Glossary

(A) (B) (C) (D) (E) (F) (G) (H) (I) (J) (K) (L) (M) (N) (O) (P) (Q) (R) (S) (T) (U) (V) (W) (Y) (Z)
A
Acute
Describes a disease of rapid onset, severe symptoms and brief duration. Acute abdomen as with ectopic pregnancy or ruptured ovarian cysts. (See pain).

Adipose tissue
The fat storage tissue of the body.

Abdomen
Belly. The area of the body below the lungs and above the hips. Internally known as the peritoneal cavity. (see peritoneal cavity)

Adhesions
Used in medicine to describe the abnormal attachment of organs to each other by fibrous scar tissue. Caused usually by trauma to tissue from an injury or surgery. Endometriosis causes adhesion formation in the peritoneal cavity from the congealed sticky blood strands. (see endometriosis and peritoneal cavity).

Aflotoxins
A poisinous substance in the spore of fungus which affects peanuts.

Allergy
A hypersensitive immune response acquired by some individuals to environmental substances. These environmental substances are called allergens, the most common of which are pollen, dust and animal dander. With foodstuffs the most common allergens are wheat, dairy and citrus fruits. (see immune system)

Amenorrhoea
The absence of the menstrual period (monthly bleeding). (See menstrual cycle and menstrual period)

Amino acid
The fundamental chemical constituents of all proteins. (see proteins) The digestive tract breaks down proteins into amino acids in order for that portion to be absorbed into the blood stream. Used as building blocks by the body to produce hormones, enzymes, prostaglandins, etc..

Analgesic
A drug that relieves pain.

Anabolic hormones
Hormones which stimulate the formation of the larger chemicals of the body from the smaller precursor chemicals. For instance an anabolic hormone stimulates the building up of body proteins, like muscle proteins, from amino acids. Testosterone is an anabolic hormone which is built up from oils and proteins. (The opposite to catabolism).

Anaemia
A condition in which the blood has a deficient number of red blood cells (RBCs) or haemaglobin, the iron based molecule in RBCs that carries oxygen in the blood. (see red blood cells). Anaemia may be caused by deficiencies of iron, copper, B12 or B6.

Anorexia nervosa
An illness common in female adolescents, in which the patients starve themselves or use other techniques, such as vomiting or taking laxatives, to induce weight loss. Motivated by a false perception of their bodies as fat. Linked to deficiencies in iron and zinc. Zinc is used by 20 enzymes in the brain and by the hypothalamus - the seat of appetite control.

Anovulatory
No ovulation occurs during the menstrual cycle. (see LUFs)

Ascorbic acid
Vitamin C. (see vitamin C)

Antagonist
A substance such as a vitamin or mineral whose action opposes that of another. It has the opposite action which it inhibits. Thus taking zinc at the same time as iron can cut down the absorption of both. They should be taken at different times.

Antibiotics
Drugs that inhibit the growth of microorganisms. Prolonged use may disrupt gut flora and oestrogen excretion. Use probiotics after taking a course of antibiotics will replace the bifido bacteria.(see probiotics)

Antibody
A 'Y' shaped protein (produced by the immune system B-lymphocytes) that attacks matter that is 'alien' to the body. (see immune system)

Antigens
Substances that are 'alien' to the body and which elicit an immune response when they enter the body. (see immune system) e.g. virus and bacteria

ART
Assisted reproductive technology. The use of processes like IVF, GIFT and ICSI to help infertile couple conceive. (see IVF, GIFT, ICSI)

Autoimmune disease
When the immune system wrongly attacks it's own tissue and treats it as if it were 'alien' matter. A false recognition pattern seems to evolve.

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Bacteria
A loosely used term that refers to microorganisms that are usually rod shaped and are not viruses or fungi. Some bacteria such as the bifido bacteria in our gut are beneficial. Other types of bacteria are dangerous to health. e.g. salmonella

Biochemistry
The chemistry of living organisms.

Bioflavinoids
Give colour to leaves and plants. Used to be called vitamin P.Strengthen cappilary wals and help prevent bruising. Found in fruits and vegetables.

Blastocyst
An early stage of embryonic development that occurs at 7-8 days after fertilization. A blastocyst consists of a hollow ball of cells with a localised thickening that will develop into the embryo. (see embryo and zygote) Diagram on Page xxx of Chapter 2.

Bonds
In chemistry, the physical (magnetic, electrical and chemical) forces that keep atoms of a molecule attached to each other.

Bone Marrow
Cells found in the centre of the long bones (femur etc.) that manufacture most of the blood cells.

Boron
Boron works very much like oestrogen to prevent loss of minerals from the bone and oesteoporosis. Synergy with vitamin D and calcium.Modulates immune and inflammatory processes..

Brain
The enlarged and highly developed mass of nervous tissue that forms the upper end of the central nervous system. Encased in the skull. It sends nervous ganglia throughout the body to recieve and send messages. Two-thirds of the brain is built up of oils. It relies on nutrients to pass messages across gaps and the neurotransmitters are based on proteins.

Bulimia
Insatiable overeating, due to neurological causes. The hypothalamus may be at fault.

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Caffeine
An alkaloid drug, obtained from coffee, chocolate, coke and tea, that has a stimulant action, particularly on the central nervous and reproductive systems.

Calcium
Metallic element essential for the normal development and functioning of the body - constituent of bones and teeth, muscle function. Its uptake is facilitated by Vitamin D. Works in the immune and nervous systems.

Calorie
A unit of measure used to determine the amount of energy in foodstuffs. It is equal to the amount of energy that would be able to raise the temperature of one gram of water one degree Centigrade.

Cancer
Malignant growth of abnormal cells which may invade and spread to other parts of the body and can cause death.

Candida Albicans
A genus of yeast (fungus) that is commonly found in the human gut flora. In some individuals Candida Albicans will overwhelm the digestive and immune system. If a yeast infection develops it can lead to food intolerances and disrupt normal hormonal regulation..

Carbohydrate
A group of compounds, including the sugars and starch and fibres (non-starch polysaccharides), that contain carbon, hydrogen and oxygen. Used by the body for energy production but excess intake is converted to fat and stored in adipose tissue. Fibre is essential to health and should be eaten daily.

Carcinogenic
A substance or action that causes cancer, e.g. bar-b-qued foods, burnt food, chemicals, pesticides.

