Starting with A for "ACE inhibitor" and continuing through to Y for "Yolk Sac Tumour", we give you succinct explanations for scientific and medical terms in clear and simple words.
- Faecal Blood, OccultName for blood in the stools (faeces) which is not visible
Occurrence: Mostly in tumours of the large bowel (e.g. intestinal polyps, colon carcinoma). Usually occurs at an early stage, before the development of other symptoms of the tumour, such as visible contamination with blood or anaemia.
Detection: Mostly with the Guajak test, a rapid test in which small quantities of faeces are applied to a strip of paper and mixed with a special dye. The test may also be positive as a result of bleeding of the gums or eating meat. The test for occult blood is, for example, performed during cancer screening.
- Fat removalsee liposuction
- Fatigue fracturealso known as stress fracture
Fatigue fracture is characterised by incomplete interruptions in the bone tissue, sometimes when a fracture is present. It is a result of small injuries from unaccustomed stress and is accompanied by bone regeneration.
1. So-called permanent fracture to the healthy skeleton, mostly as a single incomplete fracture, e.g. clay shovellers' fracture, cough fracture; 2. With the formation of so-called transformation zones in the diseased skeleton, usually multiple, e.g. Looser transformation zones. Occurs for instance in the milkman syndrome.
Sudden pain, often wrongly felt to be rheumatism, raised sensitivity to stress, sometimes local reddening, overheating, swelling. Insidious and chronic pain in the transformation zones.
It is often not possible to recognise the site of the fracture immediately in the X-ray. A reliable diagnosis is possible with nuclear spin tomography. Otherwise look for local regeneration of bone. This is the so-called callus, which may take the form of a band of osteosclerosis.
Treatment: conservative (without an operation).
- FatsThe term fats is 1. a (biochemically) outdated term for triglycerides; 2. a dietetic term for the main nutrient with high energy content (39 kJ/g = 9.3 kcal/g). The daily requirement is ca. 0.9 g/kg body weight (25-30 % of total energy). Fats are essential for the intestinal absorption of fat-soluble vitamins and as a source of essential fatty acids. Animal fats contain predominantly saturated fatty acids (particularly palmitic and stearic acids) and plant fats (oils) unsaturated fatty acids (particularly oleic and linoleic acids). Fish oil is rich in omega-fatty acids, which are believed to protect the arteries. Cf. depot fat, lipid metabolism, lipids.
- Fatty acidsChemically speaking, fatty acids are aliphatic monocarboxylic acids. Unbranched fatty acids with an even number of carbon atoms occur as esters in triglycerides, glycerolphosphatides and sphingolipids. In the body, fatty acids are released by enzymes (lipases) from food, from depot fat or lipids which the body itself has synthesised. The sythesis of fatty acids in the body occurs either through chain elongation of activated even numbered fatty acids by two carbon atoms or totally from new. The synthesis of fatty acids occurs through so-called beta-oxidation. The resulting molecule, acetyl-CoA, is either used for biosynthetic reactions or oxidised totally to carbon dioxide and water in the citrate cycle and respiratory chain, which results in energy being released. Cf. lipid metabolism
1. Saturated fatty acids, e.g. palmitic acid; 2. unsaturated fatty acids with one (e.g. oleic acid) or several double bonds, which are always separated by two single bonds (e.g. linoleic acid); 3. hydroxy fatty acids, e.g. ricinol acid in ricinol oil; 4. cyclopentene fatty acids, e.g. chaulmoogra acid.
- Fatty LiverMost frequent liver disease with increased deposition of fat (triglycerides) in liver cells.
In order of frequency: Alcohol abuse, type 2 diabetes or type 1 diabetes, false nutrition in the form of over- or under-nutrition (cf. overweight) or poisons (e.g. drugs, cortisol or fungal toxins),
Sometimes pressure in the upper abdomen, the liver may be tense and elastic or crassly enlarged.
Once the cause has been removed the fat deposits can regress fully. If the disease continues, transition to liver cirrhosis may occur.
- Fatty Liver HepatitisInflammatory liver disease with damage and/or destruction of the liver cells.
Classification: Two forms of fatty liver: 1. Gin-drinkers liver, with chronic alcoholism in more than 25% of cases. 2. Non-alcoholic fatty liver (also non-alcoholic steatohepatitis, abbreviated as NASH): also occurs in diabetes (Diabetes Mellitus), obesity (Obesity), protein malnutrition, severe wasting disease, gout, disorders of lipid metabolism and drug intake.
Diagnosis: Clinical chemistry: In two thirds of patients the liver enzymes are moderately increased; in one third they are not increased. The blood fats (e.g. tryiglycerides and cholesterol) are often raised.
- fecal occult blood testa test for the presence of microscopic amounts of blood in the stool caused by bleeding in the digestive tract
- ferritinan iron-containing protein that functions in the storage of iron and is found especially in the liver, as well as in the spleen and bone marrow
- FeverIncrease in body temperature as a result of a disturbance in thermal regulation. In contrast to hyperthermia, in which the body is overheated without the so-called target value being shifted, in fever the target value for the body temperature is shifted upwards. Fever can support the body's defensive mechanisms, partly by acceleration of biochemical reactions. These advantageous effects of moderate fever must be balanced against subjective complaints (feeling of illness, loss of appetite, headache) and objective disadvantages ( protein degradation). Classification: Up to 38 °C subfebrile temperature, up to 38.5 °C moderate fever, above 39 °C high fever. Fever rarely rises above 41 °C.
When fever develops during infections, babies and small children can react with fever seizures. With older children, the rise in fever is accompanied by shivering, cool limbs and centralisation of the circulation. Adults with fever usually suffer from chills. After the peak of the fever has been reached, there may be loss of consciousness or perception. The fever may drop slowly in the course of days or rapidly in the course of hours.
