Glossary: G


pattern of walking or locomotion.


a type of sugar in milk products and sugar beets, also produced within the body.


a buildup of galactose in the body, caused by a lack of one of the enzymes needed to breakdown galactose into glucose.


organ that stores the bile made in the liver and sends bile into the small intestine to help digest fat.


solid masses or stones made of cholesterol or bilirubin that form in the gallbladder or bile ducts.

gamma camera

a device used in nuclear medicine to scan patients who have been injected with small amounts of radioactive materials.


a cluster of nerve cells.

ganglion cysts

non-cancerous, fluid-filled cysts are common masses or lumps in the hand and usually found on the back of the wrist.


a death of body tissue that usually occurs when there has been an interruption of blood supply, followed by bacterial invasion.

Gardner's syndrome

Condition in which many polyps form throughout the digestive tract.


air that comes from the normal breakdown of food and is passed out of the body through the rectum (flatus) or the mouth (belch).


operation to remove all or part of the stomach.


related to the stomach.

gastric juices

liquids produced in the stomach to help break down food and kill bacteria.

gastric resection

operation to remove part or all of the stomach.

gastric ulcer

see stomach ulcer.


hormone released after eating, which causes the stomach to produce more acid.


inflammation of the stomach lining.

gastrocolic reflex

increase of muscle movement in the gastrointestinal tract when food enters an empty stomach, which may cause the urge to have a bowel movement right after eating.


infection or irritation of the stomach and intestines, which may be caused by bacteria or parasites from spoiled food or unclean water, or eating food that irritates the stomach lining and emotional upsets such as anger, fear, or stress.


physician who specializes in digestive diseases.


field of medicine concerned with the function and disorders of the digestive system.

gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)

a digestive disorder that is caused by gastric acid flowing from the stomach into the esophagus.

gastrointestinal (GI) tract

large, muscular tube that extends from the mouth to the anus, where the movement of muscles and release of hormones and enzymes digest food.

gastroparesis (Also called delayed gastric emptying.)

nerve or muscle damage in the stomach that causes slow digestion and emptying, vomiting, nausea, or bloating.


examining the lining of the esophagus, stomach, and the first part of the small intestine with a long viewing tube.


an artificial opening from the stomach to a hole (stoma) in the abdomen where a feeding tube is inserted.

gastrostomy tubes

a gastrostomy tube (feeding tube) is inserted into the stomach if the patient is unable to take food by mouth.

gated blood pool scan

a nuclear scan to see how the heart wall moves and how much blood is expelled with each heart beat.

general anesthetic

an anesthetic which causes the patient to become unconscious during surgery.

generalized anxiety disorder (GAD)

a mental disorder that causes its sufferers chronic and exaggerated worry and tension that seem to have no substantial cause. Persons with generalized anxiety disorder often worry excessively about health, money, family, or work, and continually anticipate disaster.


basic, functional units of heredity, each occupying a specific place on a chromosome.

genetic counseling

providing information, advice, and testing to prospective parents at risk of having a child with a birth defect or genetic disorder.


the study of how traits and disease are inherited from one generation to the next.

genital herpes

a sexually transmitted disease caused by the herpes simplex virus.

genital warts

caused by a virus related to the virus that causes common skin warts. Usually, genital warts first appear as small, hard, painless bumps in the vaginal area, on the penis, or around the anus.


external sex organs.

genu valgum

commonly known as "knock knees."

genu varum

commonly known as "bowed legs."

gestational diabetes

form of diabetes that may develop during pregnancy in women who do not otherwise have diabetes.

giant cell arteritis

disease causing inflammation of the temporal arteries and other arteries in the head and neck, causing the arteries to narrow, reducing blood flow in the affected areas; may cause persistent headaches and vision loss;


an infectious, diarrheal disease caused by the parasite Giardia lamblia, which can be transmitted through oral-fecal contact and by water contaminated by feces. Travelers are cautioned against drinking any untreated water.

GIFT (gamete intrafallopian transfer)

method of treating infertility by removing eggs from a woman's ovaries, combining them with sperm from her partner or a donor in the laboratory, and placing the eggs and sperm together in one of her fallopian tubes, where fertilization can occur.


increased intra ocular pressure that can result in optic nerve damage and loss of sight.


a type of glomerular kidney disease in which the kidneys' filters become inflamed and scarred, and slowly lose their ability to remove wastes and excess fluid from the blood to make urine.


the term used to describe scarring that occurs within the kidneys in the small balls of tiny blood vessels called the glomeruli. The glomeruli assist the kidneys in filtering urine from the blood.


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


a sugar in our blood and a source of energy for our bodies.

glucose tolerance test

blood test used to make the diagnosis of diabetes, including gestational diabetes.

glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase deficiency (G6PD)

a deficiency of an enzyme


a protein found in wheat, rye, barley, and oats.

gluten sensitive enteropathy

a sensitivity to gluten, a wheat protein. Individuals with this disease must avoid gluten-containing grains, which include all forms of wheat, oats, barley and rye.

gluteus maximus

large, superficial, buttock muscle.


converted glucose for storage. Glycogen plays a role in controlling blood sugar levels.


an overgrown thyroid gland.


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


ovaries and testes.


a common sexually transmitted disease caused by a bacterium, which can lead to infertility in women.

Goodpasture syndrome

A rare, autoimmune disease that can affect the lungs and kidneys.


a result of a defect in body chemistry (such as uric acid in the joint fluid), this painful condition most often attacks small joints, especially the big toe. It can usually be controlled with medication and changes in diet.


the grade of a cancer reflects how abnormal it looks under the microscope. There are several grading systems for different types of cancer.

grades of movement

standardized means of documenting techniques of mobilization, relating it to the true feel of joint movement.


a process for classifying cancer cells to determine the growth rate of the tumor. The cancer cells are measured by how closely they look like normal cells.

graft-versus-host disease (GVHD)

when the donor's immune system acts against the recipient's tissue, after transplantation.


a type of white blood cell. The different types of granulocytes include: basophils, eosinophils, and neutrophils.

granuloma annulare

a chronic skin condition characterized by small, raised bumps that form a ring with a normal or sunken center.

gray matter

the darker-colored tissues of the central nervous system; in the brain, the gray matter includes the cerebral cortex, the thalamus, the basal ganglia, and the outer layers of the cerebellum.

guided imagery

envisioning a certain goal to help cope with health problems.

Guillain-Barré syndrome

A disorder in which the body's immune system attacks part of the nervous system.

Gulf War syndrome

A widely used term referring to unexplained illnesses occurring in Gulf War veterans.


act or sensation of tasting.


a condition in which the male's breast tissue enlarges. Gynecomastia literally means "woman breast." This increase in tissue usually occurs at times when the male is having hormonal changes, such as during infancy, adolescence, and old age.

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