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Glossary - H
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Hair follicle
Hair follicle- a tiny opening in the skin from which a hair grows
Halitosis- the clinical term for bad breath; commonly caused by poor oral hygiene or eating certain foods; if persistent it can be a sign of illness
Hallucination- a perception that occurs when there is actually nothing to cause it (such as hearing voices when there are none)
Hammer toe
Hammer toe- an abnormality in the tendons of the toe that causes the toe to be flexed at all times
Hashimoto’s disease
Hashimoto’s disease- a disease in which the body’s immune system attacks cells of the thyroid gland, resulting in a decrease in thyroid hormones
Hay fever
Hay fever- the common name for allergic rhinitis
Heart-lung machine- a machine that takes over the functions of the heart and lungs during certain types of surgery
Heart block
Heart block- a disorder of the heart caused by a blockage of the nerve impulses to the heart that regulate heartbeat; may lead to dizziness, fainting, or stroke
Heart failure
Heart failure- the inability of the heart to pump blood effectively
Heartburn- a burning sensation experienced in the center of the chest up to the throat; may be caused by overeating, eating spicy food, or drinking alcohol; recurrent heartburn may be caused by acid reflux
Heat stroke
Heat stroke- a life-threatening condition resulting from extreme overexposure to heat, which disrupts the body's system of regulating temperature
Heel spur
Heel spur- an abnormal, often painful outgrowth of bone on the back of the heel
Hematocrit- the percentage of total blood volume that consists of red blood cells, which is determined by laboratory testing; can be an indicator of disease or injury
Hematuria- blood in the urine, which can be caused by urinary tract disorders (such as cysts, tumor, or stones) or by an infection
Hemochromatosis- a genetic disorder in which too much iron is absorbed from food
Hemodialysis- A mechanical method of cleaning the blood for people who have kidney disease. See also: Dialysis.
Hemodialysis- a method used to treat kidney failure, in which blood is passed through a machine that purifies it and returns it to the body
Hemoglobin- the pigment in red blood cells that is responsible for carrying oxygen; hemoglobin bound to oxygen gives blood its red color
Hemoglobin A1C (HbA1c)
Hemoglobin A1C (HbA1c)- The substance of red blood cells that carries oxygen to the cells and sometimes joins with glucose (sugar). Because the glucose stays attached for the life of the cell (about 4 months), a test to measure hemoglobin A1C shows what the person’s average blood glucose level was for that period of time.
Hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) test
Blood test to find the blood sugar level a person has averaged over a 2- to 3-month period
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