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Addison's Disease -  When the adrenal glands produce insufficient cortisol often resulting in anemia, low blood pressure and feelings of weakness.
Adenine -  One of the four bases in DNA that make up the letters ATGC, adenine is the "A". The others are guanine, cytosine, and thymine. Adenine always pairs with thymine. (http://www.genome.gov/glossary.cfm)
ADME -  Abbreviation for the four steps in a medicine's journey through the body: absorption, distribution, metabolism, and excretion.
Adrenaline -  The name commonly given to epinephrine, a hormone secreted by the adrenal gland into the bloodstream. It rapidly prepares the body for action in emergency situations by increasing heart rate and increases blood sugar levels while suppressing other non-emergency bodily processes (digestion in particular).
Affinity -  The likelihood of a chemical reaction taking place between two substances.
Agonist -  A molecule that interacts with the receptor on a cell and produces a reaction.
AIDS -  An acronym for acquired immune deficiency syndrome. It is caused by human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). It is a disease affecting the immune system and lowers the ability to resist infections.
Akathisia -  Uncontrollable limb and body movements often caused by drugs.
Albumin -  A water-soluble protein produced in the liver that is the principal protein in blood plasma.
Alcohol -  For medical purposes, alcohol is a colorless liquid which is the intoxicating element in wine, beer and other spirits.
Allele -  A form of a gene that is different from the normal form that often explains the differences in blood type, height and the color of hair.
Amenorrhea -  A condition where menstruation is not occurring normally.
Amine -  A chemical compound containing nitrogen.
Amino acid -  A group of 20 different kinds of small molecules that link together in long chains to form proteins.
Amphetamine -  A stimulant drug that effects the central nervous system that can be both physically and psychologically addictive when overused.
Anabolic -  Relating to the step in metabolism where complex elements of living tissue are created.
Anabolic steroid -  A group of synthetic hormones that promote the storage of protein and the growth of tissue.
Analgesic -  The relief of pain or a drug that alleviates pain.
Androgen -  A male sex hormone like testosterone and DHEA-Sulfate.
Anemia -  A condition caused by a red blood cell deficiency or a hemoglobin deficiency. It results in feelings of weakness.
Antagonist -  A molecule that binds to a cell receptor and prevents the action of other molecules. It is the opposite of agonist.
Anti-inflammatory -  A drug that reduces inflammation.
Antibiotics -  Drugs, like penicillin which will attack and destroy bacteria in the body.
Antibodies -  These are produced by white blood cells called B Lymphocytes in response to specific toxins, diseases or infections and help the immune system remove them from the body.
Antidepressant -  A class of drugs used to treat depression.
Antigen -  A toxin or foreign substance that is considered by the immune system to be dangerous to the health of the body.
Antipsychotic -  A strong tranquilizer used to treat psychotic conditions.
Antipyretic -  Something that reduces fever. Pyretic means fire.
Aplastic anemia -  The production of all blood cells is too reduced.
Artery -  A tube which carries blood from the heart to the remainder of the body.
Asthma -  An allergic reaction that causes difficulty in breathing.
Ataxia -  Inability to coordinate the movements of muscles.
Atherosclerosis -  A disease caused by plaque built-up on the inner walls of the arteries that can lead to blockage of blood to the heart.
Atomoxetine -  A selective norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor (NRI) that is used for the treatment of ADHD.
Atypical -  Not the same as would be expected.
Autoimmune Disease -  A condition where the body’s immune system produces antibodies that attack its own organs or tissues.
Autoimmune Disorders -  A condition where the body’s immune system produces antibodies that attack its own organs or tissues.
Axon -  An part of a nerve cell that forwards communication from the cell to another cell.
B lymphocytes -  B lymphocytes are white blood cells that produce antibodies to specific toxins or diseases and allow for a faster and more effective immune system response.
Bacteria -  One of a large group of microorganisms that can cause disease.
Barbiturate -  A drug with calming, sedative and hypnotic effects.
Base -  As relates to DNA, the support for the DNA strand.
Basophil -  One of the five types of white blood cells that help the immune system fight infection.
Benign Tumor -  A tumor that is not cancerous.
Benzodiazepine -  A class of drugs considered as minor tranquilizers which have hypnotic, sedative and anti-convulsant properties which are brought on by slowing down the central nervous system. Benzodiazepines are used for treating anxiety, insomnia, agitation, seizures and in alcohol withdrawal. Benzodiazepines have a potential to become addictive. Some have reported Xanax addiction after only three days. Valium is another example of a benzodiazepine.
Beta Cells -  Beta cells are cells in the pancreas are essential to the production of insulin.
Bilirubin -  Bilirubin is a yellowish pigment that is created when older red blood cells break down and are replaced by new red blood cells.
Bioavailability -  A measure of the effectiveness of a drug being absorbed and used by the body.
Black Box Warning -  A warning required on drug labels by the FDA to warn of particularly dangerous side effects like suicide risk or other health risks.
Blood -  A liquid that carries oxygen through the arteries and veins and carries carbon dioxide from the tissues of the body. Blood consists of 45% red blood cells, less than 1% white blood cells and platelets, and 55% plasma.
