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Diseases » Chronic Illness » Glossary

Glossary for Chronic Illness

  • Alzheimer's Disease: Dementia-causing brain disease mostly in seniors and the elderly.
  • Arthritis: General name for any type of joint inflammation, but often means age-related osteoarthritis.
  • Cancer: Abnormal overgrowth of body cells.
  • Cardiovascular Disease: Diseases of the heart or blood vessels including cerebrovascular diseases such as stroke.
  • Cerebrovascular Conditions: Conditions of the brain's blood vessels including stroke.
  • Chronic infections: Ongoing and often slow progressing infection; opposite to acute infections.
  • Depression: Various syndromes with excessive anxiety, phobias, or fear.
  • Depressive disorders: Depression or its various related conditions.
  • Diabetes: Failing or reduced ability of the body to handle sugars.
  • Dupuytren's contracture: A condition where the layer of connective tissue under the skin of the palm of the hand thickens and shrinks which can cause the fingers to bend in to the palms. The bent fingers are usually unable to be fully straightened.
  • Epilepsy: Brain condition causing seizures or spasms.
  • Fungal infections: Any condition caused by fungus.
  • Group B Streptococcal Infections: "Strep" bacteria that may affect newborns and the immune-compromised; compare strep A.
  • Heart disease: Any of various heart conditions.
  • Hemochromatosis: Excess of iron leading to problems with joints, liver, heart and pancreas.
  • Hepatitis B: Viral liver infection spread by sex or body fluids.
  • Hereditary Hemochromatosis: A genetic disorder where too much iron is absorbed from food and it is stored in various parts of the body which can cause damage. There are 4 types of hemochromatosis and they are distinguished by age of onset, genetic cause and type of inheritance. Some sufferers may be asymptomatic.
  • Hypertension: High blood pressure
  • Kidney disease: Reduced kidney function from various causes.
  • Leukemia: Cancer of the blood cells, usually white blood cells.
  • Liver conditions: Any condition that affects the liver
  • Lung damage: COPD is defined as the destruction of the air spaces distal to the terminal bronchioles and their walls and without obvious fibrosis.
  • Microcytosis: A blood disorder which results in small (decreased mean cell volume) red blood cells.
  • Molluscum contagiosum: Common wart-causing virus.
  • Mouth conditions: Any condition that affects the mouth
  • Multiple Myeloma: A rare malignant cancer that occurs in the bone marrow. More common in skull, spine, rib cage, pelvis and legs.
  • Osteoporosis: Bone thinning and weakening from bone calcium depletion.
  • Renal carbuncle: Kidney abscess
  • Shingles: Infectious viral infection occuring years after chickenpox infection.
  • Staphylococcal infection: Any infection caused by the bacteria staphylococcal
  • Systemic disorders: Any condition that occurs in a system of the body


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