Medical Terms Glossary

Name/term:

Explanation:

May also be referred to as:

Abnormal

Unusual / not normal.

 

Acute (as in an acute medical condition)

Something that comes on quickly and/or lasts for a short time.

Note that the exact meaning of "acute" (e.g. what the length of time is defined as) depends on the condition.

The opposite of "acute" in this context is "chronic".

 

Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome

Is an advanced form of Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) in which the body's cells have severely reduced immunity and are particularly vulnerable to infection and cancer.

Not all people that are HIV positive have AIDS and nor will all people that are HIV positive have AIDS at some point in their life.

AIDS

Adenoids

Are glands found in the roof of the mouth that produce cells that help fight infections.

 

Adhesion

Is an abnormal band of scar-like tissue that forms between two surfaces inside the body that causes them to stick together.

 

Adjustment Disorder

Stress-related condition where one experiences more stress than would normally be expected in response to a stressful or unexpected event.

 

Aerial activity

For the purposes of an AA Life application, an aerial activity is an activity where any part of it is carried out at a height of more than 20 metres.

 

Alcohol abuse

Refers to the overuse or misuse of alcohol.

It is possible to abuse alcohol without being dependent on it.

 

Alcohol dependence

A condition where a person is reliant on alcohol in order to function.

 

Alzheimer's disease

A form of dementia. Affects the brain. Sufferers experience a gradual decline in their ability to remember, understand, communicate and reason.

 

Amputation

Refers to the removal of a limb or part of a limb (like a finger or toe).

 

Anaemia

A condition where there's a shortage of healthy red blood cells or haemoglobin.

 

Aneurysm

A swelling or bulge of the wall of an artery.

 

Angina

Chest discomfort or pain caused by reduced blood flow to the heart. It's usually due to coronary artery disease (CAD).

Angina Pectoris

Ante-natal depression

Depression suffered during pregnancy, typically arising from the combination of hormonal changes, psychological adjustment to motherhood, and fatigue. 

 

Anxiety

Anxiety is the body's physical response to fear and can include symptoms like a racing heart, sweaty palms and "butterflies in your stomach". Everyone experiences some anxiety in life, however anxiety disorders involve anxiety symptoms that are overly persistent, extreme for the situation and/or difficult to control.

 

Appendicitis

Inflammation of the appendix. Is a potentially serious medical condition and it's not unsual for the appendix to be removed in order to treat it.

 

Appendix

It's located in your lower right abdomen and connected to your large intestine.

 

Arthritis

Inflammation of one or more joints.

 

Asthma

Condition in which breathing becomes difficult because of inflammation of the air passages. The breathing difficulties are typically sudden and recurrent 'attacks'.

Bronchial asthma

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

A common behavioural Disorder. Symptoms vary but tend to involve great difficulty concentrating or focussing for any length of time, along with impulsiveness and being excessively active in most situations. There are 3 different subgroups of ADHD: Inattentive, Hyperactive and Impulsive.

Inattentive ADHD is usually what's meant when someone uses the term "ADD" (Attention Deficit Disorder)

ADHD

ADD

Barrett's Oesophagus (E-sof-a-gus)

A serious complication of chronic reflux where the normal cells lining the oespophagus (throat) change to being abnormal.

 

Bipolar disorder

A mental health disorder marked by altrenating episodes of mania (abnormally elevated mood) and depression

Bipolar I disorder

Bipolar II disorder

Bipolar affective disorder

Manic Depression

Bladder

The (urinary) bladder stores urine, allowing urination to be infrequent and controlled.

 

Bladder stone(s)

A bladder stone is a hard mass of minerals present in the bladder and results from minerals in concentrated urine cystallizing. 

 

BMI

Stands for "Body Mass Index". It's commonly used as a measure of someone's build and is calculated by dividing your weight in kilograms by your height in metres-squared (m²).

Body Mass Index

Body size

Height to weight ratio

Body Dysmorphic Disorder

A condition where a person thinks about flaws with their body for long periods each day, tend to think small flaws are much bigger than they are and/or consider flaws that don't exist to be big concerns.

BDD

B.D.D

Breast screening

Refers to breast surveillance that is done in order to detect breast cancer in it's early stages.

 

Bronchitis (bronk-eye-tiss)

Is an inflammation or swelling of the bronchial tubes (bronchi), the air passages between the mouth and nose and the lungs. It impacts breathing and sufferers can also have difficulty clearing heavy mucus from their airways.

