Erectile Dysfunction Glossary of Terms

The following are health and medical definitions of terms that appear in the Erectile Dysfunction 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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Abnormal: Outside the expected norm, or uncharacteristic of a particular patient.

Absorption: Uptake. For example, intestinal absorption is the uptake of food (or other sub...

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Aging: The process of becoming older, a process that is genetically determined and environ...

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

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Alpha blocker: A drug that blocks receptors in arteries and smooth muscle. This action rel...

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Alzheimer disease: See: Alzheimer's disease.

Anatomy: The study of human or animal form, by observation or examination of the living be...

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Anemia: The condition of having a lower-than-normal number of red blood cells or quantity ...

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Angina: Chest pain due to an inadequate supply of oxygen to the heart muscle. The pain is ...

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Antibiotic: A drug used to treat bacterial infections. Antibiotics have no effect on viral...

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Anticoagulant: An agent that is used to prevent the formation of blood clots. Anticoagulan...

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Antidepressants: Anything, and especially a drug, used to prevent or treat depression.

Antifungal: A medication that limits or prevents the growth of yeasts and other fungal org...

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Antifungal medication: A drug used to treat fungal infections.

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

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

Anxiety: A feeling of apprehension and fear, characterized by physical symptoms such as pa...

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

Atherosclerosis: A process of progressive thickening and hardening of the walls of medium-...

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

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Blurred vision: Lack of sharpness of vision with, as a result, the inability to see fine d...

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Brain: The portion of the central nervous system that is located within the skull. It func...

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Bypass: An operation in which a new pathway is created for the transport of substances in ...

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

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

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Cell: The basic structural and functional unit of any living thing. Each cell is a small c...

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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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Cholesterol: The most common type of steroid in the body. Cholesterol has a reputation for...

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

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Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease: COPD. Any disorder that persistently obstructs bron...

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Circulation: In medicine, the movement of fluid through the body in a regular or circuitou...

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Cirrhosis: Liver disease characterized by irreversible scarring. Alcohol and viral hepatit...

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Cocaine: A substance derived from the leaves of the coca plant that is a bitter, addictive...

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Congestion: An abnormal or excessive accumulation of a body fluid. The term is used broadl...

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Consultant: An individual to whom one refers for expert advice or services. The use of con...

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Cryosurgery: Treatment performed with an instrument that freezes and destroys abnormal tis...

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Cystectomy: Surgery to remove the bladder.

Depression: An illness that involves the body, mood, and thoughts and that affects the way...

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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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Dilating: The widening and opening of an opening, such as the cervix or esophagus. For exa...

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Dissection: The process of cutting apart or separating tissue as, for example, in the stud...

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

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Dysfunction: Difficult function or abnormal function.

Ecstasy: 1. A state of rapture and trancelike elation.
2. A street nam...

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Ejaculation: Ejection of sperm and seminal fluid during an orgasm in a male.

Endocrine: Pertaining to hormones and the glands that make and secrete them into the blood...

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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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Epilepsy (seizure disorder): When nerve cells in the brain fire electrical impulses...

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Erectile dysfunction: A consistent inability to sustain an erection sufficient for sexual ...

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Erosion: An erosion is an eating away of a surface. ("Erodere" in Latin means to eat out.)...

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Erythromycin: Erythromycin is a common antibiotic for treating bacterial infection. Sold...

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FDA: Food and Drug Administration.

Food and Drug Administration: An agency within the US Public Health Service that provides ...

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Gland: A group of cells that secrete a substance for use in the body. For example, the thy...

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Glucose: The simple sugar that is the chief source of energy. Glucose is found in the bloo...

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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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Heart disease: Any disorder that affects the heart. Sometimes the term "heart disease" is ...

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Hemochromatosis: An inherited disorder characterized by abnormally high absorption of iron...

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

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High blood pressure: A repeatedly elevated blood pressure exceeding 140 over 90 mmHg. Chro...

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Hormone: A chemical substance produced in the body that controls and regulates the activit...

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Hypogonadism: A condition in which decreased production of gonadal hormones leads to below...