Catabolic hormones
Hormones which stimulate the breakdown of the larger chemicals of the body to form smaller precursor chemicals. For instance some catabolic hormone stimulates the breakdown of body proteins, like muscle proteins, into amino acids (muscle wasting). The opposite to anabolism.

Cataracts
Clouding of the lens of the eye resulting in blurred vision..

Cell
The basic unit of all living organisms, which can reproduce itself exactly using the DNA blueprint at its core.. A group of cells is referred to as a tissue. The body is made up of many different types of cell - nerve, immune, sperm, connective tissue fat cells.etc.

Cell-mediated immunity
This involves free-floating white cells in the blood stream which neutralise 'alien' invaders.

Cell Membrane
The phospholipid layer which protects the cell organelles from damage, allowing substances to move in and out. Made up from oils. (see cytoplasm)

Cellulose
A fibrous carbohydrate consisting of linked glucose units that can not be digested by the human. It passes through the body unchanged but as it is able to absorb water, cholesterol and oestrogens. It speeds up excretion time and helps the body rid itself of harmful toxins. The cell walls of all fruts, vegetables, cereals, nuts, seeds are made of cellulose.

Cervix
The small opening of the uterus into the vagina. (see uterus and vagina)

Chelate
A chemical substance which attaches in a claw like manner to metals and can prevent the metals, especially, heavy metals such as lead, mercury, cadmium from hurting the body.

Chemotoxins
hemicals which have a toxic effect in the body.

Chlamydia
A virus-like bacteria which causes damage to the reproductive system leading to infertility. Studies show 81.7% of women under 25 years to be infected.

Cholecalciferol
See vitamin D.

Choriocarcinoma
Highly invasive malignant tumor that can develop from the chorion, a membrane that surrounds the foetus. (see chorion) Hydratidform mole occurs when the blastocyst turns cancerous.

Chorion
The embryonic membrane that totally surrounds the embryo and serves as a protective barrier while in uterus. (see embryo)

Chromosomes
Thread-like structures in the cell nucleus that carry genetic information. The human has 46 chromosomes. (see gene and DNA)

Chromium
Needed for glucose tolerance factor along with B3. Used for fatty acid synthesis. Deficiency leads to heart disease.

Chronic
Describes a disease of long duration involving slow changes. (See endometriosis and pain).

Cis-fatty acid
The natural form in which oils exist. Builds a strong cell membrane. Found only in cold-pressed oils.

Clomiphene
A synthetic nonsteroidal compound used in IVF that stimulates the pituitary to produce hormones (FSH & LH) that induces follicular growth and egg development by the ovary. (see FSH, LH and ovarian follicle)

Codeine
An analgesic derived from morphine but less potent as a pain killer and sedative and is less toxic.

Collagen
The main supportive protein of the skin, tendons, bone. It relies on upatke of vitamins A and C essential fatty acids and zinc for its formation.

Complementary Medicine
Systems of healing which complement orthodox medicine, including homeopathy, herbal remedies, acupuncture, osteopathy, chiropractic, holistic, naturopathy, hydrotherapy and faith healing.

Conception
In reproduction, conception refers to the process of fertilization of the egg when the egg and sperm collide and new life begins. (see fertilization and pronuclei)

Congenital
From birth.

Constipation
Difficult, incomplete, or infrequent evacuation of the bowel. Insufficient fibre is being eaten which reduces water uptake. This leads to a build up of harmful toxins and reduced excretion of cholesterol, oestrogens. Related to some food intolerances, wheat, bananas, cheese and eggs can trigger constipation. Vitamin C and magnesium are known to soften stools.

Cytoplasm
The fluid matrix inside the living cell which surround all the organelles. (see cell) and diagram in chapter 2

Corpus luteum (CL)
The structure that forms from the follicles of the ovary after ovulation. The corpus luteum produces the hormone progesterone which supports the pregnant state. (see ovary, ovulation and progesterone)

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Department of Health
A department of central government in the UK that supports the Secretary of State for Health in meeting his obligations which include the National Health Service and the prevention and control of infectious diseases.

Dermatitis
Infection or irritation of the skin

Dietitian
A trained dietitian looks at a person's calorie intake and assesses which foods should be eaten whilst they are ill or overweight.

Diethylstilbestrol (DES)
A synthetic oestrogen used as a drug replacement for natural oestrogen. DES given to pregnant women to prevent abortion in the 1960's was found to cause abnormal development of their developing baby's reproductive tract.

Dioxins
A powerful toxin used in industrial processes and as an aerial herbicide. Used in 'agent orange' during the Viet Nam. Known to damage the reproductive system due to its oestrogenic effect on body cells and thought to be a carcinogen. Stored in body fat so care must be taken when dieting to go slowly. Powerful immunosuppressants.

D-gamma linolenic acid (DGLA)
An omega 6 essential fatty acid found in evening primrose oil.

Diabetes mellitus
An endocrine disease caused by insufficient insulin production by the pancreas. Blood sugars, like glucose, are not used properly by the body cells of people with diabetes mellitus. (see pancreas). There is a new research link between low insulin levels and polycystic ovaries.

Diet
The mixture of foods that a person eats. A 'balanced' diet contains adequate quantities of all the macro and micro-nutrients. As we are all unique individuals our needs will vary.

DL Phenylalanine (DLPA)
Phenylalanine is an amino acid that occurs as two mirror images, the L and D form. The L form occurs naturally in the body and the D form is man made. DL Phenylalanine is a mixture of the L and D forms and is used for pain relief, as an appetite suppresant and works an anti-depressant..

DNA
Deoxyrobonucleic acid. The scientific name for the chemical that our genes are composed from. (see gene and chromosome) It is found in all living cells and acts as a blueprint for cell reproduction and renewal. If part of the DNA is corrupted then cell mutations can occur.

Dopamine
A hormone which is found in the adrenals and brain.

Dyspareunia
Painful or difficult sexual intercourse experienced by a woman. Can be caused in endometriosis if adhesions stick organs together or with large ovarian cysts or internal inflammation.

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Eczema
A non-contagious inflammation of the skin that is characterized with redness, itching and sometimes sores. May be related in some to dairy intolerances and low fatty acid intake.

