Gastroenteritis (Stomach Flu) Glossary of Terms

The following are health and medical definitions of terms that appear in the Gastroenteritis (Stomach Flu) 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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Acquired: Not inherited, or present at birth (congenital), but developing after birth. For...

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Antibiotic: A drug used to treat infections caused by bacteria and other microorganisms. ...

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Antiemetics: 1. As a noun, a drug taken to prevent or treat nausea and vomiting. As...

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Anus: The opening of the rectum to the outside of the body.

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

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Atropine: A drug, made from the belladonna plant, that is administered via injection, eye ...

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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.

Baseline: Information or data gathered at the beginning of a period from which variations ...

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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 count: The calculated number of white or red blood cells (WBCs or RBCs) in a cubic m...

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Bowel: The small and large intestine.

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Calf: The belly or fleshy hind part of the back of the leg below the knee. The calf is mad...

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Caliciviridae: See: Calicivirus; Norovirus.

CBC: A commonly used abbreviation in medicine that stands for complete blood count, a set...

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CDC: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the US agency charged with tracking a...

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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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Complete blood count: A set values of the cellular (formed elements) of blood. These meas...

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Crohn's disease: A chronic inflammatory disease, primarily involving the small and large ...

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Crypto: Popular name for both the parasite, Cryptosporidium parvum, and the disease it cau...

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Cryptosporidium: See: Cryptosporidiosis.

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

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

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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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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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Dry skin: Abnormally dry skin. Can be caused by a dry climate, winter weather, deficiency...

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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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Escherichia coli: Full term for E. coli, the colon bacillus.

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

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Feces: The excrement discharged from the 'intestines.

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

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Flu: Short for influenza. The flu is caused by viruses that infect the respiratory tract w...

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Food poisoning: A common flu-like illness typically characterized by nausea, vomiting and...

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

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

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

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Gastrointestinal tract: The stomach and intestines. Abbreviated GI tract.

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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Giardiasis: Infection with Giardia lamblia.

Ginger: Ginger, the rhizome of the plant Zingiber officinale, has been used as medicine in...

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Groin: The area where the thigh meets the hip.

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

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

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

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Infant: A young baby, from birth to 12 months of age.

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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Influenza: The flu is caused by viruses that infect the respiratory tract which are divide...

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

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Iron: An essential mineral. Iron is necessary for the transport of oxygen (via hemoglobin ...

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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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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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Leukocytes: White Blood Cells that help the body fight infections and other diseases. Also...

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

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Lumen: A luminous term referring to the channel within a tube such as a blood vessel or to...

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

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Microscopic: So small it cannot be seen without the aid of microscope. As opposed to macro...

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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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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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Nutrition: 1) The science or practice of taking in and utilizing foods. 2) A nourishing ...

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Oral rehydration therapy: The administration of special fluids by mouth treat dehydration...

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Ounce: A measure of weight equal to 1/16th of a pound or, metrically, 28.35 gra...

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Ova: Plural of ovum.

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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Parasite: A plant or an animal organism that lives in or on another and takes its nourishm...

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Pathology: The study of disease. Pathology has been defined as "that branch of medicine...

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

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

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

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Primary care: A patient's main source for regular medical care, ideally providing continui...

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Pseudomembranous colitis: Severe inflammation of the inner lining of the colon. Pseudomemb...

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Purpura: Hemorrhage (bleeding) into the surface of the skin. The area of skin with purpura...

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

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Recuperate: To recover health and strength. Also known as convalesce.

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

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Rehydration: The process of restoring lost water (dehydration) to the body tissues and flu...

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Respiratory: Having to do with respiration.

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

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Saliva: a watery secretion in the mouth produced by the salivary glands that aids in the d...

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Salmonella: A group of bacteria that cause typhoid fever and a number of other illnesses...

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

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

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Staph: Very commonly used shortened form of Staphylococcus, a very common and important gr...

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Staphylococcus: A group of bacteria that cause a multitude of diseases. Under a microscope...

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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 flu: A gastrointestinal illness caused by a microorganism. Stomach flu is not rela...

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

Supportive care: Treatment given to prevent, control, or relieve complications and side ef...

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Sweat: A colorless transparent acidic fluid with a distinctive odor secreted by the small ...

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Syncope: Partial or complete loss of consciousness with interruption of awareness of one...

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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.

Toxin: A poison produced by certain animals, plants, or bacteria.

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

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Ulcerative colitis: A bowel disease that is characterized by inflammation with ulcer forma...

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Vaccination: Injection of a killed microbe in order to stimulate the immune system against...

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Vaccines: Microbial preparations of killed or modified microorganisms that can stimulate a...

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Vibrio: A group of bacteria that includes Vibrio cholerae, the agent that causes cholera. ...

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Vibrio cholerae: One of the Vibrio bacteria, V. cholerae (as the name implies) is the a...

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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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Viral infection: Infection caused by the presence of a virus in the body. Depending on...

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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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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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