Glossary Of Medical Jargon.

A friend of mine stopped me on my way to work few months back, complaining about the state of his health. He was sure he had been  bitten by the female Anopheles mosquito resulting in him having malaria.

I began to ask him a few questions, beginning with if there was an existence of fever. He replied saying he wasn’t sure. How can you not be sure if you have a fever?? I asked him if he knew what fever meant. He answered in the least confident manner saying, he thinks weakness and malaria. I laughed out loud, thanking him for just inspiring a new blog post, after which I explained the meaning of ‘fever’ to him.

My friend isn’t the first person to define fever or some ‘simple’ medical term in the wrong way. At times, I do not understand some terms when used ( especially with my current flatmate being a doctor) and I tend to look them up for clarity or forget about them totally, after trying to guess their meanings. Yes, I can be that lazy!

Hence, I decided to write this post educating us (you and I) on the simple definition of medical terms which can come in handy- in times of show off or in making serious conversations.

I intend to make more posts in this category so let’s begin with the easy terms.


  1. Abscess : is a swollen area within the body that contains an accumulation of pus. It is usually painful. A skin abscess can be otherwise called a boil.
  2. Amnesia :is a term used to describe the partial or total loss of memory . Who remembered the movie titled The Vow- Leo (Channing Tatum) ‘s wife suffered a case of amnesia.
  3. Diuresis :is defined as an increased production of urine as compared to ones normal urine output. This condition can lead to excessive thirst,discomfort and  fatigue as a result of loss of fluids and minerals from the body.
  4. Dyspnea : is commonly defined as shortness of breath. It is difficult or laboured breathing, commonly associated with respiratory disorders.
  5. Fever:  it simply means high temperature.  It is an abnormal increase in the temperature of the body. Fever is  not an illness itself but a characteristic of many illnesses. A person is considered febrile if he has a fever. Therefore, another word for fever is?
  6. Hypoglycemia : describes an abnormally low level of sugar in the blood as compared to the normal sugar level in the blood. This is confirmed by carrying out a blood sugar test and is  characterised by  anxiety, sweating, confusion,loss of consciousness etc.
  7. Inflammation : otherwise called swelling. It is a reaction in which your body becomes swollen, red and painful as a result  of injury, infection and  irritation. Inflammation is actually a protective defence the body takes up after an injury, infection or an irritation.
  8. Malaise : is a general feeling of weakness, discomfort or uneasiness that is usually unexplained. Remember that restless, uneasy feeling you had when you were sick?
  9. Palpitation : is a feeling of rapid, irregular and forceful beating of the heart. It is that feeling like your heart is pounding or racing very fast.
  10.  Tremor : means an involuntary shaking or trembling from fear, diseases, excitement or stress. Last week, my friend after viewing my instastory messaged me just to ask if my fingers still experience tremor as I was known for trembling hands back then in school.


There you have it, the definition of ten ‘simple’ medical jargon. You notice how I added the word ‘fever’ to the list, Yass!

I hope you learnt a  few new words and their meanings. If so, send a message to any medical friend you know,intentionally making a sentence with one of the terms because it is #pepperdemday# .

Is there any term you taught you knew the meaning but you were wrong amongst the ten? I would also love to know any medical term you frequently hear,do not know the meaning and have been lazy in checking them up.

Please share your thoughts in the comment section below, I would love to hear from you.


We are also on Facebook and Instagram,check the buttons below to follow us. There is a share button beneath the post to help share this post to your social media pages,if you want. Let’s help eradicate medical illiteracy. lol

You can also follow my personal Instagram account @Oluwatoceen. I am still battling with the twitter life.

Till the next post,





















3 Comments Add yours

  1. annieejiofor says:

    Loool! At #pepperthemday Can they really know all? 😄It’s a good place to start though. Yay to eradicating medical illiteracy. It’s part of the medical training to be able to explain ‘medical jargon’ in the most basic form to the least educated. Sometimes, speak pidgin or even the local dialect if you’re lucky to speak the same language with them! They’ll fail you in medical school for using medical jargon to communicate with a patient. Heard in UCH, it’s an offense if you can’t speak Yoruba, at least in final year. Like, you should have learnt the local dialect over the years to be able to communicate better with your patients. Also, we don’t take medical diagnosis as presenting complaints e.g Patient has difficulty in breathing and tells you they have Asthma. Haba. We’ll tell you your diagnosis now. We promote patient education and health awareness. So that they can come in time when sick and help us manage them better when they understand their illness and what we’re doing for them.

    You’re doing great, Tosin! With consistency and content. Thumbs up! I’m reading and enjoying it.


    1. Lol. Of course, they can’t know all but we can try. My Clinical pharmacy lectures in school majored in speaking plain language that the patient could relate to. Break it down till there is nothing to be broken.
      Thank you so much for the compliment and I am glad you are enjoying them. Thank you Annie

      Liked by 1 person

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