Medical terms you need to know

Medical Dictionary

A defining trait of healthcare and the doctor’s office is patient confusion. Whether it’s trying to
understand a health insurance policy or trying to decipher if your doctor’s diagnosis is going to be a little problem or a very large deadly one, many people find the world of medicine to be a
terrifying and confusing place. Health literacy has absolutely nothing to do with education level or background it’s just about recognizing and knowing some everyday medical terminology. Below we have laid out out some of the most popular terms that could come up during your next visit.

  • Acute: Acute conditions are those that are severe, suddenly happen and end shortly.
  • Benign: Not cancerous!
  • Biopsy: A tissue sample for testing purposes.
  • BMI: Body mass index, used to measure weight relative to height.
  • BMP: Basic metabolic panel, a test which includes seeing levels of sodium, potassium, calcium, glucose, and kidney function.
  • CBC: Complete blood count, a test that contains 4 separate measurements with 2 being the white blood cell (WBC) count and hemoglobin levels.
  • Chronic: A long-developing disease or symptom. A common example of this is asthma.
  • Comorbidity: Having 2 or more diseases or disorders at the same time.
  • CT / CAT scan: An imaging method that uses X-rays to create pictures of cross-sections of the body.
  • Edema: Just means swelling.
  • Embolism: A term for a blood clot.
  • GERD: Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease. It’s just heartburn.
  • HDL: High-density lipoprotein which means “good cholesterol”. They help reduce the risk ofheart disease.
  • Hypertension: High blood pressure (we have a whole blog post on how to treat it).
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