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  • a

  • Alzheimer's Disease
    A progressive condition of brain damage that causes dementia: memory loss, cognitive impairment, disorientation & confusion, mood & personality changes, and declining overall functioning. Alzheimer's affects 6% of adults over 65. Risk factors include genetics (family history), depression,(...)
  • Anaemia
    Reduced number of red blood cells. Anaemia causes fatigue and paleness. There are many causes for anaemia including blood loss, poor diet, and certain cancers. Anaemia treatment depends on the cause but often include iron supplements and even blood transfusion.
  • Antioxidant
    A substance that prevents oxidation. Oxidation produces free radicals that can damage cells in the body. Antioxidants are produced by the body and found in certain foods (e.g. Vitamin A, C, E, Beta-Carotene). Antioxidant supplements are claimed to improve health and reduce the risk of various(...)
  • Anxiety
    Uncomfortable feeling of worry about the future. Anxiety is a psychological sensation that allows produces physical effects such as sweating, tremor, and muscle tension. When anxiety is experienced in an ongoing and or excessive way it is called anxiety disorder, which benefits from(...)
  • Asthma
    Condition of reversible airway obstruction. Asthma causes wheezing, cough and shortness of breath. Asthma can be triggered by allergens like pollen, animal dander, grass, etc. or by exercise, but may also occur spontaneously with no clear triggers. Asthma is one of the three main allergic(...)
  • b

  • Back Pain
    Pain felt in the back. The most common area is the lower back and almost all adults experience back pain at some time. The most common causes are muscular strains and other "mechanical" injuries caused by posture & lifting etc. Osteoarthritis can affect the joints of the spine and cause(...)
  • Blood Pressure
    Blood Pressure - the physical pressure within blood vessels. Usually measured on the arm, the systolic blood pressure is the pressure as the heart beats and the diastolic blood pressure is the pressure between heart beats. Blood pressure is thus represented as two numbers: systolic/diastolic -(...)
  • Blood Sugar
    Level of glucose (sugar) in the blood. Measured via finger-prick or test-tube samples. The most reliable results are fasting tests (no food for at least 8 hours) whereas non-fasting or random test results are often influenced by recent eating. High blood sugar (above 6.9 generally) suggests(...)
  • BMI
    Body Mass Index is a calculated value that describes how "round" a person is by factoring-in their height and weight. BMI = weight in kilograms / height in metres x height in metres. BMI is widely used to classify /group people as follows: 30.0 OBESE This classification is very(...)18>
  • Breast
     
  • Burnout
    A condition in which a person is exhausted and "worn out", primarily psychologically and emotionally but also physically. It is usually used in the context of work and results from long-term work overload without sufficient balance (non-work activities). Burnout causes declining effectiveness(...)
  • c

  • Calorie
    A unit of energy used in human nutrition. A Calorie is actually more-correctly called a Kilocalorie (kCal) and the terms are generally used interchangeably (and confusingly!). The alternative measure is the Kilojoule, which equals 4.2 Calories. As a rough guide the average adult needs in the(...)
  • Cancer
    A disease characterised by the abnormal and excessive  growth of cells. Cancer can affect almost any part of the body but lung, breast, prostate, colon, cervix, skin, and stomach cancer are the most common. The exact cause of cancer is not known but smoking, obesity, lack of exercise and(...)
  • Carbohydrate
    One of the three major food groups (others being protein and fat), carbohydrates comprise (in simple terms) sugars and starches (such as found in breads, pasta, potatoes, vegetables). Traditional dietary recommendations suggest that a healthy diet is made up of 40-70% carbohydrate with no more(...)
  • Cardiovascular Disease
    Disease (s) related to the heart and circulation: the most important are heart attacks, strokes, and peripheral vascular disease (poor circulation). Cardiovascular diseases are mainly caused by lifestyle: overweight, lack of exercise, and smoking are the main culprits. High blood pressure,(...)
  • Cervix
     
  • Cholesterol
    Cholesterol is a a compound of the sterol type found in most body tissues. Cholesterol and its derivatives are important constituents of cell membranes and precursors of other steroid compounds, but a high proportion in the blood of low-density lipoprotein (which transports cholesterol to the(...)
  • Cirrhosis
    Liver disease that leads to liver failure. Cirrhosis is mainly caused by alcohol, Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C. Cirrhosis causes many symptoms including jaundice (yellow skin), fluid retention, bleeding & bruising, fatigues and weakness. Cirrhosis cannot be cured and treatment options are(...)
  • Colon
     
