List of Medical Terms and Definitions

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Acne – Acne is a common skin condition that occurs when hair follicles become clogged with oil and dead skin cells, resulting in the formation of pimples, blackheads, and whiteheads on the face, neck, chest, and back. It is most commonly associated with puberty and adolescence, but can affect people of all ages. Treatment options include over-the-counter creams and cleansers, prescription medications, and lifestyle changes such as diet and stress management.

Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm – Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm (AAA) is a bulge or swelling that occurs in the aorta, the main blood vessel that carries blood from the heart to the abdomen and legs. AAA is most commonly caused by a weakening of the aortic wall, and can grow slowly over time without symptoms. However, if the aneurysm ruptures, it can cause life-threatening bleeding. Treatment options include surgery or endovascular repair, and regular monitoring is recommended for individuals at risk.

Anxiety – a mental health condition which is characterized by feelings of apprehension, fear, and worry. It is common all over the world. There are many types of anxiety disorders.

Appendicitis – inflammation and infection of the appendix. It is a serious and painful condition that needs immediate treatment. Untreated appendicitis can lead to death.

Arthritis – inflammation of one or more of the joints, such as the knee, ankle, knuckle, wrist, and elbow. The inflammation can cause pain, stiffness, and swelling. There are hundreds of types.

Asthma – a chronic (long-term) respiratory condition in which the patient’s airways become inflamed and narrow. Asthma patients have problems breathing properly during an attack or exacerbation.


Bacteria – single-celled microorganisms that may be good or bad for human health, other animals, plants, and the environment. There are many different types.

Bacterial Vaginosis – Bacterial vaginosis (BV) is a common vaginal infection caused by an imbalance of bacteria in the vagina, which can lead to an overgrowth of harmful bacteria. Symptoms may include vaginal discharge, odor, and itching, but some individuals may not experience any symptoms. BV is typically treated with antibiotics, but recurrence is common. Maintaining good vaginal hygiene and avoiding certain behaviors such as douching may help prevent BV.


Cardiovascular Disease – or CVD refers to a disease that affects either the heart, blood vessels, or both. Arteries and veins are blood vessels.

Cancer – a disease in which abnormal cells start dividing and multiplying uncontrollably. Cancer cells invade and destroy healthy tissue. In many cases, the disease is fatal.

Chickenpox – also known as varicella, is a viral infection that causes red or pimk bumps on the skin, which turn into fluid-filled blisters that burst and become scabs. It is more common in children than adults.

Chlamydia – a sexually transmitted infection (STI) that is spread through sexual contact. Patients become infect with the bacterium Chlamydia trachomatis. It is easily treatable with antibiotics.

Common Cold – a viral infection of the upper respiratory tract, i.e., the throat and nose. Although not nice, it is less unpleasant and less serious than flu. Children catch cold much more frequently than adults.


Dengue Fever – a mosquito-borne illness with flu-like signs and symptoms. Complications can be serious. The mosquito exists in tropical and subtropical parts of the world. The number of cases worldwide is growing every year.

Depression – a fairly common and serious mental condition/illness that can really mess with how you feel, think, and behave. But the good news is that it’s treatable.

Diabetes – a chronic condition in which the patient’s body either produces no insulin or cannot use it properly. The number of people with diabetes worldwide has been growing over the past few decades.

Diverticulitis – a condition where small pouches or diverticula become infected or inflamed. The condition is treatable with medications and a change in diet. Sometimes, surgery is needed.


Encephalitis – inflammation of the brain. It is caused by either an infection or an autoimmune response. This is a medical emergency which can lead to serious complications, and even death.

Endometriosis – a gynecological condition (women’s health) in which endometrial tissue grows where it should not, such as the fallopian tubes or bladder. It should only line the outside of the uterus.


Fibromyalgia – a chronic (long-term) condition in which patients experience widespread pain in their muscles, ligaments and tendons. It is not curable but treatment can help manage symptoms and lead a productive life.

