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Glossary

Acute: Term used to describe disorders or symptoms that occur
abruptly or that run a short course; opposite of Chronic

Arteriosclerosis: Condition in which the walls of arteries become
hard and thick, sometimes interfering with blood circulation

Aerobic: Requiring the presence of oxygen. Aerobic exercise, for
example, requires increased oxygen consumption. Opposite of
Anaerobic

Artery: Blood vessel that carries blood from the heart to other
tissues of the body
Asymptomatic: Without symptoms

Ambulatory: Able to walk
Atherosclerosis: Condition in which fatty deposits accumulate
in the lining of the arteries, resulting in restricted, less flexible pathways for the blood

Amino acid: A component of protein, containing nitrogen. The body
produces many amino acids; those it needs but cannot make are known
as essential amino acids and must be obtained through the diet

Atrophy: Wasting of tissue or an organ due to disease or lack of use

Anaerobic: Able to live without oxygen (as certain bacteria), or a
type of exercise in which short, vigorous bursts of activity requiring little additional oxygen are performed. Opposite of Aerobic

Autoimmune: Reaction of the body against one or some of its
own tissues that are perceived as foreign substances, resulting in
production of antibodies against that tissue

Anemia: Condition characterized by a reduced number of red
blood cells, amount of hemoglobin, or amount of blood

Bacteria: Single-celled microorganisms, some of which cause
disease and some of which are beneficial to biological processes

Aneurysm: The localized bulging of a blood vessel, usually an
artery, to form a bulge or sac

Benign: Harmless; not progressive or recurrent
Blood pressure: Force placed on the walls of the arteries. See
Diastole and Systole

Anorexia: Loss of appetite, often due to depression, fever, illness,
widespread cancer, or addiction to alcohol or drugs

Bowel: Small or large intestine. The small intestine is sometimes
called the small bowel. The large intestine is also called the colon

Anorexia nervosa: An eating disorder characterized by aberrant
eating patterns and disturbed ideas about body weight

Brand-name drug: A drug carrying a trademark name designated
by its manufacturer

Antibody: Protein of the immune system that counteracts or eliminates foreign substances known as antigens

Cachexia: Malnutrition and wasting due to illness
Antigen: Substance foreign to the body that causes antibodies
to form

Caffeine: A stimulant found naturally in coffee, tea, chocolate,
and cocoa; may be added to, for example, soft drinks and overthe-counter drugs

Apnea: Temporary cessation of breathing

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Essential to the production of sex hormones.408 Glossary Calorie: The amount of heat needed to raise the temperature of 1 gram of water by 1° Centigrade Coagulate: To solidify or change from a liquid to a semisolid. found primarily in breads and cereals and in fruits and vegetables Complex carbohydrate: A substance that contains several sugar units linked together. such as starch Constipation: The difficult or infrequent passage of stool Carcinogen: A potential cancer-causing agent Coronary: Pertaining to the arteries that supply blood to the heart Cardiac: Pertaining to the heart Coronary artery disease: Narrowing or blockage of one or more of the coronary arteries. producing ketones (acids) Diagnosis: Identification of a disease or disorder . Dehydration may be accompanied by dry mouth. forming malignant tumors that can develop in various parts of the body. constipation. Opposite of Acute Clinical: Pertaining to information gathered from direct observation of patients. dizziness. See Malignant and Benign Colon: The large intestine extending from the small intestine and ending in the anus. as when blood clots Cancer: General term for various conditions characterized by abnormal growth of cells. It is responsible for extracting water from undigested food and storing the waste. or fever Deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA): A substance found in the nucleus of cells that carries genetic information Dextrose: A simple sugar that is found in the blood Diabetes mellitus: Disorder characterized by high levels of glucose in the blood. synthetic hormones used as medications Debility: A state of physical weakness Dehydration: A lack of an adequate amount of fluid in the body. which is eliminated in bowel movements Capillaries: Minute blood vessels connecting the smallest arteries to the smallest veins Colorectal: Pertaining to the colon and rectum Carbohydrate: A group of compounds composed of starches or sugars. Also called “ischemic heart disease” Cardiopulmonary: Pertaining to both heart and lungs Cardiovascular: Pertaining to the heart and blood vessels Carotid artery: Main (right and left) artery of the neck which carries blood to the head and brain Cerebrovascular: Pertaining to the blood vessels of the brain Chemotherapy: Treatment of disease by chemicals that have a direct effect on the disease-causing organism or disease cells. widely used in the treatment of cancer Cholesterol: A fat-like substance made in the liver and found in the blood. concentrated urine. thirst. Found in foods of animal sources Chromosome: One of 46 rod-shaped structures in the nucleus that carry genetic information to each cell Chronic: Term used to describe long-lasting disease or conditions. brain. and bile and as deposits in the walls of blood vessels. also. as distinct from laboratory findings Corticosteroids: Hormones produced by the cortex of the adrenal glands. resulting in decreased blood supply to the heart (ischemia). Diabetes mellitus may be caused by a failure of the pancreas to produce sufficient insulin or by resistance of the body to the action of insulin Diabetic ketoacidosis: A serious condition that develops in persons with diabetes when there is not enough insulin and the body begins breaking down fat. liver.

