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POPULAR MEDICAL TERMS

PUBLISHED BY: SURENDER KUMAR
OCTOBER 25, 2012

   
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 POPULAR MEDICAL TERMS

ALLERGY

A condition which makes a person susceptible to the effects of any drug / article. Hay fever, asthma and eczema are allergic in nature.

 

ANAEMIA

Deficit of Red Blood Corpuscles or of haemoglobin. The person turns pale and weak.

 

ANAESTHETIC

A drug which causes temporary numbness to touch and pain, with or without losing consciousness e.g. chloroform.

 

ANALGESIC

A drug which serves to relieve pain e.g. Aspirin.  

 

ANTACID

A drug to counteract excess acidity in the stomach. It neutralizes the excess acid released during digestion by the stomach.

 

ANTIBIOTICS

A series of drugs like penicillin and streptomycin, prepared from moulds or similar organisms. They destroy bacteria and prevent their growth. First used during the second world war, they have revolutionized the world of medicine.

 

ANTOBODIES

A particular substance produced by the body in the blood as a reaction to an antigen.

 

ANTIDOTE

A remedy to counteract a poison.    

 

ANTISEPTIC

A drug which can kill germs e.g. dettol, carbolic acid.

 

AUTOPSY

An examination of the dead body to find the exact reason behind death.

 

BACILLUS

A rod-shaped micro-organism e.g. Tubercle bacillus, which causes tuberculosis.

 

BIOPSY

Taking tissues from a part of the living body for examination while investigating a disease.

 

BACTERIA

Microscopic germs which are not visible to the naked eye. They are responsible for causing several diseases.

 

BERI-BERI

A deficiency disease due to lack of Vitamin B and marked by muscular atrophy. Its symptoms are numbness of arms, legs and swelling of the feet and arms.

 

BLOOD PRESSURE

The pressure exerted by the blood against the blood vessels (systolic and diastolic). Several variables like chronic anxiety and substance abuse can cause high blood pressure. Usually, low blood pressure results in fainting attacks.

 

BRONCHITIS

Caused due to inflammation of the tubes leading from the windpipe to the lungs.

 

CAESARIAN OPERATION

A delivery by surgically cutting open the abdomen and the womb, where the delivery is impossible in a natural way. Named after Julius Caesar, the Roman emperor, who was born in this way.

 

CANCER

A malignant growth of tissue, not coordinated with normal body growth. It can affect any part of the body.  Substance abuse like excessive smoking, drinking and exposure to certain chemicals and radiation may cause cancer. It is neither contagious nor communicable.

 

CARDIOGRAPH

An instrument to record the movements of the heart.

 

CATARACT

The lens of the eye gets clouded, preventing clear vision. Mostly corrected surgically.

 

CHICKEN POX

A highly infectious disease caused by a virus commonly found among children. One attack usually gives life-long immunity from the disease.

 

CHOLERA

Acute bacterial infection marked by vomiting and frequent loose motions, drying of tissues and painful cramps. Consumption of infected food and water are responsible for it.

 

DIARRHOEA

Loose stools; several causes are responsible.

 

DIPTHERIA

Acute infectious disease caused by the growth of a throat membrane. It may be fatal, since it can stop breathing.

 

DYSENTERY

Infectious disease marked by passing of stools laced with blood and mucus.

 

ECZEMA

A disease caused by inflammation of the skin.

 

ENDEMIC

A disease prevailing in a particular area due to surrounding conditions e.g. malaria and leprosy.                                            

 

ENZYMES

Organic substances which accelerate the chemical reactions in living organisms. For example, sugars undergo fermentation into alcohol in the presence of enzymes. Ptyalin present in human in saliva is another example.


EPIDEMIC

A disease which often affects the residents in a locality and spreads quickly to other places too.

 

EPILEPSY

A disease caused by the excessive firing of neurons in the brain. The patient may experience fits and may become fall unconscious, often with spasm and froth in the mouth.

 

FLU(INFLUENZA)

A highly contagious, viral disease preceded by headache, body pain, cough, and general fatigue. It results in watery nose, bad throat and hoarse voice.

 

GONORRHOEA

A venereal disease among woman.

