Heartburn FAQs Glossary of Terms

The following are health and medical definitions of terms that appear in the Heartburn FAQs article.

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

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Abnormal: Outside the expected norm, or uncharacteristic of a particular patient.

Aluminum: A naturally occurring element that makes up about 8% of the surface of the earth...

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

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

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

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

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Biochemical: Relating to biochemistry, the application of the tools and concepts of chemis...

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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.

Breathing: The process of respiration, during which air is inhaled into the lungs through ...

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Caffeine: A stimulant compound found naturally in coffee, tea, cocoa (chocolate), and kola...

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Calcium: A mineral found mainly in the hard part of bones, where it is stored. Calcium is ...

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

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Capsule: Capsule has many meanings in medicine including the following:

  1. In medici...

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

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Constipation: Infrequent and frequently incomplete bowel movements. Constipation is the op...

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Contraction: The tightening and shortening of a muscle.

Contrast: Short for "contrast media." Contrast media are X-ray dyes used to provide contra...

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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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CREST syndrome: A limited form of scleroderma, a disease of connective tissue that involve...

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

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

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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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Endoscopy: Examination of the inside of the body by using a lighted, flexible instrument c...

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Esophageal: Related to the esophagus.

Esophagus: The tube that connects the pharynx (throat) with the stomach. The esophagus lie...

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Fundoplication: A surgical technique that strengthens the barrier to acid reflux when the ...

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Gastroesophageal: Pertaining to both the stomach and the esophagus, as in the gastroesopha...

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Gastroesophageal reflux: The return of stomach contents back up into the esophagus This fr...

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

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GERD: Gastroesophageal reflux disease.

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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Heartburn: An uncomfortable feeling of burning and warmth occurring in waves rising up be...

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Hernia: A general term referring to a protrusion of a tissue through the wall of the cavit...

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Hiatal: Pertaining to an hiatus, an opening.

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Hiatal hernia: An anatomical abnormality in which part of the stomach protrudes up through...

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Hoarseness: Hoarseness is a term referring to abnormal voice changes. Hoarseness may be ma...

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Ibuprofen: A nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) that is commonly used to treat pa...

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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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Jaw: The movable junction of the bones below the mouth (the mandible) and the bone just ab...

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

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

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Manometry: The measurement of pressure using a device called a manometer. Esophageal manom...

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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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Muscular: Having to do with the muscles. Also, endowed with above average muscle developme...

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

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

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Operation: In medicine, a surgical procedure. Many operations are named after persons. The...

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

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Peristalsis: The rippling motion of muscles in the digestive tract. In the stomach, this m...

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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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Reflux: The term used when liquid backs up into the esophagus from the stomach.

Regurgitation: A backward flowing. For example, vomiting is a regurgitation of food from t...

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Relapse: The return of signs and symptoms of a disease after a remission.

Respiratory: Having to do with respiration.

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

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Scleroderma: A disease of connective tissue that causes scar tissue (fibrosis) to form in ...

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

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

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Sore throat: Pain in the throat. Sore throat may be caused by many different causes, inclu...

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

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

Stricture: An abnormal narrowing of a body passage, especially a tube or a canal. The str...

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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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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.

Taste: A perception that results from stimulation of a gustatory nerve. Taste belongs to t...

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Tear: A drop of the salty secretion of the lacrimal glands which serves to moisten the con...

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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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Tooth: One of the structures within the mouth that allow for biting and chewing. Teeth hav...

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Upper GI series: A series of x-rays of the esophagus, stomach, and small intestine (upper ...

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Voice box: The voice box, or larynx, is the portion of the respiratory (breathing) tract ...

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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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