Blood Alcohol Concentration -  A measurement of the amount of alcohol in the blood.
Blood Pressure -  Blood pressure is the pressure of the blood on the arteries and the blood vessels. This pressure will go up with each heartbeat as blood is forced out and goes down between heartbeats.
Blood-Brain Barrier -  A membrane that prevents certain substances from being transported to the brain from the blood.
Bradyphrenia -  Slowed thought processes. Can be a side effect of certain medications.
Bromide -  A sedative.
Bronchi -  Large tubes that carry air from the windpipe to the lungs.
Bronchiole -  A tiny tube in the lungs.
Cadmium -  A metallic element whose salts are toxic and can cause cancer.
Cancer -  Normally, your body forms new cells as you need them, replacing old cells that die. Sometimes new cells grow even when you don't need them, and old cells don't die when they should. These extra cells can form a mass called a tumor. There are more than 100 different types of cancer. Most cancers are named for where they start. For example, lung cancer starts in the lung, and breast cancer starts in the breast. The spread of cancer from one part of the body to another is called metastasis.
Carbohydrate -  Sugars, starches and other organic compounds that can be a source of energy for the body.
Carbon Dioxide -  A gas that is produced by breathing in the body. It has no odor or color. It is also produced when burning material containing carbon or certain other materials.
Cardiomyopathy -  When the heart muscle weakens
Cat Scan -  It is an X-ray image showing a cross section through a human body or other solid object.
CBC -  Stands for complete blood count. A series of blood tests done to determine the general health of a patient.
CDC -  Center for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta.
Celiac Disease -  Small intestine not properly handling gluten resulting in difficulty digesting food.
Cell -  The basic unit of any living organism.
Center for Disease Control and Prevention -  CDC is the acronym for the center based in Atlanta, Georgia.
Central Nervous System -  The brain and spinal cord.
Chemical Bond -  Physical force holding atoms together to form a molecule.
Chlamydia -  A bacterial disease usually affecting the genitals and urinary tracts of men and women.
Chromosome -  The structure in the cell nucleus that contains hereditary material (genes). Humans have 23 pairs of chromosomes in each body cell, one of each pair from the mother and the other from the father.
Chronic Myelogenous Leukemia -  Symbol CML. A cancer of the white blood cells.
Circulation -  The heart moving blood through veins and arteries.
Clinical trial -  A scientific study to determine the effects of potential medicines in people. It is usually conducted in three phases (I, II, III).
Coenzyme Q 10 -  A compound made in the body that is used for cell growth and protecting cells.
Colitis -  Inflammation of the lining of the colon.
Colorectal Cancer - 
Complete Blood Count -  Acronym is CDC. A series of blood tests done to check the general health of a patient.
Controlled Substance -  Drugs and certain other chemicals, both narcotic and non-narcotic, which require a prescription before being available.
Coronary Artery Spasm -  A temporary, sudden narrowing of one of the arteries that supply blood to the heart that slows or stops blood flow through the artery and starves part of the heart of oxygen-rich blood.
Cortisol -  A steroid hormone produced by the adrenal glands and released in times of stress to raise blood sugar.
Creatine -  A substance that is used by the body to create energy from muscle.
Creatinine -  Creatinine is created during the metabolism of creatine and is a waste product that is eliminated through the kidneys in the urine. Because of the way creatinine is produced in the body, more will be produced with the more muscle mass a person has.
Crohn's Disease -  A condition where the intestines are inflamed.
CT Scan -  Cat scan.
Cushing's Disease -  A tumor in the pituitary that causes Cushing's Syndrome or too high levels of cortisol.
Cushing's Syndrome -  Too high levels of cortisol.
CYP2D6 -  The CYP2D6 enzyme in the liver is responsible for the metabolism of an estimated 23 percent of all prescription drugs and many antidepressant, antipsychotic and opiate drugs.
CYP3A -  The enzyme in the liver that metabolizes the largest number of drugs.
Cytochrome P450 -  A group of enzymes that metabolize many drugs.
Cytokines -  Blood protein cells that help control the activities of the immune system.
Cytosine -  One of the four bases in DNA that make up the letters ATGC, cytosine is the "C". The others are adenine, guanine, and thymine. Cytosine always pairs with guanine.
Darvon -  A mildly narcotic analgesic drug (trade name Darvon) related to methadone but less addictive.
Deciliter -  One tenth of a liter.
Dehydration -  Dehydration means that the body does not contain adequate fluid. Losing a small amount of fluids, between one to three percent, can impair the activities of the body. The loss of between four to nine percent of the fluid in your body can lead to heat exhaustion. If the fluid loss exceeds ten percent, then the resulting condition can be serious enough to become life threatening.
Dendrite -  A part of a nerve cell neuron that receives electrical signals from other neurons and conducts those signals to the cell body.
Dextroamphetamine -  A stimulant drug prescribed for the treatment of ADHD.
DHEA -  A male sex hormone produced by the adrenal glands.
Diabetes -  A disease where the body is not able to produce adequate insulin to deal with glucose.