 

GOUT

A disease marked by inflammation, especially of the great toe.

 

HAY FEVER

Allergic disease caused by abnormal sensitivity to certain grass pollens found in early summers.

 

HOMEOPATHY

A medical system discovered by Hahnemann, a German physician. It is based on two assumptions.

 

1. A disease may be cured by producing the symptoms of the same disease by giving drugs.

2. Drugs have more potent effects, when given in small doses.

 

HYPERMETROPIA (Long sightedness)

One can see the far-off objects clearly but not the nearer ones. Remedied by convex lenses.

 

IMMUNITY

The ability of a living organism to resist and overcome diseases.

 

INSULIN

The internal secretion of the pancreas which converts extra body sugar into reserve food. Insulin injections are used in the treatment of diabetes.

 

JAUNDICE

The skin and other body issues turn yellow due to excess of bile pigment in the blood and the lymph.

 

KALA-AZAR

Mostly occurs in tropical countries and marked by the swelling of spleen and liver.

 

LEPROSY

An endemic disorder caused by germs similar to that of tuberculosis. Leprosy affects the skin and the nerves. Organ deformities may arise in the body.

 

LEUKAEMIA

The presence of excessive white cells in the blood. The red corpuscles break down causing anaemia, there is swelling of the spleen also.

 

MEASLES

An acute infectious human disease. Common among children; Causes high fever and red rashes all over the body.

 

MENINGITIS

A bacterial infection of the membranes of the brain. Also known as Japani Fever.

 

MUMPS

Infection usually occurring in childhood. Marked by the swelling of the glands in front of the ears. One attack can give life-long immunity.

 

MYOPIA (Short-sightedness)

When a person can see nearer objects distinctly but not the distant ones. It can be corrected by using concave lenses.

 

PASTEURIZATION

Heating a liquid to 72 degree Celsius followed by sudden cooling to kill all germs. Milk is treated in this manner by Pasteur’s method of sterilization.

 

PILES

The immediate cause of the disease is pressure on the veins in the rectum or around the anus. It is mainly due to constipation and pregnancy. Often the patient suffers from pain after the bowels have been emptied.

 

PNEUMONIA

An inflammatory condition of the lung tissue, accompanied by chest pain.

 

PYORRHEA

A gum infection. Teeth become loose due to excessive bleeding and pus discharge.

 

RHEUMATISM

Its symptoms are fever and joint pain, followed by disease of the heart valves.

 

RICKETS

Caused due to the deficiency of vitamin D. Common among children. The bones get softened, bent and become deformed.

 

RINGWORM

Infectious, fungal disease. The hair wither and bluish patches are formed, accompanied by severe itching.

 

SCURVY

It is a bleeding disorder caused by the lack of vitamin C. Best cured by lime juice which contains vitamin C.

 

SMALLPOX

An acute infectious disease marked by fever, headache, joint pain and rashes. The best safeguard is the vaccine invented by Edward Jenner.

 

SPRAIN

Overstretching of the ligaments due to a joint injury.

 

SULFA DRUGS

A group of new drugs for treating bacterial disease.

 

SULPHANAMIDE

A group of new drugs used in the treatment of bacterial diseases. Employed to cure venereal diseases, dysentery and also as an antiseptic.

 

SYPHILIS

A contagious venereal disease due to a bacterial infection caused by sexual intercourse with an affected person.

 

TETANUS

A disease caused by Tetanus bacillus found in rich soil or horse dung. The disease affects the nervous system and can prove fatal. However, anti-tetanus vaccination can give immunity.

 

TRACHOMA

An infectious disease of the eye.

 

TYPHOID FEVER

Marked by prolonged fever, enlargement of the spleen, profusely coloured rashes and perforation of the intestines.

 

VIRUS

A virus is a parasite which cannot be destroyed without damaging the cells on which it lives. No specific treatment has so far been developed for viral diseases. A common example is the common cold.

 

WHOOPING COUGH

An infectious cough, generally found among children. In the first stage, one gets cold, followed by typical cough and finally, the patient starts recovering.

 

YELLOW FEVER

A dangerous disease marked by jaundice, weakness, black vomit and fever. Caused by a certain mosquito found in the tropical regions.

 

 



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