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Fibromyalgia Glossary

Terms used to explain Fibromyalgia can sometimes be confusing. To help you fully understand the articles and features related to this very important health topic, we have compiled a glossary of terms that can help.


Pronunciation: \-ˌpəŋ(k)-chər\

Function: noun
: an orig. Chinese practice of inserting fine needles through the skin at specific points esp. to cure disease or relieve pain (as in surgery)


Pronunciation: \är-ˈthrīt-əs\

Function: noun
pl -thrit*i*des
Pronunciation: \-ˈthrit-ə-ˌdēz\
: inflammation of joints due to infectious, metabolic, or constitutional causes; also: a specific arthritic condition (as gouty arthritis or psoriatic arthritis)


Pronunciation: \-im-ˈyün\

Function: adjective
: of, relating to, or caused by antibodies or T cells that attack molecules, cells, or tissues of the organism producing them <autoimmune diseases>

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

chronic fatigue syndrome
Function: noun
: a disorder of uncertain cause that is characterized by persistent profound fatigue usu. accompanied by impairment in short-term memory or concentration, sore throat, tender lymph nodes, muscle or joint pain, and headache unrelated to any preexisting medical condition and that typically has an onset at about 30 years of age abbr. CFS—called also myalgic encephalomyelitis


Pronunciation: \-ˌsōn, -ˌzōn\

Function: noun
: a glucocorticoid C21H28O5 that is produced naturally in small amounts by the adrenal cortex and is administered in the form of its synthetic acetate C23H30O6 esp. as replacement therapy for deficient adrenocortical secretion and as an anti-inflammatory agent (as for rheumatoid arthritis) compare 11-dehydrocorticosterone

Interstitial Cystitis

Function: noun
1: a chronic idiopathic cystitis characterized by painful inflammation of the subepithelial connective tissue and often accompanied by Hunner's ulcer


Pronunciation: \ˈmī-ˌgrān, Brit often ˈmē-\

Function: noun

1: a condition that is marked by recurrent usu. unilateral severe headache often accompanied by nausea and vomiting and followed by sleep, that tends to occur in more than one member of a family, and that is of uncertain origin though attacks appear to be precipitated by dilatation of intracranial blood vessels
2: an episode or attack of migraine <suffers from migraines> —called also sick headache


Pronunciation: \-ˌn(y)ü-klē-ˈō-səs\

Function: noun
: an abnormal increase of mononuclear white blood cells in the blood; specif: see: infectious mononucleosis


Pronunciation: \ˌn(y)ur-ō-tran(t)s-ˈmit-ər, -tranz-\

Function: noun
: a substance (as norepinephrine or acetylcholine) that transmits nerve impulses across a synapse see false neurotransmitter


Pronunciation: \ˌfiz-ē-ˈa-trəst\

Function: noun
: a physician who specializes in physical medicine and rehabilitation


Pronunciation: \-ˌmī-ə-ˈsīt-əs\

Function: noun
: inflammation of several muscles at once; specif: an inflammatory disease of unknown cause that affects muscles and esp. skeletal muscles, is characterized typically by weakness usu. of the proximal muscles (as of the pectoral or pelvic girdles or of the neck), muscle and joint pain, pathological muscle changes (as fiber degeneration or infiltration by lymphocytes), pneumonia, and cardiac abnormalities (as arrhythmia or myocarditis) see dermatomyositis


Pronunciation: \ˈsəp-lə-mənt\

Function: noun
: something that completes or makes an addition <dietary supplement[1]s>


Pronunciation: \ˈthī-ˌroid\

Function: adjective

1 a: of, relating to, affecting, or being the thyroid gland <thyroid[1] disorders>
2: of, relating to, or being the thyroid cartilage

Trigger Point

trigger point
Function: noun
: a sensitive area of the body which when stimulated gives rise to a reaction elsewhere in the body; esp: a localized usu. tender or painful area of the body and esp. of a muscle that when stimulated gives rise to pain elsewhere in the body —called also trigger area, trigger zone

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© 2011 Merriam-Webster, Incorporated. Published under license with Merriam-Webster, Inc.

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