Health A-Z


Clinical Definition Immunity is the protection against pathogens or infectious diseases. Immunity develops after antibodies to the disease are produced in the body. Types of immunity include innate, adaptive, active and passive. Active immunity refers to protection from a disease through a previous infection or through vaccinations. Passive immunity occurs when the antibodies come from


Clinical Definition Impetigo is a common, superficial dermatologic infection that is highly contagious, typically caused by Streptococcus (strep) orStaphylococcus (staph) bacteria. Typically, impetigo affects young children, ages 2-6. Blister-like sores form, sometimes filling with pus or yellow fluid, and can result in scabs. In Our Own Words Impetigo is the most common skin infection in children seeing primary care


Clinical Definition Incontinence is the loss of voluntary control of bowel movements or urination. Incontinence is a symptom or condition, rather than a disease, and can be caused by a variety of different processes, including damage to the sphincter muscles, anal surgery, certain medications, systemic diseases, chemotherapy or conditions that affect the functioning of the


Clinical Definition Indigestion, or dyspepsia, is a burning or painful feeling in the upper belly or abdomen that typically occurs after meals. Many different etiologies are possible, including digestive tract ulcer. More typically, though, the symptoms of indigestion come from excessive eating, rapid eating, eating high-fat foods or eating while stressed. In Our Own Words


Clinical Definition Inflammation is the body’s response to injury or infection, a key part of the natural defense and healing process. The affected body part typically becomes swollen, red and warm.  This defends the body from bacteria, viruses and other foreign invaders, helping to repair tissue that has been damaged or to remove debris. However,


Clinical Definition Influenza is a highly contagious respiratory illness caused by viruses that produce mild to severe symptoms that are sometimes life-threatening. While influenza is most prevalent during winter months, ”flu season” actually starts in late fall and persists until spring. In Our Own Words Influenza viruses are contagious respiratory illnesses that infect your nose,

Ingrown Hair

Clinical Definition An ingrown hair occurs when a hair does not follow the normal follicle channel and instead grows at an abnormal angle turning back towards the skin. This abnormal pattern causes the hair to penetrate the skin and leads to inflammation and possibly suppuration. In Our Own Words An ingrown hair is a common


Clinical Definition Insomnia, or difficulty sleeping, is a common sleep disorder. Those affected may be unable to fall sleep or to stay asleep, or may have early morning awakening, when the patient awakes several hours ahead of schedule and can’t fall back asleep. In Our Own Words Insomnia, a common sleep disorder, affects many people,


Clinical Definition Insulin is a polypeptide hormone produced by the pancreas that is secreted into the blood to regulate how the body processes carbohydrates and fats, including the conversion of glucose to glycogen. Insulin and its normal cellular response results in blood sugar levels normalizing after a meal as glucose enters the cells, where it

Intestinal Obstruction

Clinical Definition An intestinal obstruction is an occlusion of the bowel, which prohibits normal movement of intestinal contents through the digestive track. It can be a partial or complete blockage. Intestinal obstructions are usually due to an ileus or a mechanical cause, such as a neoplasia or adhesion. Complications, such as infection and an electrolyte

Iron Deficiency

Clinical Definition Iron deficiency is a nutritional deficit, which occurs due to inadequate levels of iron in the body. Iron is an essential nutrient for several functions, such as oxygen binding and transport, muscle oxygen use and neurotransmitter synthesis. A deficiency in iron can cause a decrease in immune system functioning ability and compromise growth


Clinical Definition Ischemia is an insufficient blood supply to an organ or part of the body, adversely affecting blood flow and oxygen delivery, such as in myocardial ischemia. Visceral ischemic syndromes, also known as intestinal or mesenteric ischemic syndromes, occur when blood flow to the gastrointestinal system is decreased. In Our Own Words Ischemia is

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