Edema/oedema
Swelling, retention of fluid in spaces between cells. Soft tissue edema is spelled oedema in England. Can be caused by food intolerances and leaky gut syndromes.

Essential fatty acid (EFA)
One of a group of unsaturated fatty acids that are essential for growth and development but cannot be synthesised by the body (linoleic, and alpha linolenic acids).

Embryo
The first cells of the newborn from fertilization to about 8 weeks of development.

Embryology
The study of the growth and development of the embryo.

Endocrine system
The body's control system that involves interactions between hormones. The word endocrine means internal secretions which act as messengers. Includes the hypothalamus, hypocampus, thyrod, parathyroid, thymus, adrenals, ovaries and testes.

Endocrinology
The study of the endocrine glands and the substances they secrete (hormones). (see hormones)

Endogenous
Contained or produced in the body.

Endometriosis
The disease condition where endometrium develops and grows in areas and oragns of the body other than where it belongs. The endometrium is normally found lining the uterus. Endometriosis can cause pain and infertility. (see uterus and endometrium)

Endometriotic Implants
The pieces of endometrium that develop outside the womb of women who have endometriosis. (see endometrium) i.e. on the bowel and bladder, ovaries and appendix.

Endometrium
The inner lining of the uterus that is the surface where the blastocyst/embryo implants during pregnancy. The endometrium is the tissue that is lost during the menstrual period and it is also the source of tissue for endometriosis formation. (see uterus and endometriosis). It relies on oestrogen for its growth.

Endorphins
Small molecules secreted by the brain that act as a natural analgesics. e.g. morphine, does in controlling pain. A product of the pituitary gland. They are thought to be concerned with controlling the activity of the endocrine glands. Thiamine is known to be used by endorphins.

Enzyme
An organic chemical, usually a protein, that speeds up biochemical reactions or causes the breakdown of large molecules into smaller molecules. They act as catalysts as the reaction does not change them. The co-factors used to create enzymes are vitamins. Each enzyme is very specific just as are door keys. They are vital for body function.

Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA)
An omega 3 EFA found in fish liver oils. The body metabolises EPA to form anti-inflammatory prostaglandins, keeps blood thin, important in prevention of heart disease, PMS and cancers.

Epididymis
The collecting tube on the side of the testes that store sperm before ejaculation. (see testes, Sertoli cell and sperm)

Epithelial Cells
The surface cells that usually cover the outer or innermost layers of an organ.

Evening primrose oil (EPO)Gamma linolenic acid (GLA). The precursor to anti-inflammatory prostaglandins. A useful addition to the diet with conditions such as endometriosis, arthritis, asthma, PMS, eczema and heart disease. Stops blood becoming sticky. Should not be used by those with epilepsy or manic depression. (see precursor)
Essential amino acid (EAA)
Eight-ten amino acid are essential for normal growth and development but cannot be synthesised by the body. Amino acids are the smallest part of a protein after the body has digested it. Used for tissue renewal, enzymes, hormones etc.

Essential fatty acid (EFA)
A fatty acid that is essential for normal growth and development but cannot be synthesised by the body. Used in brain cells and cell membranes

Embryo transfer (ET)
The placement of embryos into the uterus at the end of an IVF cycle. (see IVF and uterus)

Enzyme saturation
When all cells are replete with all the nutrients which they require in order to work at their most optimum level.

Estrogen\oestrogen
The female sex hormone secreted in large concentrations by the ovary and placenta. Responsible for the female secondary sex characteristics. Estrogen is spelled oestrogen in England. (see ovary and placenta) It comprises a group of hormones - oestriol, oestrone, oestradiol. Small amounts are produced by the adrenal cortex,fat cells and testes.

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Fallopian tubes
Two tubes attached at each corner of the uterus which stretch out towards the ovaries. It is the passage way used by eggs to meet the sperm and the place of fertilisation. The newly formed embryo can then enter the uterus. Also known as the oviducts. (see uterus)

Family planning
The use of contraception to limit or space out the numbers of children born to a couple. To maintain the woman's health one child every two years is felt to be optimum.

Fertilisation
The fusion of a sperm and an ovum. (see sperm and ova)

Fertility rate
The number of live births occurring in a year per 1000 women of child-bearing age (usually 15-44 years of age).

Flatulence
Gas that forms in the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. An excess of gas can be formed when the bacteriodes bacteria become overgrown as the bifido bacteria are destroyed by antibiotics, the pill, HRT and stress.

Foetus
Baby before birth. (see pregnancy)

Folic acid
B vitamin essential for preventing foetal abnormalities. Reduced by the pill and stress. The metabolic role of folic acid is interdependent with that of zinc and vitamin B12 (both are required by rapidly dividing cells) and a deficiency in one may lead to a deficiency in the other.

Follicle
See Ovarian Follicle.

Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH)
The hormone that is released by the anterior pituitary gland that stimulates the ovary to produce follicles and mature eggs. Released in the first 14 days of the cycle. (see pituitary,ova and ovary) In anovulation the FSH is deficient.

FOS
See prebiotics.

Free Radicals
Small singlet oxygen molecules that have a high capacity to chemically react with other molecules. They are highly unstable as they only have one electron and try to steal another from a normal cell membrane or its DNA. This chemical reaction can be destructive especially to protein molecules. Also known as free oxidising radicals (FoR's).

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Gamete
A mature sex cell: the egg of the female or the sperm of the male. Gametes are haploid, containing half the normal number of chromosomes. (see sperm, ova chromosome and gamete). 23 chromosomes in an ova and 23 in a sperm, so that when they meet the embryo has a full 46.

Gastrointestinal (GI)
Pertaining to the stomach and intestine; the digestive tract/system. (see diagram X page X)

Gene
The basic unit of genetic material, which is found at a unique place on a chromosome. (see chromosome and DNA) e.g. a damaged P53 gene is known to be responsible for cancer formation

General practitioner (GP)
A doctor who is the main agent of primary care, through whom patients make first contact with medical services. The majority have had no training in nutrition.

Germ cells
The precursor cells that have the potential to develop into sperm or eggs. (see precursor, sperm and ova)

Gestation
The duration of a pregnancy. See Pregnancy.

