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  » Medical Terms Glossary
Patients will find this glossary of medical terms very useful to explain complicated medical terminology.

Click on a letter to view the corresponding section of the glossary:

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Debility
Physical weakness
Decubitus ulcer
An open sore that forms in the skin with prolonged pressure.
Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT)
the formation of a blood clot in the deep veins of the leg; associated with a high risk of pulmonary embolism.
Defibrillation
Electrical shock applied to the chest to prevent ventricular fibrillation.
Defibrillator
Machine used to deliver an electrical shock to the chest to stop ventricular fibrillation.
Dehydration
Lack of an adequate amount of fluid in the body leading to dry mouth thirst, concentrated urine or dizziness.
Delirium
A state of mental confusion, characterized by disordered speech and often accompanied by hallucinations.
Delusion
Fixed false belief.
Dementia
Mental deterioration because of diseases.
Depression
A mood disorder with extreme sadness and discouragement associated with sleeplessness and and lack of energy.
Dermatitis
Infection of the skin, associated itching and redness
Dermis
The layer of skin beneath the epidermis.
Detoxification
A process of clearing the body of a drug or toxic agent.
Descending Colon
The part of the colon where stool is stored. Located on the left side of the abdomen.
Dextrose
Glucose or simple sugar
Diabetes insipidus
A disease of the pituitary gland or kidney, often called \"water diabetes as symptoms are similar to diabetes mellitus; but causes and treatment are different.
Diabetes mellitus
Disorder characterized by high levels of blood glucose and caused by a failure of the pancreas to produce sufficient insulin or by insulin resistance of the body.
Diabetic ketoacedosis
A serious diabetic condition in which body breaks down fat, producing ketone bodies because of lack of insulin.
Dialysis
Technique of removing waste and toxins from the blood, used in kidney failure and drug overdose.
Diaphragm
The muscle wall between the chest and the abdomen.
Diarrhea
Frequent, loose, and watery bowel movements.
Diastolic Blood Pressure
See: Blood pressure.
Digestion
Break down of food particles for absorption.
Dilatation and curettage (D&C)
A procedure in which the cervix dilated and the uterus scraped with an instrument.
Diplopia
Double vision.
Disc
A plate-like cartilage found between vertebrae.
Dislocation
Displacement of a bone from its joint.
Distention
Bloating or swelling of the abdomen.
Diuretic
A drug that increases the production of urine.
Diverticula
Plural form of diverticulum.
Diverticulitis
A condition that occurs when small pouches in the colon (diverticula) become infected or irritated.
Diverticulosis
A condition that occurs when small pouches (diverticula) push outward through weak spots in the colon.
Doppler ultrasound
Technique used to determine the blood flow in the heart or blood vessels in which ultrasound waves are reflected off blood cells as they move in the blood.
Down syndrome
Caused by an extra chromosome number 21 resulting in mental retardation and other birth defects.
DPT vaccination
An immunization that protects against diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis.
Dorsal
pertaining to the back.
Dubin-Johnson Syndrome
An inherited form of chronic jaundice (yellow discoloation of the skin and eyes).
Duodenal Ulcer
An ulcer in the lining of the first part of the small intestine (duodenum).
Duodenum
The first part of the small intestine.
Dysphagia
Difficulty in swallowing food or liquid, usually caused by blockage or injury to the esophagus.
Dysplasia
Abnormal changes in the way tissue cells look under a microscope.
Dyspnea
Shortness of breath.
Dystocia
Difficult labor due to an abnormal position or size of the fetus.