totalhealth Medical Terms Dictionary » F

Medical terms and words can be alarming and can make understanding your condition difficult. Your doctor may have given you a diagnosis you do not understand or are unsure about.

At totalhealth we are committed to the aim of helping everyone to take control of their own health and treatment choices; for this reason we have compiled a comprehensive medical terms dictionary that we hope will be of real assistance.

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  • FABAn abbreviation for the French, American, British system of classifying eight subtypes of acute myeloid leukaemia and three subtypes of acute lymphocytic leukaemia, by examining the cells under a microscope.
  • factitious disordersA group of disorders in which a person's symptoms mimic those of a true illness, but which have been invented by, and are controlled by that person.
  • Factor V LeidenA change in the gene for Factor V, one of the coagulation factors.
  • factor XaA coagulation factor, one of a group of proteins in the blood that help the blood to clot.
  • faecal impactionA mass of hard, dry stool that accumulates in the rectum as a result of severe and chronic constipation. It can be impossible to pass normally and may need treatment to clear.
  • fallopian tubeOne of two tubes in the female body that connect the ovaries to the uterus.
  • fallopian tubesTwo tubes that transport the egg from the ovary to the uterus.
  • Fanconi syndromeA disorder of the kidneys in which substances that are usually reabsorbed back into the blood in the course of urine production are instead lost in the urine. It may be inherited or due to disease or damage later in life.
  • fasciitisInflammation of a layer of connective tissue causing pain and tenderness. It is usually caused by straining or injuring the tissue around a muscle and most commonly affects the soles of the feet.
  • fatOne of the three main food constituents (with carbohydrate and protein), and the main form in which energy is stored in the body.
  • FBforeign body
  • FBCAn abbreviation for a full blood count, which is a standard blood test that measures the different types of cells in the blood and checks for abnormalities
  • febrileDescription of an illness causing a fever or raised body temperature
  • femoralRelating to the area at the top of the thigh, near the top of the femur (thigh bone).
  • femurThe thigh bone.
  • feotusAn unborn child from eight weeks of development onwards.
  • ferritin The iron-carrying protein in the body.
  • feverThe raising of the body temperature above norma, which may be accompanied by symptoms such as shivering, headache and sweating.
  • fibrillationAbnormally fast and uneven contractions of the heart muscle, so that blood cannot be pumped efficiently
  • fibrinA product of blood coagulation that forms the basis of a blood clot.
  • fibrinogenA coagulation factor, a substance in the blood that brings about clotting.
  • fibrinolyticA susbstance that can break down fibrin, the major component of blood clots.
  • fibrinolytic capacityA measure of how capable a substance is at breaking down fibrin, the major component of blood clots.
  • fibroadenomaA benign tumour of breast tissue.
  • fibroangiomaA benign tumour consisting of blood vessels and fibrous tissue
  • fibroidA benign tumour, most often in the uterus.
  • fibroidsBenign tumours, most often in the uterus.
  • fibromaA non-cancerous tumour of the cells that make up connective tissue.
  • fibromyalgiaA chronic, disabling condition characterised by widespread muscle pain and fatigue.
  • fibrosing alveolitisA chronic lung disease also known as idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) in which repeated injury to small areas of lung tissue leads to inflammation and then scarring, impeding breathing and oxygen intake
  • fibrosisThickening and scarring of tissues, for example, owing to inflammation or injury.
  • fifth diseaseA common viral illness in children caused by the human parvovirus B19. The symptoms include a rash that looks as though the face has been slapped.
  • filariasisA group of tropical diseases caused by various parasitic worms.
  • fine needle aspiration The withdrawal of fluid or cells from a bodily structure, such as a cyst, through a syringe, to enable further analysis
  • FISHFluorescence in situ hybridisation - a technique for the detection of genetic abnormalities.
  • fistulaAn abnormal channel between two parts of the body, for example between a hollow organ and another hollow organ, or between the inside and the outside of the body.
  • fixed drug eruptionA type of allergic reaction to a medicine. They characteristically recur in the same site or sites each time a particular medication is taken.
  • flankThe area of the body between the lowest rib and the hip.
  • flare-upTerm to describe an episode when the symptoms of a condition worsen.
  • flare-upsTerm to describe episodes when the symptoms of a condition worsen.
  • flavonoidCompounds found in some fruits and vegetables that have antioxidant effects.
  • floroquinoloneOne of a group of antibiotics.
  • fluA viral infection affecting the respiratory system.
  • fluorescein angiographyA technique for assessing the blood vessels in the retina, using a dye to see the vessels more clearly.
  • fluoroscopyThe use of an image intensifier and TV monitor to view X-ray images.
  • folateOne of the B vitamins, involved in the production of red blood cells.
  • folic acidA vitamin in the group of vitamin Bs.
  • folliculitisInflammation of one or more hair follicles as a reult of a staphylococcal infection.
  • fontanelleOne of the two membrane-covered spaces between the bones of a baby's skull. At birth, the skull bones are not fully fused and two soft areas can be felt through the scalp.
  • foramen ovaleThe opening between the two upper chambers (atria) of the heart of the fetus, which normally closes at birth. The term 'foramen ovale' may also be used to describe the large hole at the base of the skull.
  • free fatty acidsThe basic building blocks of many lipids.
  • frenulumThe elastic band of tissue under the head ot the penis that connects to the foreskin.
  • frequencyApplied to urination, needing to urinate more often than normal, for whatever reason.
  • Friedreich's ataxiaAn inherited disease that causes progressive damage to the nervous system.
  • fronto-temporal dementiaA rare form of dementia where memory is preserved, but personality and behaviour alter dramatically.
  • FSHAn abbreviation for follicle-stimulating hormone, a hormone produced by the pituitary gland.
  • fundusThe appearance of the retina when viewed through an opthalmoscope.
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