from the heart to the far...

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Aspirin: Once the Bayer trademark for acetylsalicylic acid, now the common name for this a...

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Atherosclerosis: A process of progressive thickening and hardening of the walls of medium-...

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Autoimmune: Pertaining to autoimmunity, a misdirected immune response that occurs when the...

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Autoimmune disease: An illness that occurs when the body tissues are attacked by its own i...

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Autonomic nervous system: A part of the nervous system that regulates key involuntary func...

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Bacteria: Single-celled microorganisms that can exist either as independent (free-living) ...

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Blindness: Loss of useful sight. Blindness can be temporary or permanent. Damage to any p...

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Blister: A collection of fluid underneath the top layer of skin (epidermis). There are man...

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Blood glucose: The main sugar that the body makes from the food in the diet. Glucose is ca...

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

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Blood sugar: Blood glucose. See also: High blood sugar; Low blood sugar.

Bowel: The small and large intestine.

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

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

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Cardiovascular: Relating to the circulatory system, which comprises the heart and blood ve...

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Cardiovascular disease: Disease affecting the heart or blood vessels.

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

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Chest: The area of the body located between the neck and the abdomen. The chest contains t...

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Chest pain: Pain in the chest that can be a result of many things, including angina, heart...

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Cholesterol: The most common type of steroid in the body. Cholesterol has a reputation for...

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

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Circulation: In medicine, the movement of fluid through the body in a regular or circuitou...

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Coma: A state of deep, unarousable unconsciousness. A coma may occur as a result of head t...

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Complication: In medicine, an unanticipated problem that arises following, and is a result...

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Cough: A rapid expulsion of air from the lungs, typically in order to clear the lung airwa...

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Cuts: Severed skin. Washing a cut or scrape with soap and water and keeping it clean and d...

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

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Diabetes: Refers to diabetes mellitus or, less often, to diabetes insipidus. Diabetes mell...

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Diabetes mellitus: More commnly referred to as "diabetes" -- a chronic disease associated ...

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Diabetic ketoacidosis: High blood glucose with the presence of ketones in the urine and bl...

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Diabetic nephropathy: Kidney disease from long-standing diabetes. Diabetes affects the tin...

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Diabetic neuropathy: Nerve damage caused by diabetes that leads to numbness and sometimes ...

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Diabetic retinopathy: Disease of the retina caused by diabetes that involves damage to the...

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

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Dialysis: The process of removing waste products and excess fluid from the body. Dialysis ...

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Diarrhea: A common condition that involves unusually frequent and liquid bowel movements. ...

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

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Enzymes: Proteins that act as a catalysts in mediating and speeding a specific chemical re...

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

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Extremity: An uttermost part of the body, such as a hand or a foot.

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

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Fasting: : going without food or drink. Patients may be advised to fast for a certain peri...

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Fatigue: A condition characterized by a lessened capacity for work and reduced efficiency ...

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Fever: Although a fever technically is any body temperature above the normal of 98.6 F (37...

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Fiber: The parts of fruits and vegetables that cannot be digested. Fiber is of vital impor...

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Finger stick: A procedure in which a finger is pricked with a lancet to obtain a small qua...

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Gallbladder: A pear-shaped organ located below the liver that stores the bile secreted by ...

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Gastroparesis: A disease of the muscles of the stomach or the nerves controlling the muscl...

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Genes: The basic biological units of heredity. Segments of deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) nee...

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Genetic: Having to do with genes and genetic
information.

Gestational diabetes: A diabetic condition that appears during pregnancy and usually goes ...

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Gland: A group of cells that secrete a substance for use in the body. For example, the thy...

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Glucose: The simple sugar that is the chief source of energy. Glucose is found in the bloo...

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Glucose tolerance test: A test of carbohydrate metabolism that is used primarily in the di...

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Glycosylated hemoglobin: Hemoglobin to which glucose is bound. Glycosylated hemoglobin is...

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Gum disease: Inflammation of the soft tissue (gingiva) and abnormal loss of bone that surr...

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HDL: High density lipoprotein.

HDL cholesterol: High density lipoprotein cholesterol. Lipoproteins, which are combination...

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Headache: A pain in the head with the pain being above the eyes or the ears, behind the he...

