WORD! A Glossary of Medical Words
Sometimes also known as the abs, these are the muscles
in front of your abdomen, the area below your chest and above your belly button. Try
some rowing for awesome abs!
Ever get an abrasion from falling off a bike or swing?
Sure you have! An abrasion is the fancy word for when skin gets rubbed away, leaving
an open cut or scratch.
Short for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder,
this is a behavior disorder that some kids have where they are hyperactive and have
difficulty paying attention. In fact, 1 in 20 kids have ADHD - about one kid in every
Allergists are special doctors that help you when you're allergic
to things like animals, grasses, pollens, dust, and even foods. They can sometimes
give you medicine or shots to help you feel better when allergies are bothering you.
ACHOOO! An allergy!
Some kids have allergies, which means that their bodies act funny after they touch
animals, get a bug bite, eat certain foods, or run into other everyday things that
trigger their allergies. Allergies can not only make your eyes watery and nose run,
they can also make your skin itchy and bumpy, your throat and ears sore, and your
tummy ache. They can even give you diarrhea . . . gross! But don't worry. If you
have an allergy, you can go to a special doctor called an allergist who will make
sure that you feel better again!
When someone has an operation
where doctors cut off a body part, they say they amputate that part. Some parts that
might get amputated are a finger, a foot, or a leg.
The name for a group of blood diseases caused by problems with red blood cells (also
called "low blood count"). Most times, anemia happens in kids because they don't have
No, it's not the name of a princess in a Disney movie, even though it may sound like
one! Anesthesia is actually medicine that doctors give kids to make them feel comfortable
when they're having surgery,
stitches, or other things that might cause pain.
Anesthesia is cool because it helps kids fall asleep for a little bit so the doctors
can fix something. A doctor can give you anesthesia with a shot or by letting you
breathe a special kind of air. You might feel kind of funny when this happens, but
don't worry, it won't hurt, and you'll be back to normal in no time!
Hooray for antibiotics! These medicines don't
hurt you, but they do attack the bacteria and germs
inside your body that are making you sick. And you guessed it - they're sometimes
made from ugly, fuzzy mold (penicilin comes from orange mold)! So, if you have an
ear infection, strep
throat, or some other infection, don't worry, because antibiotics are here to
save the day!
Say: ar-ta-reez and vayns
Your blood goes through tubes in your body called blood vessels. Arteries and veins
are types of blood vessels that bring blood to and from your heart.
They're all over your body (inside, of course!), and you can tell the difference between
these two because arteries are usually red and veins are usually blue. If you ever
look closely at your skin, sometimes you might see a bluish-colored line. That's
is when someone has trouble breathing because his airways
have gotten irritated by something he breathed in. With asthma, airways swell and
narrow, making it harder to breath. Lots of things like fur, perfume, or smoke can
cause this to happen. Of course, breathing is really important, so someone who has
asthma may need to see a doctor regularly and even carry special medicine to help
them breathe easier.
attack is when a person who has asthma suddenly can't breathe very well because his
or her airways have
gotten irritated by something breathed in. Asthma causes airways to swell and narrow,
making it harder to breath in and out. Lots of things, called asthma triggers, can
cause this to happen, including animal fur, perfume, cold air, or smoke. Asthma attacks
can happen very suddenly, so it's important that people with asthma see a doctor regularly,
stay away from their asthma triggers, and maybe even carry around special medicine
their doctor prescribes to help them breathe easily again!
If you're feeling crummy, it's probably because nasty bacteria or some other kind
of germ has gotten into your body and made you sick.
Bacteria are so tiny you can't see them with your eyes, but there are thousands .
. . millions . . . and even billions of them all over you, inside and out! Even though
this might sound kind of gross, there are lots of good bacteria that help out our
bodies. The bad bacteria make us sick. So the next time you get an ear
infection or a sore throat, you know who the culprit might be . . . bacteria!!
