Glossary

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Adipokines
Hormones produced by fat cells that can stimulate or inhibit cell growth.
Adipose Tissue
A kind of body tissue containing stored fat that serves as a source of energy. It also cushions and insulates vital organs.
Adjustable Gastric Banding
A reversible procedure in which an inflatable band that is placed around the upper portion of the stomach, creating a small stomach pouch above the band, leaving the rest of the stomach below the band. This operation reduces the amount of food that the stomach can hold.
Androgens
A hormone that promotes male characteristics.
Angina
Chest pains caused by a reduction of the oxygen supply to the heart.
Anorexia Nervosa
An eating disorder primarily affecting adolescent girls and young women which involves a pathological fear of gaining weight, resulting in excessive dieting, malnutrition, distorted body image, and emaciation.
Anovulation
The absence of ovulation.
Atherosclerosis
A form of arteriosclerosis in which fatty substances form a deposit of plaque in the lining of arterial walls.
Bardet-Biedl Syndrome
An inherited disorder characterized by mental retardation, obesity, pigmentary retinopathy, having more than five fingers or toes on one hand or foot, and diminished functional activity of the genitals.
Bariatric Surgical Procedure
A surgical procedure performed on the stomach or intestines for the purpose of weight loss.
Barrett’s Esophagus
A complication of gastroesophageal reflux disease where the lining of the esophagus changes to resemble the lining of the intestine.
Biliopancreatic Diversion with Duodenal Switch
A procedure in which a portion of the stomach is removed to create a smaller, tube-shaped stomach pouch, and a large portion of the small intestine is bypassed.
Body Mass Index (BMI)
An index which is used to determine whether a patient is overweight or underweight. It is calculated by dividing body weight in kilograms by height in meters squared.
Bulimia
An eating disorder primarily affecting young women characterized by compulsive overeating followed by self-induced vomiting, or laxative or diuretic abuse, for the purpose of averting weight gain. Also can refer to an abnormal and constant hunger.
Calorie
In physiology, this is the unit by which the energy value of food is measured. It is the energy needed to raise the temperature of one kilogram of water by one degree Celsius.
Carbohydrates
A large group of organic compounds made of carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen, which are formed by green plants, found in certain foods (such as bread, rice, and potatoes) that provide humans and animals with heat and energy.
Cholesterol
A substance both made by the liver and obtained from animal-based foods, such as meat and cheese, which cleans the bloodstream and protects certain nerves.
Chronic Low-level Inflammation
A perpetual inflammation of adipose tissue; can be caused by poor diet and lack of exercise.
Chronic Venous Insufficiency
A condition in which the veins are not able to pump enough blood back to the heart.
Cirrhosis
A liver disease in which excessive tissue is formed, which results in blockage of circulation.
Cognitive Restructuring Activities
Techniques that make up the core of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, a psychological treatment for common problems such as depression, anxiety disorders, and eating issues.
Congestive Heart Failure
A condition in which the heart is unable to maintain adequate circulation of blood, which results in blood returning to the heart from the veins, and is often accompanied by distension of the ventricles, edema, and shortness of breath.
Coronary Artery Disease (CAD)
A condition caused by atherosclerosis that reduces the blood flow through the coronary arteries to the heart muscle, typically resulting in angina pectoris or heart attack.
Corticosteroids
A group of steroid hormones produced in the adrenal cortex, or even created synthetically. The two kinds are glucocorticoids and mineralocorticoids.
Cortisol
A glucocorticoid that is produced by the adrenal cortex and has anti-inflammatory and immunosuppressive properties.
Cushing’s Syndrome
An abnormal bodily condition that is caused by excess corticosteroids, which results in accumulations of facial and trunk fat, fatigue, hypertension, and osteoporosis.
Dyslipidemia
A condition in which the levels of lipids or lipoproteins are abnormal.

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Edema
An abnormal excess accumulation of serous fluid in connective tissue, or into body cavities.
Electrocardiogram (EKG)
A record or display of a person’s heartbeat, which is produced by an electrocardiograph.