 

Brothers

For the purposes of this application, we mean biological brothers i.e. not step brothers or adopted brothers.

 

Cancer

Some of the body's cells start to divide uncontrollably and eventually spread into surrounding tissues. Some cancers form tumours while others (e.g. leukaemia) generally do not.

Note that not all tumours are cancerous.

Malignant tumour, growth or lesion

Cardiomyopathy (Card-ee-oh-my-op-ah-thee)

Is a disease of the heart muscle.

 

Cervical cyst

Cyst of the cervix

 

Cholesterol

Is a lipid (type of fat-like substance) produced by the liver.

Lipids

Chronic (as in a chronic medical condition)

Something that comes on slowly and/or lasts for a long time.

Note that that the exact meaning of "chronic" (e.g. what the length of time is defined as) depends on the condition.

The opposite of "chronic" in this context is "acute".

 

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disorder

Is a term used to describe progressive lung diseases including emphysema, chronic bronchitis, and refractory (non-reversible) asthma. This disease is characterised by increasing breathlessness.

COPD

CIN (as in CIN 1, 2 or 3)

The abnormal growth of cells on the surface of the cervix that could potentially lead to cervical cancer. The number alongside the "CIN" is a grading of the cells - with CIN 1 being the lowest grade.

 

Cirrhosis

A condition of the liver involving scarring (fibrosis).

 

Coeliac disease

A permanent disease where the small intestine is very sensitive to gluten resulting in inflammation, difficulties absorbing nutrients from glutenous foods and other complications.

Gluten is a protein found in wheat, rye and barley.

Celiac disease

Commercial airline

An airline company that uses planes for carrying goods or people, rather than for military purposes.

Air New Zealand, Qantas and Emirates are some examples of commercial airlines.

 

Compliant

In terms of how "compliant" is used in an AA Life application, it means "acting in accordance with" e.g. another way of saying "Have you been fully compliant with medical advice?" is "Have you been following all the medical advice fully?"

 

Concussion

A kind of injury caused by trauma to the brain where the head and brain move rapidly back and forth, causing the brain to bounce around or twist in the skull and resulting in chemical changes and sometimes damage. Some of the signs and symptoms include confusion or feeling dazed, clumsiness, nausea, balance problems, ringing in the ears, noise or light sensitivity.

 

Congenital

A word used to describe something present from birth.

 

CREST

Is a connective tissue disorder and a type of scleroderma (which means "hardened skin"). Sometimes it can affect the digestive tract, heart, lungs or kidneys.

CREST refers to the 5 main features involved: Calcinosis, Raynaud's Phenomenon, Eosphageal dysmotility, Sclerodactyl, Telangiectasia.

CREST syndrome

limited cutaneous form of systemic sclerosis

lcSSc

Limited Scleroderma

Crohn's disease

An inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) that can lead to things like abdominal pain, severe diarrhoea, fatigue, weight loss and malnutrition. 

 

Cyst

A fluid-filled sac that can occur in tissue in any part of the body.

 

Deep Vein Thrombosis

Is a blood clot that develops within a deep vein in the body, usually in the leg, which can lead to serious health complications.

DVT

Dementia

A mental disorder characterised by a progressive loss of intellectual abilities, impairment of memory, judgement and personality changes. There are several forms of dementia, with Alzheimer's disease being the most common.

 

Depression

A mental health disorder characterised by persistent low moods.

 

Dermatitis

A general term used to describe inflammation of the skin

 

Diabetes

A disease where the body doesn't use the insulin effectively and/or doesn't produce enough insulin (used  to transport sugar in the blood stream into cells where it can be used); If not properly treated, the blood sugar levels in the blood stream rise to unhealthy levels.

There are 3 types of diabetes with the main differences between them being as follows:

* Gestational diabetes - where diabetes occurs in a mother during pregnancy. The diagnosis may later change to type 2 diabetes if the diabetes continues beyond pregnancy. Gestational diabetes doesn't necessarily require insulin injections.

* Type 1 diabetes / Insulin Dependent Diabetes Mellitus (IDDM): People who have IDDM MUST be treated with insulin e.g. have insulin injections.

* Type 2 diabetes / Non Insulin Dependent Diabetes Mellitus (NIDDM): People who have NIDDM don'tnecessarily have to be treated with insulin (though they may be).