  • d

  • Dementia
    A condition of impaired brain functioning causing memory loss, impaired thinking ability, disorientation and confusion, and an overall decline in functioning. Dementia is mainly caused by Alzheimer's disease (70% of cases) and repeated strokes (25% of cases).
  • Depression
    A mental-health problem characterised by low mood or sadness. Depression affects up to 5% of people at any one time and some 20% of people have at least one episode in their lifetime. Depression may be caused by chemical imbalances in the brain and or by psychological & emotional factors(...)
  • Diabetes
    Diabetes Mellitus (Diabetes) is a condition characterised by high blood sugar levels. Diabetes causes a great many long-term complications including cardiovascular disease, eye disease, kidney disease, and much more. Type 1 Diabetes begins in childhood or adolescence and almost always requires(...)
  • e

  • EAP
    EAP (Employee Assistance Programme) - a service that offers professional support to employees. Mainly offers psychosocial counselling via telephone and face to face, but often also includes financial & legal advice. Usually funded by the employer and free to the employee. Usually accessed via(...)
  • Endometrium
     
  • f

  • Fat
    One of the major food groups (others being protein & carbohydrate). Fat is essential for health but most modern diets include too much fat, leading to overweight and health problems. All fats contain a lot of energy - fat has more than double the calories of carbohydrate and protein, gram for(...)
  • Fibre
    Part of plant foods that cannot be digested and provides no nutrients. Fibre helps maintain a feeling of fullness after eating (by creating gas and distention)and helps to avoid constipation (by absorbing water into the bowel).
  • g

  • Gall Bladder
     
  • Gluten
    A protein found in wheat and other grains including Rye, Oats, and Barley. Gluten is present in nearly all breads, pizzas, pasties, etc. Some 2% of people have Coeliac disease, which causes severe symptoms,  and need to avoid Gluten. Some 7% of people have Gluten Intolerance, which causes(...)
  • Glycaemic Index
    A measure that describes how quickly a food releases sugar into the bloodstream. High GI foods release sugar quickly and Low GI foods release sugar slowly. For a number of important reasons relating to energy levels, metabolism, preventing diabetes, and weight control, Low GI foods are(...)
  • h

  • Hayfever
    Allergic condition of the nose and sinuses, also called allergic rhinitis. Hayfever causes sneezing, itchy nose, running nose, blocked nose, and sometimes itchy watering eyes. It can cause sinus congestion and or sinusitis as a complication. Hayfever may be seasonal (spring mainly) or(...)
  • Headache
    Pain in the head. Headache is a very common complaint. The key thing is to understand that there are many different types of headache including tension headache (the most common form of headache, usually caused by stress and fatigue), migraine (specific type of headache that causes sudden and(...)
  • High Density Lipoprotein
    "Good Cholesterol". High levels of HDL are associated with reduced risk of cardiovascular disease. A full lipogram or "cholesterol test" measures Total Cholesterol, HDL (good), LDL (bad), and Triglycerides (bad) to give a more accurate picture than just total cholesterol on its own.
  • HIV
    Human Immunodeficiency Virus - a virus that infects people and causes immune-system impairment, eventually leading to increased susceptibility to infections, cancers and other illnesses, a condition known as Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS). HIV is spread by intimate sexual contact,(...)
  • i

  • Influenza
    A viral infection that causes fever, sore throat, headache, muscular aches, sneezing, and cough. The "flu" is spread from person to person through the air (coughing and sneezing) and from hand contact. Flu is self-limiting in most otherwise-healthy people but can cause dangerous complications(...)
  • Influenza Vaccine
    An immunisation to protect against influenza/flu. The WHO monitors the most active flu virus strains around the world and prepares vaccines against these each year. Flu vaccines reduce the risk of getting flu by 50-60%, and reduces the risk of hospitalisation by 75%. Flu vaccination is(...)
  • Insulin
    A hormone that is produced by the pancreas and plays an important role in the transport of glucose/sugar from the bloodstream into the body's cells. Lack of insulin cause Type 1 Diabetes and resistance to the action of insulin causes Type 2 Diabetes.
  • k

