Irritable Bowel Syndrome Glossary of Terms

The following are health and medical definitions of terms that appear in the Irritable Bowel Syndrome article.

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.

Amitriptyline: An antidepressant medication. In some patients with depression, abnormal l...

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

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

Antispasmodic: A medication that relieves, prevents, or lowers the incidence of muscle spa...

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Bowel: The small and large intestine.

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

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

  1. In medici...

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Carbohydrate: One of the three nutrient compounds, along with fat and protein, used as ene...

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Celiac disease: A disorder resulting from an immune reaction to gluten, a protein found in...

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

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

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

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CT scan: Computerized tomography scan. Pictures of structures within the body created by a...

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

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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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Elavil: See: Amitriptyline.

Emergency department: The department of a hospital responsible for the provision of medica...

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

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FDA: Food and Drug Administration.

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

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

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Flare: 1. an exacerbation of a chronic disease. Sometimes referred to as a flare-up, a fla...

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Flatulence: Excess gas in the intestinal tract. But excess flatulence is difficult to defi...

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Flatus: Gas in the intestinal tract or gas passed through the anus. Intestinal gas contain...

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

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

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Incidence: The frequency with which something, such as a disease or trait, appears in a pa...

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

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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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Laxative: Something that promotes emptying of the bowels. Laxatives are used to combat con...

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Mucous: Pertaining to mucus, a thick fluid produced by the lining of some tissues of the b...

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Mucus: A thick fluid that is produced by the lining of some organs of the body.

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

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

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

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Prognosis: The forecast of the probable outcome or course of a disease; the patient's chan...

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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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Rule out: Term used in medicine, meaning to eliminate or exclude something from considera...

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Scan: As a noun, the data or image obtained from the examination of organs or regions of...

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Sleep: The body's rest cycle.

Spasm: A brief, automatic jerking movement. A muscle spasm can be quite painful, with the ...

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Spastic colon: A term sometimes used to refer to irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Although...

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

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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.

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

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

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

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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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Xylitol: A sweetener that is found in plants and used as a substitute for sugar. Xylitol i...

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