totalhealth Medical Terms Dictionary » U

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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  • U&EThe abbreviation for a urea and electrolytes test. This is a standard blood test often used for people who are generally unwell to detect abnormal blood chemistry including kidney failure and dehydration.
  • U&EAn abbreviation for urea and electrolyte test.
  • ulcerAny abnormal break in the epithelium, the outer layer of cells covering the open surfaces of the body.
  • ulcerationThe presence or formation of an ulcer - an abnormal break in epithelium, the outer layer of cells covering the open surfaces of the body.
  • ulcerative colitisA form of inflammatory bowel disease causing inflammation and ulceration of the colon.
  • ulcerative proctitisA type of ulcerative colitis that affects only the rectum.
  • ulnar neuritisCompression or irritation of the ulnar nerve as it runs behind the elbow joint.
  • ultrasonographyThe technique of using high-frequency sound waves to produce internal images of the body.
  • ultrasoundA diagnostic method in which very high frequency sound waves are passed into the body and the reflective echoes analysed to build a picture of the internal organs – or of the foetus in the uterus.
  • ultrasound scanThe process of using high-frequency sound waves to produce internal images of the body.
  • unfractionatedNot fractionated; that is, not divided up into separate parts.
  • unilateralInvolving or affecting only one side.
  • unstable anginaChest pain caused by poor blood supply to the heart that comes on unpredictably - not just during exercise.
  • unstable bladderA strong desire to pass urine and/or increased frequency of urination due to overactive or irritable bladder wall muscles.
  • uraemiaThe build up of toxic waste products in the blood as a result of renal failure.
  • ureaA waste product formed from the breakdown of proteins.
  • urea & electrolyteLaboratory tests to measure the amount of urea, a breakdown product of protein, and sodium, potassium and bicarbonate (electrolytes), which are essential for the normal function of cells, in the blood.
  • ureterA tube that carries urine from the kidneys to the bladder.
  • uretericRelating to the ureters.
  • ureteric colicA common and very painful condition caused when a urinary stone passes down the ureter.
  • ureteric refluxThe flow of urine backwards into the ureters.
  • ureteric stoneA stone from the kidney that has moved into the ureter.
  • uretersTwo tubes that carry urine from the kidneys to the bladder, where it is stored.
  • urethraThe tube that carries urine from the bladder, and in men also carries semen during ejaculation.
  • urethralRelating to the urethra, the tube that connects the bladder to the genitals.
  • urethral caruncleA soft, fleshy protrusion of the urethral lining from the urethral opening.
  • urethral caruncleA benign, soft, fleshy growth that protrudes from the lining of the urethra.
  • urethritisInflammation of the urethra.
  • urethrography An X-ray imaging test to examine the urethra.
  • urethroscopyA diagnostic procedure for examining the inside of the urethra.
  • urge incontinenceIncontinence of urine due to abrupt and uncontrollable urges to urinate, if there is insufficient time to reach a bathroom.
  • uric acidA waste product of the breakdown of nucleic acids in body cells.
  • uric acid testA laboratory test used to check levels of uric acid in the blood. High levels may indicate gout or other diseases such as kidney disease.
  • urinalysisTests on urine, including measurements of its physical characteristics such as colour, cloudiness and concentration.
  • urinary castsTiny tubular particles found in the urine, shed from structures called tubules in the kidney. Their composition may reveal the presence of various kidney diseases.
  • urinary tractThe channels that carry urine from the kidneys to the outside of the body.
  • urinationThe passing of urine from the body.
  • urobilinogenA colourless compound formed in the intestine after the breakdown of bilirubin by bacteria.
  • urodynamic studiesTests that assess the pressure and flow rate of urine.
  • uroflowmetryA test to assess how well the bladder empties.
  • UrogramAn X ray used to give an image of the urinary tract.
  • urologicalRelating to the urinary tract.
  • urologistA specialist in the treatment of diseases of the urinary tract, the channels that carry urine from the kidneys to the outside of the body.
  • URTIupper respiratory tract infection
  • urticariaA skin condition that causes red, itchy swellings or hives.
  • Uterine rigidityA toughening of the uterus normally caused by surgical scarring.
  • Uterine ruptureSerious condition, where a tear develops through the uterine wall, opening the uterus directly into the abdominal cavity.
  • uterine torsionTwisting of the uterus.
  • uterusThe womb, where embryo implantation occurs and the growing foetus is nourished.
  • UTIurinary tract infection
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