Diabetes-Type 1 -  Type 1 diabetes is when the body doesn’t produce any insulin to handle the glucose in your body. People with type 1 diabetes have to take insulin.
Diabetes-Type 2 -  Type 2 diabetes is much more prevalent than type 1 diabetes. People with type 2 diabetes are often able to produce insulin, but their bodies either don’t use it correctly or are they unable to produce enough insulin to handle the glucose in their body.
Diagnosis -  The activity of locating and determining the cause of a condition or symptom. Also the result of that activity, the cause found.
Diarrhea -  A condition of runny discharges from the bowels.
Diastolic -  Diastolic comes from the Greek ‘diastellein’ meaning to place, bring together or make ready. This is the lower of the two blood pressure numbers. The diastolic number is the measurement of the pressure in the arteries between heartbeats. This is the time when the heart muscle is at rest.
Disseminated Intravascular Coagulation -  Symbol DIC. When many small blood clots are being created.
Dissociation -  The process by which a drug is removed from the cell receptor it was activating or blocking.
Diuretic -  A substance that increases the production of urine in the kidneys.
DNA -  A double-stranded molecule that encodes genetic information that contain the operating instructions for the body. DNA means deoxyribonucleic acid.
Dopamine -  An important neurotransmitter (messenger) in the brain associated with feelings of pleasure.
Dose -  The amount of medicine to be taken at one time.
DSM -  Diagnostic and Statistical Manual
Dyskinesia -  A disease characterized by the realization of abnormal and involuntary movements. In many cases it is a side-effect of prolonged treatment with neuroleptics.
Dysphagia -  A condition where a person has difficulty in swallowing.
Dystonia -  A disorder causing involuntary muscle spasms and twisting of the limbs.
Eclampsia -  High blood pressure leading to dangerous convulsions in a pregnant woman.
Eczema -  Skin condition resulting in rough and inflammed skin that is often itching and bleeding.
Edema -  Fluid buildup causing swelling.
Effective -  Being able to achieve a desired, needed or intended result.
Electrolytes -  Electrolytes can be acids, bases, or salts that conduct electricity and are found in the body fluid, tissue, and blood. Electrolytes affect: The amount of water in your body The pH (amount of acidity of the blood) The functioning of your muscles.
Embolism -  When an artery is blocked and no longer properly functions.
Embolus -  The name given to a blood clot, air bubble, piece of fatty deposit, or other object carried in the bloodstream that causes a blockage.
Emesis -  Vomiting
Endocrine System -  The endocrine system is composed of glands that release hormones into the bloodstream that interact with receptors in cells in various ways. They activate these receptors and either alter the cell’s existing proteins or instruct the cell in the building of new proteins. Both of these actions create reactions throughout the body. Each of the endocrine system hormones has a specific shape that fits into hormone receptors on the target organs or glands.
Endorphin -  An opioid (morphine-like) chemical produced by the body to suppress pain.
Endrocine Glands -  Glands that secrete hormones into the bloodstream that regulate functions in the body.
Enzyme -  A molecule (usually a protein) that speeds up, or catalyzes, a chemical reaction without being permanently altered or consumed. (Ref: http://publications.nigms.nih.gov/medbydesign/glossary.html)
Eosinophil -  One of the five types of white blood cells that are created in the bone marrow, and primarily found in the brain stem, ovaries and uterus of females, the thymus and the lymph nodes.
Epididymis -  The tube along which the sperm travels.
Epinephrine -  Often called adrenaline, a hormone secreted by the adrenal glan into the bloodstream. It rapidly prepares the body for action in emergency situations. The hormone boosts the supply of oxygen and glucose to the brain and muscles, while suppressing other non-emergency bodily processes (digestion in particular). It increases heart rate and stroke volume, dilates the pupils, and constricts arterioles in the skin and gastrointestinal tract while dilating arterioles in skeletal muscles. It elevates the blood sugar level.
Equanil -  A sedative and tranquilizer used to treat muscle tension and anxiety.
Essential fatty acid -  A molecule needed in human body processes that is not made by humans and must be obtained from the diet.
Estrogen -  Estrogen is a female sex hormone.
Excitatory -  Referring to the effect that a substance has on a nerve cell. An excitatory substance excites the nerve cell and makes it able to more quickly receive critical information.
Extensive Metabolizers -  Extensive Metabolizers (EM). Individuals who metabolize a drug in a predictable and normal way.
Extrapyramidal Side Effects -  Tremor, slurred speech, akathisia, dystonia, anxiety, distress, paranoia, and bradyphrenia, that are side effects of certain drugs.
Extrapyramidal system -  That part of the nervous system that regulates muscle reflexes.
Fat -  A form of tissue in the body that also can be broken up and used for energy.
Fibromyalgia -  A name for a condition where there are aching muscles, fatigue and sleep problems.
Folate -  Folic Acid. A B complex vitamin.
Folic Acid -  A B complex vitamin.
Follicle Stimulating Hormone -  If more estrogen is needed, the hypothalamus sends the same hormone, hypothalamic gonadotropin releasing hormone (GnRH), to the pituitary gland, but this time instructing it to in turn release follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), which tells the ovaries to produce more estrogen.