Diabetes Mellitus

High blood sugar

Diagnose

Diagnosed

Diagnosis

Undiagnosed

To diagnose means to classify or determine on the basis of scientific examination.

Example: A person sees a doctor because (s)he feels sick, the doctor is unable to determine what the sickness is and no diagnosis is made i.e. at this time, the sickness is undiagnosed.

The doctor then refers the person for some tests and from those tests, determines the unwellness is due to a kidney infection i.e.  the person has been diagnosed with a kidney infection.

 

Dialysis

Dialysis is a procedure to remove waste products and excess fluid from the blood when the kidneys stop working properly. It often involves running a person's blood through a machine that cleans it.

 

Diastolic

This is the bottom number, or the number to the right of the "/" symbol in a full blood pressure reading.

For example, in the blood pressure reading 120/80, the "80" is the diastolic part of the reading.

The diastolic reading measures the pressure in the arteries between heartbeats (when the heart muscle is resting between beats and refilling with blood).

 

Digestive tract

The digestive tract is made up of the mouth, throat, stomach, small & large intestines and anus.

 

Disorder

In a medical context, simply means a medical problem.

 

Eczema

A condition that causes the skin to become itchy, red, dry and cracked. Atopic eczema/dermatitis is the most common form of eczema.

Atopic dermatitis

Emphysema (Em-fih-seem-ah)

Is a form of long-term lung disease. Often emphysema is caused by cigarette smoking.

 

Endometriosis

Disorder where  the tissue that normally lines the inside of the uterus (endometrium) growns outside the uterus and typically involves the ovaries, fallopian tubes and tissue lining the pelvis.

 

Epilepsy

Epilepsy is a neurological/nervous disorder with symptoms that include episodes of seizures, sensory disturbances, abnormal behaviour and loss of consciousness.

 

Erectile Dysfunction

The inability to get and get an erection firm enough for sex. It can be a symptom of an underlying condition and/or impact one's health.

ED

Impotence

Family History 

A family history of disease or death, especially occurring at younger ages, may imply that a person is also at increased risk for the same or related illness.

Please note that on the AA Life  insurance application any questions we do ask about your family history are limited to being about your parents, brothers and sisters only.

 

Fatty liver

A condition where there is a build up of extra fat in one's liver.

 

Fistula

An abnormal connection between an organ and another structure.

 

Floating kidney

A condition where the kidney drops down into the pelvis when a person stands up.

Nephroptosis

Gall Bladder

Small organ located just beneath the liver that stores bile (which plays a part in digestion) before releasing it into the intestine.

Gallbladder

Gallstone

Is a hardened deposit of digestive fluid that has formed in the gallbladder.

 

Gestational diabetes

A disease where the body doesn't use the insulin effectively and/or doesn't produce enough insulin (used  to transport sugar in the blood stream into cells where it can be used); If not properly treated, the blood sugar levels in the blood stream rise to unhealthy levels.

Gestational diabetes is a particular type of diabetes that occurs in a mother during pregnancy. The diagnosis may later change to type 2 diabetes if the diabetes continues beyond pregnancy. Gestational diabetes doesn't necessarily require insulin injections.

Pregnancy related diabetes

Pregnancy-related diabetes

Diabetes while pregnant

Gestational Diabetes Mellitus

Gestational DM

Gland

An organ that produces and releases chemical substances that perform specific functions within the body

Human glands include the hypothalamus, pineal gland, pituatary gland, thyroid, parathyroid, thymus, adrenal, pancreas, ovaries and testes.

 

Goitre

Is a swelling or enlargement of the thyroid gland and that doesn't necessarily indicate the presence of a tumour or cancer.

Goiter

Gout

Painful and common form of arthritis that mostly affects the big toe but other joints can be affected. It is caused by an excessive amount of uric acid in the bloodstream, that affects the joints. Treatment for gout involves managing uric acid levels in the bloodstream.

 

Gender dysphoria (dis-forr-ee-ah)

Where a person experiences discomfort or distress due to a mismatch between their biological sex and their gender identity.

Gender incongruance

General Practitioner

A general medical doctor who provides medical care in the community.

GP

General Physician

Regular doctor

Growth

Something that has grown or is in the process of growing.

 

Haemmorhoids

Swellings containing enlarged blood vessels found inside or around the bottom (the rectum and anus).

