The following are health and medical definitions of terms that appear in the metronidazole, Flagyl article.
Abdomen: The belly, that part of the body that contains all of the structures between the chest and the pelvis. The abdomen is separated anatomically from the chest by the diaphragm, the powerful muscle spanning the body cavity below the lungs.
Abdominal: Relating to the abdomen, the belly, that part of the body that contains all of the structures between the chest and the pelvis. The abdomen is separated anatomically from the chest by the diaphragm, the powerful muscle spanning the body cavity below the lungs.
Abdominal pain: Pain in the belly. Abdominal pain can be acute or chronic. It may reflect a major problem with one of the organs in the abdomen, such as appendicitis or a perforated intestine, or it may result from a fairly minor problem, such as excess buildup of intestinal gas.
Abnormal: Outside the expected norm, or uncharacteristic of a particular patient.
Abscess: A local accumulation of pus anywhere in the body. The following are some examples of abscesses:
Absorption: Uptake. For example, intestinal absorption is the uptake of food (or other substances) from the digestive tract.
Acne: Localized skin inflammation as a result of overactivity of the oil glands at the base of hair follicles. Acne happens when oil (sebaceous) glands come to life around puberty, when these glands are stimulated by male hormones that are produced in the adrenal glands of both boys and girls.
Acne rosacea: A chronic skin disease that causes persistent redness over the areas of the face and nose that normally blush: mainly the forehead, the chin, and the lower half of the nose. The tiny blood vessels in these areas enlarge (dilate) and become more visible through the skin, appearing like tiny red lines (telangiectasias). Pimples that look like teenage acne can occur. Rosacea occurs most often between the ages of 30 and 60, especially in people with fair skin. It affects both sexes. Although it tends to occur more in women than in men, it is often worse in men. In most people the symptoms come and go, although it tends to worsen with time. Rosacea can be treated but not cured. Topical antibiotics such as metronidazole, and oral antibiotics such as tetracycline, are often used. Short-term topical cortisone (steroid) preparations of the right strength may also be used to reduce local inflammation. Avoiding smoking, food and drink that cause flushing (such as spicy food, hot beverages, and alcoholic drinks), and other triggers such as temperature extremes helps to minimize symptoms.
Amebic dysentery: Inflammation of the intestine due to infection with the ameba Entamoeba histolytica. Amebic dysentery can be accompanied by amebic infection of the liver and other organs.
Anaerobic: Not requiring oxygen. Anaerobic bacteria, for example, do not require oxygen to grow.
Antibiotic: A drug used to treat infections caused by bacteria and other microorganisms. Originally, an antibiotic was a substance produced by one microorganism that selectively inhibits the growth of another. Synthetic antibiotics, usually chemically related to natural antibiotics, have since been produced that accomplish comparable tasks.
Aseptic: The absence of microorganisms. By contrast, something that just discourages the growth of microorganisms is antiseptic.
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.
Bacterial: Of or pertaining to bacteria, as in a bacterial lung infection.
Bacterial vaginosis: A vaginal condition characterized by an abnormal vaginal discharge due to an overgrowth of normal bacteria in the vagina. Women with bacterial vaginosis also have fewer than the usual population of vaginal bacteria, called lactobacilli. Symptoms of bacterial vaginosis are vaginal discharge and sometimes a fishy odor. A microscopic sign of bacterial vaginosis is an unusual vaginal cell called a clue cell. Treatment options include oral antibiotics and vaginal gels. Bacterial vaginosis can cause premature labor and delivery, as well as infection of the amniotic fluid and of the uterus after delivery. Therefore, screening and treatment for bacterial vaginosis during pregnancy may be done.
Bacterium: The singular of bacteria.
Brain: The portion of the central nervous system that is located within the skull. It functions as a primary receiver, organizer, and distributor of information for the body. It has a right half and a left half, each of which is called a hemisphere.
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.
