A Simplified Glossary
Acupuncture: The first document that unequivocally described an organized system of diagnosis and treatment, which is recognized as acupuncture, is The Yellow Emperor’s Classic of Internal Medicine, dating from about 100 BC. Acupuncture is a unique system of techniques from China that treats illness and improves health by stimulating prescribed points on the body. Acupuncture and related techniques redirect the flow of “qi” (energy) throughout the body to restore balance. Practiced for more than 2,000 years, acupuncture is one of the safest and most well-researched forms of complementary and alternative therapies in the world. Since Acupuncture is ancient, it is actually considered traditional medicine.
Advanced Glycation End Products (AGE’s): Also known as glycotoxins, are oxidant compounds, which severely affect heart disease, diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease and aging. Dietary AGEs (dAGEs) contribute to inflammation and oxidant stress. Glycation is when carbohydrates combine with a protein, causing cells to become subject to stiffness, damage, and premature aging. In foods, dry heating can form AGEs. It is best to steam, boil, or stew your foods at lower temperatures.
Alternative Medicine: “Alternative” refers to using a non-mainstream approach.
This would be the same as Complementary and Integrative medicine.
Amyloid Protein: Amyloid is a general term for protein fragments that the body produces abnormally. Beta amyloid is a protein fragment snipped from an amyloid precursor protein (APP), and is thought to be specific for Alzheimer’s. In a healthy brain, these protein fragments are broken down and eliminated.
Analogue Wall Motion: A pictorial representation of the motion of a heart wall.
Anterior Wall of the Heart: Front wall of the heart facing the breastbone.
Antioxidant: A substance that reduces damage due to oxidation, such as that caused by free radicals. Well-known antioxidants include enzymes and other substances, such as vitamin C, vitamin E, and beta-carotene, which are capable of counteracting the damaging effects of oxidation.
Apex of the Heart: The lowest superficial part of the heart.
Atherosclerosis: A disease in which plaque builds up inside your arteries.
Arteries: Blood vessels that carry oxygenated blood away from the heart and throughout the body.
Arteriosclerosis: “Also know as hardening of the arteries.” The thickening, hardening and loss of elasticity in the walls of the arteries, which gradually restricts the blood flow to one’s organs and tissues.
Autonomic Dysfunction (Dysautonomia): Refers to various conditions in which the autonomic nervous system, (ANS) does not work correctly. The autonomic nervous system is the part of the nervous system responsible for control of the bodily functions not consciously directed, such as breathing, the heartbeat, and digestive processes.
Ayurveda Medicine: Is a system of medicine with Indian roots that has been globalized and modernized. Practices derived from Ayurveda traditions are a type of complementary or alternative medicine. Ayurveda therapies and practices have been integrated in general wellness applications, and in some cases, in medical use. Ayurveda names three elemental substances – the “doshas”, called, Vata, Pitta and Kapha. Ayurveda states that a balance of the doshas results in health, while imbalance results in disease.
Bartonella: A Lyme and Tick-Borne disease.
Bi-directional Flow: Moving in two opposite directions.
Biochemistry: The study of chemical processes within and relating to living organisms.
Biofilm: Colonies of bacteria, fungi, and other microorganisms embedded in a self-produced matrix of mucoid polymers that allows the colony to adhere to a surface.
Blood Pressure: The force of pressure exerted by the heart when pumping blood. It is also the pressure of blood against the artery walls.
Blushing of the Ventricle: Improved relaxation of the ventricle that is shown with a nuclear dye spreading more uniformly throughout the ventricle in diastole or maximal relaxation.
Caramelization: Also referred to as glycation, it is the browning of sugar, like melting caramel over an apple.
Cardiac Cycle: The sequence of events between one heartbeat and the next, normally occupying less than one second.
Cardiac Output: The amount of blood ejected by the heart in one minute. The average amount in a healthy adult is four to six liters per minute.
Cell Receptors: A specialized cell or group of nerve endings that respond to sensory stimuli.
Chelation: The process by which a chemical substance is used to bind molecules (minerals and metals) tightly in order for them to be removed naturally from your body. It was first used as a treatment for lead poisoning. EDTA, a man-made amino acid is commonly used in chelation therapy. Chelation means “to grab” or “to bind.” Chelation is a natural process in our lives. Chlorophyll is a chelate of magnesium and hemoglobin is a chelate of iron.
Chelation Therapy: A medical treatment in which a synthetic amino acid solution, EDTA (ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid), is infused into the bloodstream to remove heavy metals from the body. Heavy metals contribute to free radical formation, “rusting”, the aging process and disease. Once heavy metals get into the body, they don’t want to leave.