FSH -  If more estrogen is needed, the hypothalamus sends the same hormone, hypothalamic gonadotropin releasing hormone (GnRH), to the pituitary gland, but this time instructing it to in turn release follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), which tells the ovaries to produce more estrogen.
GABA -  GABA stands for Gamma Amino Butyric Acid, is a neurotransmitter in the brain. Neurotransmitters are used by nerve cells to communicate with other nerve cells. When GABA is released from a nerve cell, it communicates with another neighboring nerve cell by binding to the GABA receptor. GABA is considered an inhibitory neurotransmitter which stabilizes and slows down the activity of nerve cells.
Gangrene -  A condition where lack of blood to an area results in the death and decay of soft tissues of the body.
Gene -  A segment of a DNA molecule containing the code for making a protein or, sometimes, an RNA molecule.
Genetics -  The study of genes and heredity and how particular qualities or traits are transmitted from parents to offspring.
Genome -  All the DNA contained in an organism or a cell, which includes both the chromosomes within the nucleus and the DNA.
Globulin -  A protein produced in the liver and by the immune system which helps fight infection and transports nutrients.
Glucose -  Blood sugar in the body that serves as the major energy source.
Glutamate -  A form of glutamic acid.
Glutamic acid -  A nonessential amino acid that is needed by the body and must be obtained from diet.
GnRH -  f more estrogen is needed, the hypothalamus sends the same hormone, hypothalamic gonadotropin releasing hormone (GnRH), to the pituitary gland, but this time instructing it to in turn release follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), which tells the ovaries to produce more estrogen.
Gout -  A disease in which defective metabolism of uric acid causes arthritis and pain generally in the smaller bones of the feet.
Gram -  A metric measure equal to one thousandth of a kilogram or 0.035 ounce.
Granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor -  A cytokine that stimulates the bone marrow to make more of certain types of immune system cells and blood cells.
Guanine -  One of the four bases in DNA that make up the letters ATGC, guanine is the "G". The others are adenine, cytosine, and thymine. Guanine always pairs with cytosine.
Half-life -  The amount of time it takes for one-half of an administered drug to be lost through biological processes (metabolism and elimination).
Hay Fever -  An allergy caused by pollen or dust often resulting in sneezing, a runny nose and watery eyes.
HBr -  A clear, colorless or faintly yellow, highly acidic and corrosive aqueous solution of hydrogen bromide, HBr, used in the manufacture of bromides.
HCl -  Hydrochloric acid, the type of acid secreted by the stomach to aid in digestion.
HDL -  High density lipoprotein cholesterol. This is considered the good cholesterol because it helps remove unneeded cholesterol.
Heart -  A hollow organ in the chest that pumps blood through the body.
Hematocrit -  A blood test that measures the percentage of red blood cells in the blood. Hematocrit and hemoglobin tests help diagnose anemia.
Hemoglobin -  The hemoglobin molecule is in red blood cells andt carries oxygen. This molecule is what makes the blood red. The hemoglobin blood test measures the amount of hemoglobin in blood and thus the ability of the blood to supply oxygen to the body.
Hemoglobin C Disease -  Abnormal development of hemoglobin.
Hemolysis -  A condition where red blood cells are being destroyed.
Hepatitis -  Inflammation of the liver.
Hepatitis C -  An infection normally from infected blood that causes severe liver damage which may lead to death if not diagnosed and treated.
Hereditary Spherocytosis -  A disease that inhibits the development of red blood cells.
Hirsutism -  The abnormal growing of facial or body hair, particularly on a woman.
HIV -  An acronym for human immunodeficiency virus. It can cause acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) which is a disease affecting the immune system and lowers the ability to resist infections.
Hodgkin's Disease -  A disease causing enlargement of the lymph nodes, liver, and spleen. While it can be fatal it can often be cured if diagnosed in time.
Holistic -  An approach that attempts to take into account all of somebody's physical, mental, and social conditions in determining the appropriate diagnosis and treatment of illness or other problems.
Hormone -  A messenger molecule that is transported through the bloodstream and carries instructions for tissues and organs in the body.
Hydration -  The Merriam Webster Medical Dictionary defines hydration as, “the condition of having adequate fluid in the body tissues.” Losing a small amount of fluids, between one to three percent, can impair the activities of the body. The loss of between four to nine percent of the fluid in your body can lead to heat exhaustion. If the fluid loss exceeds ten percent, then the resulting condition can be serious enough to become life threatening.
Hyperalgesia -  The excessive sensitiveness or sensibility to pain. Origin: gr. Algesis = pain.
Hypercalcemia -  A condition where high levels of calcium can interfere with the processing of sodium and produce fatigue, anorexia, and pancreatitis.
Hyperparathyroidism -  When an there is a high amount of parathyroid hormone in the blood which can lead to a loss of calcium and weakening of the bones.
Hyperplasia -  When an organ or tissue is enlarged because of an increase in the reproduction rate of the cells. It is sometimes an indicator of cancer.
Hypersplenism -  Enlargement of the spleen.
Hyperthyroidism -  Excessive activity of the thyroid gland.
