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Medicine Net - Pharmaceutical info
Category: Health and Medicine
Date & country: 28/02/2011, US
Words: 125

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.

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 (the abdomen). Abdominal pain can come from conditions affecting a variety of organs. The abdomen is an anatomical area that is bounded by the lower margin of the ribs above, the pelvic bone (pubic ramus) below, and the flanks on each side. Although abdominal pain can arise from the tissues of the abdominal wall that surround the abdominal cavity (the skin and abdominal wall musc...

Not normal. Deviating from the usual structure, position, condition, or behavior. In referring to a growth, abnormal may mean that it is cancerous or premalignant (likely to become cancer).

Anything that is not present at birth but develops some time later. In medicine, the word "acquired" implies "new" or "added." An acquired condition is "new" in the sense that it is not genetic (inherited) and "added" in the sense that was not present at birth.

A group of viruses responsible for a spectrum of respiratory disease as well as infection of the stomach and intestine (gastroenteritis), eyes (conjunctivitis), and bladder (cystitis) and rash. Adenovirus respiratory diseases include a form of the common cold, pneumonia, croup, and bronchitis. Patients with compromised immune systems are especially susceptible to severe complications of adenovirus...

Allergic reaction
The hypersensitive response of the immune system of an allergic individual to a substance.

A misguided reaction to foreign substances by the immune system, the body system of defense against foreign invaders, particularly pathogens (the agents of infection). The allergic reaction is misguided in that these foreign substances are usually harmless. The substances that trigger allergy are called allergen. Examples include pollens, dust mite, molds, danders, and certain foods. People prone ...

Inflammation of the appendix, the small worm-like projection from the first part of the colon. Appendicitis usually involves infection of the appendix by bacteria that invade it and infect the wall of the appendix. Appendicitis can progress to produce an abscess (a pocket of pus) and even peritonitis (inflammation of the lining of the abdomen and pelvis).

Without symptoms. For example, an asymptomatic infection is an infection with no symptoms.

Wobbliness. Incoordination and unsteadiness due to the brain's failure to regulate the body's posture and regulate the strength and direction of limb movements. Ataxia is usually a consequence of disease in the brain, specifically in the cerebellum which lies beneath the back part of the cerebrum.

A large family of bacteria that have a rod-like shape. They include the bacteria that cause food to spoil, and also those responsible for some types of diseases. Helpful members of the bacillus family are used to make antibiotics, or colonize the human intestinal tract and aid with digestion.

Single-celled microorganisms which can exist either as independent (free-living) organisms or as parasites (dependent upon another organism for life).

Of or pertaining to bacteria. For example, a bacterial lung infection.

The singular of bacteria.

Blood count
The calculated number of white or red blood cells (WBCs or RBCs) in a cubic millimeter of blood.

Blood pressure
The blood pressure is the pressure of the blood within the arteries. It is produced primarily by the contraction of the heart muscle. It's measurement is recorded by two numbers. The first (systolic pressure) is measured after the heart contracts and is highest. The second (diastolic pressure) is measured before the heart contracts and lowest. A blood pressure cuff is used to measure the pressure...

An uncommon but potentially very serious illness, a type of food poisoning, that produces paralysis of muscles, via a nerve toxin called botulinum toxin ("botox") that is manufactured by bacteria named Clostridium botulinum.

Having to do with cows and cattle, as in bovine spongiform encephalopathy (mad cow disease), bovine tuberculosis, and bovine growth hormone.

Another name for the intestine. The small bowel and the large bowel are the small intestine and large intestine, respectively.

That part of the central nervous system that is located within the cranium (skull). The brain functions as the primary receiver, organizer and distributor of information for the body. It has two (right and left) halves called "hemispheres."

The process of respiration, during which air is inhaled into the lungs through the mouth or nose due to muscle contraction, and then exhaled due to muscle relaxation.

An infectious disease due to the bacteria Brucella that causes rising and falling (undulant) fevers, sweats, malaise, weakness, anorexia, headache, myalgia (muscle pain) and back pain.

A commonly used abbreviation in medicine that stands for complete blood count, a set values of the cellular (formed elements) of blood. These measurements are generally determined by specially designed machines that analyze the different components of blood in less than a minute.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the US agency charged with tracking and investigating public health trends. The stated mission of the CDC is "To promote health and quality of life by preventing and controlling disease, injury, and disability." The CDC is a part of the U.S. Public Health Services (PHS) under the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

feelings of coldness accompanied by shivering. Chills may develop after exposure to a cold environment or may accompany a fever.

Seafood poisoning due to ciguatoxin, a toxin acquired by eating fish that have consumed toxic single-celled marine organisms called dinoflagellates or fish that have consumed other fish that have become toxic. When someone eats these fish, they suffer seafood poisoning.