Sometimes, when doctors think that something that's not quite right in your body,
they might decide to do something called a biopsy. This means they take out a teensy,
tiny piece of a part of your body and look at it under a microscope and do tests on
it. The biopsy gives doctors a closer look at what's really going on inside you before
they give you medicine or an operation. It's kind of like finding out what's really
in that cafeteria food before you actually eat it! Hmmm . . . now that's some food
Say: blud presh-ur
Check your blood pressure! When you go to the doctor,
he or she sometimes puts an arm band on you and pushes air into it, blowing the arm
band up like a balloon.Your arm might feel a little tingly, but don't worry, the doctor's
just taking your blood pressure. This test will help her figure out how hard your
heart is pumping
to move blood all over your body, and if your blood pressure is too high or too low.
Say: blud type
There are four major blood types, each with a different type of chemical marker that's
attached to your red blood cells. The markers determine if we have type A blood, type
B blood, type O blood, and type AB. Each type can also be positive (+) or negative
(-) - just to make things a little more complicated! It's important that a doctor
know which blood type you have if you're going to have surgery, just in case the doctor
needs to give you some extra blood.
Bone marrow! Bone
marrow is kind of like jelly except it's thicker. It helps make all kinds of blood
cells (like "killer T cells" - isn't that a cool name?) that help your body fight
off germs, and it also transports important stuff like oxygen to the rest of your
body - even your toes!
Even though this sounds like a cross between a dinosaur and a snake, bronchoconstriction
has nothing to do with dinosaurs or snakes . . . unless maybe you're being squeezed
by one! Bronchoconstriction is actually what happens when the muscles lining your
breathing tubes tighten up and get narrow, making it hard to breathe in and out. Bronchoconstriction
happens to people who have a medical condition called asthma.
The good news is, there are lots of asthma medicines that help to relax the muscles
lining your airways - so you can usually breathe easy again.
When you accidentally bang a part of your body against something else, sometimes your
skin starts turning different colors. That splotch of purple, green, blue, and black
is called a bruise, and it's caused by broken blood vessels, or tubes, that contain
your blood. Since you didn't cut yourself, the blood
from the damaged blood vessels can't come out and instead gets trapped under your
skin! But don't worry - even though it may sound icky, your amazing body will make
the bruise disappear in no time!
Better brush to keep those caries away - it's another word for cavities!
Caries come around when teeth start to decay, or break down.
If you ever break a bone,
you'll probably need something called a cast to
keep all the pieces of bone from moving around while it's healing. Casts can be made
out of plaster, fiberglass, or even plastic and air (called an "air cast"). They wrap
around the broken area, and you need to keep the cast away from water the whole time
it's on. Even though a cast may look and feel a little clumsy, it'll help you feel
better and let your broken bones grow back together again. After you're all better,
the doctor will take the cast off - which doesn't hurt at all!
Say: cat skan
Actually, CT scans have nothing to do with cats . . . except that when people talk
about them, they usually say "cat scans" instead of "CT scans." CT scans are kind
of like X-rays except they give doctors much better pictures of the insides
of your body - not just your bones. Cool, huh? These pictures help doctors figure
out if everything's alright inside your body and what they can do to help you. And
even better, CT scans don't hurt at all!
Say: com-pleet blud cownt
Blood is made up of things called red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets.
Red blood cells are like trucks zooming on the "blood vessel highway" in your body,
carrying oxygen to the rest of your body. White blood cells are the warriors of the
blood, defending your body against germs trying to make you sick. Finally, platelets
are like fabric weavers because when you get a cut,
platelets weave a "web" over it that becomes a protective scab. This scab prevents
more germs from getting in and infecting the cut. Doctors sometimes do blood tests
to count how many of each type of blood cells you have.
Yo-yoing, walking, playing soccer - you couldn't do any of it without this small but
powerful part of the brain
that controls balance, coordination, and movement. It is way in the back, down low
and near the spinal cord.
This is the word that describes the use of anti-cancer medicines to treat cancer.
It is very powerful and is often used to treat cancer that has spread to other parts
of the body.
Your eye's looking pink and not so pretty? Sounds like conjunctivitis,
the word for when the conjunctiva, the covering of the eye, gets infected.
Don't sweat this long word! It describes what happens when there's not enough water
in your body. Be sure to drink lots of water
to stay hydrated and happy.