Capsule: Capsule has many meanings in medicine including the following:
See the entire definition of Capsule
Clostridium: A group of anaerobic bacteria (bacteria that thrive in the absence of oxygen). There are 100+ species of Clostridium. They include, for examples, Clostridium difficile, Clostridium perfringens (also called Clostridium welchii), and Clostridium botulinum.
Clostridium difficile: A bacterium that is one of the most common causes of infection of the colon in the US. Patients taking antibiotics are at risk of becoming infected with C. difficile as antibiotics can disrupt the normal bacteria of the bowel, allowing C. difficile to become established in the colon. In some people, a toxin produced by C. difficile causes diarrhea, abdominal pain, severe inflammation of the colon (colitis), fever, an elevated white blood cell count, vomiting, and dehydration. In severely affected patients, the inner lining of the colon becomes severely inflamed (pseudomembranous colitis) with the potential to perforate.
Colitis: Inflammation of the large intestine (the colon). There are many forms of colitis, including ulcerative colitis, Crohn's disease, infectious, pseudomembranous, and spastic. For example, intermittent rectal bleeding, crampy abdominal pain and diarrhea can be symptoms of ulcerative colitis. Diagnosis can be made by direct visualization using (sigmoidoscopy or colonoscopy) which is the most accurate test. Long-standing ulcerative colitis increases the risk for colon cancer. Ulcerative colitis can also be associated with inflammation in joints, spine, skin, eyes, the liver and its bile ducts. Treatment of ulcerative colitis can involve medications and surgery.
Colon: The long, coiled, tubelike organ that removes water from digested food. The remaining material, solid waste called stool, moves through the colon to the rectum and leaves the body through the anus. Also known as large bowel and large intestine.
Diarrhea: A common condition that involves unusually frequent and liquid bowel movements. The opposite of constipation. There are many infectious and noninfectious causes of diarrhea. Persistent diarrhea is both uncomfortable and dangerous to the health because it can indicate an underlying infection and may mean that the body is not able to absorb some nutrients due to a problem in the bowels. Treatment includes drinking plenty of fluids to prevent dehydration and taking over-the-counter remedies. People with diarrhea that persists for more than a couple days, particularly small children or elderly people, should seek medical attention.
Dysentery: Inflammation of the intestine, with pain, diarrhea, bloody stools, and often a fever above 38.3'C (101'F). The causes of dysentery include bacteria (such as Shigella), protozoa (such as amebae), parasitic worms (such as schistosomes), and viruses. Dysentery can be fatal because it can cause severe dehydration. Treatment includes rapid rehydration, sometimes via IV, and medication.
Encephalopathy: Disease, damage, or malfunction of the brain. In general, encephalopathy is manifested by an altered mental state that is sometimes accompanied by physical changes. Although numerous causes of encephalopathy are known, the majority of cases arise from infection, liver damage, anoxia, or kidney failure. The term encephalopathy is very broad and, in most cases, is preceded by various terms that describe the reason, cause, or special conditions of the patient that leads to brain malfunction. For example, anoxic encephalopathy means brain damage due to lack of oxygen, and hepatic encephalopathy means brain malfunction due to liver disease. Depending upon the cause and severity of the condition, symptoms may range from mild alterations in mental status to severe and potentially fatal manifestations such as dementia, seizures, and coma.
Eskalith: See: Lithium.
Fetus: An unborn offspring, from the embryo stage (the end of the eighth week after conception, when the major structures have formed) until birth.
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.
Giardia: A genus of protozoa that infect the gastrointestinal tract of some animals, including humans. Giardia have a large sucking disk which permits them to adhere to the intestinal lining. The species that infects humans (and causes diarrhea) is Giardia lamblia.
Giardia lamblia: A parasite responsible for a contagious form of diarrhea. The parasite is most commonly transmitted through direct contact with infected feces or by eating food or drinking water contaminated by feces. Giardia is one of the most common intestinal parasites in the world. The disease is most prevalent in developing countries, where infections are associated with poor sanitary conditions, poor water quality control, and overcrowding. Giardia is also a major cause of waterborne outbreaks of diarrhea in the US, primarily in mountainous areas where water supplies may be contaminated with feces from humans or animals such as beavers. Campers and backpackers should therefore avoid drinking untreated water from mountain streams. Giardiasis affects three times as many children as adults. It particularly affects diapered children and toddlers being toilet-trained. Families with young children who attend day-care centers are at greater risk of developing giardiasis than is the general population.