Gamete intra fallopian transfer (GIFT)
A form of assisted reproduction in which ova are mixed with the partner's sperm and then introduced into a fallopian tube where fertilisation takes place. (See ova, sperm and fertilisation)

Gamma linolenic acid (GLA)
An EFA abundant in evening primrose oil. (see EFA and evening primrose oil)

Glycoprotein
Large protein molecules that also contain sugar (carbohydrate) molecules. (see protein)

Glucose
A simple sugar used by cells in energy production. Two teaspoons are the norm in the body's eitght pints of blood. (see carbohydrate)

Gonadotrophins
The hormones (LH and FSH) released from the pituitary gland which stimulate the ovaries to produce follicles and undergo the process of ovulation. (see pituitary, LH and FSH)

Gonadotrophin Releasing Hormone (GnRH)
Hormone produced in the hypothalamus that stimulates the pituitary to produce and secrete gonadotrophins. . (see pituitary, LH and FSH) Its production is dependent on absorption of zinc and vitamin B6.

Graafian follicle
A mature follicle on the ovary prior to ovulation, containing a large fluid-filled cavity that distends the surface of the ovary. The oocyte develops inside the follicle attached to one side. (see ovarian follicle, ovary and ovulation)

Granulosa Cells
The cells that line the inside of the Graffian follicle. They produce large amounts of oestrogen and the fluid of the follicle. They also supply nutrients to the egg and, as a result of this role, are also called 'nurse cells.' (see ovary, ovarian follicle and oestrogen)

Gram
A unit of weight equal to 0.035 ounces.

Growth factor
A polypeptide (small protein) that is produced by tissue that stimulates cells to proliferate.

Gynaecologist
Doctor specialising in women's reproductive illnesses.

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Human chorionic gonadatrophic (HCG)
Hormone produced by the placenta during pregnancy, used as the basis for pregnancy test. (see pregnancy and placenta). HCG maintains the secretion of progesterone by the corpus luteum of the ovary as the secretion of pituitary GnRH is blocked during pregnancy. Poor placental formation will leads to poor HCG secretion and the pregancy will not be mainatined.

Health centre
A building owned or leased by a District Health Authority, that houses personnel or services from one or several sections of the National Health Service.

Health education
Persuasive methods used to encourage people to adopt life styles that the educators believe will improve health and to reject habits regarded as harmful to health. Disease prevention.

Health promotion
A programme of surveillance planned on a community basis to maintain the best possible health and quality of life of the members of that community, both collectively and individually.

Histamine
A chemical that has can cause blood vessels to dilate (get large). It is secreted at the site of a wound and is one of the major factors that cause the wound to become red. It is also secreted by the immune system during an immune response to antigens. (see Immune system and antigen). Involved in anaphelactic shock. Vitamin C is anti-histamine.

Holistic
Viewing the body as a whole unit which works together when considering matters of health and healing. Prevention being better than cure.

Homeostasis
The tendency of the body to always strive to maintain a stable or uniform state.

Hormone
The body's chemical messengers that are secreted by the endocrine glands.

Hormone receptors
Special proteins on or in cells to which hormones attach. Attachment (binding) of the hormone to the receptor will cause the endocrine effect of the hormone. (see endocrinology and hormone) Can be disrupted by exogenous hormones from pesticides.

Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT)
The administration of oestrogen and progesterone to replace the lack of these hormones in women that have no ovarian function due to menopause or surgery. (see menopause, oestrogen, progesterone and ovary) Natural menopause should not be a problem if a woman is well nourished. Foods contain phyto-oestrogens and progesterones which can be used in the diet to preserve health. HRT is linked to breast cancers and strokes.

Hyperventilation
Rapid deep breathing. Lowers the carbon dioxide in the blood and can lead to unconsciouness, dizziness and spaced out feelings. Low oxygen supply to cells causes malfunction.

Hypoglycaemia
Low amounts of glucose sugar in the blood. (see diabetes mellitus). This can lead to irritability, weakness, fatigue, excessive sweating. The body relies on zinc based insulin and glucose tolerance factor (B3 and chromium based) to control blood sugar levels.

Hypothalamus
Part of the base of the brain that is connected to the pituitary gland. Secretes hormones that control the production and secretion of the pituitary hormones. (see pituitary). The seat of appetite control. Also oversees body temperature. Integrates hormone control and nervous sytem activity.

Hypothyroid
A condition where the thyroid is secreting insufficient amounts of thyroid hormones, T3,T4, TSH. (see thyroid) Causes constipation, skin coarseness, sluggishness, lethargy, dull brain, loss of outer 1/3rd of eyebrows.

Hysterectomy
Surgical removal of the uterus. (see uterus) Should only be essential if diseased. Removal of the uterus has been seen to shorten life by 5 years and lead to strokes and heart disease. When the ovaries are also removed life-expectancy is reduced by ten years.

Humoral Immunity
The fluid and hormonal (i.e., humors) system of the body. The immune system depends upon antibodies produced by B-lymphocytes circulating via the blood stream.

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Iatrogenic condition
Describes a condition that has resulted from medical treatment, as either an unforseen or inevitable side-effect. e.g. hair loss with chemotherapy, gut flora disruption with antibiotics

Intra-Cytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI)
The injection of a single sperm directly into an ova by an endocrinologist. The resulting zygote is then transfered back into the woman's uterus. (see ova and sperm)

Immune
Having a natural resistance to harmful substances.

Immune System
The defense system of the body that helps fight off infections from bacteria, viruses and other 'alien' substances.

Infant mortality rate (IMR)
The number of deaths of infants under one year of age per 1000 live births in a given year.

Infertility
Inability of a couple to induce conception after 12-18 months of unprotected sexual intercourse.

Inflammation
The body's response to injury, which may be acute or chronic. It is associated with a local increase in temperature and the activation of the immune system. Histamines are released. (see immune system)

In Vitro Fertilisation (IVF)
The fertilisation of the egg outside of the body usually in a dish in a specially designed incubator.

Interferon
Produced by macrophages and T-lymphocytes. Protects cells from damage by shutting down the mitochondria, the energy production site in order to stop the virus from reproducing itself.. Needs choline, manganese and vitamin C. Our ability to produce interferon is damaged by pesticides.

Interleukins
Regulating chemicals secreted by the white blood cells (leukocytes). (see white blood cells) e.g. interluekin 2 stimulates T-lymphocytes and is used in the treatment of cancer.

