Diarrhea Glossary of Terms

The following are health and medical definitions of terms that appear in the Diarrhea 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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Acupressure: A traditional Chinese medicine bodywork technique based on the principles of ...

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

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Adenovirus: One of a group of viruses that can cause infections of the lung, stomach, inte...

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

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

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Aromatherapy: A form of alternative medicine in which essential oils or other scents are i...

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

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Bacterial: Of or pertaining to bacteria, as in a bacterial lung infection.

Bacterium: The singular of bacteria.

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

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

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Bowel: The small and large intestine.

Cancer: An abnormal growth of cells which tend to proliferate in an uncontrolled way and, ...

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Carcinoid syndrome: A syndrome due to carcinoid tumor which secretes large amounts of the ...

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Carcinoma: Cancer that begins in the skin or in tissues that line or cover body organs. Ex...

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Celiac disease: A disorder resulting from an immune reaction to gluten, a protein found in...

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Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: The US agency charged with tracking and invest...

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Chamomile: An herb often used in the form of a tea as a sedative.

Chemotherapy: 1. In the original sense, a chemical that binds to and specifically k...

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

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Clostridium: A group of anaerobic bacteria (bacteria that thrive in the absence of oxygen)...

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Clostridium difficile: A bacterium that is one of the most common causes of infection of t...

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Colitis: Inflammation of the large intestine (the colon). There are many forms of coliti...

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Colon: The long, coiled, tubelike organ that removes water from digested food. The remaini...

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Colon cancer: A malignant tumor arising from the inner wall of the large intestine (the co...

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Colonoscopy: A procedure whereby a physician inserts a viewing tube (colonoscope) into the...

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

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Cryptosporidium: See: Cryptosporidiosis.

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Cure: 1. To heal, to make well, to restore to good health. 2. A time withou...

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

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

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Digestive system: The system of organs responsible for getting food into and out of the bo...

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Diverticulitis: Inflammation of the diverticula (small outpouchings) along the wall of th...

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Dry mouth: The condition of not having enough saliva to keep the mouth wet. This is due to...

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Dysentery: Inflammation of the intestine, with pain, diarrhea, bloody stools, and often a ...

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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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Endoscope: A lighted optical instrument that is used to get a deep look inside the body. A...

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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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Flatulence: Excess gas in the intestinal tract. But excess flatulence is difficult to defi...

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Food poisoning: The illness resulting from eating food or drinking water containing poison...

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Gastroenteritis: Inflammation of the stomach and the intestines. Gastroenteritis can cause...

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Giardia: A genus of protozoa that infect the gastrointestinal tract of some animals, incl...

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Giardia lamblia: A parasite responsible for a contagious form of diarrhea. The parasite i...

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Gout: Condition characterized by abnormally elevated levels of uric acid in the blood, rec...

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

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Herbal: 1. An adjective, referring to herbs, as in an herbal tea.
2. A...

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Homeopathy: Founded in the 19th century, a practice that is based on the concept that dise...

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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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Inflammatory bowel disease: A group of chronic intestinal diseases characterized by infla...

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Intestine: The long, tubelike organ in the abdomen that completes the process of digestion...

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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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Laxative: Something that promotes emptying of the bowels. Laxatives are used to combat con...

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Listeria: A group of bacteria capable of causing illness including potentially fata...

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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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Liver disease: Liver disease refers to any disorder of the liver. The liver is a large org...

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Lymphoma: A tumor of the lymphoid tissue. The major types of lymphoma are Hodgkin's diseas...

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

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Malabsorption: Poor intestinal absorption of nutrients. Malabsorption can occur from disea...

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Microscopic: An object so small it cannot be seen without the aid of microscope (for examp...

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

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Mucus: A thick fluid that is produced by the lining of some organs of the body.

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

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Norovirus: A group of viruses that are a common cause of food poisoning and acute gastroen...

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Norwalk virus: A family of small round viruses that are an important cause of viral gastro...

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Nursing: 1) Profession concerned with the provision of services essential to the maintena...

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

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Pancreatic: Having to do with the pancreas.

Pancreatic cancer: A malignant tumor of the pancreas. Pancreatic cancer has been called a ...

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Parasitic: Having to do with a parasite, as in a parasitic infection; or acting like a par...

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Poisoning: Taking a substance that is injurious to health or can cause death. Poisoning i...

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

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Pregnant: The state of carrying a developing fetus within the body.

Prescription: A physician's order for the preparation and administration of a drug or dev...

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

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

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Radiation: 1. Rays of energy. Gamma rays and X-rays are two of the types of energy ...

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Rectum: The last 6 to 8 inches of the large intestine. The rectum stores solid waste until...

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Rehydrate: To restore lost water to the body tissues and fluids. Prompt rehydration is imp...

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Remedy: Something that consistently helps treat or cure a disease.

Rotavirus: A virus that is a leading cause of severe diarrhea and dehydration in young chi...

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Rule out: Term used in medicine, meaning to eliminate or exclude something from considera...

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Shigella: A group of bacteria that can cause infantile gastroenteritis, summer diarrhea of...

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

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Stomach cramps: A nonmedical term most often used to describe pain in the mid- or upper ab...

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Stool: The solid matter that is discharged in a bowel movement.

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

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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.

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

Thyroid: 1. The thyroid gland. Also, pertaining to the thyroid gland. 2. A p...

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Traveler's diarrhea: Diarrhea that results from infections acquired while traveling to ano...

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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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Viruses: Small living particles that can infect cells and change how the cells function. I...

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Vitamins: The word "vitamin" was coined in 1911 by the Warsaw-born biochemist Casimir Funk...

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

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Yersinia: A group of bacteria that appear rod-like under the microscope and include Yer...

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Medical Dictionary