Treatment of the causes (e.g. treatment of infection); treatment of the symptoms, balancing the advantages and disadvantages (physically by improving the release of heat, or by giving drugs which lower fever). Traditional medicine prescribes calf compresses, juice or tea fasts or a variety of plant extracts (e.g. red currants, traditional barberry, common wood sorrel and others).
- fibrinogena protein produced by the liver that plays an important role in blood clotting
- fibroblast-like cellsspecialised cells located in the cortex of the kidney that produce the hormone erythropoietin
- Fibromuscular dysplasiaProliferation of the smooth muscle and connective tissue of the middle and internal layer of the arteries, leading to constriction or occlusion. Mostly occurs in young women. If the renal arteries are affected, this can lead to high blood pressure (hypertension). Cf. renal artery stenosis.
- fibrosisa condition in which connective tissue or scar tissue replaces normal organ tissue
- filtratea fluid that has passed through a filter
- Flusee influenza
- Flu Virussee influenza virus
- Flu, AsiaticAsiatic flu was a large wave of influenza in the years 1957-1958. Cf. pandemic.
- Flu, Hong KongHong Kong flu was a large wave of influenza in the years 1968-1969. Cf. pandemic.
- Flu, SpanishWave of influenza 1918-1920, from which 500 million people fell ill and 22 million people died.
- FluoridesSalts of hydrofluoric acid (hydrogen fluoride, HF). Sodium fluoride (NaF), monofluorophosphate (MFP), zinc fluoride and aminofluoride are used clinically to prevent caries and for treating osteoporosis.
- FolliculitisInflammation of the hair follicles, mostly with the bacterium Staphylococcus aureus. Occurs as reddened and painful knots, which have a central pustular blister, through which the hair passes.
- Fontaine stagesClassification of the deficiency of perfusion in occlusive arterial diseases of the limbs: used to evaluate the severity of the condition.
Stage 1: Free of symptoms even during stress (adequate shunt circulation); mostly found by chance (lack of palpable arterial pulse). Stage II: Pain during stress; so-called shop-window disease (Claudicatio intermittens): pains occur in the calves after a definite distance has been walked. After standing for some time the pain disappears. Iia: Walking without pain for more than 200 m; IIb: walking without pain for less than 200 m. Stage III: Pain at rest in the affected limbs when held horizontally, as a result of deficient perfusion of the musculature. The pain may temporarily be reduced when the limb is lowered. Stage IV: Disturbances in tissue nutrition in the form of dying tissue.
- Fracture, pathologicalalso known as Spontaneous Fracture
A pathological fracture is a fracture to the bone which occurs without the application of force, when the bone tissue has been previously damaged, e.g. in osteoporosis, osteodystrophia deformans, marble bone disease and osteogenesis imperfecta. It also occurs as a result of inexpert medical treatment, for instance, as a result of accidental fracture to the lower jaw by surgical removal of teeth. Cf. spontaneous deformation.
- Fracture, spontaneoussee fracture, pathological
- Free fatty acidsUnestered fatty acids which arise during the hydrolysis of fats (triglycerides) during lipolysis. They are bound to certain proteins (albumins) and transported in blood serum. Free fatty acids supply energy to almost all organs. The release of free fatty acids is increased by, for example, the hormone adrenaline (during stress) and as the result of increased lipolysis (e.g. during diabetes mellitus), abnormally high function of the thyroid and hunger. Cf. Randle cycle.
- Fructosealso known as fruit sugar or laevulose
Fructose is a monosaccharide which contains six carbon atoms. It is the sweetest natural sugar and occurs in sweet fruits and in honey and as a component of, for example, saccharose. In contrast to glucose, the cellular uptake of fructose is independent of insulin, so that up to 30 g fructose per day can be metabolised, even in severe cases of type 2 diabetes or type 1 diabetes. Fructose is therefore suitable as a sweetener for diabetics.
- Fundus arterioscleroticusChanges in the eyeground during arteriosclerosis: pale retina with poor reflexes, vessels with strong reflexes and reduced wall transparency (so-called copper or silver wire arteries), Gunn sign (narrowing of the veins when they cross the arteries), Salus sign (bow shaped bulging of the veins), choroids vessels with white edges, later grey-white bands.
- Fundus hypertonicusChanges in the eyeground in benign forms of high blood pressure of unknown cause (essential hypertension). The changes depend on the magnitude of the blood pressure, duration of the disease, from the extent of the connected arteriosclerosis and from general vascular constriction and arteriosclerotic changes. In patients with malignant hypertension the changes develop into the so-called retinopathia hypertensiva.
- Fungal Infectionsalso mycoses
The fungi which can infect man include the dermatophytes (skin fungi), yeasts and moulds. Some fungi only infect people with disturbed immune systems (tumours, HIV disease, suppression of the immune system by drugs, for example after transplantation) or spread enormously in these individuals. Examples of fungal infections include: dermatomycoses: fungal infections of the skin, hairs and nails; thrush: infection of the mucous membrane of the mouth and oesophagus by the yeast Candida albicans; aspergillosis: Infection of patients with disturbed immune system by the mould Aspergillus fumigatus, mostly in the lung.
Therapy: Local treatment with antimycotics (e.g. as ointment) or systemic treatment of the whole body (e.g. with tablets or injections).
- Fusion InhibitorDrugs which inhibit the fusion between viruses and body cells. As a result, the virus cannot penetrate into the cell and multiply. Fusion inhibitors are active against viruses which are already resistant to protease inhibitors and inhibitors of reverse transcriptase. Fusion inhibitors are still being tested at the moment.
Glossary entries: Roche and Walter de Gruyter, Berlin