The word "diagnosis" is just a fancy name for telling you what's making you sick.
After you are "diagnosed" with something, then doctors can treat you with medicine
and other things to help you get better!
Ever get the hiccups? Don't worry - it's just your
diaphragm doing something unusual! When this dome-shaped muscle under the lungs gets
irritated, it forces the air out of your lungs in a funny way. Hic!
If you've ever had a bad time in the bathroom, then you know what this is. It's when
there is too much water in your bowels and it makes them
runny and watery.
We all have places on our bodies that bend, like elbows and knees. These bend-y places
are called joints. Sometimes, when a bone
get pulled out of its joint because of a fall or other accident, it's called a dislocation.
To fix it, a doctor has to put the bone back into the joint and let it heal.
Wha tifev eryth inglo ooked lik ethis whe nyo utrie dtoread ? Dyslexia
refers to a learning problem some kids have with reading and writing where words can
look jumbled or even reversed.
If you've ever had your skin get very itchy
and dry, you know what eczema is! And no, it doesn't have anything to do with eggs
. . . unless you're allergic
to them, because eczema is sometimes caused by allergies or hay fever.
Say cheese and show off your enamel, please! Enamel is the hardest substance in your
whole body, and it covers and protects your teeth
by providing a tough barrier.
The name for the type of doctor who deals with hormones, special body chemicals that
make things happen all over the body. Endocrinologists help kids with diabetes,
growth problems, and more.
Not very many kids talk about it, but a lot of kids do it: enuresis
is the fancy name for wetting the bed while sleeping.
Look out - your epidermis is showing! But it's OK; epidermis is the fancy name for
the outermost layer of your skin.
This body part is super for swallowing
- it's the piece that flops down over your windpipe when you swallow to keep food
or liquids from going down the wrong way.
Doctors can see inside your brain
with a special machine that makes an electroencephalogram, or brain wave picture.
Believe it or not, no matter what you're doing (even sleeping!), your brain gives
off electric waves. An electroencephalogram machine measures these electricity waves
and takes a picture of them to show where and how big they are. Pretty neat, huh?
Some kids have a lot of extra electricity flowing inside their brain, which can cause
things called seizures. But getting an electroencephalogram
is no big deal; it doesn't hurt, and imagine the cool brain waves you'll be able to
see when you're done!
Short for "emergency room," this is the part of the
hospital where kids go when there is some kind of big and unexpected health problem
This is one top tube! It runs between the inside of the ear
and the throat and is responsible for making sure the pressure is the same on either
side of the eardrum.
If it's easy for you to see things far away, but it's harder to see things that are
up close, then you might be farsighted.
Lots of kids who have trouble reading books are farsighted. Being farsighted is the
opposite of being nearsighted (able to see things up close). But don't worry about
being farsighted because all you have to do is get some cool new glasses
that will not only help you see things close up, but also look very cool.
You've probably noticed that sometimes when you're sick, you feel funny . . . like
it's really hot one minute and then freezing cold the next. And to make things weirder,
grown-ups keep touching your face and forehead all the time. Well, when this happens,
chances are, you have a fever. A fever is when
your body gets a little hotter than normal on the inside, even though you might not
feel like it. This might mean that your body has just been invaded! When germs
get inside your body, the temperature rises, because it's your body's way of trying
to get rid of them. So don't get all hotheaded when you get a fever - it just means
your body's trying to get better again!
Say: fill-ee-form pap-ill-ee
These help keep everything in good taste! They're the tiny bumps on the back of the
tongue that contain
your taste buds, so you can taste everything from fries to fresh strawberries.
The fantastic mineral that keeps your teeth
feeling strong and looking super! Brush 'em with toothpaste that contains fluoride
to keep that stupendous smile of yours.
When a bone breaks, it's
called a fracture. If you ever hurt yourself
and think you might have a fracture, don't move! Wait until someone comes to help
you because fractures only get worse when they're moved around. Usually, doctors put
a cast around the fracture to protect the area and
help it heal.
Ever wonder how you keep from swallowing your tongue?