Hypoglycemia -  The medical condition of having an unusually low level of sugar in the blood and causes lack of energy.
Hypoparathyroidism -  A lowered amount of the parathyroid hormone in the blood, which in turn can A condition that creates decreased parathyroid hormones in the blood, which causes deficiencies of calcium and phosphorus and can result in muscle spasms.
Hypophosphatemia -  A condition where an electrolyte imbalance is created because of the low amounts of phosphate in the blood.
Hypopituitarism -  A condition where a lower than normal amount of hormones are secreted by the pituitary and can cause dwarfism in children and premature adult aging.
Hypothalamic gonadotropin releasing hormone -  If more estrogen is needed, the hypothalamus sends the same hormone, hypothalamic gonadotropin releasing hormone (GnRH), to the pituitary gland, but this time instructing it to in turn release follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), which tells the ovaries to produce more estrogen.
Hypothalamus -  A central area on the underside of the brain that attempts to maintain homeostasis--a balanced state, throughout the body.
Hypothyroidism -  Deficient activity of the thyroid gland.
Ileus -  Obstruction in the intestine or ileus.
Infectious Mononucleosis -  A disease that swells the lymph glands and causes weakness.
Infertility -  Inability to reproduce.
Inflammation -  The redness, swelling, heat, or pain that accompanies an injury to the body or infection.
Inflammatory Bowel Disease -  Any disease of the bowels that creates discomfort and may lead to serious problems.
Informed consent -  The agreement of a person (or his or her legally authorized representative) to receive a treatment or drug with full knowledge of all anticipated risks and benefits. It is required by law in the United States.
Institute -  A society or organization with a scientific, educational, or social purpose.
Insulin -  A hormone produced in the pancreas that regulates the amount of glucose in the blood.
Interferon -  Cytokines, first discovered in the late 1950s, that help the body resist virus infections and cancers. The types of interferon (IFN) are named after the first 3 letters of the Greek alphabet: IFN-alfa, IFN-beta, and IFN-gamma.
Interleukins -  Interleukins are a group of cytokines that act as chemical signals between white blood cells.
Intermediate Metabolizers -  Intermediate Metabolizers (IM). Individuals who metabolize a drug better than poor metabolizers and worse than extensive metabolizers and are more likely to have serious side effects.
Intrinsic Activity -  The property of a drug that determines the amount of effect it has.
Ion -  An atomic particle that is either positively or negatively electrically charged.
Ischemia -  A condition where an organ or tissue is not receiving enough blood.
Ketoacidosis -  A metabolic state where the body fails to adequately regulate ketone production and the pH of the blood is dramatically decreased and can be fatal.
Ketone -  An organic compound like acetone or many sugars.
Ketosis -  Elevated level of ketone in the body often associated with diabetes.
Kidneys -  Two organs located behind the stomach that are responsible for many functions including the removal of urine.
Kilogram -  A metric measure equal to 1000 grams or approximately 2.205 pounds..
LDL -  Low density protein that is the cholesterol that is called bad cholesterol because it can lead to clogging of the arteries.
Leukemia -  A disease caused when the body suppresses the production of normal blood cells and produces abnormal cells.
Lipid -  A type of fat carried in the blood that does not dissolve in water.
Lipolysis -  The process where the body converts fat into energy.
Lipoprotein -  A molecule composed of fat and proteins that carry cholesterol through the blood.
Lisdexamfetamine dimesylate -  A stimulant used for the treatment of ADHD.
Liter -  A metric measurement equal to 1.05 quarts.
Liver -  An organ that is responsible for many functions in the body including the breaking down of substances for use in the body.
Lumphocytic Leukemia -  A type of cancer affecting lymphocyte cells. It differs from lymphoma because it does not form solid tumors.
Lupus -  Severe and painful inflammation of the skin.
Lymph Gland -  An essential part of the immune system, distributed widely throughout the body including under the arms and in the stomach.
Lymph Node -  An essential part of the immune system, distributed widely throughout the body including under the arms and in the stomach.
Lymphoma -  Cancer of the lymph nodes.
Magnetic Resonance Imaging -  MRI. Medical imaging that produces images of the internal organs using radio waves and a magnetic field.
Malaise -  A name used for a feeling of being ill or being worried often with no obvious cause.
Malignant Tumor -  A cancerous tumor where cells start destroying other cells and tissues in the body.
MCH -  Mean Corpuscular Hemoglobin (MCH) is a blood test.
MCHC -  MCHC means corpuscular hemoglobin concentration and is a commonly done blood test.
MCV -  Mean corpuscular volume (MCV) is a blood test.
Mean Corpuscular Hemoglobin (MCH) -  A blood test.
Mean Platelet Volume -  Mean platelet volume (MPV). Mean platelet volume measures of platelets in the blood.
Melatonin -  A hormone produced by the pineal gland that is involved in regulating the sleeping and waking cycles and is often used to help people sleep.
Membrane -  A thin covering surrounding a cell and protecting it.
Menopause -  As women enter their 40’s, many of them begin to secrete less estrogen as their ovaries actually get smaller. Ovulation and menstruation become increasingly irregular and eventually will cease. When ovulation and menstruation cease, this is called menopause.
