Glossary Of Terms

Couple walking in a park

Abdominal fat – fat that is centrally distributed between the thorax and pelvis.

– fat cells.

– two triangular-shaped glands above the kidney that produce cortisol and stress hormones.

Angina pectoris
– Severe pain in the chest associated with an insufficient supply of blood to the heart.

Atherosclerosis – the buildup of plaques containing cholesterol and lipids on the innermost layer of the walls of large and medium-sized arteries.

Biliopancreatic diversion
– one of the most complicated of the current operative procedures in obesity surgery sometimes involving the removal of a portion of the stomach.

Biliopancreatic diversion with duodenal switch – restricts both food intake and the amount of calories and nutrients the body absorbs by leaving a larger portion of the stomach intact, but dividing it and the small intestine (can we clarify this more? the part about the small intestine is sort of confusing).

Blood glucose – glucose in the blood stream; blood sugar.

Body Mass Index (BMI)
– the standard measure of body fat. BMI is calculated based on an individual’s weight relative to their height, and measured by multiplying the individual’s weight in pounds by 703 and then dividing that number by the individual’s height in inches squared.

Cardiovascular disease (CVD)
– a disease of the heart or blood vessels; any abnormal condition characterized by dysfunction of the heart or blood vessels.

Childhood (pediatric) obesity – though the term “childhood obesity” is commonly used, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) refrains from using the term “obesity” in relation to children and adolescents. Instead, the condition is referred to as “overweight.”

Childhood overweight – a child is classified as “overweight” if their weight ranks above the 95th percentile for his or her age. This class represents the most severe weight classification for children and corresponds to a BMI (body mass index) of at least 30 – the same indicator used to classify adult obesity; a term used by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to describe childhood (pediatric) obesity.

Cholecystitis – inflammation of the gallbladder.

Cholelithiasis – the presence or formation of gallstones in the gallbladder or bile ducts.

Cholesterol – a soft, waxy substance manufactured by the body and used in the production of hormones, bile acid, and vitamin D. It is present in all parts of the body, including the nervous system, muscle, skin, liver, intestines, and heart. Cholesterol regulates membrane fluidity, functions as a precursor molecule in various metabolic pathways and as a constituent of low-density lipoproteins may cause arteriosclerosis.

– two or more diseases or conditions existing together.

Computed tomography – a method of examining body organs by scanning them with X-rays and using a computer to construct an image.

Congestive heart failure – a condition marked by weakness, edema (fluid retention), and shortness of breath that is caused by the inability of the heart to maintain adequate blood circulation in the peripheral tissues and the lungs.

Cushing’s syndrome – a syndrome caused by an increased production of hormone from a tumor of the adrenal cortex or of the pituitary gland. Cushing’s syndrome is characterized by obesity and weakening of the muscles.

– any of several metabolic disorders marked by increased blood glucose, excessive discharge of urine, and persistent thirst.

Diabetes mellitus – elevations of blood sugar due to deficient insulin production.

Dyslipidemia – a condition marked by abnormal concentrations of lipids or lipoproteins in the blood, including lipid levels that are either higher or lower than normal, which is often a result of obesity.

Endocrinology – the study of the glands and hormones of the body and their related disorders.

Ephedrine – a sympathomimetic drug that stimulates thermo genesis, or the generation of body heat that results from normal digestion, absorption and metabolism of food.

Extreme obesity – a BMI (body mass index) greater than or equal to 40.

Fatty liver disease
– inflammation of the liver.

Follicle – a small sac in the ovary that contains an egg and makes estrogens; a spherical mass of cells usually containing a cavity.

Gastric Banding – an obesity surgery option that is designed to limit the amount of food the stomach can hold by sectioning it off with the placement of a band near its upper end. The band creates a small pouch, which delays the emptying of food from the pouch and causes a feeling of fullness.

Gastric Bypass – a surgical procedure that combines the creation of small stomach pouches to restrict food intake and the construction of bypasses of the duodenum to prevent food absorption.

Gastric Glands – a cell, a group of cells, or an organ that produces a secretion for use elsewhere in the body or to the stomach.

Gout – a disturbance of uric-acid metabolism occurring chiefly in males. Gout is characterized by painful inflammation of the joints, especially of the feet and hands, and arthritic attacks resulting from elevated levels of uric acid in the blood and the deposit of urate crystals around the joints. The condition can become chronic and result in deformity.

High-density lipoprotein (HDL) – a lipoprotein of blood plasma that is composed of a high proportion of protein with little triglyceride and cholesterol. It is associated with decreased probability of developing atherosclerosis (also referred to as alpha-lipoprotein, “good” cholesterol).

Hirsutism – excessive growth of hair in a male distribution pattern that is experienced by women.

Hyperinsulinemia – the presence of excess insulin in the blood.

Hypertension – abnormally elevated blood pressure.

Hypoglycemia – an abnormally low level of glucose in the blood.

Hyperthyroidism – overactive thyroid.

Hypothyroidism – underactive thyroid.

Infertility – absent or diminished fertility; the persistent inability to conceive a child.

Insulin – a polypeptide hormone secreted by the Islets of Langerhans in the pancreas. Insulin regulates the metabolism of carbohydrates and fats, especially the conversion of glucose to glycogen, which lowers the blood glucose level. Insulin can be synthetically created for use in the medical treatment and management of diabetes.