Frontotemporal Dementia – also known as FTD, is a neurological disorder that affects the frontal and temporal lobes of the brain. The onset of FTD tends to occur in people who are younger than 65 years of age.


Gastroenteritis – inflammation of the intestines and stomach. Signs and symptoms include stomach pains, diarrhea, and vomiting. Hundreds of millions of people get it each year across the world.

Gout – a type of arthritis that causes sudden joint pain. The pain is typically severe. The big toe is most commonly affected, followed by other joints in your feet, elbows, wrists, hands, and knees.


Hay Fever – known medically as allergic rhinitis, is a type of allergic reaction to airborne particles such as pollen. Fortunately, there are treatment options today that can help reduce the severity of symptoms.

Hemorrhoids – also known as piles, are swollen veins in the anus and lower rectum. They can cause discomfort and pain, but are not usually a danger to health.

Herpes – an infection which can affect the mouth or genital areas of an infected person, depending on which type of the herpes simplex virus they have – HSV-1 and HSV-2. It is incurable, but medications can help reduce symptoms.

HPV – Human papillomavirus (HPV) is a type of virus that can affect both men and women. It spreads through direct skin-to-skin contact, which includes sexual activities like vaginal, anal, or oral sex.

Hypothyroidism – a condition in which the thyroid gland is not producing enough thyroid hormones. Fortunately, hypothyroidism is treatable. Patients typically need to take synthetic hormones. It is also known as myxoedema or an underactive thyroid.


Influenza – also known as flu, is a contagious, respiratory infection that is caused by the influenza virus. There are 3 types – A, B, and C. It can be dangerous for some vulnerable groups of people.

Irritable Bowel Syndrome – also known as IBS, is a common condition that affects the digestive system. Patients experience bloating, stomach cramps, gas, diarrhea, and constipation. It is a chronic (long-term) condition.


Jaundice – a condition in which the whites of the eyes, skin, tongue, and mucus membrane go yellow in color. When it occurs in newborns, we call it neonatal jaundice.

Japanese Encephalitis – or JE is a mosquito-borne viral infection that affects the human brain and central nervous system. It is common in Southeast Asia, especially in its rural areas, as well as the Pacific Islands.

Jet Lag – also known as zone change syndrome and desynchronosis, occurs when your normal sleep pattern is disturbed. It is most commonly caused by flying across several time zones.


Kawasaki Disease – a condition that typically affects very young children and babies. The disease causes inflammation of the walls of blood vessels, including the coronary arteries, which supply the heart with blood. The condition is also known as Kawasaki Syndrome or mucocutaneous lymph node syndrome.

Kidney Stones – small, hard crystals that form within the kidneys. They are made of deposits of salts and minerals. Some kidney stones can be as big as golf balls.


Lesion – A lesion refers to an area of abnormal tissue that has been damaged or has undergone a change in its structure or function. Lesions can occur in different parts of the body and can be caused by various factors such as injury, disease, or infection. The severity of the lesion depends on its location and underlying cause. Diagnosis and treatment of lesions vary depending on the type and severity of the lesion.

Lyme Disease – a bacterial infection that is transmitted by a tick, usually when it is still in its nymph stage. The tick is infected with a bacterium called Borrelia burgdorferi.

Lupus – also known as Systemic Lupus Erythematosus or SLE, is a chronic autoimmune disease that can affect many of the body’s organs. Although there is no cure, treatment can help patients control their symptoms and lead active and productive lives.


Malaria – an infectious disease caused by a parasite that is transmitted by the female Anopheles mosquito. Although it is preventable and curable, it is still a major public health problem and killer in many parts of the world.

Medical Device – A medical device is an instrument, apparatus, machine, implant, or other similar article that is intended for use in the diagnosis, treatment, or prevention of a disease or medical condition. Medical devices range from simple tools such as stethoscopes and thermometers to more complex devices such as pacemakers, artificial joints, and imaging machines. They must meet strict regulatory requirements to ensure their safety and effectiveness.