Elephantiasis
A chronic filarial disease caused by the obstruction of lymphatics, which results in the enlargement and thickening of tissues, especially those of limbs and the scrotum.
Esophageal Adenocarcinoma
Cancer that occurs in the esophagus.
Fasting Glucose Tests
A test in which a patient fasts overnight after which their fasting blood sugar level is measured. The purpose of this is to screen for prediabetes or diabetes.
Fasting Lipid Panels
After fasting for eight to 12 hours, a patient is screened for levels of high-density lipoproteins (HDL) and low-density lipoproteins (LDL) in order to determine the progression of coronary artery disease (CAD).
Gastric Bypass Surgery
A procedure in which the stomach is divided into a small upper pouch and a much larger lower pouch, as well as rearranging the small intestine to connect to both pouches.
Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease
Occurs when a muscle at the end of your esophagus does not close properly, allowing the contents of the stomach to leak back, or reflux, into the esophagus and irritate it.
Ghrelin
A growth hormone secreted primarily by stomach cells, which is implicated in the stimulation of fat storage and food intake.
Glucose
The form of sugar in which carbohydrates are assimilated by humans and animals.
Glycogen
The primary form in which glucose is stored in animal tissues, occurring especially in the liver and in muscle, as well as in fungi and yeasts.
Hemorrhagic Stroke
A stroke caused by the rupture of a blood vessel with bleeding into the tissue of the brain.
High-Density Lipoprotein Cholesterol (HDL-C)
These lipoproteins act as cholesterol scavengers, picking up excess cholesterol in the blood and taking it back to the liver to be broken down. They are often referred to as HDL, or “good,” cholesterol.
Hypertension
High blood pressure.
Hypertensive Retinopathy
Damage to the retina as a result of high blood pressure.
Hypertrophy
Excessive growth or development of an organ or part.
Hypothyroidism
Deficient activity of the thyroid gland, which can result in lowered metabolic rate and loss of vigor.
Immune Responses
The reaction of the cells and fluids of the body to the presence of a substance that is not recognized as a constituent of the body itself.
Inflammation
A local response to cellular injury that is marked by capillary dilatation, leukocytic infiltration, redness, heat, pain, swelling, and often loss of function and that serves as a mechanism initiating the elimination of noxious agents and of damaged tissue.
Insulin
A substance created by the body that is used to turn sugar into energy.
Insulin-Like Growth Factor-1 (IGF-1)
A hormone that plays an important role in childhood growth and continues to have anabolic effects in adults.
Insulin Receptors
A receptor activated by insulin that plays an important role in the regulation of glucose homeostasis.
Insulin Resistance
Reduced sensitivity to insulin that results in lowered activity of the body’s insulin-dependent processes, or an increase in insulin production, or both.
Ischemic Stroke
A stroke caused by blood clots in a blood vessel or an obstruction of a blood vessel.

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Left Atrial Abnormalities
Refers to the presence of atrial hypertrophy or dilation, or both.
Left Ventricle Hypertrophy
A condition in which the muscle walls of the left ventricle become thickened.
Leptin
A hormone that is produced by fat cells and plays a role in body weight regulation by influencing the hypothalamus to suppress appetite and burn fat stored in adipose tissue.
Liver Function Tests
Blood tests that include prothrombin time, aPTT, albumin, bilirubin (direct and indirect), and others.
Lorcaserin
A weight-loss drug that acts as an appetite suppressant.
Low-Density Lipoprotein Cholesterol (LDL-C)
These lipoproteins carry cholesterol throughout the body, delivering it to different organs and tissues. They are often referred to as “bad” cholesterol because an excess amount can build up in the blood vessel lining, which can become an obstruction to blood flow, causing coronary artery disease.
Lymphedema
Edema due to defective lymphatic drainage.
Malignant Melanoma
An unfavorable skin tumor containing dark pigment.
Metabolic Syndrome
A syndrome defined by the presence of usually three or more of a group of factors (as high blood pressure, abdominal obesity, high triglyceride levels, low HDL levels, and high fasting levels of blood sugar), which are linked to an increased risk of cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes.