Piles

Haemochromatosis (heem-o-chrome-a-toe-sis)

A condition in which iron levels in the body build up over many years - unless successfully treated.

Iron overload

Haemophilia

Is a condition that affects the blood's ability to clot and can result in excessive bleeding.

 

HbA1c

HbA1c is your average blood glucose (sugar) levels for the last 2 to 3 months. Mmol/mol is a ratio of two compounds and is the typical unit of measurement for HbA1c. HbA1c is the gold standard for monitoring diabetic control and also very commonly used in diagnosing diabetes also.

Haemoglobin A1c

Heart attack

A heart attack happens when there is a sudden complete blockage of an artery that supplies blood to an area of your heart. Some of the heart muscle then starts to die and if the blood flow isn't restored in time, the damage to the heart muscle could be permanent.

Myocardial infarction

MI

Heart defect

Is a problem with a structure of the heart. A congenital heart defect is a heart defect present from birth.

 

Heart murmur

Where a person's heartbeat has an extra or unusual sound caused by blood flow disruption throgh the heart. 

 

Heart disease

Heart Disease is a term used to refer to a range of diseases affecting the heart including diseases of blood vessels such as Coronary Artery Disease (CAD), heart rhythm problems (arrhythmias), heart infections, and heart disorders of the heart muscle and valves.

 

Hepatitis

Refers to inflammation of the liver and can be caused by a number of things including but not limited to viruses (viral hepatitis) and toxins. There are 5 types of viral hepatitis known as hepatitis A, B, C, D & E.

 

Hernia

Is where an internal part of the body pushes through a weak part of the muscle or surrounding wall of tissue.

 

High Blood Pressure

Common condition in which the force of the blood against your artery walls is high. Blood pressure refers to the amount of pressure on the walls of your arteries.

*Diastolic: This is the bottom number, or the number to the right of the "/" symbol in a full blood pressure reading.
For example, in the blood pressure reading 120/80, the "80" is the diastolic part of the reading.
The diastolic reading measures the pressure in the arteries between heartbeats (when the heart muscle is resting between beats and refilling with blood).
*
Systolic: This is the top number, or the number to the left of the "/" symbol in a full blood pressure reading.
For example, in the blood pressure reading 120/80, the "120" is the systolic part of the reading.
The systolic reading measures the pressure in the arteries when the heart beats (when the heart muscle contracts).

Hypertension

Human Immunodeficiency Virus

A virus that weakens the immunity of cells in the body (that fight off infections and disease). The virus is primarily spread by sexual contact. It can also be transmitted by infected blood or blood products. It may advance to Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) where the body's cells have severely reduced immunity and are particularly vulnerable to infection and cancer.

HIV

HPV

A type of virus that is very common and certain sub-types of it carry an increased risk of cervical cancer in females.

Human Pappilomavirus

Huntington's Disease

It is an inherited (genetic) condition that affects the brain and nervous system that causes a person’s functional abilities to worsen over time.

Huntington's Chorea

Hypothyroidism

Condition in which the thyroid gland does not make enough thyroid hormone.

Underactive thyroid

Hyperthyroidism

Condition in which the thyroid gland makes too much thyroid hormone.

Overactive thyroid

Graves' disease

Hypospadias

A condition where the open end of the urethral tube is located somewhere along the underside of the penis or scrotum instead of where it's normally found at the tip of the penis.

 

Illegal drugs

Drugs that one is not allowed (i.e. against the law) to produce, sell, distribute or consume.

 

Impaired

Weakened, diminished, damaged, or functioning poorly or inadequately. 

 

Impaired Glucose Tolerance

A state where the levels of blood glucose (blood sugar) are inbetween normal and diabetic levels. People that have this condition are not diabetic but are generally considered to be at a higher risk of becoming diabetic in the future. 

IGT

Prediabetes

Borderline diabetes

Immune system

A network of cells, tissues and organs that work together to protect the body from things like viruses, bacteria and foreign bodies. 

 

In situ

In the context of cancer or tumour, "in situ" means that the cancer or tumour cells have not spread from their site of origin and invaded neighbouring tissue or gone elsewhere in the body.

In-situ

Non-invasive

Non invasive

Inflammation

In general terms, inflammation is the body's immune system's response to an irritant or injury. More specifically, it’s a localized response which serves to destroy, dilute or wall off whatever is causing the irritation or injury and any damaged tissue. Signs and symptoms of inflammation include heat, redness, swelling, pain and loss of function.