Iron
A metallic element essential to the process of respiration and therefore life. It stimulates immunity, boosts physical performance and allows blood to carry oxygen to cells for energy production

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Lactation
The production and release of milk from the breast. (see prolactin and pituitary)

Laparoscope
A fiber-optics surgical instrument that can be inserted through a small incision the belly button to view the contents of the peritoneal cavity.

Laparoscopy
A surgical procedure for the examination of the peritoneal cavity using a laparoscope. Also called 'Belly Button' surgery.

Laparotomy
A surgical procedure for the examination of the peritoneal cavity using a longer incision in the abdominal wall (belly).

Leaky gut
Where the gut membrane has been eroded or breached and toxins can enter the blood stream and set up intolerances and toxic feelings.

Lindane
A powerful insecticide which has oestrogenic properties. Found in chocolate and milk and linked to breast cancer.

Linoleic acid
An omega 6 polyunsaturated cis fatty acid. We cannot make this and depend upon good oils in foods. Found in vegetable oils such as sunflower and safflower oils.

Linolenic acid (LA)
An omega 3 cis fatty acid. We cannot make this and depend upon food intake. The alpha form is found in fish oils and linseeds. (see EFA)

Lipids
Water insoluble substances which have a greasy feel. They include neutral fats, fatty acids, steroids and waxes.

Luteinising hormone (LH)
Hormone produced by the pituitary which stimulates the corpus luteum to produce progesterone. Released from day fourteen to day twenty eight in the normal cycle. ( see pituitary, corpus luteum and progesterone).

Luteinising unruptured follicle syndrome (LUFs)
The condition where a women appears to have a normal menstrual cycle but the egg does not ovulate out of the ovarian follicle. (see anovulation)

Lymph
A transparent to yellow coloured liquid found in lymphatic vessels. (see lymph system) It carries lymphocytes and bathes tissues

Lymph glands
Structures found in the lymphatic system that filters the lymph and is part of the immune system. (see immune system) Found in the neck, groin, armpit. They prevent 'aliens' from entering the blood stream.

Lymphatic system
A system of tubes (lymph vessels) that drain lymph from various organs and return the lymph to the blood. Part of the immune system. (see immune system and tonsils)

Lymphocyte
A type of white blood cell that originates from the lymph glands.

Lysosome
A particle inside cells which helps break down 'alien' invaders.

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Macrophage
A wandering cell that is found in tissue and blood that can phagocytize (eat) bacteria and other 'alien' matter that makes it way into the body. (see phagocytize, white blood cell and immune system)

Magnesium
A white metallic element that is an essential nutrient. Magnesium deficiency can lead to impaired nerve and muscle function. Marginal magnesium deficiency is becoming common. It causes loss of appetite, nausea, diarrhoea, confusion, muscle tremors and spasms, lack of co-ordination. Useful with PMS and abdominal cramps.

Malabsorption
When the intestines are malfunctioning and nutrients from foods are not absorbed effectively into the blood stream. It can be due to coeliac problems when gluten damages the villi, or if the gut mucosa is damaged by drugs or constant stress. It may be corrected by slippery elm and butyric acid and NAG.

Medical
Of or relating to medicine; the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of disease.

Medicine
The science or practice of the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of disease.

Melatonin
Excess melatonin is felt to hamper fertility and raises the levels of prolactin. Modern life causes imbalances in light and dark cycles which affect melatonin production. Zinc is vital in this process as is natural daylight. Exposure to electro-magnetic fields reduce melatonin levels Blocks oestrogen from binding to oestrogen receptors of cells, e.g. breast cancer cells (see pineal gland)

Menarche
Start of menstrual cycles. (see menstrual cycle and menstrual period) Usually from the age 12 to 17.

Menopause
The end of the monthly menstrual cycle that results from the use of all of the eggs of the ovary. Usually starts between 44 to 55 years of age and takes 7 years to occur naturally. (see HRT, ova and menstrual cycle)

Menstrual cycle
The reproductive cycle of women that lasts for approximately one month. The menstrual cycle is controlled by the hormones of the pituitary, ovary and uterus. During the menstrual cycle, the endometrium of the uterus thickens in preparation for pregnancy, if pregnancy does not occur the endometrium is sloughed off as the menstrual period (flow) and the cycle is repeated. (see uterus, pituitary, ovary and endometrium)

Menstrual Period
That part of the menstrual cycle that is associated with the flow of blood out of the vagina. Also referred to as "menstruation" or "menstrual bleeding." (see menstrual cycle) Should be painfree and symptomless in healthy individuals. The nutrients, B6, zinc, chromium, magnesium and vitamin C are known to play a role.

Metabolism
The biochemical reactions of the body that are involved in the maintenance of life. The thyroid gland and hypothalamus are related to metabolic rate at which foods are burnt to provide energy. Iodine and selemium are important for this process.

Microgram
A millionth part of a gram.

Milligram
A thousandth part of a gram.

Miscarriage
The fatal tragic premature loss of a foetus due to natural causes.

Mitochrondria
A small organelle found inside of all cells that makes the energy molecules of the cell. Exercise promotes the formation of more mitochondria.

Morula
An early embryo with 16 to approximately 200 cells. (see embryo)

Motility
a biological term which refers to the ability to move spontaneously and independently. It can apply to either single-celled or multicellular organisms. It also applies to the ability of sperm to move in a semen sample.

Mutagen
A substance which can cause changes in the DNA of cells of the body. (see DNA and gene)

Mutation
A change in form, structure or characteristics of an organism due to alterations in the DNA of the nucleus. (see DNA and gene)

Myometrium
The thick muscle layer of the uterus. It contracts during the birthing process to expel the baby. Menstrual cramps are the pain signals transmitted to the brain during myometrial contractions. (see uterus). In PMS these cramps can be alleviated by use of magnesium supplements.

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NAG
N acetyl Glucosamine is an integral part of the 'glue' which holds cells together, especially for mucous membranes lining the intestines.(see integrins chapter 11)

Naturopathy
A system of medicine that relies upon the use of only 'natural' substances for the treatment of disease.

Neurotransmitters
The chemicals given off at the end of a nerve that transmit to the next nerve or muscles an excitatory signal within the brain. They inhibit or excite a response. Serotonin, acetylecholine and the catcholamines depend upon tryptophan, choline, and tyrosine respectively.