Menorrhagia -  When a woman experiences an abnormally heavy bleeding during menstruation.
Meta-analysis -  A method designed to increase the reliability of research by combining and analyzing the results of all known trials of the same product or experiments on the same subject. (Ref: http://encarta.msn.com)
Metabolic Syndrome -  A condition combining high blood pressure, high blood sugar, too much fat around the waist, low HDL and high triglycerides which dramatically increase the risk of heart disease, diabetes, and stroke..
Metabolism -  All enzyme-catalyzed reaction that breaks down substances producing energy or consuming energy and allowing the resulting parts to be used by the body.
Metabolize -  The process of converting something to its components where it can be used.
Metastasis -  When cancer cells spread from where it started to other areas of the body.
Methamphetamine -  A drug that stimulates the central nervous system, leading to increased energy and decreased appetite.
Methaqualone -  A hypnotic drug prescribed for sleep and panic problems. It may become habit-forming
Methylphenidate -  a synthetic stimulant drug that is prescribed to improve mental activity in attention deficit disorder and other conditions.
Microliter -  Symbol mcL. One millionth of a liter.
Monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs) -  A group of drugs sometimes prescribed to treat severe depression.
MPV -  Mean platelet volume (MPV). Mean platelet volume measures the average volume of platelets in the blood.
MRI -  Magnetic Resonance Imaging
Multiple Myeloma -  A cancer that attacks white blood cells and inhibits production of antibodies to protect against infection.
Multiple Sclerosis -  A progressive disease of the central nervous system. It occurs mainly in young adults and is thought to be caused by a malfunction of the immune system resulting in muscle weakness and slowed speech.
Muscular Dystrophy -  A disease where the muscles get weaker and weaker and start wasting away.
Myasthenia Gravis -  An autoimmune disease causing a weakness in the muscles.
Myelocytic Leukemia -  Cancer in the bone marrow.
Myeloma -  Malignant tumor in bone marrow.
Myocarditis -  Inflammation of the heart muscle generally caused by a virus.
Myopathy -  Deterioration of muscles.
Neuroleptic -  A tranquilizing drug that reduces nerve activity.
Neurotransmitter -  A chemical messenger that carries communication between cells.
Neutrophils -  Neutrophils are one of the five types of white blood cells. Neutrophils provide protection against infections. They are produced in the bone marrow and destroy some forms of bacteria, waste products and foreign substances by eating them.
Noradrenaline -  A chemical made by some nerve cells and in the adrenal gland. It can act as both a neurotransmitter (a chemical messenger used by nerve cells) and a hormone. Noradrenaline is released from the adrenal gland in response to stress and low blood pressure. Also called norepinephrine.
Norepinephrine -  Norepinephrine is also called noradrenaline.
Nucleus -  The membrane-bound structure within a cell that contains most of the cell's genetic material.
Off Label -  "Off label" when referring to drugs means that the drug is being prescribed to treat a condition for which it was not approved by the FDA. This is not illegal and a medical doctor can prescribe any drug for any purpose.
Opioid -  A synthetic addictive narcotic, like OxyContin, that is prescribed for the control of pain.
Osteomalacia -  A condition where the bones become softer and is generally caused by a lack of vitamin D or calcium.
Osteoporosis -  Osteoporosis literally means “porous bone”. It is a condition where bones become more porous and more brittle–they become less dense. In a woman’s body, the estrogen helps replace any bone that is lost. During menopause less and less estrogen is produced.
Ovaries -  The ovaries are two small glands that produce estrogen and progesterone, start the menstrual cycle and release an egg once a month until menopause.
Oxidase -  An enzyme that catalyzes oxidation (the addition of oxygen to a compound with a loss of electrons).
Pancreas -  The pancreas is an elongated organ located behind the stomach and has two parts. One part of the pancreas, called the exocrine pancreas, secretes digestive enzymes like gastrin which stimulate the production of acid in the stomach. The other part of the pancreas, the endocrine pancreas, secretes hormones called insulin and glucagon. These hormones regulate the level of glucose (sugar) in the blood. Maintaining proper blood sugar levels is crucial to the functioning of key organs including the brain, liver, and kidneys.
Pancreatic Cancer -  Cancer of the pancreas, which is the fourth-leading cause of cancer death in the U.S.
Pancreatitis -  Pancreatitis is an inflammation of the pancreas. It happens when digestive enzymes start digesting the pancreas itself. Pancreatitis can be acute or chronic.
Parathyroid Glands -  The parathyroid glands are four small glands each about the size of a grain of rice that are embedded in the surface of the thyroid gland, two on each side. They are shown as brown shapes in the illustration above. Their purpose is to release parathyroid hormone (“PTH”). In turn, parathyroid hormone helps regulate the calcium, phosphorous and Vitamin D levels in the blood and bones.
Paresthesia -  When one experiences a feeling, normally tingling or pricking (“pins and needles”) which is often caused by problems with the peripheral nerve.
Parkinson’s Disease -  A neurological disorder that is thought to result from degeneration of nerve cells that control movement and results in tremors of the limbs.