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.
Heart: The muscle that pumps blood received from veins into arteries throughout the body. The heart is positioned in the chest behind the sternum (breastbone); in front of the trachea, esophagus, and aorta; and above the diaphragm. A normal heart is about the size of a closed fist and weighs about 298 grams or 10.5 ounces. It is cone-shaped, with the point of the cone pointing down to the left. Two-thirds of the heart lies in the left side of the chest, with the balance in the right side of the chest. The heart is composed of specialized cardiac muscle, and it is four-chambered, with a right atrium and ventricle, and an anatomically separate left atrium and ventricle. The blood flows from the systemic veins into the right atrium, thence to the right ventricle, from which it is pumped to the lungs and then returned into the left atrium, thence to the left ventricle, from which it is driven into the systemic arteries. The heart is thus functionally composed of two hearts: the right heart and the left heart. The right heart consists of the right atrium, which receives deoxygenated blood from the body, and the right ventricle, which pumps the deoxygenated blood to the lungs under low pressure; and the left heart, which consists of the left atrium, which receives oxygenated blood from the lung, and the left ventricle, which pumps the oxygenated blood out to the body under high pressure.
Heart rate: The number of heartbeats per unit of time, usually per minute. The heart rate is based on the number of contractions of the ventricles (the lower chambers of the heart). The heart rate may be too fast (tachycardia) or too slow (bradycardia). The pulse is a bulge of an artery from waves of blood that course through the blood vessels each time the heart beats. The pulse is often taken at the wrist to estimate the heart rate.
Helicobacter pylori: A bacterium that causes stomach inflammation (gastritis) and ulcers in the stomach and duodenum. This bacterium is the most common cause of ulcers worldwide. H. pylori infection may be acquired from contaminated food and water or through person-to-person contact. It is common in people who live in crowded conditions with poor sanitation. This bacterium is also believed to be associated with stomach cancer (gastric adenocarcinoma) and a rare type of lymphoid tumor called gastric MALT lymphoma. Infected persons usually carry H. pylori indefinitely, often without symptoms, unless treated with antibiotics to eradicate the bacterium. Also known as ulcer bug.
HIV: Acronym for the Human Immunodeficiency Virus, the cause of AIDS (acquired immunodeficiency syndrome). HIV has also been called the human lymphotropic virus type III, the lymphadenopathy-associated virus and the lymphadenopathy virus. No matter what name is applied, it is a retrovirus. (A retrovirus has an RNA genome and a reverse transcriptase enzyme. Using the reverse transcriptase, the virus uses its RNA as a template for making complementary DNA which can integrate into the DNA of the host organism).
Immunodeficiency: The inability to form a normal immune response. Immunodeficiency can be due to a genetic disease or it can be acquired, as in AIDS.
Infection: The invasion and multiplication of microorganisms such as bacteria, viruses, and parasites that are not normally present within the body. An infection may cause no symptoms and be subclinical, or it may cause symptoms and be clinically apparent. An infection may remain localized, or it may spread through the blood or lymphatic vessels to become systemic (bodywide). Microorganisms that live naturally in the body are not considered infections. For example, bacteria that normally live within the mouth and intestine are not infections.
Inflammation: A localized reaction that produces redness, warmth, swelling, and pain as a result of infection, irritation, or injury. Inflammation can be external or internal.
Intestine: The long, tubelike organ in the abdomen that completes the process of digestion. It consists of the small and large intestines.
Kidney: One of a pair of organs located in the right and left side of the abdomen. The kidneys remove waste products from the blood and produce urine. As blood flows through the kidneys, the kidneys filter waste products, chemicals, and unneeded water from the blood. Urine collects in the middle of each kidney, in an area called the renal pelvis. It then drains from the kidney through a long tube, the ureter, to the bladder, where it is stored until elimination. The kidneys also make substances that help control blood pressure and regulate the formation of red blood cells.
