The following are health and medical definitions of terms that appear in the glucagon article.
Anticoagulant: An agent that is used to prevent the formation of blood clots. Anticoagulants have various uses. Some are used for the prevention or treatment of disorders characterized by abnormal blood clots and emboli. Anticoagulant drugs include intravenous heparin, which acts by inactivating thrombin and several other clotting factors that are required for a clot to form, and oral anticoagulants such as warfarin and dicumarol, which act by inhibiting the liver's production of vitamin K'dependent factors that are crucial to clotting. Anticoagulant solutions are also used for the preservation of stored whole blood and blood fractions and to keep laboratory blood specimens from clotting.
Bacteria: Single-celled microorganisms that can exist either as independent (free-living) organisms or as parasites (dependent on another organism for life). The plural of bacterium. Examples of bacteria include Acidophilus, a normal inhabitant of yogurt; Gonococcus which causes gonorrhea; Clostridium welchii, the most common cause of gangrene; E. coli, which lives in the colon and can cause disease elsewhere; and Streptococcus, the bacterium that causes the common throat infection called strep throat.
Barium: 1. A metallic element belonging to the alkaline earths with an atomic number of 56 and an atomic weight of 137.34. The symbol for barium is Ba.
Barium enema: An enema using a white, chalky solution containing barium, in preparation for series of X-ray images of the lower intestine (colon). The barium outlines the colon on the X-ray film.
Blood glucose: The main sugar that the body makes from the food in the diet. Glucose is carried through the bloodstream to provide energy to all cells in the body. Cells cannot use glucose without the help of insulin.
Blood pressure: The blood pressure is the pressure of the blood within the arteries. It is produced primarily by the contraction of the heart muscle. It's measurement is recorded by two numbers. The first (systolic pressure) is measured after the heart contracts and is highest. The second (diastolic pressure) is measured before the heart contracts and lowest. A blood pressure cuff is used to measure the pressure. Elevation of blood pressure is called "hypertension".
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.
Chronic: In medicine, lasting a long time. A chronic condition is one that lasts 3 months or more. Chronic diseases are in contrast to those that are acute (abrupt, sharp, and brief) or subacute (within the interval between acute and chronic).
Coma: A state of deep, unarousable unconsciousness. A coma may occur as a result of head trauma, disease, poisoning, or numerous other causes. Coma states are sometimes graded based on the absence or presence of reflexive responses to stimuli.
Diabetes: Refers to diabetes mellitus or, less often, to diabetes insipidus. Diabetes mellitus and diabetes insipidus share the name "diabetes" because they are both conditions characterized by excessive urination (polyuria).
Endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography: Abbreviated ERCP. A procedure done to diagnose and treat problems in the bile ducts for example gallstones stuck in bile ducts, inflammatory strictures (scars), leaks (from trauma and surgery),bile duct and pancreatic duct cancer. ERCP combines the use of x-rays and an endoscope (a long, flexible, lighted tube). Through it, the physician can see the inside of the stomach and duodenum and inject dye into the bile ducts and pancreas so they can be seen on x-ray. ERCP takes 30 minutes to 2 hours. Possible complications of ERCP include pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreas), infection, bleeding, and perforation of the duodenum.
Enema: Liquid injected into the rectum. An enema may be used for therapeutic (such as to stimulate evacuation of the bowels or heal inflammation of colon called colitis ) or diagnostic (such as imaging studies of the gastrointestinal tract - barium enema) purposes.
Escherichia coli: Full term for E. coli, the colon bacillus.
Fats: Plural of the word "fat". See the definition of fat.
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.
Genetic: Having to do with genes and genetic
Glucose: The simple sugar that is the chief source of energy. Glucose is found in the blood and is the main sugar that the body manufactures. The body makes glucose from all three elements of food'protein, fats, and carbohydrates'but the largest amount of glucose derives from carbohydrates. Glucose serves as the major source of energy for living cells. However, cells cannot use glucose without the help of insulin. Also known as dextrose.
Headache: A pain in the head with the pain being above the eyes or the ears, behind the head (occipital), or in the back of the upper neck. Headache, like chest pain or back ache, has many causes.
Hormone: A chemical substance produced in the body that controls and regulates the activity of certain cells or organs. Many hormones are secreted by special glands, such as thyroid hormone produced by the thyroid gland. Hormones are essential for every activity of life, including the processes of digestion, metabolism, growth, reproduction, and mood control. Many hormones, such as neurotransmitters, are active in more than one physical process.
Hypoglycemia: Low blood sugar (glucose). Hypoglycemia may be associated with symptoms such as anxiety, sweating, tremor, palpitations, nausea, and pallor. Hypoglycemia also starves the brain of glucose energy, which is essential for proper brain function. Lack of glucose energy to the brain can cause symptoms ranging from headache, mild confusion, abnormal behavior, loss of consciousness, seizure, and coma. Severe hypoglycemia can cause death. The causes of hypoglycemia include use of drugs (such as insulin), liver disease, surgical absence of the stomach, tumors that release excess amounts of insulin, and pre-diabetes. In some patients, symptoms of hypoglycemia occur during fasting (fasting hypoglycemia). In others, symptoms of hypoglycemia occur after meals (reactive hypoglycemia). Immediate treatment of severe hypoglycemia consists of administering large amounts of glucose and repeating this treatment at intervals if the symptoms persist. Treatment must also be directed at the underlying cause. Treatment of reactive hypoglycemia involves changing the diet, including eating fewer concentrated sweets and ingesting multiple small meals throughout the day.
