Springboard Health Nutrition notebook Health information
Medical Dictionary 296 pixels Return home
2 pixels

Medical Dictionary


Return to top

BACTEREMIA refers to the presence of bacteria in the blood.

BACTERICIDAL is an agent which is destructive to, or which destroys bacteria.

BACTERIOSTATIC is that which inhibits or retards the growth of bacteria.

BACTERIUM is a general term for any unicellular prokaryotic microorganism that commonly multiplies by cell division (fission) and which is typically contained within a cell wall. It may or may not be motile, parasitic or pathogenic. The plural form of the word is bacteria.

BALD: Comb free.

BALD: Folically challenged.

BALSAM is an agent which may be used to soothe or heal. It is a resinous liquid obtained from the fluid of trees.

BARBALOIN is an anthraglycoside, and is the glucoside of aloe emodin. Like aloe emodin, barbaloin is cathartic; however, unlike aloe emodin which acts by irritating the intestines, barbaloin is absorbed into the bloodstream and stimulates the appropriate nerves near the bowels to cause the cathartic action.

BENZALDEHYDE is a volatile oil that may be synthesized artificially or isolated from bitter almonds. It is a narcotic at high concentrations and may be fatal if ingested in excessive quantities. Benzaldehyde is used in making dyes and also as a flavoring agent.

BENTONICINE is an alkaloid found in horehound, yarrow, and other plants.

BERIBERI is a disease associated with malnutrition, specifically a deficiency of vitamin B-1. It is characterized by polyneuritis, cardiac pathology and edema.

BETAINE is an amine found in licorice root, mints, and other plants. The hydrochloric salt of betaine is used in organic synthesis and in solders and other products. Betaine hydrochloride is also used therapeutically as a gastric acidifier and as an agent which corrects the fatty liver caused by choline deficiency.

BETONICINE is an alkaloid found in horehound, yarrow, and other plants.

BILE is a thick, sticky fluid secreted by the liver via the bile duct into the small intestine where it aids in the emulsification of fats, increases peristalsis and restores putrefaction. It contains sodium glycocholate and sodium taurocholate, cholesterol, biliverain and bilirubin, mucus, fat, lecithin cells and cellular debris. Normally the ejection of bile only occurs during duodenal digestion. Bile is both an antiseptic and a purgative. The normal adult secretes about 800 to 1,000 milliliters daily BILIARY COLIC is an acute abdominal pain due to the passage of a gallstone through the bile duct (called also gallstone or hepatitic colic and cholecysalgia).

BILIRUBIN is an orange colored bile pigment formed by the breakdown of heme pigments mainly from reticuloendothelial cells. Bilirubin is carried by the blood to the liver where it is changed chemically and excreted in the bile through the duodenum. High concentrations may result in jaundice.

BIOFLAVONOIDS , formerly termed vitamin P, are water soluble and are composed of substances which often appear in fruit and vegetables as companions to vitamin C. The bioflavonoids are citrin, hesperidin, rutin, flavones and flavonols. Bioflavonoids are essential for the proper absorption and use of vitamin C. They assist vitamin C in keeping collagen in healthy condition, and are vital in their ability to increase the strength of the capillaries and to regulate permeability. These actions help prevent ruptures in the capillaries and connective tissues, and build a protective barrier against infection. Bioflavonoids are beneficial in the treatment of hypertension, respiratory infections, hemorrhoids, varicose veins, hemorrhaging, bleeding gums, eczema, psoriasis, cirrhosis of the liver, retinal hemorrhages, radiation sickness, coronary thrombosis, and arteriosclerosis.

BIRTH CONTROL PILLS: A labor saving device.

BISMUTH is a crystalline, trivalent earth element with a reddish appearance. Its salts have been used as an astringent, antiseptic, sedative, and in treating diarrhea and syphilis. Since the introduction of antibiotics, treatment with bismuth has declined.

BLACK COHOSH is a perennial plant native to North America. It grows in rich, open woods and hillsides from Maine and Ontario to the southern United States. The stem is smooth and furrowed, and grows from three to nine feet in height. The leaves are ternate, then pinnate, and are irregularly shaped. There are two to five leaflets which are egg-shaped or oblong, and irregularly toothed and cut. Small white or yellow flowers grow in long racemes from June to August. The medicinal part is the rootstock, which is the underground portion of a stem producing leaves from its upper surface and roots from its lower surface. It is often thick and contains deposits of reserve food material.