Lithium: A naturally occurring salt that, in purified form, is used to treat certain psychiatric disorders, especially bipolar disease The therapeutic level of lithium'the amount needed to treat bipolar disorders'is perilously close to the level that can cause toxicity, so monitoring of blood levels is required. Symptoms of lithium toxicity include diarrhea, vomiting, blurred vision, loss of coordination, and loss of motor control. Treatment of lithium toxicity involves immediately reducing or discontinuing lithium use under medical supervision.
Lithobid: See: Lithium.
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.
Liver disease: Liver disease refers to any disorder of the liver. The liver is a large organ in the upper right abdomen that aids in digestion and removes waste products from the blood.
Meningitis: Inflammation of the meninges, the three membranes that envelop the brain and the spinal cord. Meningitis can be caused by infection by bacteria, viruses, and protozoa. Other causes include cancer (metastasis to the meninges), inflammatory diseases, and drugs. In some cases the cause of meningitis cannot be determined. The treatment depends on the cause of the meningitis.
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.
Neuropathy: Any disease or malfunction of the nerves.
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.
Oxygen: The odorless gas that is present in the air and necessary to maintain life. Oxygen may be given in a medical setting, either to reduce the volume of other gases in the blood or as a vehicle for delivering anesthetics in gas form. It can be delivered via nasal tubes, an oxygen mask, or an oxygen tent. Patients with lung disease or damage may need to use portable oxygen devices on a temporary or permanent basis.
Pain: An unpleasant sensation that can range from mild, localized discomfort to agony. Pain has both physical and emotional components. The physical part of pain results from nerve stimulation. Pain may be contained to a discrete area, as in an injury, or it can be more diffuse, as in disorders like fibromyalgia. Pain is mediated by specific nerve fibers that carry the pain impulses to the brain where their conscious appreciation may be modified by many factors.
Parasite: A plant or an animal organism that lives in or on another and takes its nourishment from that other organism. Parasitic diseases include infections that are due to protozoa, helminths, or arthropods. For example, malaria is caused by Plasmodium, a parasitic protozoa.
Parasitic: Having to do with a parasite, as in a parasitic infection; or acting like a parasite by taking nourishment from another.
Pelvic: Having to do with the pelvis, the lower part of the abdomen, located between the hip bones.
Pelvis: The lower part of the abdomen, located between the hip bones. Structures in the female pelvis include the uterus, vagina, ovaries, fallopian tubes, bladder, and rectum. Structures in the male pelvis include the bladder, rectum, prostate, testicles, and penis.
Peripheral: Situated away from the center, as opposed to centrally located.
Peritonitis: Inflammation of the peritoneum (The peritoneum is the tissue layer of cells lining the inner wall of the abdomen and pelvis). Peritonitis can result from infection (such as bacteria or parasites), injury and bleeding, or diseases (such as systemic lupus erythematosus).
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.
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.
Rash: Breaking out (eruption) of the skin. A rash can be caused by an underlying medical condition, hormonal cycles, allergies, or contact with irritating substances. Treatment depends on the underlying cause of the rash. Medically, a rash is referred to as an exanthem.
Rosacea: A chronic skin disease that causes persistent redness over the areas of the face and nose that normally blush: mainly the forehead, the chin, and the lower half of the nose. The tiny blood vessels in these areas enlarge (dilate) and become more visible through the skin, appearing like tiny red lines (telangiectasias). Pimples that look like teenage acne can occur. Rosacea occurs most often between the ages of 30 and 60, especially in people with fair skin. It affects both sexes. Although it tends to occur more in women than in men, it is often worse in men. In most people the symptoms come and go, although it tends to worsen with time. Rosacea can be treated but not cured. Topical antibiotics such as metronidazole, and oral antibiotics such as tetracycline, are often used. Short-term topical cortisone (steroid) preparations of the right strength may also be used to reduce local inflammation. Avoiding smoking, food and drink that cause flushing (such as spicy food, hot beverages, and alcoholic drinks), and other triggers such as temperature extremes helps to minimize symptoms.