Neutrophil
A type of white blood cell found in the blood that is part of the immune system. (see immune system)

Nicotinic acid (niacin)
B vitamin which aids lowering of blood cholesterol and protective against heart disease. Reduces high blood pressure. Also known as nicotinamide.

Nutrient
Food substances that are nourishing and which are the supply of materials for body metabolism. Vitamins, minerals and fatty acids are the micro-nutrients and fats, carbohydrates and proteins are the macro-nutrients.

Nutritionist
A trained nutritionist or nutrition consultant will assess the person's illness and work with that person to correct individual body biochemistry imbalances and improve nutrient intake from the diet. Tests can be done to assess vitamin and mineral levels, look at gut fermentation etc..

Neural tube defects (NTD)
Defects of the nervous system, such as spina bifida. Attributed to deficincies in folic acid and zinc.

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Obstetrician
A doctor who specialises in pregnancy and child birth.

Oedema
Swelling, retention of fluid in spaces between cells. Oedema is spelled edema in America.

Oestrogen
The female sex hormone secreted in large concentrations by the ovary and placenta. Responsible for the female secondary sex characteristics. Oestrogen is spelled estrogen in America. Also produced in theadrenal glands, fat cells and testes.

Oligospermia
This is a medical symptom affecting men (also known as Oligozoospermia). It is defined as having less than 20 million spermatozoa per ml of ejaculate. Oligospermia has many different causes, as many different medical conditions can reduce sperm concentration. The effects of these causes may be temporary or permanent.

Oral contraceptive
Orally administered drugs that are derived from ovarian steroids which interfere with the reproductive process and induce infertility. They disrupt blood chemistry causing viatmin A and copper levels to be raised whilst lowering levels of B vitamins and zinc.

Organelles
The powerhouses within each cell which rebuild fatty acids, amino acids and glucose molecules into phospholipids, glycoproteins - substances which the body uses to renew and rebuild itself.

Organochlorines
Organic compounds containing chlorine, including chloroform, DDT, dioxins and other pesticides.

Oocyte
Same as ova. (see ovary and ova)

Oopherectomy
Surgical removal of the ovary. (see ovary)

Ova and Ovum
The unfertilized egg produced in the ovary. Ovum is singular (one egg) and Ova more then one. (see ovary)

Ovarian Follicle
The cyst like structure that forms on the ovary during the menstrual cycle and which contains the developing egg and granulosa cells. (see ovary, ova and granulosa cells)

Ovary
Paired almond shaped organs lying in the pelvis that produce hormones (oestrogen and progesterone) and eggs. (see oestrogen, progesterone and ova).

Ovarian cysts
A fuid filled sac, one or more of which can develop in the ovary. Most are non-malignant but can reach a very large size and cause gross swelling and pain. In endometriosis chocolate cysts filled with stale brown blood are common. With polycystic ovaries many cysts develop. High copper levels are related to cyst formation. The pill increases blood copper levels.

Ovulation
The process of expulsion of the egg from the ovarian follicle to the Fallopian tube. (See ova, ovary and Fallopian tube) Occurs around the 14-15th day of a normal cycle.

Oxytocin
A protein derived hormone secreted by the posterior pituitary that stimulates uterine contractions during the birthing process and the release of milk from the breast..

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Pain
Suffering, distress of body or mind. Usually caused by disease or injury but can be emotional pain from trauma.

Pancreas
The gland that is located under the liver that functions as both and endocrine and exocrine gland. As an endocrine gland the pancreas secretes insulin and glucogon to control the concentration of blood sugar and as an exocrine gland the pancreas secretes digestive enzymes into the intestine. (see diabetes mellitus and endocrine system)

Peritoneal Cavity
The lower abdomen (belly) which contains the reproductive tract, bladder,kidneys and adrenals, small and large intestine, liver, pancreas and stomach.

Peritoneal Fluid
The fluid found in the peritoneal cavity. (see peritoneal cavity)

Petechia
A small red to purplish red area on the surface of the skin or an organ that is caused by small broken blood vessels.

Petechial Implants
Endometriotic implants that are red and have the appearance of a petechia. These are the most active implants and cause the most inflammation and pain. May be producing their own oestrogens.

Pelvic Inflammatory disease (PID)
A general infection in the peritoneal cavity that can be caused by a variety of bacteria that gain entrance into the peritoneal cavity through the female reproductive tract from poor hygiene or infected male sperm. The disease is associated with flu like symptoms and adhesions leading to infertility. (see peritoneal cavity, chlamydia and adhesions).

Phagocytize
The ability to ingest (eat) microorganisms or other foreign matter. The process whereby white blood cells ingest microorganisms. (see macrophage, immune system and white blood cells)

Phytochemicals
Substances found in plants and not animals.

Phytoestrogens
Oestrogens present in plants. Isoflavones. lignans, coumestans which are structurally similar to oesradiol. They have an oestrogen modulating effect. Lower binding activity than endogenous oestrogens. Found in soya, wheat, citrus, seeds, pulses and grains.

Peyers Patches
Clusters of cells found on the small intestine that are involved in the immune system. They act as testing stations for 'alien' food particles, bacteria, parasites, chemicals etc..

Phthalates
Phthalic acid diesters are organic chemicals used in industry as plasticizers. They are therefore found in low levels in foods which are wrapped in plastics. Some researchers feel that these levels are high enough to have profound effects on reducing human fertiltiy.

Pineal Gland
Gland found in the middle of the brain that secretes the hormone melatonin. Controls the seasonal changes in the reproductive system and hair growth in seasonal animals (e.g., sheep & horses)..(see melatonin)

Pituitary
Endocrine gland at the base of the brain that secretes a variety of hormones many of which affect other endocrine glands. The major hormones of the pituitary that affect the reproductive system are Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH), Luteinizing Hormone (LH) and prolactin. The pituitary is divided into the anterior (front) and posterior (back) pituitary. Known as the conductor of the endocrine orchestra. Known to use vitamin B6 and zinc.

PMS/PMT
Premenstrual syndrome/ premenstrual tension. The build up of symptoms before a period is due. felt to be caused by faulty nutrition or malabsorption of nutrients. responds to the use of B complex, B6, magnesium, zinc, chromium, vitamin C and E.