  • Kidney
     
  • Kilojoule
    A unit of energy used in human nutrition. A Kilojoule equals 4.2 Calories. As a rough guide the average adult needs in the region of 2000 Calories (or 500 Kilojoules) per day to maintain health and avoid weight gain (or unintended weight loss), although this varies greatly with lifestyle(...)
  • l

  • Legume
    A plant food that provides protein, carbohydrate and fibre. Legumes usually provide Low GI carbohydrate as well as quality proteins and are therefore usually recommended as part of a healthy eating plan. Legumes include chick peas, peas, beans, lentils, and soy.
  • Leukaemia
    A type of cancer found in bone marrow. Leukaemia causes an increased number of abnormal non-functioning white blood cells, leading to symptoms that include weight loss, susceptibility to infections, bruising and internal bleeding. Leukaemia is the most common form of cancer seen in children.(...)
  • Low Density Lipoprotein
    "Bad Cholesterol". High levels of LDL are associated with increased risk of cardiovascular disease. A full lipogram or "cholesterol test" measures Total Cholesterol, HDL (good), LDL (bad), and Triglycerides (bad) to give a more accurate picture than just total cholesterol on its own.
  • Lymphoma
     
  • m

  • Meningitis
    Infection of the membranes surrounding the brain and spinal cord. Meningitis causes fever, headache and neck stiffness (and other symptoms). Meningitis can be caused by various infections (mainly viruses and or bacteria) and ranges from mild & self-limiting to severe & life-threatening,(...)
  • Metabolism
    The process of using food for sustaining body processes and building cells. A fast metabolism tends to use food quickly and well, whereas a slow metabolism does not. Food that is not used in metabolism may be stored as fat (excess weight). Consuming small frequent meals (and never skipping(...)
  • Migraine
    A specific type of headache caused by blood flow changes in and around the brain. Migraine is usually sudden in onset and quite severe, often involving visual disturbances and nausea. Migraine requires special and specific treatments that may try to prevent attacks or to treat attacks. Many(...)
  • Mineral
    A chemical element that is a nutrient required for optimal health. The most important minerals for human health are calcium, phosphorous, potassium, sodium magnesium, iron, cobalt, copper, zinc, manganese, molybdenum, iodine, and selenium. All essential minerals can be found in foods but(...)
  • Miscarriage
    Loss of a foetus/pregnancy before it is able to survive on its own (the term miscarriage or abortion is usually used for pregnancies up to 20 weeks and the term stillbirth for pregnancies over 20 weeks). Some 15% of known pregnancies and 40% of all pregnancies (including those not recognised)(...)
  • Multiple Myeloma
     
  • Myocardial Infarction
    Death of a part of the heart-muscle. A myocardial infarction or heart attack occurs when the heart muscle receives too little oxygen because of blocked blood vessels. A heart attack is a form of cardiovascular disease (other forms being stroke and peripheral vascular disease). The main(...)
  • o

  • Obese
    Carrying too much body fat. Obesity is an increasingly common problem today, affecting about 20% of the developed world's adult population. Usually defined as having a Body Mass Index (BMI, weight in kilograms divided by height in metres squared) over 30, obesity reduces mobility and energy(...)
  • Oesophagus
     
  • Osteoarthritis
    The most common form of arthritis (the other being rheumatoid arthritis), osteoarthritis results from "wear and tear" on joints and is therefore more common in the elderly, those with old joint injuries, those who have over-used joints. Osteoarthritis causes joint pain and swelling and can(...)
  • Osteoporosis
    Bone thinning and weakening that may lead to fractures (wrist, hip, spine are the most common). Osteoporosis becomes more common in older people, especially post-menopausal women. Prevention approaches include calcium supplements, not smoking, moderating alcohol, and regular weight-bearing(...)
  • Ovary
     
  • Overweight
    Carrying too much body fat. Overweight is a very common problem today, affecting almost half of the developed world's population. Usually defined as having a Body Mass Index (BMI, weight in kilograms divided by height in metres squared) over 25 (25-30, over 30 is termed "obese"), overweight(...)
  • p