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

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Heart attack: The death of heart muscle due to the loss of blood supply. The loss of bloo...

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

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

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Hemoglobin: The oxygen-carrying pigment and predominant protein in the red blood cells. He...

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Hemoglobin A1c: A minor component of hemoglobin to which glucose is bound. Abbreviated HbA...

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

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High blood sugar: An elevated level of the sugar glucose in the blood. Also called hypergl...

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Hormone: A chemical substance produced in the body that controls and regulates the activit...

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Hyperglycemia: A high blood sugar. An elevated level specifically of the sugar glucose in...

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Hyperosmolar: In biochemistry, pertaining to an osmolar concentration of the body fluids t...

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Hypertension: High blood pressure, defined as a repeatedly elevated blood pressure exceedi...

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Hypoglycemia: Low blood sugar (glucose). Hypoglycemia may be associated with symptoms such...

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Immune: Protected against infection, usually by the presence of antibodies.

Immune system: A complex system that is responsible for distinguishing a person from every...

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Impaired glucose tolerance: A transition phase between normal glucose tolerance and diabet...

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Incidence: The frequency with which something, such as a disease or trait, appears in a pa...

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

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Infection: The invasion and multiplication of microorganisms such as bacteria, viruses, an...

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Inflammation: A localized reaction that produces redness, warmth, swelling, and pain as a ...

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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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Insulin: A natural hormone made by the pancreas that controls the level of the sugar gluco...

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Insulin resistance: The diminished ability of cells to respond to the action of insulin in...

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Insulin-dependent diabetes: See Diabetes, type 1.

Juvenile-onset diabetes: See Diabetes, type 1.

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

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Kidney: One of a pair of organs located in the right and left side of the abdomen. The kid...

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Laboratory: A place for doing tests and research procedures, and for preparing chemicals a...

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LDL cholesterol: Low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, commonly referred to as 'bad' choles...

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Leg: In popular usage, the part of the body from the top of the thigh down to the foot, an...

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Lethargy: Abnormal drowsiness, stupor.

Limb: An arm or a leg.

Lipids: Another word for "fats." (Please see the various meanings of Fat.) Lipids can be m...

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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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Low blood sugar: A low blood level of the sugar glucose. Also called hypoglycemia.

Medicaid: A number of US programs of public assistance for persons whose income is insuffi...

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Medicare: The US government's national health insurance program for people aged 65 and old...

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Metabolic: Relating to metabolism, the whole range of biochemical processes that occur wit...

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Metabolic syndrome: A constellation of conditions that place people at high risk for coron...

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Mimetic: The adjective for "mimesis" -- imitation or mimicry.

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

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

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Nephropathy: Any kidney disease.

Nerve: A bundle of fibers that uses electrical and chemical signals to transmit sensory an...

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

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Neurology: The medical specialty concerned with the diagnosis and treatment of disorders o...

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Neuropathy: Any disease or malfunction of the nerves.

NIH: National Institutes of Health.

Non-insulin-dependent diabetes: Type 2 diabetes. See also Diabetes, type 2.

NPH: Normal pressure hydrocephalus.

Nurse: 1) A person trained, licensed, or skilled in nursing. 2) To feed an infant at the ...

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Nutritionist: 1) In a hospital or nursing home, a person who plans and/or formulates spe...

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Obese: Well above one's normal weight. A person has traditionally been considered to be ob...

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Obesity: The state of being well above one's normal weight.

Obstruction: Blockage of a passageway. See, for example: Airway obstruction; Intestinal o...

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

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Ophthalmologist: A physician who practices ophthalmology.

Oral glucose tolerance test: A test to determine the body's ability to handle glucose ...

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Organ: A relatively independent part of the body that carries out one or more special func...

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Overweight: The term "overweight" is used in two different ways. In one sense it is a way ...

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Oxygen: The odorless gas that is present in the air and necessary to maintain life. Oxygen...

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

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Painful urination: See: Dysuria.

Pancreas: A spongy, tube-shaped organ that is about 6 inches long and is located in the ba...

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Pancreatic: Having to do with the pancreas.

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

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Peripheral: Situated away from the center, as opposed to centrally located.