 

Irregular

Aberrant, abnormal, atypical or untypical.

 

Irregular heart beat

An abnormal condition where one's heart beats, too fast, too slow or irregularly.

Arrhythmia

Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Common digestive system condition that's usually long-term. It's main symptoms are stomach pain or cramps, bloating, diarrhoea, constipation and there is no test for it - typically it will be diagnosed where other conditions suspected of causing the symptoms have been ruled out. 

IBS

I.B.S

Kidney donation

Where one of a person's two kidneys is donated to someone in need of one. Usually, the remaining kidney enables the donor to live a full life without kidney-related complications.

 

Kidney Failure

Kidney failure refers to the loss of ability by the kidney to function properly, for example excrete wastes or concentrate urine. It can be sudden and temporary or a longer, chronic occurrence.

Renal failure

Kidney stone(s)

Where waste products in the blood condense into crystals within the kidney or kidneys and over time, grow into stone-like masses.

 

Lesion

A lesion is a region in an organ or tissue that has suffered damage through injury or disease.

 

Leukaemia

Leukaemia is a malignant disease (cancer) that affects the blood and bone marrow.

Cancer of the blood cells

Liver Function Test

Blood test which measures levels of several substances excreted by the liver. Abnormalities in these levels can indicate liver problems.

LFT

Low Blood Pressure

Condition in which the force of the blood against your artery walls is low.

Blood pressure refers to the amount of pressure on the walls of your arteries.

*Diastolic: This is the bottom number, or the number to the right of the "/" symbol in a full blood pressure reading.
For example, in the blood pressure reading 120/80, the "80" is the diastolic part of the reading.
The diastolic reading measures the pressure in the arteries between heartbeats (when the heart muscle is resting between beats and refilling with blood).
*
Systolic: This is the top number, or the number to the left of the "/" symbol in a full blood pressure reading.
For example, in the blood pressure reading 120/80, the "120" is the systolic part of the reading.
The systolic reading measures the pressure in the arteries when the heart beats (when the heart muscle contracts).

Hypotension

Lupus

Is a long term autoimmune disease in which the immune system becomes overactive and attacks normal, healthy tissue. There are 2 main forms: Discoid lupus and Systemic Lupus (SLE)

 

Lymphoma

Lymphoma is a malignant disease (cancer) originating from white blood cells called lymphocytes.

Cancer of the lymph nodes

Mammogram

A mammogram is a safe low dose x-ray of the breast tissue, to check for breast cancer.

Breast screening

Marijuana

A drug made up of the dried and shredded leaves, stems, seeds and flowers of the hemp plant (Cannibas Sativa).
It is used in a variety of ways, including being eaten, drunk (tea), smoked, breathed in through a water pipe (bong).
Other names that it may be called include: Pot, grass, herb, weed, Mary Jane, reefer, skunk, boom, gangster, kif, chronic and ganja.

Cannibas

Hash

Hashish

Hemp

Mastitis

Condition that causes breast tissue to become painful and inflamed. It's most commonly seen in breastfeeding women and in the first three months after giving birth. 

 

Medical test

Any medical procedure performed to detect, diagnose, or monitor diseases / disorders, their processes and susceptibilities. May or may not involve the use of specialised testing equipment.

Medical investigation

Medical check

Melanoma

A melanoma is predominantly a type of skin cancer, although some may form at other sites, including the eye or gastrointestinal or genitourinary tract.

Skin cancer (one of several types)

Menstrual condition

A condition relating to a woman's period / monthly cycle.

 

Mental Illness/Disorder

Any of a variety of illnesses/disorders in which a person's thoughts, emotions or behaviour are so abnormal as to cause suffering to himself, herself or other people.

Mental Health condition

Mole

A mole or nevus is a dark spot on our skin comprised of skin cells called melanocytes that have grown in a group rather than individually. Moles are usually brown or black and can appear anywhere on the skin, alone or in groups.

Naevus

Motor Neuron Disease

Motor neuron diseases are a group of neurological disorders that destroy motor neurons, the cells that control voluntary muscle activity such as speaking, walking, breathing and swallowing.

