Some Medical Terms You Should Know

Here are some commonly used medical terms, and what they mean. Save this so when you see your doctor, you know what he or she is talking about:

ANEMIA
Having an insufficient number of red blood cells, which carry oxygen around the body. There are several conditions that can cause this.
AUSCULTATION
Listening to bodily processes as a diagnostic technique. Diagnosticians listen to various things including heartbeat, respiration, and digestion/
AUTOIMMUNITY
A reaction by the body against its own organs that ought to e directed against foreign bodies such as bacteria. Most people have a small amount of harmless autoimmunity, but it sometimes goes overboard and causes illness.
BIOPSY
Harmlessly cutting out tissue to put it under a microscope to look for signs of cancer or other illness. Biopsies can be performed on any tissue but is frequently done with bone marrow, muscles, and skin.
CARDIAC
Something having to do with the heart, and its function of pumping blood throughout the body.
CHEMOTHERAPY
Anticancer drugs that bind with cancer cells to destroy them. This can have side effects but it is often effective.
ENDOCRINE SYSTEM
The hormones, by which many bodily functions are regulated, and the network of organs that produce them and glands that distribute them.
IMMUNE SYSTEM
The system that detects and attacks intruders such as viruses and bacteria.
INFLAMMATION
Swelling and warmth, often causing pain; external inflammation will be red. Inflammation is usually a result of infection or injury.
LEUKOCYTE
A white blood cell, part of the immune system. White blood cells help the body fight infection.
SLEEP APNEA
A condition in which the patient stops breathing in his or her sleep several times a night. It prevents the patient from getting truly restful sleep, and leads to fatigue, memory loss, depression and irritability. Sleep apnea can increase risk of heart attack or stroke.
SPHENOPALATINEGANGLIONEURALGIA
An ice-cream headache.

Look for more terms in future posts.

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  • Quinton Walker

    WOW, who would have guessed there was a real medical term for “Brain Freeze” … 
    SPHENOPALATINEGANGLIONEURALGIA!  Talk about “10 cent” words.  I couldn’t even begin to pronouce that.  Perhaps anything that is too long for Scrabble play should be outlawed?