Food Allergy Glossary of Terms

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

Abate: To lessen or decrease. For example, after a boil is lanced, the pus can drain and t...

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Adverse reaction: In pharmacology, any unexpected or dangerous reaction to a drug. An unwa...

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Airway: The path that air follows to get into and out of the lungs. The mouth and nose are...

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Allergen: A substance that can cause an allergic reaction. Common allergens include ragwee...

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Allergic reaction: The hypersensitive response of the immune system of an allergic indiv...

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Allergy: A misguided reaction to foreign substances by the immune system, the body system ...

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Allergy shots: See Allergy desensitization.

Alzheimer disease: See: Alzheimer's disease.

Anaphylactic shock: A widespread and very serious allergic reaction. Symptoms include dizz...

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Anaphylaxis: Allergic reaction. In severe cases, this can include potentially deadly anap...

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Antibody: An immunoglobulin, a specialized immune protein, produced because of the introdu...

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Antigen: A substance that the immune system perceives as being foreign or dangerous. The b...

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Antihistamines: Drugs that combat the histamine released during an allergic reaction by bl...

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

Asthma: A common lung disorder in which inflammation causes the bronchi to swell and narro...

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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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Bumps: The raised area of a bump or bruise results from blood leaking from these injured b...

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Calamine: An astringent made from zinc carbonate or zinc oxide, customarily used in lotion...

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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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Chinese restaurant syndrome: A syndrome first described in 1968 in people who had eaten Ch...

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Chorea: Ceaseless rapid complex body movements that look well coordinated and purposeful ...

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

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Corticosteroid: Any of the steroid hormones made by the outer portion (cortex) of the adre...

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CPR: Cardiopulmonary resuscitation.

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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Dilate: To stretch or enlarge. Also known as dilatate.

Dizziness: Painless head discomfort with many possible causes including disturbances of ...

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Eczema (dermatitis): A particular type of inflammatory reaction of the skin in which there...

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

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Enzyme: Proteins that speeds up the rate of a chemical reaction in a living organism. An e...

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Epinephrine: Also known as adrenaline. A substance produced by the medulla inside of the a...

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Glutamate: A form of glutamic acid. See: Glutamic acid.

Glutamic acid: An amino acid, one of the 20 building blocks of protein. A nonessential ami...

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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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Histamine: A substance that plays a major role in many allergic reactions, dilating blood ...

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Hives: A raised, itchy area of skin that may be a sign of an allergic reaction. It can be ...

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

Immune response: Any reaction by the immune system. For example, poison ivy can cause an i...

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

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Immunoglobulin: A protein produced by plasma cells and lymphocytes and characteristic of t...

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Immunoglobulin E: A class of immunoglobulins that includes the antibodies that are importa...

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Immunotherapy: Treatment to stimulate or restore the ability of the immune (defense) syst...

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Itching: An uncomfortable sensation in the skin that feels as if something is crawling on ...

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Lactose: The sugar found in milk. Lactose is a large sugar molecule that is made up of two...

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Lactose intolerance: The inability to digest lactose, a component of milk and some other d...

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Lightheadedness: A feeling you are "going to faint." Lightheadedness is medically distinc...

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Lips: Aside from the lips of the mouth, there are two pairs of lips at the entrance to the...

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Low blood pressure: Any blood pressure that is below the normal expected for an individua...

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Mechanical ventilation: Use of a machine called a ventilator or respirator to improve the ...

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Medical history: 1. In clinical medicine, the patient's past and present which may ...

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Monosodium glutamate: MSG, a sodium salt of the amino acid glutamic acid that enhances the...

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

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Muscle: Muscle is the tissue of the body which primarily functions as a source of power. T...

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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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Nose: The external midline projection from the face. The purpose of the nose is to warm, c...

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Ointment: An oil-based preparation that is applied to the skin. Whereas an ointment has an...

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

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Pollen: Small, light, dry protein particles from trees, grasses, flowers, and weeds that m...

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

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Prescription drug: A drug requiring a prescription, as opposed to an over-the-counter drug...

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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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Proteins: Large molecules composed of one or more chains of amino acids in a specific orde...

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

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Rash: Breaking out (eruption) of the skin. A rash can be caused by an underlying medical c...

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Recur: To occur again; to return. For example, a symptom, sign, or disease can recur.

Respiratory: Having to do with respiration.

Saline: Relating to salt. As an adjective, "saline" means "salty, containing salt." As a n...

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

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Shock: In medicine, a critical condition that is brought on by a sudden drop in blood flow...

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Sodium: The major positive ion (cation) in the fluid surrounding cells in the body. The ch...

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

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Stuffy nose: : The presence of increased secretions and mucus in the nasal passages, most ...

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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.

Syringe: A medical device that is used to inject fluid into, or withdraw fluid from, the b...

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

Thigh: The thick, muscular portion of the leg that extends from the hip to the knee. The t...

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

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Trigger: Something that either sets off a disease in people who are genetically predispose...

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Tubes: The "tubes" are medically known as the Fallopian tubes. There are two Fallopian tub...

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Unconscious: 1. Interruption of awareness of oneself and one's surroundings, lack ...

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Ventilation: The exchange of air between the lungs and the atmosphere so that oxygen can b...

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Wheezing: A whistling noise in the chest during breathing. Wheezing occurs when the airway...

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Medical Dictionary