Other common names for this plant are: Battleweed, Black Snakeroot, Blue Ginseng, Blueberry Bugbane, Bugwort, Cimici Fuga, Cohosh, Columbine, Rattleroot, Rattleweed, Squawroot, Snakeroot, Rich Ridodrine Weed

For more information see the HERBS section of the Nutrition Notebook

BLEPHARITIS refers to inflammation of the eyelid.

BLIND: Photonically non-receptive.

BLOOD is the fluid which circulates through the heart, arteries, capillaries, and veins. It is composed of red blood cells, white blood cells and blood platelets, and an interstitial fluid called plasma. It derives its reddish color from the iron within the hemoglobin.

Blood functions to provide nutrition and respiration for tissue located fare from food and air supplies. It also transports waste from the tissues to the excretory organs. Blood provides chemical and thermal regulation to the body and helps in preventing infection by transporting antibodies.

BLOOD GLUCOSE (blood sugar) refers to sugar in the form of glucose. The blood sugar level in humans is normally 60 to 100 milligrams per 100 milliliters of blood; it rises after a meal to as much as 150 milligrams per 100 milliliters of blood, but this may vary

BLOOD PLATELETS (THROMBOCYTES) are disc-shaped pieces of cytoplasm formed by extrusion from megakaryocytes. They lack hemoglobin, a nucleus of DNA, but contain active enzymes and mitochondria. The lifetime of blood platelets ranges from 2 to 10 days; they are then destroyed in the spleen. There are about 250,000 to 500,000 blood platelets per cubic millimeter of blood.

Blood platelet's function is to form blood clots. When they come in contact with a blood vessel injury, they adhere to the damaged area, then disintegrate and release a chemical which reacts with the protein in the plasma. With the aid of certain other blood constituents, such as fibrinogen, they change into a solid mass called fibrin, which forms the clot.

BLOOD PRESSURE , as popularly used, is the pressure determined indirectly, existing in the large arteries at the height of the pulse wave.

When a blood pressure reading is taken, the systolic over diastolic value is determined. Systolic pressure is primarily caused by the heartbeat or contraction. The diastolic pressure is taken when the heart is filling with blood between beats. Blood pressure values vary appreciably depending on age, sex, and ethnicity. A typical adult reading may be 120mm Hg over 80mm Hg, state 120 over 80.

BLOOD UREA NITROGEN (BUN) is a test which indicates renal function, fever, or the presence or parasites.

BONE MEAL is a flour-like substance consisting of the finely ground bones of cattle. As a good supplemental source of calcium, bone meal is especially recommended for anyone whose milk intake must be limited. It also contains phosphorus and the trace minerals copper, manganese, nickel, and fluoride. Bone meal can usually be given safely in any dose. The recommended intake of bone meal is three tablets or an equivalent amount per day.

BREWER'S YEAST is a non-leavening yeast which can be added to all foods to increase their nutritional value. Brewer's yeast is one of the best sources of vitamin B-Complex vitamins and minerals. It contains amino acids, minerals, and vitamins. Brewer's yeast is high in phosphorus in relation to calcium; therefore, eight ounces of skim milk or four tablespoons of dry powdered milk should be taken with every tablespoon of yeast. The recommended supplemental allowance of brewer's yeast is one tablespoon daily.

Wheat germ and brewer's yeast taken daily may be helpful in preventing heart trouble. Brewer's yeast may protect against the toxicity of large doses of vitamin D. It is used to prevent constipation and is a good source of enzyme-producing agents.

Brewer's yeast is on of the best source of RNA. It is available in powder, flake, and tablet forms.

BROMELAIN is a proteolytic and milk-clotting enzyme protease obtained from the juice of the pineapple plant. Bromelain is used as adjunctive therapy to reduce inflammation and edema, and to accelerate tissue repair, especially following episiotomy.

BULIMIA is the abnormal and unhealthful intake of large amounts of food. It is often followed by the use of laxatives and/or self-induced vomiting.

BURSITIS is an inflammation of a bursa. A bursa is a pad-like sac or cavity found near areas subject to friction, i.e. joints, particularly those located between bony prominences and muscle or tendon. It is lined with synovial membrane and contains synovia.

472 pixels

Return to top

2 pixels
2 pixels

Copyright © 2004 Springboard All rights reserved.
2 pixels
Left tab 436 Pixels Right tab