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Hypothalamus: The area of the brain that secretes substances that influence pituitary and ...

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Hypothyroid: Deficiency of thyroid hormone which is normally made by the thyroid gland wh...

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Implant: 1. To embed; to set in firmly. In embryology, the fertilized egg implants ...

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Impotence: A common problem among men characterized by the consistent inability to sustai...

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

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Indication: 1. In medicine, a condition which makes a particular treatment or proce...

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Infection: The invasion and multiplication of microorganisms such as bacteria, viruses, an...

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Injure: To harm, hurt, or wound. The word injure may be in physical or emotional sense. Fr...

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Injury: Harm or hurt. To harm, hurt, or wound. The word injure may be in physical or emot...

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Insomnia: The perception or complaint of inadequate or poor-quality sleep due to a number ...

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Intervention: The act of intervening, interfering or interceding with the intent of modify...

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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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Leg: In popular usage, the part of the body from the top of the thigh down to the foot, an...

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Lethal: Deadly.

Lethargy: Abnormal drowsiness, stupor.

Libido: 1. Sexual drive. 2. In psychoanalysis, the psychic energy from all ...

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

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Low testosterone: Abnormally low levels of the male sex hormone testosterone in the blood....

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Luteinizing hormone: A gonadotropin (a hormone that affects the function of the sex organs...

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Lymph: The almost colorless fluid that travels through the lymphatic system, carrying cell...

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Lymph node: One of many small, bean-shaped organs located throughout the lymphatic system....

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Malnutrition: A term used to refer to any condition in which the body does not receive eno...

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Marijuana: A common street and recreational drug that comes from the marijuana plant: the ...

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

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

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Multiple sclerosis: A disease that is characterized by loss of myelin (demyelinization). A...

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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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Nasal: Having to do with the nose.

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

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Nerve: A bundle of fibers that uses electrical and chemical signals to transmit sensory an...

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Neurological: Having to do with the nerves or the nervous system as, for example, a neurol...

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Node: Literally a knot, a node is a collection of tissue. For example a lymph node, is a ...

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Organ: A relatively independent part of the body that carries out one or more special func...

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Organic: 1. A chemical compound that contains carbon.
2. Related to a...

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Orgasm: A series of muscle contractions in the genital region that is accompanied by sudde...

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

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Parkinson disease: A slowly progressive neurologic disease characterized by a fixed inexpr...

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Pelvic: Having to do with the pelvis, the lower part of the abdomen, located between the h...

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Pelvis: The lower part of the abdomen, located between the hip bones. Structures in the fe...

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Penile: Of or pertaining to the penis.

Penis: The external male sex organ. The penis contains two chambers, the corpora cavernosa...

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Perineal: Pertaining to the perineum.

Perineum: The area between the anus and the scrotum in the male and between the anus and t...

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Peripheral: Situated away from the center, as opposed to centrally located.

Peripheral nervous system: The portion of the nervous system that is outside the brain and...

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Peripheral vascular disease: A disease of blood vessels outside the heart. Peripheral vasc...

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Pharmacist: A professional who fills prescriptions and, in the case of a compounding pharm...

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Pituitary: 1. As an adjective, pertaining to the pituitary gland or its hormonal se...

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Pituitary gland: The main endocrine gland. It is a small structure in the head. It is ca...

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Placebo: A "sugar pill" or any dummy medication or treatment.

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Poor circulation: An inadequacy of blood flow. Inadequate blood flow to a particular area ...

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Premature ejaculation: Ejecting semen from the penis, usually accompanied by orgasm, occur...

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

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Priapism: Abnormally persistent erection of the penis in the absence of desire. Treatments...

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

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Probe: 1: In surgery, a probe is a slender flexible rod with a blunt end used to explore, ...

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Prolactin: A hormone secreted by the pituitary gland that stimulates lactation (milk produ...

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Prostaglandin: One of a number of hormone-like substances that participate in a wide range...

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Prostate: A gland within the male reproductive system that is located just below the blad...

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Prostate cancer: A malignant tumor of the prostate, the gland that produces some of the co...

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Prostatectomy: Surgical removal of the prostate gland. Prostatectomy can be done through a...