different fatty acids have different effects on cholesterol and triglyceride levels Diastole: Period during the heart cycle in which the muscle relaxes. In a blood pressure reading. and diarrhea. Fats are either saturated or unsaturated. corn syrup. inner membrane that lines the heart. or repair of genetic material by synthetic means Estrogen: Hormone produced primarily in women that contributes to the development of female secondary sex characteristics and cyclic changes such as menstruation and pregnancy. Recorded as the second number in a blood pressure measurement Flatulence: Excessive gas in the stomach or intestine Fracture: To break or crack a bone. and honey Duodenum: The part of the small intestine next to the stomach Gallbladder: Structure located under the liver that stores bile and then releases it into the small intestine Edema: Swelling of body tissues due to excessive fluid Endocardium: The thin. vomiting. The hormone is also produced in small quantities in men Geriatrics: The branch of medicine that specializes in the care of problems related to aging Germ: A microorganism that causes disease Ethanol: Grain or ethyl alcohol Gestational diabetes: Diabetes that develops during pregnancy. See Endocardium and Myocardium Epinephrine: Adrenal hormone that increases heart rate and blood pressure and affects other body functions Gastric: Pertaining to the stomach Gastroenteritis: An inflammatory condition of the stomach and intestines leading to nausea. endocrine glands release hormones directly into the bloodstream . a substance that resists digestion and passes through the system essentially unchanged. An oral replacement dose of estrogen is often used to lessen the effects of menopause. a break or a crack in a bone Digestion: Breakdown of food so it can be absorbed Fructose: A sugar found in fruit. not limited to one area of the body Esophagus: The muscular tube that connects the throat to the stomach Genetic engineering: Manufacture. the lower number is the diastolic measurement Fiber: As applies to food. or. followed by contraction (Systole). alteration. Fiber adds bulk to the diet and aids in the passage of bowel movements Diastolic pressure: The lowest blood pressure reached during the relaxation of your heart.Glossary 409 Diarrhea: An increase in the number or liquidity of bowel movements Fatty acids: Substances that occur in foods. among other effects. abdominal pain. Unsaturated fats are classified further as either monounsaturated or polyunsaturated Gland: Any organ or tissue that releases a substance to be used elsewhere in the body. See Epicardium and Myocardium Enzyme: A complex protein that stimulates a chemical reaction Epicardium: The thin membrane on the surface of the heart. resulting in improper regulation of glucose levels in the blood Fats: A group of organic compounds that are composed of fatty acids. Usually of bacterial or viral origin Gastrointestinal tract: The stomach and intestines Gene: Structure within a chromosome that is responsible for inheritance of a particular characteristic Generalized: Overall.