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 botulinum
A group of rod-shaped bacteria commonly found in the soil that grow best under low oxygen conditions. The bacteria form heat-resistant spores which allow them to survive in a dormant state until exposed to conditions that can support their growth. Clostridium botulinum produces botulinum toxin, a highly potent neurotoxin and the basis of the disease botulism.

Clostridium perfringens
A type of bacteria that is the most common agent of gas gangrene and can also cause food poisoning as well as a fulminant form of bowel disease called necrotizing colitis.

The part of the large intestine that runs from the cecum to the rectum as a long hollow tube that serves to remove water from digested food and let the remaining material, solid waste called stool, move through it to the rectum and leave the body through the anus. .

Complete blood count
A set values of the cellular (formed elements) of blood. These measurements are generally determined by specially designed machines that analyze the different components of blood in less than a minute.

In medicine, an additional problem that arises following a procedure, treatment or illness and is secondary to it. A complication complicates the situation.

An infection caused by the pork tapeworm, Taenia solium. Infection occurs when the tapeworm larvae enter the body and form cysticerci (SIS-tuh-sir-KEY) (cysts). When cysticerci are found in the brain, the condition is called neurocysticercosis (NEW-row SIS-tuh-sir-KO-sis).

Excessive loss of body water. Diseases of the gastrointestinal tract that cause vomiting or diarrhea may, for example, lead to dehydration. There are a number of other causes of dehydration including heat exposure, prolonged vigorous exercise (e.g., in a marathon), kidney disease, and medications (diuretics).

1 The nature of a disease; the identification of an illness. 2 A conclusion or decision reached by diagnosis. The diagnosis is rabies. 3 The identification of any problem. The diagnosis was a plugged IV.

A familiar phenomenon with unusually frequent or unusually liquid bowel movements, excessive watery evacuations of fecal material. The opposite of constipation. The word "diarrhea" with its odd spelling is a near steal from the Greek "diarrhoia" meaning "a flowing through." Plato and Aristotle may have had diarrhoia while today we have diarrhea. There are myriad infectious and noninfectious ...

Painless head discomfort with many possible causes including disturbances of vision, the brain, balance (vestibular) system of the inner ear, and gastrointestinal system. Dizziness is a medically indistinct term which laypersons use to describe a variety of conditions ranging from lightheadedness, unsteadiness to vertigo.

Dry mouth
The condition of not having enough saliva to keep the mouth wet. This is due to inadequate function of the salivary glands. Everyone has dry mouth once in a while when they are nervous, upset or under stress. But if someone has a dry mouth most all of the time, it can be uncomfortable and lead to serious health problems.

Inflammation of the intestine, often with pain, diarrhea, bloody stools, etc. It is usually caused by infestation of the bowel by an ameba. Dysentery can be fatal, usually due to severe dehydration. Treatment includes rapid rehydration, sometimes via IV, and medication. From the Greek "dys-" meaning "abnormal or painful" + "enteron" meaning "intestine" = abnormal or painful intestine.

An electrolyte is a substance that will dissociate into ions in solution and acquire the capacity to conduct electricity. The electrolytes include sodium, potassium, chloride, calcium and phosphate. Informally, called lytes. (The clue to the word electrolyte is in the lyte which comes from the Greek lytos meaning that may be dissolved.)

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 desc...

The medical and scientific term for the "excrement discharged from the intestines."

Although a fever technically is any body temperature above the normal of 98.6 degrees F. (37 degrees C.), in practice a person is usually not considered to have a significant fever until the temperature is above 100.4 degrees F (38 degrees C.).

Short for influenza. The flu is caused by viruses that infect the respiratory tract which are divided into three types, designated A, B, and C. Most people who get the flu recover completely in 1 to 2 weeks, but some people develop serious and potentially life-threatening medical complications, such as pneumonia. Much of the illness and death caused by influenza can be prevented by annual influenz...

Food poisoning
A common flu-like illness typically characterized by nausea, vomiting and diarrhea, due to something the victim ate or drank that contained noxious bacteria, viruses, parasites, metals or toxins.

Inflammation of the stomach and the intestines. Can cause nausea and vomiting and/or diarrhea. Gastroenteritis has numerous causes

Adjective referring collectively to the stomach and small and large intestines.

Infection with Giardia lamblia.

In anatomy, the area where the upper thigh meets the trunk. More precisely, the fold or depression marking the juncture of the lower abdomen and the inner part of the thigh.

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.

Referring to hemolysis, the destruction of red blood cells which leads to the release of hemoglobin from within the red blood cells into the blood plasma.

