B

450 benign Not cancerous.

Glossary benign prostatic hyperplasia Noncancerous enlargement of the prostate gland that obstructs the flow and passage of urine through the urethra.

beta-blocker An antihypertensive used to treat heart and circulation disorders such as angina, high blood pressure, and arrhythmia.

beta carotene An antioxidant found in orange and deep yellow fruits and vegetables that converts into vitamin A in the body.

bile A greenish yellow fluid secreted by the liver that removes waste products and helps break down fats during digestion.

biofeedback A relaxation technique in which a person learns to control involuntary body functions such as heart rate.

biopsy A diagnostic test in which a small sample of tissue is removed from the body and examined under a microscope.

bipolar disorder Also known as manic-depressive disorder. A mood disorder characterized by alternating episodes of deep depression and euphoria.

bite Also called occlusion. A term used to describe the contact between opposing upper and lower teeth.

bite guard Also called a splint. A plastic dental appliance that fits over the biting surface of the upper or lower teeth and helps prevent a person from grinding his or her teeth.

blackhead A dark-colored plug of sebum that blocks a hair follicle.

bladder A hollow, muscular organ in the pelvis that acts as a reservoir for urine.

blepharoplasty A cosmetic surgery procedure in which excess fat and skin are removed from the upper and lower eyelids.

blood clot A clump of coagulated blood.

blood pressure A measure of the force exerted against the walls of the arteries by the flow of blood as it is pumped throughout the body by the heart. See also diastolic blood pressure and systolic blood pressure.

B lymphocyte See lymphocyte.

BMI See body mass index.

body mass index A measurement used to determine whether your body weight falls in the healthful range.

boil A collection of pus beneath the top layer of skin caused by bacterial infection of a hair follicle.

bone density A measure of the amount of calcium and other minerals in bone in rela- 451

tion to the width of the bone. A person's bone density is used to determine his or her risk Gl°ssary of developing osteoporosis.

BPH See benign prostatic hyperplasia.

bradycardia A heart rate below 60 beats per minute.

bronchodilator A medication that dilates (widens) constricted airways and is used to treat asthma.

bulimia An eating disorder characterized by binge overeating followed by self-induced vomiting or laxative abuse.

bursa A fluid-filled sac that acts as a cushion at a pressure point in the body, often near a joint.

bursitis Inflammation of a bursa, attributable to arthritis, injury, or infection.

calcium A mineral that is important for strong bones and teeth and also has an important role in muscle contraction, blood clotting, and nerve function.

calcium channel blocker An antihypertensive used to treat heart and circulation disorders such as angina and high blood pressure.

calculus A hard mineral deposit on teeth (also known as tartar), or a small, hard mass (such as a gallstone or a kidney stone) that forms in body tissues.

cap See crown, artificial.

capillaries Tiny blood vessels that carry blood between the arterioles and venules. carbuncle A cluster of boils.

carcinogen Any substance, such as cigarette smoke, that can cause cancer.

cardiac catheterization A diagnostic procedure in which a catheter is threaded through a blood vessel into the heart to monitor its function and to inject contrast medium for imaging.

cardiopulmonary resuscitation A lifesaving procedure in which cardiac massage and artificial ventilation are performed on someone whose heart has stopped beating, in order to maintain the circulation of oxygenated blood to the brain.

cardiovascular system Also known as the circulatory system. The network formed by your heart and blood vessels that pumps blood and carries it throughout your body.

carotid artery One of the four major arteries that supply blood to the head and neck.

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