Nonalcoholic Steatohepatitis
Liver inflammation and damage caused by a buildup of fat in the liver; part of a group of conditions called nonalcoholic fatty liver disease.
Normal Weight
A body weight that is considered healthy. For adults, a BMI of 18.5 to 24.9 indicates a weight that is normal.
Nuclear Factor Kappa Beta System
A protein that produces inflammation in the body when it detects dangerous threats like free radicals and infectious agents.
Obese
A body weight that is much higher than what is considered healthy. For adults, a BMI of 30.0 and above indicates a weight that is obese.
Obesity Hypoventilation Syndrome (OHS)
A condition in which severely overweight people fail to breathe rapidly enough or deeply enough, resulting in low blood oxygen levels and high blood carbon dioxide levels.
Orlistat
A pancreatic lipase inhibitor that prevents the digestion of fat in the treatment of obesity.
Osteoarthritis
A type of arthritis, which is typically developed during middle or old age, that is characterized by degenerative and sometimes hypertrophic changes in the bone and cartilage of one or more joints and a progressive wearing down of apposing joint surfaces with consequent distortion of joint position and is marked symptomatically especially by pain, swelling, and stiffness.
Overweight
A body weight that is higher than what is considered healthy. For adults, a BMI of 25.0 to 29.9 and above indicates a weight that is overweight.
Oxidative Stress
Stress on the body caused by the total damage done by free radicals inadequately neutralized by antioxidants; associated with aging.

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Phentermine/Topiramate Extended-Release (P/T ER)
A combination of two drugs used to control appetite. P/T ER should be used in combination with increased physical activity, a reduced-calorie diet, and other behavioral strategies. It can also be used to help maintain a healthy weight after weight loss.
Plantar Hyperkeratosis
Occurs in obese patients due to the excessive pressure put on the soles of the feet. Along with the accompanying friction, hypertrophies develop in a horseshoe pattern which envelops the heel, arch, and large toe. This typically causes difficulty when trying to walk, especially in obese women, where footwear choices may play a role.
Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS)
A hormone problem that may cause irregular periods, excess facial and body hair growth, and fertility problems once girls reach adulthood.
Prader-Willi Syndrome
A rare genetic disorder that causes poor muscle tone, low levels of sex hormones, and a constant feeling of hunger.
Prednisone
A glucocorticoid that is used as an anti-inflammatory agent, as an antineoplastic agent, and as an immunosuppressant.
Psoriasis
A chronic skin disease characterized by circumscribed red patches covered with white scales.
Sleep Apnea
Brief periods where breathing stops during sleep; caused especially by obstruction of the airway or a disturbance in the brain’s respiratory center and is associated especially with excessive daytime sleepiness.
Sleeve Gastrectomy
Involves removing approximately 80 percent of the stomach, leaving the remaining stomach in a tube-shaped pouch that resembles a banana.
Stimulus Control
Occurs when an organism behaves in one way in the presence of a given stimulus and another way in its absence.
Stressors
Something that makes you worried or anxious.
Stroke
A serious illness caused when a blood vessel in your brain suddenly breaks or is blocked.
Thyroid Function Tests
Blood tests which help to check the function of your thyroid gland. They are mainly used to detect an underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism) and an overactive thyroid (hyperthyroidism).
Transaminase
An enzyme that catalyzes a type of reaction between an amino acid and an alpha-keto acid; important in the synthesis of amino acids, which form proteins, making them an important indicator of liver damage.
Triglycerides
A kind of lipid or fat; the chemical form taken by most fat in foods.
Type 2 Diabetes
A common form of diabetes that develops especially in adults and most often in obese individuals and that is characterized by hyperglycemia resulting from impaired insulin utilization coupled with the body’s inability to compensate with increased insulin production.
Ulceration
The process of forming an ulcer, or a painful, sore area inside or outside the body.
Underweight
A body weight that is lower than what is considered healthy. For adults, a BMI below 18.5 indicates a weight that is underweight.
Waist Circumference
A measurement, usually in inches, around a person’s waist just above the hipbones. Waist circumference can be a helpful screening tool in estimating a person’s risk for obesity-related conditions.