Health Library

Glossary - Endocrinology

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| N || O || P || Q || R || S || T || U || V || W || X || Y || Z |

A

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Acromegaly - excessive growth due to the production of excessive growth hormone by the pituitary gland.

Adrenal cortex - the outer portion of the adrenal gland that secretes hormones that are vital to the body.

Aldosterone - a hormone secreted by the adrenal cortex which affects blood pressure and saline balance.

Amyloidosis - a rare disease which causes the buildup of amyloid, a protein and starch, in tissues and organs.

Androgen hormone - a hormone secreted by the adrenal cortex which affects blood pressure and saline balance.

B

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Basal metabolic rate (BMR) - a measurement of energy required to keep the body functioning at rest. Measured in calories, metabolic rates increase with exertion, stress, fear, and illness.

Bromocriptine - a drug which acts on hormone-producing tumors to suppress its hormone-producing function.

C

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Calcitonin - a hormone secreted by the thyroid gland which controls the levels of calcium and phosphorous in the blood.

Computed tomography (CT or CAT scan) - a non-invasive procedure that takes cross-sectional images of the brain or other internal organs; to detect any abnormalities that may not show up on an ordinary x-ray.

Corticosteroids - hormones produced by the adrenal gland, consisting of hydrocortisone (or cortisol).

D

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E

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Endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP) - this procedure involves inserting an endoscope (viewing tube) through the stomach and into the small intestine. A special dye injected during this procedure shows the ducts in the biliary system.

Estrogen - a hormone secreted by the ovaries which affects many aspects of the female body, including menstrual cycles and pregnancy.

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G

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Glucagon - a protein hormone secreted by the pancreas to stimulate the liver to produce glucose.

Gonadotropins - luteinizing hormone and follicle-stimulating hormone, produced by the pituitary gland.

Gonads - ovaries and testes.

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Hirsutism - excessive growth of body and facial hair, including the chest, stomach, and back

Hormones - chemical substances created by the body that control numerous body functions.

Hydrocortisone - a hormone secreted by the adrenal cortex which affects metabolism.

Hypothalamus - the portion of the brain that stimulates the pituitary gland.

I

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Insulin - a hormone released by the pancreas in response to increased levels of sugar in the blood.

Intravenous - introducing a fluid into the bloodstream through a vein (usually in the patient's forearm).

Islets of Langerhans - pancreas cells that produce insulin and glucagon - important regulators of sugar metabolism.

Isthmus - tissue that connects the two lobes of the thyroid.

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K

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L

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M

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Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) - a non-invasive procedure that produces two-dimensional view of an internal organ or structure, especially the brain and spinal cord.

Metabolism - the chemical activity that occurs in cells, releasing energy from nutrients or using energy to create other substances, such as proteins.

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O

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Oxytocin - a hormone secreted by the pituitary gland which plays a role in childbirth.

P

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Placenta - this organ grows in the uterus during pregnancy and connects the blood supplies of the mother and baby.

Polyps - a growth that projects from the lining of mucous membrane, such as the intestine.

Progesterone - a hormone secreted by the ovaries which affect many aspects of the female body, including menstrual cycles and pregnancy.

Prolactin - a hormone secreted by the pituitary gland which affects growth of the mammary glands.

Q

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R

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Radioisotope scan - uses radioactive substances introduced into the body to create an image of the functioning adrenal gland.

S

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Sarcoidosis - a rare inflammation of the lymph nodes and other tissues throughout the body.

Sella turcica - bony structure that houses the pituitary gland.

Suprarenal glands - another name for the adrenal glands.

T

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Thyroid scan - uses a radioactive substance to create an image of the thyroid as it is functioning.

Thyroxine (T4) - a hormone secreted by the thyroid gland which regulates metabolism.

Triiodothyronine (T3) - a hormone secreted by the thyroid gland which regulates metabolism.

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Ultrasound - a diagnostic technique which uses high-frequency sound waves to create an image of the internal organs.

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X-ray - electromagnetic energy used to produce images of bones and internal organs onto film.

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Z

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