impulsiveness.410 Glossary Glucose: A form of sugar. oats. resulting in interruption of blood flow to a part of the heart Heartburn: Pain due to regurgitation (reflux) of juices from the stomach into the esophagus. Hemoglobin transports oxygen to body tissues Hypertension: Condition in which the blood is pumped through the body under abnormally high pressure. known as “good” cholesterol Hyperglycemia: Increased level of sugar (glucose) in the bloodstream Hyperlipidemia: Excess of fats (lipids) in the bloodstream Hyperplasia: Excessive growth of tissues Heart attack: Descriptive term for a myocardial infarction: an incident caused by the blockage of one or more of the coronary arteries. and barley. inability to concentrate. rye. particularly an infectious one Hormone: A substance secreted in the body and carried through the bloodstream to various tissues of the body. commonly refers to abdominal pain after meals . Gluten helps hold in the gas bubbles when flour dough rises Hyper-: Prefix meaning “excessive” or “increased” Glycogen: Stored form of carbohydrate in the liver and muscles Hyperactivity: Condition of disturbed behavior characterized by constant overactivity. used by the body for energy Hydrogenation: A process that changes an unsaturated fat to a more saturated one Gluten: Protein found in grains such as wheat. pyrosis Hemoglobin: A iron-containing protein found in the red blood cells. a type of cholesterol thought to help protect against atherosclerosis. distractibility. All of carbohydrate and part of fat can be changed by the body into glucose. also known as high blood pressure Hypo-: Prefix meaning “inadequate” or “insufficient” Hypoglycemia: Condition in which the sugar (glucose) in the bloodstream decreases below normal levels Hypotension: Low blood pressure Hemorrhage: Loss of blood from a blood vessel Hemorrhoid: Swollen vein in and around the anus that may bleed Iatrogenic disease: Disorder or disease resulting as a side effect of a prescribed treatment Hepatic: Pertaining to the liver Idiopathic: Pertaining to a condition or disease of unknown cause Heredity: Genetic transmission of traits from parent to offspring Ileum: Lower portion of the small intestine Hernia: Protrusion of an organ or part of an organ into surrounding tissues Immobilize: To make a limb or part immovable in order to promote healing High blood pressure: See Hypertension Immunity: State of being resistant to a disease. and aggressiveness Goiter: Enlargement of the thyroid gland Hypercholesterolemia: Increased level of cholesterol in the bloodstream Gout: A condition in which excess uric acid may lead to arthritis and kidney stones HDL cholesterol: High-density lipoprotein cholesterol. where it serves a regulatory function Indigestion: Impaired digestion.

Ileum. hunchback.2 pounds or 1. pain.000 grams Insulin: A hormone made by the pancreas or taken by injection that regulates the amount of sugar (glucose) in the bloodstream Kyphosis: Excessive curvature of the upper spine. heat. or cyst Ischemia: Deficiency of blood flow within an organ or part of an organ. including the secretion of bile. or rounding of the shoulders. Often refers to the situation in which an artery is narrowed or blocked by spasm or atherosclerosis and cannot deliver sufficient blood to the organ it supplies Lipid: Description term for a fat or fat-like substance found in the blood. See Duodenum. and Colon Laparoscopy: Examination of the inside of the abdominal cavity by means of a laparoscope (a viewing instrument) inserted through a small incision Intolerance: Inability to endure. May result from diseases such as osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis. from conditions such as compression fracture. resulting in humpback. provides cholesterol for necessary body functions. and the storage of glycogen and certain vitamins . 1 kilogram equals 2. osteoporosis. or rickets. known as “bad” cholesterol Irradiation of food: A process of exposing food to low-dose radiation in order to extend shelf life by killing microorganisms and insects Lesion: Area of tissue that is injured or diseased such as a wound. Jejunum. mole. as with pain or a drug therapy Involuntary: Not controlled through will LDL cholesterol: Low-density lipoprotein cholesterol. sore. such as cholesterol Jejunum: The portion of the small intestine located between the duodenum and ileum Joint: The point of juncture between two or more bones where movement occurs Lactose: The sugar found in milk Lipoproteins: Proteins that combine with lipids to make them dissolve in blood Liver: A large organ in the upper abdomen that is the site of many metabolic functions.Glossary 411 Infarct: An area of tissue that dies because of lack of blood supply Infection: Disease caused by invasion of body tissue by bacteria. viruses. but in excessive amounts it tends to accumulate in artery walls. tumor. the manufacture of proteins. abscess. and redness Kilogram: A metric unit of weight. or fungi Ketoacidosis: A disturbance of body chemistry that occurs in starvation or as a complication of type 1 (insulin-dependent) diabetes Ketone: An acidic substance produced when the body must use fat for energy Infectious: Ability to transmit a disease caused by microorganisms Inferior vena cava: Large vein returning blood from your legs and abdomen to your heart Kidneys: The two bean-shaped organs located in the back portion of the upper abdomen that are responsible for excreting urine and regulating the water and chemical contents of the blood Inflammation: Body tissue’s reaction to injury that leads to swelling. or from a congenital abnormality Insulin pump: A device that delivers a predetermined amount of insulin into the body Insulin reaction: A condition in insulin-taking diabetics resulting in low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) due to excess insulin or inadequate carbohydrate intake Lactation: The production of breast milk Intestines: Portion of the digestive tract extending from stomach to anus and responsible for much of the absorption of nutrients.