Hemolytic uremic syndrome
A condition characterized by the breakup of red blood cells (hemolysis) and kidney failure. There is clumping of platelets (the blood cells responsible for clotting) within the kidney's small blood vessels with resultant ischemia (reduced blood flow) leading to the kidney failure. The partial blockage of the blood vessels also leads to the destruction of red blood cells (hemolysis). Platelets are...

Pertaining to bleeding or the abnormal flow of blood.

Inflammation of the liver from any cause.

Hepatitis A
Inflammation of the liver caused by the hepatitis A virus (HAV). HAV is usually transmitted from person to person by food or drink that has been contaminated with the stool of a person with hepatitis A. This type of transmission is called "fecal-oral." The virus is more easily spread in areas where there are poor sanitary conditions or where good personal hygiene is not observed. In 2003 there w...

Hepatitis B
Inflammation of the liver due to the hepatitis B virus (HBV), once thought to be passed only through blood products. It is now known that hepatitis B can also be transmitted via needle sticks, body piercing and tattooing using un sterilized instruments, the dialysis process, sexual and even less intimate close contact, and childbirth. Symptoms include fatigue, jaundice, nausea, vomiting, dark urin...

Substance that plays a major role in many allergic reactions. Histamine dilates blood vessels and makes the vessel walls abnormally permeable.

Protected against infection. The Latin immunis means free, exempt.

The growth of a parasitic organism within the body. (A parasitic organism is one that lives on or in another organism and draws its nourishment therefrom.) A person with an infection has another organism (a "germ") growing within him, drawing its nourishment from the person.

A basic way in which the body reacts to infection, irritation or other injury, the key feature being redness, warmth, swelling and pain. Inflammation is now recognized as a type of nonspecific immune response.

The long, tubelike organ in the abdomen that completes the process of digestion. It consists of the small and large intestines.

Unstoppable. For example, intractable diarrhea or intractable pain.

An uncomfortable sensation in the skin that feels as if something is crawling on the skin or in the skin, and makes the person want to scratch the affected area.

One of a pair of organs located in the right and left side of the abdomen which clear "poisons" from the blood, regulate acid concentration and maintain water balance in the body by excreting urine. The kidneys are part of the urinary tract. The urine then passes through connecting tubes called "ureters" into the bladder. The bladder stores the urine until it is released during urination.

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

A feeling you are "going to faint." Lightheadedness is medically distinct from dizziness, unsteadiness, and vertigo. See

A group of bacteria capable of causing illness including potentially fatal infections in the elderly, newborns, pregnant women, and persons with a weakened immune system. Listeria monocytogenes is the form of Listeria most commonly responsible for infections.

An illness that arises from infection caused by eating food contaminated with the bacterium Listeria monocytogenes. The disease affects primarily pregnant women, newborns, the elderly, and anyone with immune compromise.

An organ in the upper abdomen that aids in digestion and removes waste products and worn-out cells from the blood. The liver is the largest solid organ in the body. The liver weighs about three and a half pounds (1.6 kilograms). It measures about 8 inches (20 cm) horizontally (across) and 6.5 inches (17 cm) vertically (down) and is 4.5 inches (12 cm) thick.

An almost colorless fluid that travels through vessels called lymphatics in the lymphatic system and carries cells that help fight infection and disease.

1. The upper opening of the digestive tract, beginning with the lips and containing the teeth, gums, and tongue. Foodstuffs are broken down mechanically in the mouth by chewing and saliva is added as a lubricant. Saliva contains amylase, an enzyme that digests starch. 2. Any opening or aperture in the body. The mouth in both senses of the word is also called the os, the Latin word for an opening, ...

Pertaining to mucus, a thick fluid produced by the lining of some tissues of the body.

A thick slippery fluid produced by the membranes lining certain organs such as the nose, mouth, throat, and vagina. Mucus is the Latin word for "a semifluid, slimy discharge from the nose." Note that mucus is a noun while the adjective is mucous.

Muscle is the tissue of the body which primarily functions as a source of power. There are three types of muscle in the body. Muscle which is responsible for moving extremities and external areas of the body is called "skeletal muscle." Heart muscle is called "cardiac muscle." Muscle that is in the walls of arteries and bowel is called "smooth muscle."

Nausea, is the urge to vomit. It can be brought by many causes including, systemic illnesses, such as influenza, medications, pain, and inner ear disease. When nausea and/or vomiting are persistent, or when they are accompanied by other severe symptoms such as abdominal pain, jaundice, fever, or bleeding, a physician should be consulted.

Infection of the brain by the larval form of the pork tapeworm Taenia solium. Neurocysticercosis is a form of cysticercosis and is the most common worm infection of the central nervous system. The disease is most prevalent in developing countries, in which it can be a serious public health problem.