Hypoglycemic: Relating to hypoglycemia, an abnormally low level of the sugar glucose in the blood, usually a complication of diabetes, in which the body does not produce enough insulin to fully metabolize glucose.
Insulin: A natural hormone made by the pancreas that controls the level of the sugar glucose in the blood. Insulin permits cells to use glucose for energy. Cells cannot utilize glucose without insulin.
Itching: An uncomfortable sensation in the skin that feels as if something is crawling on the skin and makes the person want to scratch the affected area. Itching is medically known as pruritis; something that is itchy is pruritic.
Liver: The largest solid organ in the body, situated in the upper part of the abdomen on the right side. The liver has a multitude of important and complex functions, including to manufacture proteins, including albumin (to help maintain the volume of blood) and blood clotting factors; to synthesize, store, and process fats, including fatty acids (used for energy) and cholesterol; to metabolize and store carbohydrates (used as the source for the sugar in blood); to form and secrete bile that contains bile acids to aid in the intestinal absorption of fats and the fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K; to eliminate, by metabolizing or secreting, the potentially harmful biochemical products produced by the body, such as bilirubin, from the breakdown of old red blood cells and ammonia from the breakdown of proteins; and to detoxify, by metabolizing and/or secreting, drugs, alcohol, and environmental toxins.
Low blood pressure: Any blood pressure that is below the normal expected for an individual in a given environment. Low blood pressure is also referred to as hypotension.
Nausea: Stomach queasiness, the urge to vomit. Nausea can be brought on by many causes, including systemic illnesses (such as influenza), medications, pain, and inner ear disease.
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.
Pancreas: A spongy, tube-shaped organ that is about 6 inches long and is located in the back of the abdomen, behind the stomach. The head of the pancreas is on the right side of the abdomen. It is connected to the upper end of the small intestine. The narrow end of the pancreas, called the tail, extends to the left side of the body. The pancreas makes pancreatic juices and hormones, including insulin and secretin. Pancreatic juices contain enzymes that help digest food in the small intestine. Both pancreatic enzymes and hormones are needed to keep the body working correctly. As pancreatic juices are made, they flow into the main pancreatic duct, which joins to the common bile duct, which connects the pancreas to the liver and the gallbladder and carries bile to the small intestine near the stomach. The pancreas is thus a compound gland in the sense that it is composed of both exocrine and endocrine tissues. The exocrine function of the pancreas involves the synthesis and secretion of pancreatic juices. The endocrine function resides in the million or so cellular islands (the islets of Langerhans) that are embedded between the exocrine units of the pancreas. Beta cells of the islets of Langerhans secrete insulin, which helps control carbohydrate metabolism. Alpha cells of the islets of Langerhans secrete glucagon, which counters the action of insulin.
Pound: A measure of weight that is equal to 16 ounces or, metrically, 453.6 grams. Abbreviated lb.
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.
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 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.
Proteins: Large molecules composed of one or more chains of amino acids in a specific order determined by the base sequence of nucleotides in the DNA coding for the protein.
Respiratory: Having to do with respiration.
Sulfonylurea: A class of oral hypoglycemic agents (medications that lower the level of blood glucose) taken by people with type 2 diabetes. The sulfonylureas increase the secretion of insulin by the pancreas. There are two generations of sulfonylureas. The main difference between the first- and second-generation sulfonylureas is in the way they are 'eliminated from the body. As a consequence, second-generation sulfonylureas are usually taken less 'frequently each day than first-generation sulfonylureas and generally are preferred when there is poor function of the kidneys. Examples of first-'generation sulfonylureas are chlorpropamide (Diabinese) and tolbutamide (Orinase). The second-generation sulfonylureas include glipizide (Glucotrol and Glucotrol XL), glyburide (Diabeta, Micronase, and Glynase PresTab), and glimepiride (Amaryl). These drugs are effective in rapidly 'lowering blood sugar but run the risk of causing hypoglycemia.
Symptom: Any subjective evidence of disease. In contrast, a sign is objective. Blood coming out a nostril is a sign; it is apparent to the patient, physician, and others. Anxiety, low back pain, and fatigue are all symptoms; only the patient can perceive them.
Syringe: A medical device that is used to inject fluid into, or withdraw fluid from, the body. A medical syringe consists of a needle attached to a hollow cylinder that is fitted with a sliding plunger. The downward movement of the plunger injects fluid; upward movement withdraws fluid. Medical syringes were once made of metal or glass, and required cleaning and sterilization before they could be used again. Now most syringes used in medicine are plastic and disposable.
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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