Small intestine: The part of the digestive tract that extends from the stomach to the large intestine.
Stomach: The digestive organ that is located in the upper abdomen, under the ribs. The upper part of the stomach connects to the esophagus, and the lower part leads into the small intestine. When food enters the stomach, muscles in the stomach wall create a rippling motion (peristalsis) that mixes and mashes the food. At the same time, juices made by glands in the lining of the stomach help digest the food. After about 3 hours, the food becomes a liquid and moves into the small intestine, where digestion continues.
Taste: A perception that results from stimulation of a gustatory nerve. Taste belongs to the chemical sensing system. Tasting begins when molecules stimulate special cells in the mouth or throat. These special cells transmit messages through nerves to the brain, where specific tastes are identified. Gustatory, or taste, cells react to food and beverages. The taste cells are clustered in the taste buds of the mouth and throat. Many of the small bumps that can be seen on the tongue contain taste buds. Smell contributes to the sense of taste, as does another chemosensory mechanism, called the common chemical sense. In this system, thousands of nerve endings'especially on the moist surfaces of the eyes, nose, mouth, and throat'give rise to sensations such as the sting of ammonia, the coolness of menthol, and the irritation of chili peppers. People can commonly identify four basic taste sensations: sweet, sour, bitter, and salty. In the mouth, these tastes, along with texture, temperature, and the sensations from the common chemical sense, combine with odors to produce the perception of flavor. Flavors are recognized mainly through the sense of smell. If a person holds his or her nose while eating chocolate, for example, the person will have trouble identifying the chocolate flavor'even though he or she can distinguish the food's sweetness or bitterness. That is because the familiar flavor of chocolate is sensed largely by odor.
Topical: Pertaining to a particular surface area. For example, a topical agent is applied to a certain area of the skin and is intended to affect only the area to which it is applied. Whether its effects are indeed limited to that area depends on whether the agent stays where it is put or is absorbed into the bloodstream. Cortisone creams are topical 'medications.
Trichomonas: A single-celled protozoan parasite best known in medicine because one species causes vaginitis (vaginal inflammation). Infection with trichomonas (trichomoniasis) is the most common curable sexually transmitted disease (STD) in young sexually active women.) in young sexually active women. The species of trichomonas responsible for STD is Trichomonas vaginalis. The vagina is the most common site of infection in women, and the urethra (urine canal) is the most common site of infection in men. The parasite is sexually transmitted through penis-to-vagina intercourse or vulva-to-vulva (the genital area outside the vagina) contact with an infected partner. Women can acquire the disease from infected men or women, but men usually contract it only from infected women.
Trichomoniasis: Infection with trichomonas, in humans with Trichomonas vaginalis.
Tubes: The "tubes" are medically known as the Fallopian tubes. There are two Fallopian tubes, one on each side, which transport the egg from the ovary to the uterus (the womb). The Fallopian tubes have small hair-like projections called cilia on the cells of the lining.
Vagina: The muscular canal that extends from the cervix to the outside of the body. It is usually 6 to 7 inches in length, and its walls are lined with mucous membrane. It includes two vaultlike structures: the anterior (front) vaginal fornix and the posterior (rear) vaginal fornix. The cervix protrudes slightly into the vagina, and through a tiny hole in the cervix (the os), sperm make their way toward the internal reproductive organs. The vagina also includes numerous tiny glands that make vaginal secretions.
Vaginitis: Inflammation of the vagina. The vagina is the muscular canal extending from the cervix to the outside of the body. Vaginitis is often caused by a fungus. A woman with this condition may have itching or burning and may notice a discharge. Vaginitis is a common condition. There are factors that predispose a woman to develop vaginitis. For example, women who have diabetes have vaginitis more often than women who do not.
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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