Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) Glossary of Terms

The following are health and medical definitions of terms that appear in the Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) 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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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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Achilles tendon: One of the longest tendons in the body, a tough sinew that attaches the c...

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Acute: Of abrupt onset, in reference to a disease. Acute often also connotes an illness th...

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Anastomosis: The connection of normally separate parts. An anastomosis may be naturally oc...

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

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Ankle: The ankle joint is complex. It is made up of two joints: the true ankle joint and ...

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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.

Arthritis: Inflammation of a joint. When joints are inflamed they can develop stiffness, w...

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

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

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Autoimmune process: A process in which the body's immune system attacks and destroys body ...

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Bacterial: Of or pertaining to bacteria, as in a bacterial lung infection.

Barium: 1. A metallic element belonging to the alkaline earths with an atomic numbe...

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Barium enema: An enema using a white, chalky solution containing barium, in preparation fo...

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Benign: Not malignant. A benign tumor is one that does not invade surrounding tissue or sp...

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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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Bone density: Bone density is the amount of bone tissue in a certain volume of bone. It ca...

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Bowel: The small and large intestine.

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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Cecum: The first portion of the large bowel, which is situated in the lower-right quadrant...

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

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Chronic disease: A disease that persists for a long time. A chronic disease is one lasting...

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Colectomy: An operation to remove all or part of the colon (large intestine). In a partial...

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Colitis: Inflammation of the large intestine (the colon). There are many forms of coliti...

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Colon: The long, coiled, tubelike organ that removes water from digested food. The remaini...

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Colon cancer: A malignant tumor arising from the inner wall of the large intestine (the co...

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Colonic: 1. See: Colonic (adjective). 2. See: Colonic (noun).

Colonoscope: A flexible, lighted instrument used to view the inside of the colon.

Colonoscopy: A procedure whereby a physician inserts a viewing tube (colonoscope) into the...

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Colostomy: An artificial exit from the colon created to divert waste through a hole in the...

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

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Complication: In medicine, an unanticipated problem that arises following, and is a result...

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

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

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Curable: Amenable to a cure, capable of being cured, to being healed and made well. From ...

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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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Dilation: The process of enlargement, stretching, or expansion. The word "dilatation" mean...

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Distal: The more (or most) distant of two (or more) things. For example, the distal end of...

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Duodenum: The first part of the small intestine. The duodenum is a common site for peptic ...

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Dysplasia: Abnormality in form or development. For example, retinal dysplasia is abnormal ...

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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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Enema: Liquid injected into the rectum. An enema may be used for therapeutic (such as to s...

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Episcleritis: Inflammation of the episclera, a thin membrane that covers the white of the ...

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

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FDA: Food and Drug Administration.

Fecal: Relating to the feces, the stool. The excrement discharged from the intestines.

Fecal occult blood test: A test to check for hidden blood in the stool.

Feces: The excrement discharged from the 'intestines.

Fever: Although a fever technically is any body temperature above the normal of 98.6 F (37...

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Fiber: The parts of fruits and vegetables that cannot be digested. Fiber is of vital impor...

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Fistula: An abnormal passageway in the body. The fistula may go from the body surface int...

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Folic acid: One of the B vitamins that is a key factor in the synthesis (the making) of nu...

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Gastroenterology: The medical specialty devoted to the study, diagnosis and treatment of d...

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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.

Genetic: Having to do with genes and genetic
information.

GI tract: Short for gastrointestinal tract. See: Gastrointestinal tract.

Hemoglobin: The oxygen-carrying pigment and predominant protein in the red blood cells. He...

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Heparin: An anticoagulant (anti-clotting) medication. Heparin is useful in preventing thro...

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Idiopathic: Of unknown cause. Any disease that is of uncertain or unknown origin may be te...

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Ileal pouch: A surgically created chamber made up of a portion of the lower part of the il...

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Ileostomy: An opening into the ileum, part of the small intestine, from the outside of the...

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Ileum: Part of the small intestine beyond the jejunum and before the large intestine (colo...

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

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Inflammation: A localized reaction that produces redness, warmth, swelling, and pain as a ...

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Inflammatory bowel disease: A group of chronic intestinal diseases characterized by infla...

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Inflammatory response: A fundamental type of response by the body to disease and injury, a...

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Internal medicine: The medical specialty dedicated to the diagnosis and medical treatment ...

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

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

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Intubation: The process of putting a tube into a hollow organ or passageway, often into th...

