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Osteoporosis Glossary

Terms used to explain Osteoporosis 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.


Function: noun
: abnormal absence or suppression of menstruation see primary amenorrhea secondary amenorrhea


Pronunciation: \ˈkal-sē-əm\

Function: noun
often attrib: a silver-white bivalent metallic element that is an alkaline earth metal, occurs only in combination, and is an essential constituent of most plants and animals symbol Casee element table


Pronunciation: \ˈes-trə-jən\

Function: noun
: any of various natural steroids (as estradiol) that are formed from androgen precursors, that are secreted chiefly by the ovaries, placenta, adipose tissue, and testes, and that stimulate the development of female secondary sex characteristics and promote the growth and maintenance of the female reproductive system; also: any of various synthetic or semisynthetic steroids (as ethinyl estradiol) that mimic the physiological effect of natural estrogens


Pronunciation: \ˈhor-ˌmōn\

Function: noun

1 a: a product of living cells that circulates in body fluids (as blood) or sap and produces a specific often stimulatory effect on the activity of cells usu. remote from its point of origin —called also internal secretion, see plant hormone
b: a synthetic substance that acts like a hormone
2: see: sex hormone


Pronunciation: \-ˌpar-ə-ˈthī-ˌroid-ˌiz-əm\

Function: noun
: the presence of excess parathyroid hormone in the body resulting in disturbance of calcium metabolism with increase in serum calcium and decrease in inorganic phosphorus, loss of calcium from bone, and renal damage with frequent kidney-stone formation


Pronunciation: \lə-ˈbēd-(ˌ)ō also ˈlib-ə-ˌdō or lə-ˈbī-(ˌ)dō\

Function: noun
pl -dos

1: instinctual psychic energy that in psychoanalytic theory is derived from primitive biological urges (as for sexual pleasure or self-preservation) and that is expressed in conscious activity
2: sexual drive


Pronunciation: \ˈmen-ə-ˌpoz, ˈmēn-\

Function: noun

1 a (1): the natural cessation of menstruation occurring usu. between the ages of 45 and 55 with a mean in Western cultures of approximately 51
(2): the physiological period in the life of a woman in which such cessation and the accompanying regression of ovarian function occurs —called also climacteric, compare perimenopause
b: cessation of menstruation from other than natural causes (as from surgical removal of the ovaries)
2: see: andropause


Pronunciation: \ˈäs-tē-ə-ˌsīt\

Function: noun
: a cell that is characteristic of adult bone and is isolated in a lacuna of the bone substance


Pronunciation: \-ˈthī-ˌroid\

Function: noun
: see: parathyroid gland


Pronunciation: \-ˈmen-ə-ˌpoz, -ˈmēn-\

Function: noun
: the period around the onset of menopause that is often marked by various physical signs (as hot flashes and menstrual irregularity)


Pronunciation: \ˈpōr-əs, ˈpor-\

Function: adjective

1: possessing or full of pores <porous bones>
2: permeable to fluids


Pronunciation: \(ˈ)rē-ˈsorp-shən, -ˈzorp-\

Function: noun
: the action or process of resorbing something <age-related bone loss…is caused by a slight but persistent elevation in the rate of bone resorption over the rate of bone formation P. S. Millard et al>


Pronunciation: \-lər\

Function: adjective
: of, relating to, consisting of, or being trabeculae <trabecular tissue>

Vitamin D

vitamin D
Function: noun
: any or all of several fat-soluble vitamins chemically related to steroids, essential for normal bone and tooth structure, and found esp. in fish-liver oils, egg yolk, and milk or produced by activation (as by ultraviolet irradiation) of sterols: as
a: see: calciferol
b: see: cholecalciferol—called also sunshine vitamin

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

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Women ages 19 to 50 need at least 1,000 milligrams of calcium every day. Younger women and women older than 50 need even more.