Health A-Z


Clinical Definition Anemia is a blood disorder that occurs when a person does not have adequate hemoglobin, which transports oxygen through the body, via the blood. Anemia is frequently caused from a lack of iron, which the body uses to make hemoglobin. More serious types of anemia are sickle-cell anemia, which is an inherited disease


Clinical Definition An aneurysm is an abnormal dilation, ballooning or bulging of the wall of an artery. It develops at a site of weakness. While aneurysms are more common in adults than children, they can occur at any age. Small aneurysms generally are not accompanied by symptoms, but those with a larger aneurysm may report


Clinical Definition Angina, or chest pain, is the most common symptom of coronary artery disease. Caused by ischemia, angina is often due to a clot forming in a partially blocked coronary artery. Angina can be described as discomfort or heaviness in the chest. Too often, this acute and dangerous symptom is passed off as simple


Clinical Definition Angioedema is a non-pitting edema that affects the dermis and subcutaneous layers, most often involving the tongue, lips, face and throat, but also less commonly the genitalia and viscera. Edema can also affect the airway, a potentially life-threatening event. If angioedema is severe, emergency treatment to ensure an open, functioning airway is needed.

Anorexia nervosa

Clinical Definition Anorexia nervosa is a psychological eating disorder in which a person has an intense fear of gaining weight and limits calories to the point of near starvation to attain a below-normal body weight. In Our Own Words Individuals with anorexia nervosa suffer from a distorted body image, typically coupled with feelings of inadequacy

Anti-retroviral therapy

Clinical Definition Anti-retroviral therapy, or ART, is treatment with drugs that hamper the ability of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) or other types of retroviruses to replicate in the body. Combining several ART drugs, known as highly active ART or HAART, can reduce viral particles in the blood. In Our Own Words Anti-retroviral therapy or


Clinical Definition Blood thinners are prescription drug medications that diminish the blood’s ability to form clots. Regular blood monitoring is mandated when taking anticoagulant drugs, which may also reduce risk of stroke and irregular heartbeat. These medications may take 5 to 7 days to become fully active. In Our Own Words Sometimes referred to as


Clinical Definition Antihistamines inhibit the action of histamine, an important chemical in the body.  During seasonal or perennial allergic rhinitis, histamines are part of a cascade of events that leads to nasal blockage, discharge, sneezing, itch and postnasal drip. Antihistamines have an antagonistic action at the H1 or H2 receptor sites. The medication may cause


Clinical Definition Antioxidants are naturally occurring agents that prevent cellular oxidation, and may protect the body from molecules that damage cells (called free radicals). Common dietary antioxidants include vitamins A, C and E. In Our Own Words Antioxidants are natural or synthetic substances found in foods that may protect cells from the damaging effects of

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