Pelvic Inflammatory Disease -  Acronym PID. An inflammation of the female reproductive system that often causes fever and abdominal pain.
Peripheral Nerve -  A peripheral nerve is one of the nerves outside the brain and spinal cord. An obstruction on a peripheral nerve can disrupt communications between the brain and the body.
pH -  The p stands for potential and the H for hydrogen. So pH is the potentiation of hydrogen. (The H is capitalized.) The pH scale is a measurement of the action of the hydrogen particles in the body as it digests, metabolizes and excretes.
pH Scale -  The pH scale is from 0 to 14. A pH less than 7 is considered acidic and a pH greater than 7 is considered alkaline. Properly functioning, the body maintains the pH level of blood between 7.3 and 7.4. The pH level is always changing and the body is constantly making adjustments to maintain the pH between 7.3 to 7.8 which is considered the optimum range for pH.
Pharmacodynamics -  The study of how drugs act in the body.
Pharmacogenetics -  The study of how genes affect their response to medicines.
Pharmacokinetics -  The study of how the body absorbs, distributes, breaks down, and eliminates drugs.
Pharmacology -  The study of how drugs interact with living systems.
Pharmacy -  A business dealing with the preparation, dispensing, and appropriate use of medicines.
Physiology -  The study of how living organisms function.
PID -  Pelvic Inflammatory Disease. An inflammation of the femal reproductive system that often causes fever and abdominal pain.
Pineal gland -  A small gland located in the brain that is part of the endocrine system. It secretes melatonin.
Pituitary gland -  A small oval gland at the base of the brain that produces hormones that control other glands.
Plaque -  A fatty material often deposited in artery walls.
Plasma -  Water and proteins that comprise approximately 55% of a human’s blood.
Platelets -  The smallest type of blood cell. To stop bleeding, the platelets swell. Too few platelets result in too much bleeding and too many can result in blood clots.
Polythemia Vera -  The bone marrow makes too many red blood cells.
Poor Metabolizers -  Poor Metabolizers (PM). Individuals who are unable to adequately metabolize a drug, resulting in dangerous accumulations of the drug and severe side effects.
Postpartum depression -  Depression experienced by a parent (usually the mother) after childbirth.
Primary thrombocythemia -  Precursor of the formation of thrombosis--a blood clot.
PRN -  It means as required and appears on medical prescriptions.
Progesterone -  One of the female sex hormones.
Prostate -  A male gland involved in the making of semen that surrounds the urine tube from the bladder.
Prostatitis -  Inflammation of the prostate, prostate infection.
Protein -  A large molecule composed of one or more chains of amino acids and is in every cell in the human body. Protein is necessary for a body to repair cells and make new ones and is needed for growth and development during childhood, adolescence, and pregnancy.
Protocol -  A rule or steps of procedure which guides how an activity should be performed.
Pulmonary Embolus -  When a blood cot, fat or tumor cells create blockage in an artery in the lung.
Pulmonary Hypertension -  High blood pressure in the arteries in the lungs.
Receptor -  An area of the cell which receives specific information. The process is like a key fitting in a lock.
Red Blood Cell -  Red blood cells transport oxygen to the body’s tissues and carry away carbon dioxide so it can be expelled from the lungs. Red blood cells are formed in the red bone marrow of bones and approximately two million red blood cells are being formed every second and make up 45% of the blood.
Reuptake -  The process where a substance secreted by a cell is absorbed back into the cell. Reuptake is sometimes written as re-uptake
Rheumatic Fever -  A noncontagious fever, generally only affecting young people, accompanied by joint inflammation and pain.
Rheumatoid Arthritis -  A chronic disease that causes stiffness, swelling, weakness, loss of mobility, and leads to damage and eventual destruction of the joints.
Rhinorrhea -  A runny nose.
Rickets -  A condition suffered by children normally attributed to a deficiency of vitamin D. It often results in the bones not forming properly and often the children develop bow legs.
RNA (ribonucleic acid) -  A molecule that serves as an intermediate step in the synthesis of proteins from instructions coded in DNA and also performs regulatory functions in cells and viruses.
Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) -  An antidepressant that delays the time in which serotonin is reabsorbed into the cell.
Selenium -  An essential trace mineral that functions largely in the form of proteins that help prevent damage to cells in the body by oxidants in the environment or those produced by normal metabolism.
Serotonin -  A hormone in the pineal gland, blood platelets, the digestive tract, and the brain. Serotonin acts as a neurotransmitter that transmits nerve signals between nerve cells. It is thought to be associated with the regulation of learning, mood, sleep and constriction of blood vessels.
Serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRI) -  A class of antidepressant used in the treatment of major depression and other mood disorder and act to slow the absorption of serotonin and norepinephrine.
Sickle Cell Anemia -  A form of anemia primarily affecting African Americans.
Side effect -  The effect of a drug, other than the desired effect, sometimes in an organ other than the target organ which often results in uncomfortable or dangerous symptoms or conditions.
St John's wort -  A flowering plant that may be useful in diminishing depression.
Steroid -  A type of hormone which include cholesterol, estradiol and testosterone.
Subclinical -  An early stage or mild form of a medical condition when no symptoms of which are easily detectable.