fatty stools. or covers organs or structures Nerve: A bundle of nerve fibers through which nerve impulses pass Menopause: The age-related. A malignant melanoma can be invasive and spread to lymph nodes and other sites more frequently than other skin cancers Nausea: An unpleasant sensation in the stomach. and bone structure Occlusion: Closure of a passage such as ducts or blood vessels. and reproduction Metabolism: Physical and chemical processes by which food is transformed into energy and tissues are broken down into waste products Nutrients: Substances supplied by food that provide nourishment for the body Metastasis: Spreading of a disease from one part of the body to another. separates. death of an area of heart muscle due to lack of blood supply Masticate: Chew Myocardium: The heart muscle. See Endocardium and Epicardium Melanoma: A pigmented tumor of the skin and. In dentistry. and weight loss. usually refers to movement of malignant cells (as in cancer) or bacteria through the lymph or blood Microbes: Microscopic one-celled organisms such as bacteria. permanent cessation of menstruation Neuropathy: A functional or structural change in nerves Menstruation: Monthly shedding of blood and tissue from the lining of the uterus Nucleus: Center portion of cells essential for cell growth. for energy. and for growth and repair of the body Obesity: Abnormal body weight. Symptoms and signs of malabsorption syndrome include loose. often followed by vomiting Membrane: A thin layer of tissue that lines.412 Glossary Lungs: The two organs of respiration that bring air and blood into close contact so that oxygen can be added to and carbon dioxide removed from the blood mm Hg (millimeters of mercury): Unit used for measuring blood pressure Mono-: Prefix meaning “one” Malabsorption: Inadequate absorption of nutrients from the small intestine. but anemia is not a symptom Muscle: Tissue that produces movement by its ability to contract Musculoskeletal: Pertaining to the muscles and the skeleton Malignant: Harmful. in rare instances. nourishment. the alignment of upper and lower teeth when the jaws are closed Olfactory: Pertaining to the sense of smell . many of which cause disease Mineral: A class of nutrients made from inorganic compounds Mitosis: Type of cell division in which the new cells have the same number of chromosomes as the parent cell Necrosis: Changes due to death of cells or organs Nutrition: A combination of processes by which the body receives and uses the substances necessary for its function. as in cancerous tissue that can grow uncontrollably and spread (metastasize) Myalgia: Muscle tenderness or pain Malnutrition: Deficiency of nourishment in the body due to lack of healthful food or improper digestion and distribution of nutrients Myocardial infarction: Heart attack. usually defined as more than 30 percent above average for age. height. of the mucous membranes. diarrhea.

or intramuscular Progesterone: Female sex hormone responsible for. artificial coloring. such as intravenous. or frost from the freezer Pinch: A measure of dry ingredients equivalent to approximately 1/16 of a teaspoon Placebo: Substance given for psychological benefit or as part of a clinical research study. Pernicious anemia is caused by the inability to absorb vitamin B12 from the intestinal tract Prostate gland: Gland located at the base of the bladder in men that contributes to production of seminal fluid Protein: One of many complex nitrogen-containing compounds. including fertilizers. and additives Orthostatic hypotension: Decrease in blood pressure upon standing. essential for the growth and repair of tissue Puberty: The time when body changes particular to the sex occur and when reproduction becomes possible Pulmonary: Pertaining to the lungs . according to kosher dietary regulations Prognosis: Prediction of the course or outcome of a disease Pasteurization: A method of killing bacteria in milk and other liquids by heating to moderately high temperatures for a short time Pathogen: Disease-producing microorganism Pathology: Study of the cause and nature of a disease Pernicious: Destructive. dirt. preparation of the uterine lining for implantation of the fertilized egg Pareve: A term describing food made without animal or dairy ingredients.Glossary 413 -oma: Suffix meaning “tumor”. may lead to light-headedness or fainting -osis: suffix meaning “diseased state” Osteoporosis: Reduction in bone that can result in weak bones and fractures Over-the-counter (OTC): Sold without a prescription Pancreas: Gland that produces enzymes essential to the digestion of food. The islets of Langerhans within the pancreas secrete insulin into the blood Pica: An uncommon urge to eat nonfood items such as laundry starch. insecticides. generally not a cancer Pharmacology: Study of drugs and their effects on living beings Oncology: The study of cancer Phytochemicals: Plant chemicals that when eaten may have an effect on health Organic food: Food that is grown and processed without the use of chemicals. often on a stalk Parathyroid gland: Endocrine glands located behind the thyroid gland that maintain the level of calcium in the blood Primary care physician: Physician responsible for a person’s general health care Parenteral: Method of administering medication or nutrition other than via the digestive tract. subcutaneous. among other things. sometimes fatal. it has no specific pharmacologic activity against illness Plaque: A film or deposit of bacteria and other material on the surface of a tooth that may lead to tooth decay or periodontal disease Plasma: Fluid part of the blood and lymph Poly-: Prefix meaning “multiple” Parasite: An organism that lives on or within another organism at the expense of the host Polyp: A protruding growth. baking powder. composed of amino acids.