  • Pancreas
    An abdominal gland found behind the stomach, which secretes digestive enzymes and a number of important hormones including insulin. the pancreas can be affected by inflammation (pancreatitis, often caused by gall-stones or alcohol), cancer (often diagnosed too late for treatment), and Type 1(...)
  • Parkinson's Disease
    A condition of damaged brain and nervous-system that causes tremor, rigidity, weakness, immobility, and dementia. Parkinson's is usually progressive, beginning with mild but increasingly severe symptoms. The exact cause is unknown but risk factors include genetics (family history) and head(...)
  • Prostate
    A small gland that adds fluid to male ejaculate. The prostate can be affected by inflammation (Prostatitis, sometimes caused by infections), Benign Prostate Hypertrophy (BPH, common in older men), and cancer (more common as men age). Screening tests for prostate disease include rectal(...)
  • Protein
    One of the major food groups (others being carbohydrate and fat). Protein is used in building body tissues. Protein is found in animal (e.g. meat, dairy, eggs) and plant (e.g. legumes, nuts, soy) foods. Protein is essential for all people but may be especially important for athletes & active(...)
  • s

  • Salt
    A mineral, sodium chloride. Long used to add taste and flavour to foods as well as as a preservative. Salt is found in a great many processed foods such that many people consume too much. Excess salt can lead to high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, kidney disease, osteoporosis and(...)
  • Saturated Fat
    A type of fat mainly found in animal fats such as meats and dairy products (whereas vegetable fats tend to contain unsaturated fats). Saturated fats almost always include cholesterol and have been linked to high cholesterol and an increased risk of cardiovascular disease, although some(...)
  • Sinus
    Air cavity in the skull/head area. Everyone has sinuses, in pairs left and right, around the nose and eye area. Sinuses secret mucous that drains into the nose and throat area. Sinuses can become blocked, congested and infected, causing pain and illness. This usually results from allergy(...)
  • Sleep Apnoea
    A condition where breathing stops or reduces during sleep. Sleep apnoea is most common in those over 50 years old, the overweight or obese, men, those with allergies and those with enlarged tonsils. Sleep apnoea is often associated with snoring. Sleep apnoea is associated with an increased(...)
  • Stress
    An uncomfortable feeling of not coping with the pressures and strains of life. Some argue that a degree of stress is "normal" or unavoidable but when a person feels they cannot cope stress becomes an unhealthy problem. Stress is a very common problem affecting up to 20% of people at any one(...)
  • Stroke
    Death of brain cells due to poor blood flow. Strokes can cause various symptoms depending on the area of brain affected, but leg/arm weakness, speech difficulty, poor vision, incontinence, memory loss, and confusion are among the most common. Severe strokes can be fatal or cause serious long(...)
  • t

  • Thyroid
     
  • Trans Fat
    A type of unhealthy fat most commonly found in processed foods (snacks, baking goods, fast foods). Trans fats are formed when unsaturated fats are partially hydrogenated in the processing of foods. Trans fats, sometimes listed as hydrogenated fats, are known to cause cardiovascular disease,(...)
  • Triglycerides
    A type of "bad cholesterol". High levels of triglycerides are associated with increased risk of cardiovascular disease. A full lipogram measures total cholesterol as well as HDL (good), LDL (bad), and triglycerides (bad) to give a more accurate picture than just total cholesterol alone.
  • u

  • Underweight
    Body weight too light for health. Defined as BMI under 18.5, underweight can result from very strenuous training regimes (e.g. competitive marathon runners) but is more usually the result of drug use, lack of food (poverty), underlying medical problems (like HIV, cancer, excessive thyroid(...)
  • Unsaturated Fat
    A type of fat mainly found in vegetable fats and oils like avocado, nuts, olive oil and canola oil (whereas animal fats like meat & dairy contain saturated fats). Unsaturated fats are lower in cholesterol than saturated fats and cause less cardiovascular-disease risk than saturated fats.(...)
  • v

  • Vitamin
    A micronutrient that is essential for health, albeit in small quantities. There are 13 known vitamins (A, C, D, E, K, B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B7, B9, B12) and all are found in various foods. There is no convincing evidence (at best there is some suggestive evidence that is not conclusive) that(...)