It's because you've got a friend in your frenulum - the piece that attaches your tongue
to the bottom of your mouth.
Brrrrr . . . pass the earmuffs and mittens, please! Frostbite is what happens when
skin is exposed to cold
temperatures and it freezes.
Not like any juice you've ever seen . . . these juices are in the stomach, and they begin to break down food after you've swallowed it so it can be digested.
Got gums? Then you've got to protect them against gingivitis, the word for gum disease. Brush and floss to keep those gums feeling fine!
Say: glue-tee-us max-ih-muss
You don't have to look too far for this body part - you're sitting on it! This is the fancy name for the muscles that are under the skin and fat in your rear end.
Gurneys are a kind of hospital bed with wheels that make it easy to move patients
around. Gurneys can get you to all sorts of places in a hospital - especially from
an operating room
to your sleeping room. When you're on a gurney, someone will push it around for you,
so just lay back and relax!
Say: hay fee-ver
Hay fever! No, hay fever's not when a horse is sick in bed. It's the name of a type
that people have to natural things like pollen or ragweed from plants and flowers.
And if you get hayfever, you don't really get a fever either . . . just a runny, red,
itchy nose from sneezing
all the time! So next time you go outside and start sneezing a zillion times in a
row, you know what's to blame . . . hay fever! How's that for a name?
Super hot in summer? Be careful to watch out for this - it's the name for when the heart and circulatory system aren't able to cool the body down. Hit the shade and drink up!
Hormones! Hormones are special chemicals that your body makes to tell it to do certain
things - like grow up! Hormones are very important when you start to go through puberty, which is when you
suddenly start growing and developing into an adult. During this time, you're loaded
with hormones that tell your body that it's time to get a move-on. Ready, set, grow!
Short for Intensive Care Unit, this is a place in the hospital where people can recover from a very serious illness, accident, or operation. In the ICU, a patient can get extra help from machines and extra attention from people.
The long word for what most kids know as shots. Even though getting immunizations at the doctor's office isn't super-fun, they are super-important because they help protect you against diseases.
Say: im-you-no-thair-a-pee and al-er-jee shots
Imagine if you got sneezes and tummy aches all the time because you were allergic
to something, and finally you decided you couldn't take it anymore and told your body
to stop being allergic
. . . and poof! . . . it stopped! Well, doctors kind of do the same thing when they
give you allergy shots (also called immunotherapy). The shots gradually help your
body not to be allergic to something anymore. Usually, though, you need to
get shots for months or sometimes years to get rid of your allergies - but it's worth
it because you'll never be allergic again! It's almost like magic!
When germs get inside your body, they can make copies of themselves inside your body
and cause an infection. Your body's immune system needs to fight them off with
special cells like killer T cells. It can become a full-launched fight against the
nasty invaders - and you won't feel better until your body's won the fight! Just about
every time you get sick, it's because you have some kind of infection. What a bummer!
If your body is having a little trouble fighting by itself, your doctor may prescribe
an antibiotic to help, so just lay back, relax, and get some rest!
Feeling suddenly feverish, achy, and crummy all over? Sounds like influenza's
in your body - the full name for the flu!
You're doing it now . . . and now . . . and now . . . and now! Breathing in, or inhaling,
that is. You need to inhale air into your lungs
to keep every cell in your body alive.
If you think that an inhaler is something that helps someone having an asthma
attack breathe easier, then you're right on! Someone with asthma has breathing tubes
that get easily irritated from stuff that's in the air (like smoke or pollen). When
the breathing tubes get irritated, they swell up and the muscles lining the tubes
tighten up, making it very hard to breathe. Doctors give people with asthma an inhaler
(also called a "puffer") that sprays a special kind of medicine into their breathing
tubes. The medicine usually helps the muscles relax so that the person can breathe
Intensive care is a special place inside a hospital for people who have just had a
big surgery or
are really sick. Here, lots of doctors and nurses watch over the person day and night,
giving them lots of extra attention and care until they're feeling better. There's
also lots of cool equipment with blinking lights and sounds - this equipment helps
the doctors and nurses measure important stuff like the sick person's heart rate,
blood pressure, and temperature. Once a person's feeling better, they get moved to
a regular hospital room where they can continue to rest and get better.
