Glossary

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E

Ear

The organ responsible for hearing.

Earache

Caused by an infection.

Eating disorder

A condition that affects a person’s eating behaviour and is damaging to a person’s physical and mental wellbeing.

ECG

Stands for ElectroCardioGram and is a test which shows the electrical impulses travelling through the heart to make it beat. It also shows how blood is flowing through the heart.

Eczema

A common skin disease that makes the skin itchy and sore.

EEG

The technique used to measure the electrical activity in the brain. The pattern of a EEG shows the state of a patient's brain and their level of consciousness. Often used when treating sleep disorders and epilepsy.

Elastosis

A degenerative change in elastic tissue.

Elective

When a test or operation is planned for the future, the doctors may call it an ‘elective’ test or operation.

Emaciation

The wasting of the body as a result of malnutrition, cancer and other ailments.

Embolism

A condition that occurs when material such as a blood clot, fat or other foreign body obstructs the blood flow.

EMG

This stands for electromyography – a test for measuring electrical signals in your muscles. These signals are the messages from the brain telling the muscle to move.

Emotionally unstable personality disorder

A personality disorder that causes the sufferer to act impulsively or act unpredictably.

Endocrine system

This consists of the glands around the body which release hormones – chemical messengers that switch on and off processes within the body. The master gland is the pituitary gland, deep inside the brain, which sends chemical messages to the other glands, telling them to produce other hormones.

Endoscope

A thin tube that has a light and a camera on the end.

Enemas

A treatment where a liquid is injected into the anus to cleanse the colon.

Enzyme

A substance that controls a chemical reaction within the body. There are lots of different enzymes, and each does a different job e.g. digestion.

Epidural

A procedure where a form of anaesthetic is injected into the spine to stop pain. The procedure does not send the patient to sleep.

Epiglottis

A flap of tissue in the throat that is normally open to let air flow into your lungs. When eating, it covers the windpipe to stop food and drink getting into your lungs.

Epilepsy

A type of brain disorder that causes convulsions and loss of consciousness.

Epileptic seizure

A physical reaction to a sudden burst of extra electrical activity in the brain. The type of seizure that a person has depends on where in the brain this activity happens.