Glossary

Browse through glands, hormones and endocrine conditions.
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Generic and branded drugs - what's in a name?

When we are looking for an over-the-counter or a prescribed medicine, we can choose whether to use a generic or a branded drug. But what exactly is the difference between them?

Glucose-dependent insulinotropic peptide

Glucose-dependent insulinotropic peptide is a hormone produced by the small intestine in response to eating food. Its main action is to encourage the release of insulin into the bloodstream to control blood sugar levels.

Growth hormone-releasing hormone

Growth hormone-releasing hormone stimulates the secretion of growth hormone, an important regulator of growth, metabolism and body structure.

Gonadotrophin-releasing hormone

Gonadotrophin-releasing hormone is released from nerve cells in the brain. It controls the production of luteinising hormone and follicle stimulating hormone from the pituitary gland.

Gender identity disorder

Gender identity disorder is where a person is deeply unhappy with the gender they were born in, because it is different from the gender they feel they should be. This often leads to a desire to live in their preferred gender and change their appearance.

Glucagon-like peptide 1

Glucagon-like peptide 1 is a hormone produced in the gut and released in response to food. It causes reduced appetite and the release of insulin.

gastric bypass surgery

an operation used to treat morbid obesity where the stomach is reduced in size and the small intestine is shortened to reduce the amount of calories absorbed from food to aid weight loss.

genetic predisposition

a tendency to have a particular disease that is inherited in families.

Gestational diabetes

Gestational diabetes is development of high blood sugar (glucose) levels during pregnancy. Strict blood glucose control in pregnant women improves outcomes for both the mother and child.

Growth and height

The height a person reaches as an adult is a result of their genes as well as general health and nutrition during their years of growth. Normal growth is controlled by hormones such as growth hormone, sex hormones and thyroid hormones.

gastrointestinal

referring to the stomach and intestine.

genetic mutation

a mistake in the DNA sequence of a gene, which can sometimes lead to a different or abnormal protein being produced.

Graves' disease

Graves' disease is an autoimmune thyroid disease. The body produces antibodies against the thyroid gland which can cause it to become overactive, resulting in increased thyroid hormone production and hyperthyroidism.

genetic testing

a process whereby an individual undergoes tests to determine their genetic code for a certain condition. Genetic testing should be carried out by a specialised centre and offered along with counselling for the affected individual.

glandular fever

an infectious condition caused by Epstein Barr virus, characterised by a fever, sore throat, swollen lymph nodes, and abnormal lymphocytes in the blood.

glucocorticoids

a group of steroid hormones, make by the outer part (cortex) of the adrenal gland, including cortisol, which have anti-inflammatory effects.

Growth hormone

Growth hormone is produced by the pituitary gland. It has many functions including maintaining normal body structure and metabolism.

gynaecological

to do with the female reproductive system.

gynaecologist

doctor who specialises in the treatment of disorders of the female reproductive system.

gastric acid

digestive juice produced by the stomach containing enzymes and acids.

Glucagonoma

A glucagonoma is a very rare tumour of the pancreas in which there is an increase in release of the hormone glucagon, causing a characteristic skin rash and raised blood sugar levels.

Gastrinoma

Gastrinomas are neuroendocrine tumours that are usually found in the first part of the small intestine or in the pancreas, which produce the hormone gastrin.

gallstones

hard abnormal masses in the gallbladder or bile duct that occur when there is a build-up of cholesterol in bile; the cholesterol comes out of solution to form a stone-like mass.

Gigantism

Gigantism is a rare condition of accelerated growth and increased height as a result of too much growth hormone secretion during childhood or adolescence. It is almost always the result of a growth hormone secreting pituitary tumour.

gastritis

inflammation of the stomach causing pain, nausea and vomiting.

genitalia

the reproductive parts of men (penis and scrotum) and women (labia, clitoris and vagina).

germ cell

an egg (or ovum) or sperm. These cells contain half the number of chromosomes as other cells (23 instead of 23 pairs in humans).

gestation

the period of time when a baby is developing inside its mother's womb. In humans, this period is nine months.

Glucagon

Glucagon is produced to maintain glucose levels in the bloodstream when fasting and to raise very low glucose levels.

glue ear

occurs due to a build-up of fluid in the middle ear, leading to hearing loss or reduced hearing in the affected ear. If glue ear persists, it can be treated by inserting small tubes called grommets in the ear to drain away the fluid.

Gastrin

Gastrin is a hormone produced by the stomach, which stimulates the release of gastric acid.

Ghrelin

Ghrelin is produced by the stomach. Among its numerous functions, ghrelin increases appetite and stimulates the release of growth hormone.

genetic

referring to a condition or trait that is inherited in families.

glucose

sugar

Goitre

Goitre is a general term for an enlarged thyroid gland. Depending on the type of swelling, location, how it affects gland function and how long it has been present, goitre has various effects and is treated in a variety of different ways.

gonads

a term used to describe the reproductive organs of men (testes) and women (ovaries).

gene

a section of DNA that ‘codes’ for a protein. Our genes carry the hereditary information that is passed on to the next generation.

gut

term used to describe the digestive tract or alimentary canal (oesophagus, stomach, small intestine, large intestine).


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