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Glossary - F

Displaying glossary terms beginning with the letter F: 1 - 50 of 72 in total
facet joints
Paired joints that link a vertebra to its neighboring vertebrae. They allow the spine to move as a unit.
facet rhizotomy
Surgical destruction of certain nerves and nerve roots to relieve pain.
false negative
Test results that show that a disease or substance isn't present, even though it is.
familial combined hyperlipidemia
An inherited disorder in which the liver overproduces very low-density lipoprotein, causing high levels of cholesterol or triglycerides, or both.
familial hypercholesterolemia
An inherited disorder in which the liver cannot properly remove low-density lipoprotein particles from the blood, causing a very high cholesterol level.
fast-twitch fiber
One of two main types of skeletal muscle fibers. Fast-twitch fibers are recruited most heavily when bursts of power are needed, as in sprinting. See also [slow-twitch fiber]].
fasting lipid profile
A laboratory test to determine the relative levels of high-density lipoprotein, low-density lipoprotein, and total cholesterol in the blood. Also referred to as a lipoprotein analysis, full lipid profile, or cholesterol profile.
fasting plasma glucose test
A blood test that determines the amount of sugar (glucose) in the blood after an overnight fast of at least eight hours.
fat
One of the three major nutrients, along with carbohydrates and proteins.
fatigue
A lack of energy. A decrease over time in the ability to perform a physical or mental task.
fatty acids
Components of fats that can be used for energy by cells.
fatty streak
The first stage of atherosclerosis, a build-up of fatty materials in the wall of a blood vessel.
febrile
Feverish; having a high body temperature.
fecal impaction
A mass of dry, hard stool that gets lodged in the rectum.
fecal occult blood test (FOBT)
A test that checks for colorectal [[cancer by detecting blood in the stool.
Related health topics: Colorectal Cancer
femur
Thigh bone.
ferritin
A protein that captures and stores iron.
fetal alcohol syndrome
A collection of birth defects resulting from exposure of the fetus to alcohol during pregnancy.
fiber
A substance found in plant foods that the body can't digest.
Related health topics: Colorectal Cancer
fibrillation
Rapid and uncoordinated contractions of heart muscle fibers. When this occurs, the heart can't properly contract or pump blood.
fibrin
A stringy protein that is the primary component of a blood clot.
fibrinogen
A protein that helps stop bleeding by aiding in forming blood clots.
fibroadenoma
A tumor that is not cancer; usually found in the breast.
fibroblast
A cell that helps form the collagen and elastic fibers of connective tissue.
fibroid
A tumor that is not cancer, which is found in the uterus.
Related health topics: Female Infertility
fibromyalgia
A condition causing pain and tender spots throughout the body.
fibrous plaque
A buildup of fat on the inside of a blood vessel that interferes with blood flow.
fibula
The calf bone.
filtering procedure
A procedure to treat glaucoma in which a surgeon creates a drainage hole in the eye to relieve pressure.
finasteride
A medication for treating benign prostatic hyperplasia (enlargement of the prostate gland).
fixed joint
An area where two bones meet that is fixed, or doesn't move.
flaccid
Soft, not erect.
flare
Reappearance or worsening of symptoms.
flat feet
A condition in which the arch is flat all the time or flattens when bearing weight.
flatulence
Excess gas in the stomach or intestines that is expelled from the anus.
flatus
Gas expelled through the anus.
flavonoids
Chemicals found in fruits, vegetables, wine, and tea that may protect cells from damage and have health benefits.
flex
Bend a joint (for example, flexing the knees).
flexibility
A component of physical fitness that refers to the range of motion available at a joint.
flight-or-fight response
Changes that occur in the body, such as rapid breathing and heartbeat, when a person is confronted with a perceived physical or emotional threat. Also called the stress response.
floaters
Tiny spots or lines that appear in a person's field of vision when the jelly-like fluid of the eye breaks down with age. They are usually harmless, but can signal serious eye problems.
flow
A term coined by positive psychology pioneer Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi to describe an effortless, active state of being during which one loses awareness of time, self, and distractions. Flow hinges on balancing the size of a challenge and the level of skill a person brings to it.
fluorescein angiography
A test that uses special dye and a camera to examine blood flow in the retina.
fluoride
A mineral that protects teeth from decay and cavities.
fluoroscopy
A test that gives moving images of the inside of the body; could be likened to an x-ray movie.
foam cells
Lipid-laden cells, named for their foamy appearance under the microscope. As foam cells build up on the inside of blood vessel walls, they form a plaque that can block blood flow.
focal neuropathy
Damage to a specific nerve, causing pain or numbness.
focus words
Peaceful, relaxing words or phrases used during stress relief exercises.
follicle
A group of cells that form a small sac.
follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH)
A hormone released by the pituitary gland that stimulates the production of eggs in women and sperm in men.