The region of the body which lies below the THORAX, being divided from it by the DIAPHRAGM, and above the PELVIS. The abdominal cavity contains the DIGESTIVE ORGANS (e.g. the STOMACH and INTESTINES), the EXCRETORY ORGANS (BLADDER and KIDNEYS) and in females, the REPRODUCTIVE ORGANS (WOMB and OVARIES).
A collection of pus at a localized site anywhere in the body resulting from an infection caused by bacteria.
Nutritionally, the process by which nutrients are absorbed through the intestinal tract into the bloodstream to be used by the body. If nutrients are not properly absorbed, nutritional deficiencies can result.
A disorder of the skin, the commonest of which is acne vulgaris in adolescents, characterized by the presence of pustules and blackheads. SUBACEOUS GLANDS in the skin become over-active (due to hormonal influence) and there is a greater production of SEBUM and proliferation of bacteria, which cause infection. The hair follicles become blocked and pustules form which eventually turn black. The condition usually resolves with time but can be eased with creams, and implementing a herbal detoxification and nutritional program.
A method of traditional healing practiced in China, which involves the insertion of fine needles at various points beneath the skin. The needles are moved by rotation or electric current and the system has been proved to be effective in the relief of symptoms, sometimes being employed as an alternative to ANAESTHESIA.
A disease or condition which is short-lived, and which starts rapidly with severe symptoms.
A substance with qualities which increase resistance and resilience to STRESS.
A broadly-used term which describes a state of physical and psychological dependence upon a substance or drug.
Each of the two kidneys within the body bears an adrenal gland upon its upper surface. The adrenal glands are important ENDOCRINE organs, producing HORMONES that regulate various body functions. Each adrenal gland has two parts, an outer cortex and an inner medulla which secrete a variety of hormones. Two of the most important ones are ADRENALINE and CORTISONE.
This is a very important hormone produced by the medulla of the adrenal glands, which, when released, prepare the body for “fright, flight or fight” by increasing the depth and rate of respiration, raising the heartbeat rate and improving muscle performance. It also has an inhibitive effect on the process of digestion and excretion. It can be used medically in a variety of ways, for instance in the treatment of bronchial asthma where it relaxes the airways. It may be applied to wounds to check bleeding, as it constricts blood vessels in the skin, and also to stimulate the heart when there is cardiac arrest. Adrenaline is also known as epinephrine.
This refers to Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome, which was first recognized in Los Angeles in 1981. The causal agent was identified in 1983 as being the human immuno-deficiency virus know as HIV, a ribonucleic acid (RNA) Retrovirus. The virus has been found in blood, other body fluids, semen and cervical secretions and is mainly transmitted by sexual activity. The HIV virus affects the T-Lymphocytes of the immune system, and leaves the patient increasingly unable to resist certain infections and tumors, which are particularly associated with AIDS. Although they may take a long time to develop, these infections eventually prove to be fatal and at the present time there is no known cure for AIDS.
There are a great variety of allergens, which cause reactions in different tissues and body functions. The respiratory system and skin are often affected.
A state of hypersensitivity in an affected individual to a particular allergen, which produces a characteristic response whenever the person is exposed to the substance.
The name describes all forms of healing other than western-orientated medical practice and includes acupuncture, homeopathy, naturopathy, faith healing and herbal remedies.
The commonest cause of dementia afflicting those in middle or old age, and a degenerative disease of the cerebral cortex for which there is no cure. Symptoms include progressive loss of memory and speech and paralysis. The cause is not understood but is the subject of on-going research.
The end products of the digestion of PROTEIN foods and are the building blocks from which all the protein components of the body are built up. Some can be manufactured within the body whereas others, the ESSENTIAL AMINO ACIDS, must be derived from protein sources in the diet.
A group of drugs that are chemically similar to adrenaline and have a stimulating effect on the central nervous system. They act on the SYMPATHETIC NERVOUS SYSTEM and produce feelings of mental alertness and well being, eliminating tiredness. However they are highly addictive and dangerous.
Refers to the effect of enhancing tissue growth by promoting the build-up of protein e.g. to enhance muscle bulk. Anabolic steroids are synthetic male sex hormones. Anabolic steroids should not be taken by healthy people as they have serious side effects, especially after prolonged use, and have been misused by athletes.
A decrease in the ability of the blood to carry oxygen due to a reduction in the number of red blood cells or in the amount of hemoglobin which they contain. Hemoglobin is the pigment within the red blood cells, which binds to oxygen. There are a number of different types of anemia and a variety of reasons for it, and treatment depends upon the underlying cause.
Drugs or substances which relieve pain varying in potency from mild to very strong.
The scientific study of the body structure of man and animals.
A substance, derived from a micro-organism, which kills or inhibits the multiplication of other micro-organisms, usually bacteria or fungi.
Drugs or substances, which delay or prevent blood clotting.
Drugs which are used to reduce the severity of epileptic fits (convulsions) or to prevent them from occurring.
Drugs which are administered in order to alleviate depression and its accompanying symptoms.
Drugs which counteract the effects of histamine release in the body. They are widely used to treat allergic reactions of various sorts, particularly to relieve skin conditions.
These drugs help to reduce inflammation.
These substances prevent the growth of disease causing micro-organisms such as bacteria, and are applied to the skin to prevent infection and to cleanse wounds.
A temporary halt in breathing, which may result from a number of different causes.
Any disturbance in the normal rhythm of heartbeat.
A blood vessel which carries blood away from the heart. Oxygenated (bright red) blood is carried by the arteries to all parts of the body. However, the pulmonary arteries carry dark, unoxygenated blood from the heart to the lungs. An artery has thick, elastic walls which are able to expand and contract, and contain smooth muscle fibers. This smooth muscle is under the control of the SYMPATHETIC NERVOUS SYSTEM.
This is a degenerative disease of the arteries associated with fatty deposits on the inner walls leading to reduced blood flow.
Wasting of a body part due to lack of use, malnutrition or as a result of ageing. The ovaries of a woman atrophy after the menopause and muscular atrophy accompanies certain diseases.
One of a number of conditions resulting from the production of antibodies by the body which attack its own tissues. For reasons which are not understood ,the immune system loses the ability to distinguish between self and non-self. Autoimmune disease is currently thought to be a cause of a number of disorders
AUTONOMIC NERVOUS SYSTEM
The part of the nervous system which controls body functions that are not under conscious control, e.g. the heartbeat and other smooth muscles and glands. It is divided into the SYMPATHETIC and PARASYMPATHETIC NERVOUS SYSTEMS.
A type of psychological conditioning which links an unpleasant stimulus to the undesirable behavior that needs to be eliminated. An example is the use of a drug which induces vomiting in an alcoholic person, each time he or she takes a drink. The unpleasant association induces the person to give up the alcoholic drink. Electric shock is also commonly used in aversion therapy which is a method of treatment for such conditions as sexual perversion, compulsive behavior (e.g. gambling) and drug addiction.
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