You don't have any say over what this kind of muscle
does and when . . . it just does its thing! Some places you've got involuntary muscles
are your eyes, stomach,
and intestines. It takes guts to be an involuntary muscle!
When someone says you have pretty eyes, they really mean you have pretty irises! Your
iris is the colorful ring in your eye.
You can get food and drink through your veins! Kind of weird, huh? Sometimes, when
a person has surgery
or is very sick, doctors and nurses don't want to wake that person up to have them
eat and drink. Instead, they put an IV - an ultra-thin needle that they can't even
feel - into their vein so that food (actually, sugar and salts), medicine, and water
can get into their body while they sleep. It could be that the person's too busy
getting better to eat and drink by himself, or is too tired. Whatever the reason may
be, an IV will gradually drip important stuff into the person's body to help him get
Joints are the places in your body where bones
meet. You've got big joints - like the ones in your hips, shoulders, and legs - and
itty, bitty ones, like the ones in your hands and feet.
Now hair this! This is the hard protein that hair
is made of, whether you've got straight red hair, blond curly locks, or a black spiky
Boo hoo hoo, crying is what these parts help you do. These tiny glands above the outer
corner of each eye are what turn on the waterworks and make tears.
Laparoscopy sounds a little scary at first, but it's actually pretty cool. It's a
special kind of surgery that uses a camera to look inside your body! What happens
during laparoscopy? First, doctors make a tiny cut on your body while you're under
that you fall asleep and can't feel anything). Then they place a really thin tube
inside you with a teeny camera attached to it (it's really small!), and when they
find what's making you sick, they fix it. Using this kind of surgery, doctors can
fix things better, you can heal faster, and you get only a tiny cut that will heal
and nearly disappear in no time!
Your wonderful lymph nodes! Lymph is a really thick liquid that flows through your
body, cleaning up and getting rid of germs. Lymph nodes act like check points
because when the lymph flows through the nodes, they take out all the germs and things
that could harm you before letting the lymph flow further. Sometimes, these germs
can cause the lymph node to swell, which is what you feel on your neck when you have
a sore throat. But don't worry because the
lump usually just means your body is cleaning up its act!
This word comes from Latin and means "bad bite!" But it's really just a word that
dentists use to describe the shape of your
mouth and the way it closes.
Ever wonder where your skin
gets its color? It comes from the magic 'm' word: melanin! This natural pigment is
what gives your skin its special hue. The darker your skin is, the more melanin you
All over your body, and nearly everything else in the world, are millions and billions
of bacteria and other tiny living things that are so small, you can't even see them
with your normal eyes. But with a microscope you can see them, because a microscope
makes tiny things a whole lot bigger for you - kind of like a super-duper magnifying
glass. Doctors use microscopes to see what kinds of bacteria or germs
are in you and making you sick. They can take a sample of germs from under your fingernails
or anywhere else and see what's going on!
You've got mucus! It'snot so special - it's what's inside your nose
to help protect your lungs from dust, dirt, and other junk you breathe in. It's so
sticky and gooey, the bad stuff you accidentally breathe in sticks to it and can't
get any further! Here's another fact: our noses make about a cupful of this slimy
snot every day! How gross!
"Ooh, I'm sick to my stomach!" is another way of putting it - nausea is the feeling
you get before you're going to puke.
No doubt about it, every person in the whole world has one - a belly
button! Is yours an innie or an outtie?
You might be nearsighted if you have trouble
seeing things that are far away. It's probably because the lenses in your eyes
are shaped a little differently and distorting things a bit. But don't worry, it's
nothing a pair a glasses won't fix!
A nebulizer isn't really a space gun, but it kind of acts like one because it turns
liquid medicine into a gas that you can breathe
in through your airways. So instead of tasting your medicine, you get to breathe
it in! Lots of kids with asthma use a nebulizer to help them breathe easier. Awesome!