Laparoscopic adjustable gastric banding – an obesity surgery option that involves placing an inflatable band around the upper stomach to create a small gastric pouch, which limits food consumption and creates a feeling of fullness. The band can be adjusted over time to meet individual patient needs.

Lipids – organic (carbon-containing) substances that do not dissolve in water. Lipids, together with proteins and carbohydrates, constitute the principal structural components of living cells including fats, waxes, phospholipids, cerebrosides, and related and derived compounds

– or low-carb; common designation of food containing less than average carbohydrates. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is aware that many processed food manufacturers are making reduced carb claims in response to consumer interest in popular low-carbohydrate diets, but guidelines for regulating such claims have not yet been established by FDA.

Low-density lipoprotein (LDL) – a lipoprotein of blood plasma that is
composed of a moderate proportion of protein with little triglyceride and a high proportion of cholesterol that is associated with increased probability of developing atherosclerosis (also referred to as “bad” cholesterol, beta-lipoprotein).

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) – the use of a nuclear magnetic resonance spectrometer to produce electronic images of specific atoms and molecular structures in solids, especially human cells, tissues and organs.

Malnutrition – poor nutrition due to an insufficient or poorly balanced diet. Can also refer to faulty digestion or utilization of foods.

Metabolic syndrome – a disorder characterized by a cluster of health problems including obesity, high blood pressure, abnormal lipid levels and high blood sugar.

– The chemical processes occurring within a living cell or organism that are necessary for the maintenance of life. In metabolism, some substances are broken down to yield energy for vital processes while other substances, necessary for life, are synthesized.

Normal Weight – ideal weight per height measurements; a classification of BMI (body mass index) between 18.5 – 24.9.

Obesity – an excessive amount of body fat in relation to lean body mass or a body weight that is 30 percent over the ideal weight for a specified height; BMI (body mass index) of 30 or greater.

– a form of arthritis, occurring mainly in older persons, that is characterized by chronic degeneration of the cartilage of the joints. Also called degenerative joint disease.

Ovary – the paired female reproductive organ that produces eggs, estrogen, and progesterone.

Overweight – an increased body weight that is between 25 and 29.9 percent over an ideal weight for a specific height; BMI (body mass index) between 25 – 29.9. May not only be due to increases in body fat, but lean muscle as well.

Peptides – any of various natural or synthetic compounds containing two or more amino acids linked by the carboxyl group of one amino acid to the amino group of another.

Pharmacotherapy – treatment of disease through the use of drugs.

Pituitary – the gland that lies at the base of the brain and controls growth, the ovaries and testes, the thyroid, adrenal glands, and milk production.

Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) – the most common syndrome (clarify-the most syndrome associated with obesity?) in reproductive-age women and is often associated with obesity. PCOS is an accumulation of incompletely developed follicles in the ovaries and is characterized by irregular menstrual cycles, multiple ovarian cysts and hirsutism, or excessive hair growth and often results in infertility.

– the total number of cases of a disease in a given population at a specific time.

– or reduced-carb; common designation of food containing less than average carbohydrates. The FDA is aware that many processed food manufacturers are making reduced-carb claims in response to consumer interest in popular low carbohydrate diets, but guidelines for regulating such claims have not yet been established by FDA.

Roux-en-Y gastric bypass – a procedure that reduces the size of the stomach and causes the poor absorption of calories, vitamins, and minerals. Typically, this invasive procedure involves creating a stomach pouch out of a small portion of the stomach and attaching it directly to the small intestine, bypassing a large part of the stomach and the duodenum, or the top of the small intestine; a possible obesity surgery option.

Sedentary – having low activity/exercise levels.

– a drug used for the management of obesity that helps reduce food intake. It is indicated for weight loss and maintenance of weight loss when used in conjunction with a reduced-calorie diet.

Sleep Apnea – a temporary suspension of breathing occurring repeatedly during sleep that often affects overweight people or those having an obstruction in the breathing tract, an abnormally small throat opening, or a neurological disorder.

Stress Urinary Incontinence – an involuntary loss of urine occurring simultaneously with increased internal abdominal pressure, such as with laughing, sneezing, coughing, or physical activity.

Stroke – A sudden loss of brain function caused by a blockage or rupture of a blood vessel to the brain.

Sympathomimetic – an appetite suppressant typically used for the short-term treatment of obesity.

Thyroid – a gland in the neck that produces hormones designed to regulate the body’s metabolism and organ function.

– a type of fat found in your blood and the foods you eat. They are the most common type of fat in your body and are a major source of energy. Triglycerides commonly circulate in the blood in the form of lipoproteins (also referred to as neutral fat).

Type 2 diabetes
– the most common form of diabetes, which occurs when the body is resistant to the action of insulin and the pancreas cannot make sufficient insulin to overcome this resistance; can be associated with obesity.

– weighing less than is normal, healthy, or required; BMI (body mass index) less than 18.5.

Uric acid nephrolithiasis – kidney stones.

Vertical Banded Gastroplasty
– a surgical treatment for extreme obesity that involves constructing a small pouch in the stomach that empties through a narrow opening into the stomach and duodenum.

Waist Circumference
– a measurement of distance around the waist, which physicians may use to assess a patient’s abdominal fat (an obesity evaluation tool).