Norwalk virus
A family of small round viruses that are an important cause of viral gastroenteritis (viral inflammation of the stomach and intestines). Norwalk disease is a significant contributor to illness in the US. Only the common cold is reported more frequently as a cause of disease. About a third of all cases of viral gastroenteritis after infancy are due to Norwalk viruses.

A relatively independent part of the body that carries out one or more special functions. The organs of the human body include the eye, ear, heart, lungs, and liver.

Plural form of ovum.

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 t...

Loss of voluntary movement (motor function). Paralysis that affects only one muscle or limb is partial paralysis, also known as palsy; paralysis of all muscles is total paralysis, as may occur in cases of botulism.

An organism that lives in or on and takes its nourishment from another organism. A parasite cannot live independently.

An irregular, disc-shaped element in the blood that assists in blood clotting. During normal blood clotting, the platelets clump together (aggregate). Although platelets are often classed as blood cells, they are actually fragments of large bone marrow cells called megakaryocytes.

Platelet count
The calculated number of platelets in a volume of blood, usually expressed as platelets per cubic millimeter (cmm) of whole blood. Platelets are the smallest cell-like structures in the blood and are important for blood clotting and plugging damaged blood vessels. Platelet counts are usually done by laboratory machines that also count other blood elements such as the white and red cells. They can ...

Taking a substance that is injurious to health or can cause death. Poisoning is still a major hazard to children, despite child-resistant (and sometimes adult-resistant) packaging and dose-limits per container.

A disease-causing agent that is neither bacterial nor fungal nor viral and contains no genetic material. A prion is a protein that occurs normally in a harmless form. By folding into an aberrant shape, the normal prion turns into a rogue agent. It then coopts other normal prions to become rogue prions.

1. The expected course of a disease.

A large molecule composed of one or more chains of amino acids in a specific order determined by the base sequence of nucleotides in the DNA coding for the protein.

The rhythmic contraction and expansion of an artery due to the surge of blood from the beat of the heart. The pulse is most often measured by feeling the arteries of the wrist. There is also a pulse, although far weaker, in veins.

1. A hemorrhagic area in the skin. The area of bleeding within the skin, by definition, is greater than 3 millimeters in diameter. The appearance of the purpura depends on age of the lesion. Early purpura is red and becomes darker, then purple, and brown-yellow as it fades. Purpura does not blanch when touched.

Raw egg
Uncooked, unpasteurized egg. Salmonella enteritidis, a harmful bacterium, can be transmitted from infected hens directly to the interior of their eggs before the shells are formed. Even eggs with clean, uncracked shells can be infected. The CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) now estimate that 1 egg in 20,000 may be contaminated. Although the number of eggs affected is quite small, th...

Red blood cells
The blood cells that carry oxygen. Red cells contain hemoglobin and it is the hemoglobin which permits them to transport oxygen (and carbon dioxide). Hemoglobin, aside from being a transport molecule, is a pigment. It gives the cells their red color (and their name).

To restore lost water to the body tissues and fluids. Prompt rehydration is imperative whenever dehydration occurs, from diarrhea, exposure, lack of drinking water, or medication use. Rehydration can be by oral or IV administration of fluids.

The process of restoring lost water to the body tissues and fluids. Prompt rehydration is imperative whenever dehydration occurs, from diarrhea, exposure, lack of drinking water, or medication use. Rehydration can be by the oral route or by the intravenous administration of fluids.

Rotavirus (RV)
A leading cause of severe winter diarrhea in young children, RV each year causes an estimated 500,000 doctor visits and 50,000 hospital admissions in the United States. Almost everyone catches RV before entering school but, with rehydration (and good nutrition), nearly all recover fully. However, in poor countries it is estimated that there are at least 600,000 deaths of children under 5 years fro...

A group of bacteria that cause typhoid fever and a number of other illnesses, including food poisoning, gastroenteritis and enteric fever from contaminated food products.

Commonly called a "blood stream infection." The presence of bacteria (bacteremia) or other infectious organisms or their toxins in the blood (septicemia) or in other tissue of the body. Sepsis may be associated with clinical symptoms of systemic (bodywide) illness, such as fever, chills, malaise (generally feeling "rotten"), low blood pressure, and mental status changes. Sepsis can be a seriou...

A group of bacteria that normally inhabit the intestinal tract and cause infantile gastroenteritis, summer diarrhea of childhood and various forms of dysentery including epidemic and opportunistic bacillary dysentery. Named for the Japanese bacteriologist Kiyoshi Shiga (1870-1957).

Shortness of breath
Difficulty in breathing. Medically referred to as dyspnea. Shortness of breath can be caused by respiratory (breathing passages and lungs) or circulatory (heart and blood vessels) conditions. See also dyspnea.