Let's give a round of applause to your nervous system! This system is made up of your
brain and all the nerves
connecting to it. Together, they act like a super-fast, two-way message highway that
helps you tell your body what to do and even move, think, and feel. For example, when
you touch something really hot, your nervous system sends a message from your fingers
to your brain, saying, "You're touching something really hot!" Then another message
comes from your brain back to your fingers, telling them to "Pull back!" All of this
communicating happens in a split second, saving you from burning your fingers badly.
Your nervous system also lets you feel the soft fur of a puppy, button your shirt,
and taste yummy foods. It lets you run and kick a soccer ball and feel good after
you score the winning goal! Think of the millions of jobs that the nervous system
does for you!
If you think a neurologist is a doctor who studies your nervous system and helps to
fix it when it's broken . . . congratulations! You're right! The nervous system helps
you move, think, and feel. Neurologists might help a person who has hurt his back,
has trouble moving their arms or legs, or someone who has epilepsy.
This chemical is found in stinky cigarettes and is the reason why kids get hooked
on the smoking habit. Say no to nicotine - it's
If you're like a lot of kids, you've had some nasty nits. These are the eggs that
lice lay in your hair when your head becomes the
house to a louse. No good nits!
Say: oc-you-pay-chun-all thair-a-pist
Sometimes, after an operation,
accident, or sickness, it's hard to go back to doing things that you used to do. Things
like moving your hands, buttoning your shirt, or thinking clearly can be kind of hard,
so an occupational therapist gives you exercises that help you to remember how to
do these things. Games, activities, and exercises are all things that an occupational
therapist uses to help you get back into shape - and be your old self again!
This is a doctor who treats patients with cancer.
Oncologists who treat kids who have cancer are pediatric oncologists.
Say: op-er-a-chun and sur-jer-ee
You've probably played the game Operation with your friends and family, but when someone
you care about is getting a real operation,
it can seem kind of scary. An operation is also called surgery, and it's when doctors
need to get inside your body to fix something to make you feel better. They make a
small cut in the skin right where the problem is, go inside and fix the problem, and
then stitch the skin up so that it's good as new! The person getting surgery is usually
under anesthesia, so they are asleep and can't feel anything (though they may be achy
for a while after they wake up!). The good part about surgery is that it usually means
that you're on the road to feeling better again!
You've probably tickled this part with your tongue
before - it's the fancy name for the roof of your mouth.
Pappilae are the little white bumps on the top of your tongue
that help your teeth mush up your food. And they're special because they contain your
taste buds, the things that help you to taste everything from sour lemons to sweet
peaches - and tell them apart. Yummy!
Say: peek flo meet-er
Lots of kids who have asthma
use a peak flow meter to measure how quickly air comes out of their lungs.
By understanding how well they're able to breathe air out, doctors can treat their
asthma with medicine and other things that help them breathe easier.
Perspiration is another name for sweat; the stuff
that comes out of your skin
through tiny holes called pores. Perspiration - which is mostly water - is your body's
way of keeping you cool when you are heated up from exercise or hot weather. So next
time you sweat, don't sweat it - it's just your body's way of chillin' you out!
Say: fizz-ick-all thair-a-pist
After you get injured, have an operation,
or are really sick for awhile, your body might forget how to move a part (or parts)
of your body the way you used to. It may be hard to stand, walk, run, or catch a ball.
A physical therapist helps your body remember by teaching you to do exercises, playing
games, giving you massages, or making you move around in warm water.
Don't run when you see a red spot on your face - it's only a pimple!
When a little hole in your skin gets clogged with dirt and oil, up pops up a pimple.
What? What? Better put your hand around your pinna to hear me better - that's the
name for the part of your ear ear
that you can see, the part sticking off your head.
Inside your blood are tons of tiny cells called platelets. If you get a cut,
these platelets stack up together like kitchen plates, plugging the hole in the blood
vessel wall caused by the cut. Eventually, these blood cells form a scab.
So the next time you do dishes, think about your amazing and wonderfully stackable
Pneumonia is something you get when some nasty germs
get into your lungs.
Usually, they make you feel sick, cough, and get a fever.