Placenta
The tissue that connects the developing foetus to the uterus of the mother. (see foetus) This organ has to develop over the space of one month so nutrient intake is crucial to its healthy formation.

Platelets
Blood cells that are important in blood clot formation. If they become too sticky they cause heart disease problems. Vitamin C, E and garlic and root ginger thin blood. Vitamin K is necessary for blood to clot. Sugar causes blood to become sticky.

Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs)
Toxic chemicals commonly used in electrical componentsand industrial processes. Felt to be damaging to the reproductive system. Stored in body fat so care must be taken when dieting to go slowly.
Pouch of Douglas
The blind pouch that makes the bottom of the peritoneal cavity. It lies between the vagina and the colon and below the left ovary. Also called the 'cul-de-sac' area of the peritoneal cavity. (see peritoneal cavity) It is a prime site for endometriotic implants.

Precursor
One that precedes another. (coming beforehand).

Pregnancy
The normal healthy condition of having a developing embryo or foetus in the body for nine months gestation. (see embryo and foetus)

Premarin
Conjugated oestrogens obtained from the urine of pregnant mares used for HRT. (see oestrogen)

Premenstrual
A few days before a menstrual period. (see menstrual period) PMS symptoms such as bloating, irritability, headaches, anxiety etc.,often build up from day 14 -28 of the cycle

Prebiotics
Fructo-oligosaccharides encourages growth of bifidobacteria in the gut flora. 15mg per day is optimum.

Probiotics
These replenish the bifido factor bacteria which inhabit a healthy gut. The growth of these friendly bacteria encourage oestrogen clearance. If they are not present in haelthy quantities the oestrogen is reactivated and sent back into circulation to cause havoc.

Progesterone
Female steroid sex hormone which prepares the endometrium of the uterus for pregnancy and is required for the maintenance of pregnancy. (see ovary and corpus luteum) Secreted by the corpus luteum in the ovary once conception has taken place to prepare the womb lining and placenta. Maintains the pegnancy and prevents release of further eggs from the ovary.

Prolactin
Pituitary hormone which stimulates milk synthesis. (see pituitary and lactation) It also stimulates the production of progesterone by the corpus lutuem of the ovary. Excess melatonin causes an increase in prolactin which lowers zinc and prostaglandins.

Pronuclei
The two nuclei that form in the egg after fertilization. One nucleus contains the genes of the egg (mother) and the other nucleus contains the genes of the sperm (father).

Prostaglandin (PG)
A lipid hormone found in many cells of the body. Some are pro-inflammatory whilst others are anti-inflammatory.

Proteins
A group of complex organic nitrogen-containing compounds found throughout the body. They are composed of sequential strands of amino acids and are used for body building and repair, for hormones and enzyme production.(see chapter nine)

Pseudo
Superficial, resemblance, false.

Pyridoxine
Vitamin B6. Required for more than 60 enzymes and essential for DNA and protein synthesis.. It influences the nervous and reproductive system and plays a vital role in immunity. and avoidance of PMS symptoms. Aids infertility along with zinc.

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Riboflavin
Vitamin B2, part of the body's antioxidant mechanism. Needed for correct thyroid function. Used alongside B5 in the reproductive system.

Red blood cells
The major cell type found in the blood. Its main function is to transport oxygen throughout the body. Also called Erythrocyte.

Retrograde
To move backwards. Endometriosis may be a result of retrograde menstruation, that is, menstrual flow into the peritoneal cavity via the Fallopian tubes instead of into the vagina.

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Satyriasis
An extreme degree of promiscuous heterosexual behaviour in middle aged married men, usual at conferences and high complexity laboratory inspections of other Directors.

Scurvy
A disease condition that develops as a result of Vitamin C deficiency. People with scurvy have anaemia, weakness, spongy gums and a tendency to bleed. (see anemia)

Selenium
A nonmetallic element resembling sulphur.. Small amounts of selenium are required for normal metabolism. Major antioxidant. Needed for thyroid function alongside iodine. Significant in sperm motility.

Seminal fluid
The fluid in the ejaculate that contains sperm. (see sperm and testes) High levels of zinc in each ejaculation, 1.5mg

Sertoli Cell
The cells of the testes that surround the developing sperm. They supply nutrients to the developing sperm and secrete fluids that help push the sperm out of the testes and into the epididymus. (see sperm, testes and epididymus)

Serotonin
A coumpound in tissues, blood platelets, intestinal walls and the brain which is felt to play a role in inflammation. Concerned with the process of sleep.

Sex steroids
Lipid soluble steroid hormones involved in the reproductive process. They include: Oestrogen, progesterone and testosterone. (see steroids, oestrogen, progesterone and testosterone) good quality cis fatty acids are essential for their formation.

SIDS
Sudden infant death syndrome.

Slippery elm
A herb which soothes irritated tissues especially mucus membranes such as those in the digestive tract.

Sperm
The male reproductive cell produced in the testes and which contains the genes of the father. (see testes and seminal fluid) The head and tail of the sperm depend upon zinc.

Spermatogenesis
Formation of sperm in the testes. (see sperm and testes)

Spermatozoa
Same as sperm.

Steroid
A group of lipid soluble biochemical substances which chemically resemble cholesterol. Cholesterol is the precursor for all steroid hormones. Vitamin D is also closely involved. The atoms of steroids are arranged in four rings. The major steroid producing organs of the body include the: Ovary, testes, adrenal gland and placenta.

Stilbestrol
Synthetic non-steroid oestrogen, known as DES (diethyl stilbestrol) in America. (see DES)

Stillbirth
When a child is dead at birth.

Super oxide dismutase (SOD)
A highly reactive enzyme that neutralizes free oxidised radicals (FoR's). (see free radicals)

Synergism
Working together for the good of each other.

Symbiotic relationship
When two organisms work together for the benefit of both organisms.

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T Cells
A type of cell that helps the immune system; also known as T helper Cells. which switch the immune system on and T-suppressor which switch the immune system off. (see immune system)

Teratogen
A substance, agent or process that induces the formation of developmental abnormalities in a foetus. (see foetus) e.g. excess vitamin A

Teratogenesis
The process leading to developmental abnormalities in the foetus. e.g. alcohol, thalidomide, measles.

Testes
The paired organs located in the scrotum under the penis. The site of production of sperm and testosterone. (see sperm and testosterone)

Testosterone
Major masculinising hormone produced in large amounts by the male testes. Dependent upon vitamin E and zinc for its manufacture.