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Prosthesis: An artificial replacement of a part of the body, such as a tooth, a facial bon...

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Prosthetic: Referring to a prosthesis, an artificial substitute or replacement of a part o...

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Protein: One of the three nutrients used as energy sources (calories) by the body. Protein...

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PSA: Prostate specific antigen. A test for PSA may be used to screen for cancer of the p...

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Psychogenic: Caused by the mind or emotions.

Pulmonary: Having to do with the lungs.

Quality of life: The patient's ability to enjoy normal life activities. Quality of life is...

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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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Radiation therapy: The use of high-energy rays to damage cancer cells, stopping them from ...

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Radical prostatectomy: A surgery procedure that removes the entire prostate gland plus som...

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Rectus: Usually refers to the rectus abdominis, a large muscle in the front of the abdomen...

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

Renal: Having to do with the kidney. For example, renal cancer is cancer of the kidneys.

Resection: Surgical removal of part of an organ.

Reservoir: 1. A place where something such as water is kept in reserve.
2....

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Respiratory: Having to do with respiration.

Risk factor: Something that increases a person's chances of developing a disease. For exam...

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

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Sclerosis: Localized hardening of skin. Sclerosis is generally caused by underlying diseas...

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Scrotum: The pouch of skin that contains the testes, epididymides, and lower portions of t...

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Semen: The fluid that is released through the penis during orgasm. Semen is made up of flu...

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

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Sensitivity: 1. In psychology, the quality of being sensitive. As, for example, sen...

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Sensory: Relating to sensation, to the perception of a stimulus, to the voyage made by inc...

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Serum: The clear liquid that can be separated from clotted blood. Serum differs from plas...

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Sleep: The body's rest cycle.

Smooth muscle: Along with skeletal and cardiac muscle, one of the types of muscle tissue i...

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Spinal cord: The major column of nerve tissue that is connected to the brain and lies with...

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Spinal cord injury: Trauma or damage to the spinal cord, the major column of nerve tissue ...

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Spine: 1) The column of bone known as the vertebral column, which surrounds and protects ...

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

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Stress: In a medical or biological context stress is a physical, mental, or emotional fact...

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Stroke: The sudden death of brain cells due to lack of oxygen, caused by blockage of blood...

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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.

Systemic: Affecting the entire body. A systemic disease such as diabetes can affect the wh...

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Tension: 1) The pressure within a vessel, such as blood pressure: the pressure within t...

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Testicles: The testicles (also called testes or gonads) are the male sex glands. They are ...

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Testosterone: A "male hormone" -- a sex hormone produced by the testes that encourages th...

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Testosterone replacement therapy: The practice of giving testosterone to treat conditions...

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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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Tobacco: A South American herb (Nicotiana tabacum) whose leaves contain 2 to 8 percent nic...

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Tongue: A strong muscle that is anchored to the floor of the mouth. The tongue is covered ...

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Transurethral resection: Surgery to remove tissue using a special instrument inserted thro...

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Trauma: A physical or emotional injury.

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

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Triglycerides: The major form of fat stored by the body. A triglyceride consists of three ...

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Ultrasound: High-frequency sound waves. Ultra-sound waves can be bounced off tissues by us...

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Urethra: The tube that leads from the bladder and transports and discharges urine outside ...

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Urinalysis: A test that is done in order to analyze urine. Because toxins and excess fluid...

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Urinary: Having to do with the function or anatomy of the kidneys, ureters, bladder, or ur...

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Urine: Liquid waste produced by the kidneys. Urine is a clear, transparent fluid that norm...

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Urologist: A physician who specializes in diseases of the urinary organs in females and th...

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Vascular: Relating to blood vessels. For example, the vascular system in the body includes...

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Vasodilators: Agents that act as blood vessel dilators (vasodilators) and open vessels by ...

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Vessel: A tube in the body that carries fluids. Examples of vessels are blood vessels and ...

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

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Yawning: Involuntary opening of the mouth with respiration, breathing first inward, then o...

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Zinc: A mineral that is essential to the body and is a constituent of many enzymes that pe...

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