Subcutaneous -  Located, living, or made beneath the skin.
Synapse -  The point of connection usually between two nerve cells where information is communicated between the cells.
Systolic -  Systolic comes from the Greek word ‘sustole’ from ‘sustellein,’ meaning to contract. The systolic number is the measurement of the pressure in the arteries when the heart muscle contracts and is the top number shown in blood pressure measurements.
T Cells -  A name for T lymphocytes are forms of white blood cells that attack antigens (toxins or diseases). T lymphocytes also create cytokines which direct the response of the immune system.
T-type lymphocytes -  T lymphocytes are forms of white blood cells that attack antigens (toxins or diseases). T lymphocytes also create cytokines which direct the response of the immune system.
Talwin -  A synthetically-prepared narcotic drug used to treat mild to moderately severe pain.
Tardive dyskinesia -  A neurological condition characterized by repetitive, involuntary, purposeless movements caused by the long-term use of certain drugs called neuroleptics commonly prescribed for psychiatric disorders. The symptoms of tardive dyskinesia may remain long after discontinuation of the drug causing the disorder.
Testosterone -  The primary male sex hormone.
Thymine -  One of the four bases in DNA that make up the letters ATGC, thymine is the "T". The others are adenine, guanine, and cytosine. Thymine always pairs with adenine.
Thymus -  The thymus gland is located in the back of the sternum between your lungs. It is only active until puberty. After puberty, it shrinks and is replaced by fat. Thymosin is the hormone of the thymus. The purpose of thymosin is to stimulate the production of T-lymphocytes or T cells. T cells are white blood cells that go to the lymph nodes (immune system cells) and protect the body from certain threats, including viruses and infections.
Thymus Gland -  The thymus gland is located in the back of the sternum between your lungs. It is only active until puberty. After puberty, it shrinks and is replaced by fat. Thymosin is the hormone of the thymus. The purpose of thymosin is to stimulate the production of T-lymphocytes or T cells. T cells are white blood cells that go to the lymph nodes (immune system cells) and protect the body from certain threats, including viruses and infections.
Thyroid -  The thyroid is a small butterfly-shaped gland that lies along the trachea (the windpipe) in the front of the neck. It is made up of two lobes, connected by the “isthmus”, a narrow band of tissue. In most people the thyroid is located below the larynx (voice box), but some peoples’ thyroids may be located higher in the neck or even at the back of the tongue and are referred to as a lingual (near the tongue) thyroid.
Thyroiditis -  Inflammation of the thyroid.
Tinnitus -  A ringing or roaring sound in the ear.
Toxicology -  The study of how poisonous substances interact with living organisms.
Trace minerals -  These are minerals that are only required by the body in very small quantities each day. Examples include copper, iodine, iron, and zinc.
Trans Fatty Acid -  A fatty acid occurring in margarines and cooking oils that increases LDL and lowers HDL.
Transdermal -  When a substance, normally a drug, is absorbed into the body through the skin,
Trauma -  Emotional or physical injury.
Treatment -  The efforts to fix or repair a condition or situation.
Triglycerides -  The main type of fat in foods. It is used for energy storage but, when the levels are too high, can cause health problems.
Troponin -  A protein are released when the heart muscle has been damaged.
Tryptophan -  An essential amino acid, tryptophan makes Serotonin (a neurotransmitter) which then makes melatonin and is a precursor to the making of niacin.
Tuberculosis -  An easily transmitted bacterial disease that attacks the lungs and can lead to death.
Tumor -  A growth in the body normally caused when more new cells are created than needed and old cells don't die as they normally do.
Ulcer -  An open sore caused by a break in the skin or mucous membrane that does not heal.
Ultra Metabolizers -  Ultra Extensive Metabolizers (UM). Individuals who metabolize a drug much faster than predicted. This can cause too high concentrations of drugs in the body and create toxic reactions, or sometimes cause a drug to be used too quickly and its effect not last for the time expected.
Urea Nitrogen -  A waste substance created when protein is digested. The kidneys remove the urea nitrogen from the blood and pass it out of the body in urine
Urinary Tract -  The channels through which urine is passed through and out of the body.
Urine -  Fluid stored in the bladder and removed from the body through the kidneys.
Vasoconstriction -  The act of narrowing of the blood vessels with a resulting reduction in blood flow which often leads to increased blood pressure.
Vein -  A tube carrying blood primarily to the heart.
Vertigo -  A sensation of whirling or tilting that causes a loss of balance.
Vesicles -  Vesicles are small skin blisters but also appear om the lining of the mouth. In anatomy, a vesicle is any small pouch.
Virilization -  The condition where a woman starts to develop a deeper voice, muscles or body hair. It can also happen in a boy much earlier than normal.
Virus -  An infectious agent that spreads through living cells.
White Blood Cell -  White blood cells (leukocytes) are made in the bone marrow and make up less than 1% of the blood but fight inflammation and infection caused by bacteria and viruses. If inflammation or infection occurs, the body makes more white blood cells which then are sent to the affected area and seek to destroy the affected cells. A higher white blood cell count indicates that there is an infection in the body.