Thyroid
The endocrine gland that controls the overall level of metabolism in the body. It is located in the neck and secretes the hormone thyroxine, T3 and T4 (see metabolism, TSH and thyroxine)

Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH)
The hormone secreted by the pituitary that stimulates the thyroid gland to produce thyroxine. (see thyroid and thyroxine)

Thymus
A ductless gland that is found under the breast bone. Doubles in size by puberty and shrinks thereafter. Functional tissue is replaced by fatty tissue.. Involved with the early development of the immune system and the main production site for T-lymphocytes which migrate from bone marrow to mature in the thymus (white blood cells associated with anti-body production). (see immune system) . Zinc dependent organ.

Thyroxine
The major hormone secreted by the thyroid. Thyroxine regulates general metabolism. (see thyroid) Iodine dependent, Requires riboflavin, vitamin B2, selenium, tyrosine and vitamin E for its formation. Antagonistsc with oestrogen. If oestrogen is too high thyroxine will be low and visa versa.

Tocopherol
See vitamin E.

Tonsils
A small almond shaped mass on the back of the mouth that is composed mostly of lymphoid tissue. They are believed to be a source of the white blood cells that phagocytize (eat) the bacteria that enter the mouth and nose. (see lymph system, phagocytize and white blood cells)

Transit time
In reference to the digestive system, transit time is the time that foodstuffs spend in the gastrointestinal tract from the time of ingestion to defecation. Should be 18hours).(see Gastro-intestinal tract)

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Uterus
The organ of the reproductive system were pregnancy occurs. Also called the womb It is a muscular organ that is about the size of a small fist that has an inner lining of mucous-like tissue called the endometrium.. (see endometrium) Magnesium aids relaxation of uterine muscles.

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Vagina
The lower part of the female reproductive tract that connects the cervix of the uterus to the exterior. (see uterus and cervix)

Villi
Finger like projection in membranes of the gut which can be damaged by gluten grains in susceptible people. The villi increase the surafce area for nutrients to be absorb, so damage leads to malabsorption.

Vitamins
a general term for a group of unrelated biochemical substances that occur in food in small amounts and are required for normal metabolic functioning of the body. They may be either water soluble or fat soluble substances.

Vitamin A
A vitamin found primarily in fish liver oils and some yellow and dark green vegetables, functioning in normal cell growth and development. Deficiency causes roughening and hardening of the skin, night blindness and deterioration of mucous membranes in the lung etc.. Exists in two forms: Vitamin Retinol and Beta carotene. Excess amounts of vitamin A is toxic.

Vitamin B complex
Water soluble vitamins found primarily in yeast, liver, eggs, and certain vegetables.Taking too much of one B vitamin can cause shortages of the others. Lowered by the pill. Also produced in the small intestine by bifido bacteria.

Vitamin B1
Thiamine, Deficiency can cause learning defects.

Vitamin B2
Riboflavin. Deficiency can cause limb defects.

Vitamin B3
Nicotinamide or niacin. Deficiencies can cause hare-lip or cleft palate.

Vitamin B6
Pyridoxine - most commonly deficient especially in pill, HRT or other sex hormone takers because of their abnormal amine metabolism. Lowered by the pill. Deficiency can cause depression, urinary tract cancer or dermatitis. Precursor of progesterone

Vitamin B12
Cyanocobalamine. Often deficient in smokers or vegetarians.

Vitamin B complex
Folic acid. Lowered by the pill, HRT and fertility stimulants. Taking the pill causes localised folate deficiency of the cervix which may trigger cervical cancer. Extra required during pregnancy. Deficiency can cause anaemia and spina bifida. (see anemia and HRT) Asprin, anesthietic gas, sulfasallzine interfere with folate absorption. Has oestrogenic properties.
Choline. Important in the synthesis of phosphatidylcholine (lecithin) and other phospholipids, DNA and RNA. Incecticides inactivate choline-enzymes whic prevents the uptake of manganese in plants, which is then linked to a fall in manganese absorbtion. Choline and inositol are important in liver enzyme function for aiding the degrading of oestrogens so that they can be excreted safely by the body.
Inositol. Aids choline is oestrogen degredation in the liver. Involved in the synthesis of phospholipids so is essential for the digestion and absorption of fats and their uptake by cells.
Biotin.Not a true vitamin as it is made by the bifido bacteria in the gut. Prevents overgrowth of yeats in the intestines. Biotin deficinecy resemles Alzheimers disease. Drugs like antibiotics cause a deficiency.

Vitamin C
Ascorbic acid. Water soluble vitamin present in rose hip powder and chilli peppers. Lowered by pill hormones, smoking and tetracyclines. Anti-viral, anti-bacterial, anti-histamine. Smokers are deficient as each cigarette burns up 25mg Vit C.

Vitamin D
Fat soluble vitamin that is produced in response to skin exposure to the sun. Also found in fish oils. Deficiencies in Vitamin D cause rickets. A precursor to cholesterol and felt to be a hormone in its own right. Deficiency may cause problems in hormone formation.

Vitamin E
Fat soluble vitamin that belongs to the tocopherol family and found in wheat germ oil, cereals, egg yolk. Rats fed a Vitamin E deficient diet have fertility problems. Important in preventing sticky platelets and blood clots.

Vitamin K
A fat soluble vitamin, has two forms phytomenadione (plant origin) and menaquinone (animal origin) and is required for normal blood clot formation. Found in alfalfa, spinach, cabbage, fish meal, egg yolk.

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White blood cells
A free-floating cell found in the blood that helps the immune system. Also called leukocytes (see leukocytes, T cells and macrophage)

Womb
See Uterus.

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Xenoestrogens
Oestrogens which are from outside of the body. They are oestrogens which are metabolised in the body from synthetics man-made chemicals. They disrupt normal hormone profiles. Body fat stores these chemicals and relaeses then as weight is lost. High exposure to these chemicals can disrupt oestrogen levels and may be related to endometriosis.

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Zinc
Metal co-factor necessary for the correct functioning of reproduction and the immune system. Lowered by the pill. Available in oysters and red meat. (see sperm and vitamin B6)

Zygote
The newly fertilised ovum before cleavage begins. (see fertilised)