The main types are:

- Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)

- Progressive bulbar palsy (PBP)

- Progressive muscular atrophy (PMA)

- Primary lateral sclerosis (PLS)

MND

ALS

PBP

PMA

PLS

Multiple Sclerosis

Multiple Sclerosis is a chronic, inflammatory disease that

affects the brain and central nervous system.

MS

Muscle strain

Is the stretching or tearing of muscle fibers. Most occur because the muscle has streched beyond it's limits or because they've been forced to contract too strongly.

Pulled muscle

Muscular Dystrophy

The muscular dystrophies are a group of genetic diseases characterised by progressive weakness and degeneration of the skeletal muscles that control movement.

 

Nausea

A feeling of sickness with an inclination to vomit

 

Nervous System

Note the the nervous system doesn't just refer to the nerves. It refers to the system of cells, tissues and organs that regulates the body's responses to internal and external stimuli. In humans it consists of the brain, spinal cord, nerves, ganglia and parts of the receptor and effector organs.

Neurological (essentially means "to do with the nervous system")

Neurogenic bladder

Abormal condition of the bladder where the nerves that control it's function are damaged and prevent the sufferer from being able to fully empty it.

 

Non-cancerous skin lesion

A region of skin that has suffered damage through injury or disease and that is not cancerous. Eczema, psoriasis and benign cysts near the surface of the skin are 3 examples.

Benign skin lesion

One-off

Something done once only. An isolated event.

 

Osteoporosis

Condition that causes bones to become brittle, weak and more likely to fracture.

 

Pancreas

A large gland behind the stomach which secretes digestive enzymes into the duodenum. Secretes hormones and insulin into the blood.

 

Pancreatitis

Condition where the pancreas becomes inflamed. 

 

Pap smear

A pap smear is a screening method to detect pre-cancerous cells of the cervix.

An abnormal pap smear result may be due to the sample being insufficient, or it may be due to the discovery of cells suspected or known having an increased cancer risk e.g. HPV, CIN1, CIN2, CIN3.

Smear test

Cervical smear

Paralysis

The loss of the ability to move (and sometimes to feel anything) in part or most of the body, typically as a result of illness, poison, or injury.

 

Parents

For the purposes of this application, we mean biological parents i.e. not step parents or parental guardians.

 

Parkinson's Disease

Is a disorder of part of the brain. It mainly affects the way the brain co-ordinates the movements of the

muscles in various part of the body where symptoms usually include stiffness, shaking (tremor) and slowness of movement.

PD

Peri-natal depression

Depression suffered during the time just before and just after childbirth, typically arising from the combination of hormonal changes, psychological adjustment to motherhood, and fatigue. 

 

Persistent

Continuing to exist or occur over a prolonged period.

 

Pneumonia

Is an infection in one or both lungs caused by bacteria, viruses or fungi. It causes the air sacs in the lungs to fill with pus or fluid which in turn causes breathing difficulties.

 

Polycystic Kidney Disease

Is a condition where many cysts develop in the kidneys.

PKD

Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome

Condition affecting how a woman's ovaries function with sufferers having at least two of:

* Irregular periods,

* Excessive amounts of the hormone androgen,

* Enlarged ovaries that contain many fluid-filled sacs.

PCOS

P.C.O.S

Polyp

Polyps are abnormal tissue growths that most often look like small, flat bumps or tiny mushroomlike stalks. Some polyps are benign and can't turn into cancer whereas others can. Polyps most commonly occur in the colon but can occur elsewhere in the body.

 

Post-natal Depression

Depression suffered following childbirth, typically arising from the combination of hormonal changes, psychological adjustment to motherhood, and fatigue. 

Postnatal depression

Post natal depression

PND

Postpartum depression

PPD

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

In post traumatic stress disorder there are commonly flashbacks, nightmares and vivid recollections of an initiating traumatic event, the defining characteristics of which include the ability to invoke fear, horror or helplessness in response to the threat of injury or death.

PTSD

Premalignant

A condition that may (or is likely to) become cancer.

Precancerous

Pre-malignant

Pre-cancerous

Prostate disorder

The prostate is a gland about the size of a walnut found in men that secretes a fluid that forms a part of semen. A prostate disorder is any abnormal condition of this gland.

 

Psoriasis

A skin condition that causes red, flaky, crusty, scale-like skin that are normally located on the sufferer's elbows, knees, scalp or lower back. It usually has periods where the symptoms disappear or are relatively mild followed by periods where they return or are of greater severity.