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Joint: The area where two bones are attached for the purpose of permitting body parts to m...

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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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Large intestine: Comes after the small intestine. Large because it is wider than the smal...

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Lens: The transparent structure inside the eye that focuses light rays onto the retina.

Liquid diet: The Liquid diet is the restriction of solid food intake, and replacement of s...

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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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Lymphocytes: A small white blood cell (leukocyte) that plays a large role in defending the...

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Malignancy: A tumor that is malignant (cancerous), that can invade and destroy nearby tiss...

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Malignant: 1. Tending to be severe and become progressively worse, as in malignant ...

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Medical school: A school with a curriculum leading to a medical degree. The mission of eve...

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Megacolon: An abnormally enlarged colon. Megacolon can arise as a serious congenital probl...

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Mercaptopurine: A drug that acts as an antimetabolite, interfering with the metabolism of ...

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

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Mucosa: Having to do with a mucous membrane. For example, the oral mucosa.

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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Necrosis: The death of living cells or tissues. Necrosis can be due, for example, to ische...

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Neuropathy: Any disease or malfunction of the nerves.

Nicotine: An alkaloid (a nitrogen-containing chemical) made by the tobacco plant or produc...

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Obstruction: Blockage of a passageway. See, for example: Airway obstruction; Intestinal o...

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Occult: Hidden. For example, occult blood in the stool is hidden from the eye but can be d...

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Onset: In medicine, the first appearance of the signs or symptoms of an illness as, for ex...

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

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Osteoporosis: Thinning of the bones, with reduction in bone mass, due to depletion of calc...

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

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Parasitic: Having to do with a parasite, as in a parasitic infection; or acting like a par...

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Perianal: Located around the anus, the opening of the rectum to the outside of the body.

Pharmacy: A location where prescription medications are sold. A pharmacy is constantly sup...

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Precursor: Forerunner. That which precedes or is derived from an available source.

Probability: The likelihood that something will happen. For example, a probability of less...

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Proctitis: Inflammation of the rectum. Proctitis may be due to a considerable number of ca...

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

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Pyoderma gangrenosum: An ulcerating condition of skin that results in heaped borders with ...

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Quadrant: A quarter of an area. For example, the liver is in the right upper quadrant of t...

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

Recurrence: The return of a sign, symptom, or disease after a remission. The reappearance ...

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Recurrent: Appearing or occurring again. For example, a recurrent fever is a fever that ha...

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Red blood cell: The blood cell that carries oxygen. Red cells contain hemoglobin and it is...

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Refractory: Not yielding, or not yielding readily, to treatment.

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

Remission: Disappearance of the signs and symptoms of cancer or other disease. A remission...

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Resection: Surgical removal of part of an organ.

Risk of recurrence: The chance that a disease will strike again. In medical genetics, the ...

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Rupture: A break or tear in any organ (such as the spleen) or soft tissue (such as the ach...

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Sigmoid: In human anatomy, the lower colon (the lower portion of the large bowel). Sigmoid...

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Sigmoidoscope: A lighted instrument that is used to view the inside of the lower colon.

Sigmoidoscopy: A procedure in which a physician inserts a viewing tube (sigmoidoscope) int...

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Small bowel: Another name for the small intestine.

Small intestine: The part of the digestive tract that extends from the stomach to the larg...

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Stage: As regards cancer, the extent of a cancer, especially whether the disease has spre...

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Stenosis: A narrowing. For example, aortic stenosis is a narrowing of the aortic valve in ...

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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.

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

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

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Substance: 1. Material with particular features.
2. The material that...

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Surgeon: A physician who treats disease, injury, or deformity via operative or manual meth...

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Surgery: The branch of medicine that employs operations in the treatment of disease or inj...

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Symptomatic: 1 With symptoms, as a symptomatic infection. 2 Characteristic o...

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Syndrome: A combination of symptoms and signs that together represent a disease process.

Tendon: The soft tissue by which muscle attaches to bone. Tendons are somewhat flexible, b...

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Topical: Pertaining to a particular surface area. For example, a topical agent is applied ...

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Ulceration: The process or fact of being eroded away, as by an ulcer.

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

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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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Weight loss: Weight loss is a decrease in body weight resulting from either voluntary (die...

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White blood cell: One of the cells the body makes to help fight infections. There are seve...

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White blood cell count (leukocyte count): The number of white blood cells (WBCs) in the b...

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X-ray: High-energy radiation with waves shorter than those of visible light. X-ray is used...

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