It might even make it hard to breathe for a little while. But don't worry, your doctor
will probably give you some medicine called antibiotics to make you feel better in
If you think that a prosthesis was a fake body part, you're correct! Sometimes, when
someone hurts an arm or a leg very badly, or when a person is born without an arm
or leg or any other part of their body, they can get a prosthesis - a man-made part
that replaces what's missing. It's kind of cool because a prosthesis acts like it's
real, and may even look real because it's the same color as skin!
They can make it much easier for people to walk and do other stuff they need to do.
Everyone goes through puberty,
even though it sometimes feels like you're the only one! It's the period of time when
your mind and body changes and matures, turning you from a kid to an adult.
If you think a pulmonologist is a lung and breathing specialist, then you're awesome!
Pulmonologists are special doctors who help people who have trouble with their lungs, like kids with asthma.
So breathe easy . . . the pulmonologist is here!
Breathe in, breathe out . . . and feel your pulmonary power! Pulmonary is a fancy
word for having to do with the lungs.
That beating heart of yours creates a pulse in your body! Your heart
has to push so much blood through your body that you can feel it pulse each time your
heart beats! Wow! And it's so strong that you can feel a pulse in other parts like
your thumb, your wrist, and your neck. So try it out and start feeling the beat!
Sometimes, when you get an X-ray or CT scan, the funny-looking picture that they take
is kind of hard for doctors to understand. That's where radiologists come in. They
are specialists in reading and making sense of these pictures, and they help doctors
figure out what's going on inside you.
Say: red blud sells
Red blood cells look a little like donuts without holes that go all the way through,
and they float around in your blood, picking up oxygen from your lungs and carrying
it to your cells.
This is short for the word prescription. Doctors use prescriptions to tell pharmacists
what medicine a patient should take, how often,
and how much.
Slimy! Shiny! Slippery! Saliva is none other than
spit, the clear liquid in your mouth that's made of water and other chemicals.
When a kid's spine is curved, it can mean that scoliosis
is on the scene. Luckily, back braces and special surgery can help many kids say,
"see ya' later" to scoliosis.
You can't see it, but it's there - sebum is your skin's natural oil. Sebum keeps your
skin soft and makes it a bit waterproof. Ever get wrinkly
fingers in the tub? That's because sebum's left the scene!
A seizure can seem pretty scary . . . especially if you don't know too much about
it. Your brain normally
sends lots of electric signals to your body to tell it what to do, but when the electric
signals go a little haywire, a person can have a seizure. During a seizure, a person
may shake all over and seem to lose control of their body. Another person may be incredibly
still and stare into space for a while. The person usually doesn't realize what's
happening and probably won't remember when they wake up. People who have seizures
often have a condition called epilepsy.
Say: skin test
When you think that you might be allergic
to something, a special doctor called an allergist can help you figure out if you
really are by giving you a skin test. During a skin test, the doctor will put a drop
of liquid containing whatever you think is causing your allergies on the skin of your
back or your arm. Then, he'll lightly scratch your skin
a little bit, and if you get red or itchy, you'll know you're allergic!
Quick! On the double! Hurry up! Get moving! When you hear the word STAT in a hospital,
it means all these things.
When you go to the doctor he or she will probably
use something called a stethoscope to hear the sounds that the inside of your body
makes. Usually, we can't hear these sounds very well, but with a stethoscope, the
sounds get a whole lot louder! With it, the doctor can hear sounds like your heartbeat,
the air going in and out of your lungs, tummy gurgles, and other wonderful noises
that tell a doctor how things are working inside.
Say: strep skreen
If you've ever had a really sore throat, you've probably had a strep screen. First,
a doctor takes a cotton swab and touches the back of your throat to get a sample of
the germs making you sick. Next, the swab is sent
to a lab where they do a quick test to see if you've been infected with the strep
germ that causes strep throat. If you do
have it, it's no big deal, because that just means you'll have to take some medicine
called antibiotics to help you get better. Before you know it, that frog will be outta
Symptoms! When you're sick, usually you have symptoms - funky body changes like fevers
that let you know something's not right with your body. By telling a doctor your symptoms,
doctors can figure out what's wrong. Think of symptoms like clues you need to solve
a mystery - if you have enough of them, it's pretty easy to figure out! For example,
if you have an achy ear and you're feeling crummy, you might have an ear
infection. And if you're throwing up and your stomach hurts, maybe you have a
stomach virus. So the next time you're feeling yucky, tell your parents and doctor
your symptoms so you can get better!