 

Psychotic disorders

Involves a sufferer's losing contact with reality and experiencing a range of extreme symptoms that typically include:

* Hallucinations (hearing or seeing things that aren't real e.g. voices)

* Delusions (believing things that aren't tue).

Schizophrenia is an example of a psychotic disorder.

 

Reactive depression

There are many different factors that can trigger depression. For some people, upsetting or stressful life events, such as grief or bereavement, divorce, illness, redundancy, job or money worries, can be the cause.

This is often known as 'reactive depression', where depression is a reaction to the event.

Note that while grief and depression have several characteristics in common, grief is an entirely natural response to a loss whereas depression is an illness.

 

Recreational drugs

Refers to legal and illegal drugs that are used without medical supervision and for non-medical reasons such as enjoyment or leisure. This includes but is not limited to synthetic cannibas.

 

Recurrent

Something that happens repeatedly (though not necessarily at regular intervals)

 

Reflux / GORD

Common condition whre stomach acide leaks up into the oesophagus (gullet), damaging it.

Reflux oesophagitis

Gastro-Oespophageal Reflux Disease

Reproductive system

The organs involved in the production of offspring.

Where biological sex is female, it includes the ovaries, fallopian tubes, uterus, cervix and the vagina.

Where biological sex is male, it includes the prostate, the testes (testicles) and the penis.

 

Respiratory condition

The human respiratory system is a series of organs responsible for breathing (mainly the lungs) and a respiratory condition is a condition affecting those organs.

 

Scleroderma

Condition that results in hard, thickened skin areas and also sometimes internal organs and blood vessels as a result of the immune system attacking connective tissue in the affected areas.

 

Schizophrenia

Schizophrenia is a type of mental illness of unknown cause with characteristics that can include hallucinations, disorganised speech, paranoia, blunted mood, delusions, withdrawal from reality, illogical thinking and other symptoms.

 

Sign

In a medical context, a sign is any objective evidence of a disease or disorder i.e. a person other than the person with the sign, can identify it and without need of the person with the sign having to explain what they're experiencing; For example, a doctor might identify a rash on a person who is unaware of it's existence.

 

Sisters

For the purposes of this application, we mean biological sisters i.e. not step sisters or adopted sisters.

 

Skin Cancer

Cancer of the skin , of which there are 3 common types: Basal Cell Carcinoma (BCC), Squamous Cell Carcinoma (SCC) and Melanoma.

Basal Cell Carcinoma

BCC

Melanoma

Squamous Cell Carcinoma

SCC

Sleep disorder

Sleep disorders are abnormal conditions that affect one's sleep and involve problems with the quality, timing and amount of sleep.

 

Sleep Apnoea

Is a common and potentially serious condition in which a person stops breathing for periods of time while asleep. The 2 main types of sleep apnoea are Obstructuve Sleep Apnoea and Restrictive Sleep Apnoea.

Obstructive Sleep Apnoea

OSA

Restrictive Sleep Apnoea

Sleep apnea

Specialist

A medical physician who has additional training and expertise in a specific area of medicine e.g. a Cardiologist is a heart specialist.

 

Sponge Kidney

Is a condition present from birth but not usually noticed until many years later,  where tiny cysts form within an inner part of the kidney, that appear sponge-like. These cysts affect the flow of urine where they're present.

Medullary sponge kidney

Cacchi-Ricci disease

Standard drink (of alcohol)

* A normal sized can of beer  of approx 330mL,can be considered a standard drink.
* A glass of
wine of approx 100mL  (as typically served by licensed bars and restaurants) can be considered a standard drink.
* A
30mL nip, tot or shot of spirits, (as typically served by licensed bars and restaurants) can be considered standard drink.

 

Stroke

A Stroke occurs when the blood supply to part of the brain is interrupted or severely reduced, depriving brain tissue of oxygen and food. Minutes without blood cause the brain cells to die.

 

Symptom

A feature (physical or mental), that's regarded as indicating a disease or disorder that is apparent to the person experiencing it. Feelings of pain or fatigue are examples as the person experiencing them has to communicate them to be known by someone else (such as a doctor for example).

Signs can also be identified by someone other than the individual that has them without the person experiencing them communicating their awareness of it e.g. a doctor might notice a rash on a person who is unaware of it's existence.