Peripheral vascular disease: A disease of blood vessels outside the heart. Peripheral vasc...

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Phenylalanine: An essential amino acid. (The human body cannot make it so it is essentia...

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Plasma: The liquid part of the blood and lymphatic fluid, which makes up about half of the...

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Podiatrist: A specialist in the diagnosis and care of foot disorders, including their medi...

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Polydipsia: Constant, excessive drinking as a result of thirst. Polydipsia occurs in untre...

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Polyuria: The excessive passage of urine (at least 2.5 liters per day for an adult) result...

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Poor circulation: An inadequacy of blood flow. Inadequate blood flow to a particular area ...

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Postural: Pertaining to the posture or position of the body, the attitude or carriage of t...

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

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Pregnancy: The state of carrying a developing embryo or fetus within the female body. Thi...

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Prevalence: The proportion of individuals in a population having a disease or characterist...

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

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Progressive: Increasing in scope or severity, advancing, or going forward. For example, a ...

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

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Pus: A thick, whitish-yellow fluid that results from the accumulation of white blood cells...

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Reabsorption: Being absorbed again. For example, the kidney selectively reabsorbs substanc...

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Red blood cell: The blood cell that carries oxygen. Red cells contain hemoglobin and it is...

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Red blood cells: The blood cells that carry oxygen. Red cells contain hemoglobin and it is...

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Resistance: Opposition to something, or the ability to withstand something. For example, s...

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Retina: The retina is the nerve layer that lines the back of the eye, senses light, and cr...

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Retinopathy: Any disease of the retina, the light-sensitive membrane at the back of the ey...

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

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Saturated fat: A fat that contains only saturated fatty acids, is solid at room temperatur...

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

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Sensation: In medicine and physiology, sensation refers to the registration of an incoming...

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Sensitivity: 1. In psychology, the quality of being sensitive. As, for example, sen...

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Serum: The clear liquid that can be separated from clotted blood. Serum differs from plas...

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Shortness of breath: Difficulty in breathing. Medically referred to as dyspnea. Shortness ...

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Sore: 1. (adjective) A popular term for painful, such as a sore throat. 2. (...

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Stomach: The digestive organ that is located in the upper abdomen, under the ribs. The upp...

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

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Stroke: The sudden death of brain cells due to lack of oxygen, caused by blockage of blood...

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Subcutaneous: Under the skin. For example, a subcutaneous injection is an injection in whi...

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Sulfonylurea: A class of oral hypoglycemic agents (medications that lower the level of blo...

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Surgery: The branch of medicine that employs operations in the treatment of disease or inj...

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

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

Syndrome X: See: Metabolic syndrome.

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

Throat: The throat is the anterior (front) portion of the neck beginning at the back of th...

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Thrombus: A clot in a blood vessel or within the heart.

Tired: A feeling of a lessened capacity for work and reduced efficiency of accomplishment,...

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Tobacco: A South American herb (Nicotiana tabacum) whose leaves contain 2 to 8 percent nic...

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Tongue: A strong muscle that is anchored to the floor of the mouth. The tongue is covered ...

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Trauma: A physical or emotional injury.

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

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Triglycerides: The major form of fat stored by the body. A triglyceride consists of three ...

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Type 1 diabetes: See Diabetes, type 1.

Type 2 diabetes: See Diabetes, type 2.

Ulcer: A lesion that is eroding away the skin or mucous membrane. Ulcers can have various ...

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Urinary: Having to do with the function or anatomy of the kidneys, ureters, bladder, or ur...

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Urinary tract: The organs of the body that produce, store, and discharge urine. These orga...

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Urinary tract infection: An infection of the kidney, ureter, bladder, or urethra. Abbrevia...

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Urine: Liquid waste produced by the kidneys. Urine is a clear, transparent fluid that norm...

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Vascular: Relating to blood vessels. For example, the vascular system in the body includes...

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Vessel: A tube in the body that carries fluids. Examples of vessels are blood vessels and ...

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Viral: Of or pertaining to a virus. For example, if a person has a viral rash, the rash wa...

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Virus: A microorganism that is smaller than a bacterium that cannot grow or reproduce apar...

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

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Zinc: A mineral that is essential to the body and is a constituent of many enzymes that pe...

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