Tonsils are those two bumps on each side of the back of your mouth. Your tonsils are
"germs catchers" for your body. Sometimes, the germs take over your tonsils, hang
out there, and make your tonsils swollen, red, and painful. Usually medicine makes
you better, but if you keep getting tonsil infections called tonsillitis,
doctors can help by performing an operation called a tonsillectomy where they just take your tonsils out. Luckily, our tonsils aren't
super-important parts of our bodies, so you won't miss them when they're gone! In
fact, you won't get sore throats anymore, and while your throat is healing, you can
have all the Jell-O and ice cream you can eat!
This is the name for the long tube that runs between a mother and her unborn baby
to carry oxygen and nutrients in and wastes out. When a doctor cuts the umbilical
cord, the baby is left with a belly button!
Pee, which is also called urine, is full of stuff that your body doesn't want anymore,
like ammonia, urea, salt, and not to mention extra water floating around. But sometimes,
your urine has stuff in it that shouldn't be there like blood cells, bacteria, or
certain chemicals. That's where a urinalysis comes in. A urinalysis helps doctors
to figure out what might be wrong because it takes a closer look at your urine to
see if anything there doesn't belong.
You've probably heard of hives . . . no, not bee hives, silly! Hives on your skin!
Huh? Hives, which are also called urticaria, are itchy, red spots of skin that pop
up when you're allergic
to something like medicine, animals, bug bites, or almost anything. They're VERY itchy,
and pretty unpleasant, and if you get them a lot, your doctor can give you medicine
to keep them from coming back. Whew!
Say: var-ih-sell-luh zohs-ter
If you've got this, you've picked up the pox! It's the medical name for chicken
pox, the virus that covers you in red, itchy bumps.
All of your body parts need their own form of nutrition to stay alive and keep you healthy. Body parts find this nutrition in blood. Your body has something like a highway system to deliver and take away blood to your body parts. The system, called the circulatory system, is made up of small "tubes" called veins and arteries.
The heart pumps blood through the circulatory system. First the heart pumps the
blood through the lungs where oxygen is picked up, turning dark blood into bright
red blood full of oxygen. Blood returning from the lungs is pumped into a large blood
vessel called the aorta which heads out into the body, and splits up into several
main arteries (these are smaller). These arteries lead to your bones, muscles, skin,
and everywhere. The blood "feeds" oxygen and nutrients to these parts.
Viruses are very, very, very tiny, and they're a type of germ.
If they get inside your body, they can make you sick, like when you get a cold. Viruses
are kind of weird too because to make you sick they have to attach themselves to a
cell in your body and use it to make more viruses. The bad part about viruses is that
antibiotic medicines won't make you better if a virus makes you sick. Your body's
immune system usually has to fight these germs off by itself. Luckily, your immune
system knows how to do this!
Hey, what's that whistle? It's a wheeze! Sometimes, kids with asthma
wheeze, or make a whistling sound, when they can't breathe very well. This is because
their breathing tubes, or wind
pipes, get irritated and swell up, narrowing the space where the air goes through.
This narrowing makes the air sound different when it comes out again. Gee wheeze!
Say: whyte blud sells
White blood cells to the rescue! These awesome cells are like warriors that live in
your blood. They attack germs and things that could
hurt you by shooting them with special chemicals or even eating them! Gulp! To keep
these guys strong and tough, you should eat lots of healthy foods
like pasta, fruit, and vegetables, and get plenty of sleep. You need them to be there
for you to save the day!
X-rays! X-rays are what doctors use to see the inside of your body. A special machine
takes an X-ray, or a special picture, of a part of your body so that doctors can see
if everything inside is where it should be. All sorts of things can be seen through
an X-ray, like broken bones (fractures) or