Meningitis – occurs when the meninges – the protective membranes that cover the spinal cord and brain – become infected and inflamed. Meningitis is life-threatening and requires urgent treatment.

Mono (mononucleosis) – a viral infection that causes extreme fatigue, sore throat, swollen glands, and fever. It is usually caused by EBV (the Epstein-Barr virus). It can last a few weeks or even months. Also called glandular fever or the kissing disease.


Neuropathy – a nerve problem that causes tingling, numbness, pins and needles, and muscle weakness in the arms, legs, hands, feet, and different parts of the body. It is a common complication of diabetes.

NSAIDs – or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs are commonly used to treat inflammation, pain, and fever. They are among the most widely used medications in the world.


Osteoporosis – the loss of bone density and strength. The bones are much more likely to fracture, patients can lose height, and end up with a stoop.


Pink Eye – also known as conjunctivitis. It is an inflammation of the surface of the eye and underside of the eyelid. We call it pink eye because the infected person’s eye goes red/pink.

Pneumonia – a lung infection that can be caused by a virus, bacterium, or fungus. Symptoms may be mild to severe, even life-threatening. People with weak immune systems, some chronic diseases, seniors, and infants are at risk of serious complications.

Psoriasis – an autoimmune skin condition in which the body produces new skin cells too fast. Thick, red scaly patches build up on the skin. The condition can be extremely uncomfortable and painful. However, there is treatment that can help reduce symptoms.


Quinsy – also known as a peritonsillar abscess, is a pus-filled abscess that forms around the area of the tonsils. It is a potentially serious complication of tonsillitis.


Rabies – a virus infection that mammals can pass onto humans, typically by biting them. If left untreated, nearly all cases of rabies are fatal. Most human cases come from dog bites.


Schizophrenia – a chronic and severe mental illness/condition that significantly affects people’s perception of reality. It also affects their behavior, emotions, and thoughts.

Shingles – also known as herpes zoster, is a viral infection cause by varicella-zoster, the virus which also causes chickenpox. People who’ve had chickenpox are at risk of developing shingles later in life.

Signs & Symptoms – signs are things that both the patient and doctor can detect, sense or observe, such as a skin rash or swollen finger. A symptom is something only the patient can sense or detect, such as a headache or blurred vision.

Strep Throat – a bacterial infection that typically causes a sore throat. Some patients also have a fever, swollen glands, and difficulties swallowing. It is also known as streptococcal pharyngitis.


Tonsillitis – infection/inflammation of the tonsils. The infections may be bacterial or viral. When it is a virus, symptoms tend to be milder.


Urinary Tract Infection – also known as UTI, is an infection somewhere in the urinary system, such as the kidneys, ureters, bladder, or urethra.


Ventilator – A ventilator is a medical device that helps a patient breathe by providing oxygen and removing carbon dioxide from their lungs. It delivers oxygen through a tube that is inserted into the patient’s mouth, nose, or trachea, and uses positive pressure to inflate the lungs. Ventilators are used to treat a variety of conditions that affect breathing, such as pneumonia, acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).


Whooping Cough – also called Pertussis, is a respiratory infection caused by the bacterium Bordetella pertussis. It is extremely contagious and mainly (but not exclusively) affects young children. Prevention is via vaccination.


Xerosis – also known as xeroderma, xerosis cutis, or dry skin is a condition in which the patient’s skin is unable to retain moisture properly. Their skin becomes rough, flaky, and often itchy.


Yeast Infection – Yeast infections are caused by too much of a certain type of fungus called Candida albicans. There are many different signs and symptoms. These can include itching, burning, pain, soreness, discharge and a rash – depending on where the infection is located.


Zoonotic Diseases – also known as zoonoses, are diseases that are transmitted to humans from animals. Rabies and bird flu (avian influenza) are two examples.

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