414 Glossary Pulse: Expansion of an artery after each contraction of the heart Side effects: Undesirable effect of a medication or other treatment Radiation therapy: The use of high-energy penetrating waves to treat disease. and radium Spleen: The largest organ in the lymphatic system. Located near the stomach. a common form of skin cancer Renal: Pertaining to the kidneys Stenosis: The narrowing or closure of an opening or passageway in the body Renal failure: The inability of the kidneys to excrete wastes. inactive Sepsis: Infection with disease-causing microorganisms or other toxins in the bloodstream Syndrome: A constellation of symptoms that characterize an ailment Systemic: Affecting or pertaining to the entire body rather than one of its parts Systole: The portion of the heart cycle during which the heart muscle is contracting Systolic pressure: The highest blood pressure produced by the contraction of the heart. it passes from the stomach to the small intestine Saline: Salt (sodium chloride) solution Stool: Body waste excreted from the bowel. concentrate urine. and maintain electrolyte balance Retinopathy: Abnormality of the retina that may cause deterioration of eyesight Sterilization: The process by which all microorganisms are killed. storage. it has a role in the production. Sources of radiation used in radiation therapy include x-ray. After the food is processed mechanically by a churning action and chemically with gastric acids. vegetables. feces Saliva: Fluid secreted by the salivary and mucous glands of the mouth that moistens food and begins the process of digestion Stroke: An injury of the brain due to bleeding or to an interruption of the blood supply Sauté: To cook food quickly in a small amount of oil or seasoned liquid over a high heat Sucrose: The simple sugar processed from sugarcane and sugar beets Risk factors: A factor that increases the chance of developing or aggravating a condition Sclerosis: Hardening or thickening of an organ or tissue. the substance produced Sedentary: Lacking exercise. also. and breakdown of blood cells Rectum: The lowest portion of the large intestine. Stores stool until it is emptied Squamous cell carcinoma: A malignant tumor arising from cells known as squamous epithelium. Recorded as the first number in a blood pressure measurement Thoracic: Having to do with the chest (thorax) . and cereals Stomach: A sac-like organ to which food is delivered by the esophagus. cobalt. as in sterilization of surgical instruments Steroids: See Corticosteroids Roughage: Indigestible fiber of fruits. usually due to abnormal growth of fibrous tissue Screening: Tests or observations applied to a large cohort of individuals to identify disease or risk of disease Secretion: The process of producing a substance by a gland.

the material itself Ulcer: An open sore on the skin or a mucous membrane Ulcerative colitis: A disease characterized by inflammation of the lining of the colon and rectum X-ray: Electromagnetic vibrations of short wavelength that penetrate most matter and produce an image on film. includes veins and arteries Tissue: A collection of similar cells that form a body structure Toxin: A poison Transient ischemic attack: Symptoms caused by temporary lack of circulation to part of the brain Vegans: People who do not eat any food of animal origin Vein: A blood vessel that returns blood to the heart Venous: Pertaining to veins Viral: Pertaining to or caused by a virus Transplantation: The surgical transfer of an organ or tissue from one position (or person) to another Virus: Tiny organism that causes disease. or excess calories Truncal obesity: Fat deposited in the thorax and abdomen. stored in the bladder.Glossary 415 Thyroid gland: The endocrine gland that produces thyroid hormone Urine: Fluid waste produced in the kidneys. E. viruses range from minor (common cold) to potentially deadly (AIDS) Trauma: The process or event leading to an injury or wound Triglyceride: A form of fat that the body can make from sugar. alcohol. heart rate. Vomit: The ejection of contents of the stomach through the mouth. and released through the urethra Thyroxine: One of the forms of thyroid hormone that is involved in the control of the pace of chemical activity (metabolism) in the body Vascular: Pertaining to blood vessels. also. a neoplasm Vital signs: Respiration. instead of the hips and thighs Tumor: A new growth of tissue. they are fat-soluble (A. and body temperature Vitamins: Organic substances that are essential for most metabolic functions of the body. K) and water-soluble (B vitamins and C). also called roentgen ray . D.