 

Systolic

This is the top number, or the number to the left of the "/" symbol in a full blood pressure reading.

For example, in the blood pressure reading 120/80, the "120" is the systolic part of the reading.

The systolic reading measures the pressure in the arteries when the heart beats (when the heart muscle contracts).

 

Thyroid

Gland in the neck that secretes hormones that control growth and development via metabolism (the chemical processes that occur within us in order to keep us alive)

 

Tonsils

Are a pair of soft tissue masses located at the back of the throat. They are part of the lymphatic system, that helps fight infections.

 

Testicular disorders

Any abnormal condition of the testicle or testicles (also known as the testes).

 

Thalassaemia

Condition of the blood where people don't produce enough haemoglobin or perhaps none at all. There are several types of Thalassaemia.

Note that haemoglobin is used in red blood cells to carry oxygen around the body.

Thalassemia

Thyroiditis

Thyroiditis is the inflammation (swelling) of the thyroid gland, resulting in abnormal levels of thyroid hormones in the blood.

Hashimoto's disease, also known as Hashimoto's thyroiditis, is one of the forms of thyroiditis caused by the immune system attacking the thyroid gland. 

Hashimoto's disease

Transient Ischaemic attack

(Ischaemic is pronounced "Iss-key-mick"

Is a cerebrovascular event resulting in reversible neurological symptoms that usually last a few minutes. Most symptoms resolve within an hour, but by timebased definition symptoms must resolve within 24 hours.

TIA

Mini-stroke

Mini stroke

Transplant

For the purposes of this application, a transplant is where something healthy from one person's body is transferred to another person's body who is in need of it for example a kidney transplant or liver transplant.

 

Tumour

An abnormal mass of tissue that may be solid or fluid-filled and may be benign (non-cancerous) or malignant (cancerous). They may also be pre-malignant (pre-cancerous) meaning that they're not cancerous yet but may (or are likely to) do so.

Neoplasm

Type 1 diabetes

A disease where the body doesn't use the insulin effectively and/or doesn't produce enough insulin (used  to transport sugar in the blood stream into cells where it can be used); If not properly treated, the blood sugar levels in the blood stream rise to unhealthy levels.

People who have Type 1 specifically, MUST be treated with insulin e.g. have insulin injections.

Type one diabetes

T1DM

IDDM

Insulin dependent diabetes mellitus

Type 2 diabetes

A disease where the body doesn't use the insulin effectively and/or doesn't produce enough insulin (used  to transport sugar in the blood stream into cells where it can be used); If not properly treated, the blood sugar levels in the blood stream rise to unhealthy levels.

People who have type 2 specifically, don't necessarily have to be treated with insulin (though they may be).

Type two diabetes

T2DM

NIDDM

Non insulin dependent diabetes mellitus

Ulcerative Colitis

Colitis is inflammation of the colon. Ulcerative colitis is a common variant where ulcers develop (when the lining of the colon is damaged and the tissue beneath is exposed).

Ulcerated colitis

Colitis with ulcers

UC

Urinary tract

The body's drainage system for removing urine. It includes the kidneys, ureters and bladder. 

 

Unusual

For the purposes of this application, this means something abnormal or extraordinary for any normal, healthy person (as opposed to something that might be usual/normal for you because you've had it for a long time and are used to it).

 

Uterine Fibroid

Uterine Fibroids are types of growths made up of fibrous and muscle tissue located in or around the uterus (womb).

Fibroid of the Uterus

Uterine myoma

Uterine leimyoma

Weight loss surgery

A procedure used to treat severe obesity and related conditions.

Bariatric surgery

Biliopancreatic diversion with duodenal switch

Gastric bypass

Gastric banding

Gastric stapling

Gastroplasty

Roux-en-Y

Sleeve Gastrectomy

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AA Life is a partnership between The New Zealand Automobile Association Incorporated (AA) and Suncorp Group New Zealand Limited. Asteron Life Limited is Suncorp New Zealand's specialist life insurer and underwrites AA Life's products.

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Asteron Life Limited has been given an A+ financial strength rating by Standard & Poor’s.

Financial advice

Our website provides general information about our products and services to help you make choices when it comes to protecting the things in life that really matter. The information doesn’t take into account your personal circumstances, needs or goals and is not intended to be financial advice.

If you'd like to receive financial advice, you can get professional advice from an adviser who’s registered under the Financial Advisers Act 2008.