Coarctation of the Aorta: A congenital condition where there is a narrowing of the aorta, (the large blood vessel that branches off your heart and delivers oxygen-rich blood to your body). When this occurs, your heart must pump harder to force blood through the narrow part of your aorta.
Complementary Medicine: “Complementary” generally refers to using a non-mainstream approach together with conventional medicine. It acknowledges that it is the patient who is the primary healing factor, not the physician.
Conventional Medicine: A system in which medical doctors and other healthcare professionals (such as nurses, pharmacists, and therapists) treat symptoms and diseases using drugs, radiation, or surgery; also called allopathic medicine, biomedicine, mainstream medicine, orthodox medicine, and Western medicine.
C-Reactive Protein (CRP): A substance produced by the liver in response to inflammation.
C-Reactive Protein Test: A blood test designed to measure the amount of CRP in the blood. A high level of CRP in the blood is a sign that there may be an inflammatory process occurring in the body. High CRP levels may put patients at increased risk for coronary artery disease.
Curcuminoids: A phytochemical found in turmeric and other species in the genus Curcuma that is used in alternative medicine and is purported to have anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer properties.
Capillary Filling: The process whereby blood returns to a portion of the capillary system after its blood supply has been interrupted briefly.
CINE-Ventirculogram: An imaging technique, (motion picture) of a working heart ventricle.
Congestive Heart Failure (CHF): The condition in which the heart muscle is weak and fails to pump sufficient blood throughout the body. It leads to fluid buildup and associated symptoms such as shortness of breath and swelling of the legs.
Diabetes (DM): A condition in which the body does not produce or respond appropriately to insuln, the hormone produced by the pancreas that enables blood sugar to enter the cells and be used for energy.
Dicrotic Wave: Physiologically, the dicrotic wave is the result of reflected waves from the lower extremities and aorta. The pulse wave or Pulse Volume Recording (PVR) is made of two components: the heart wave and the artery wave.
Diastole: The resting phase of the cardiac cycle, during which the heart receives 70 to 80 percent of its blood supply. It begins with the closure of the aortic valve. The heart muscle is fully relaxed and maximally filled with blood.
Diastolic Augmentation: EECP has been shown to increase, or augment, diastolic blood pressure – a measure of the blood flow to the heart while the heart is resting, between beats. EECP forces the blood up into your heart and upper body.
Diastolic Blood Pressure: The lowest blood pressure measured in the arteries, occuring between heartbeats.
Diastolic Dysfunction: Refers to an abnormality in how the heart fills with blood during diastole.
Doppler Ultrasound: A non-invasive diagnostic test that used sound waves to evaluate the heart and the blood vessels.
Dysautonomia (Autonomic Dysfunction): Refers to various conditions in which the autonomic nervous system, (ANS) does not work correctly. This system is responsible for control of the bodily functions not consciously directed, such as breathing, heartbeat, and the digestive processes.
Ejection Fraction: The ratio of blood that is pumped with each beat of the heart to the volume of blood that fills the heart between beats. It is expressed as a percentage.
Electrocardiogram (EKG) (ECG): A recording of the heart’s electrical activity.
Endothelium: Tissue that forms a single layer of cells lining various organs and cavities of the body, especially the blood vessels, heart, and lymphatic vessels. The endothelial cells are actively involved in regulating blood flow.
Energy Medicine, Energy Therapy, Energy Healing, or Spiritual Healing: Are branches of alternative medicine. The most controversial claim of energy medicine is the belief that healers can channel healing energy into a patient and effect positive results using several methods: hands-on, hands-off, and long distance where the patient and healer are in different locations.
Endothelial Dysfunction: In vascular diseases it is a systemic pathological state of the inner lining of blood vessels and can be broadly defined as an imbalance between vasodilating and vasoconstricting substances produced by or acting on the endothelium.
External Counter Pulsation (ECP): A noninvasive procedure performed on individuals with angina, heart failure or cardiomyopathy in order to diminish symptoms, and improve functional capacity and quality of life. Also see EECP below.
Enhanced External Counter Pulsation (EECP): A noninvasive treatment for heart disease that increases blood flow to the heart, improves heart muscle function, decreases the heart’s workload, and decreases resistance to the heart’s pumping action. During EECP, blood pressure cuffs wrapped around the patient’s legs inflate and deflate in sync with their heartbeat, enhancing blood flow throughout the body.
Enzyme: A substance produced by a living organism that acts as a catalyst to bring about a specific biochemical reaction. These proteins increase the rate of chemical reactions by binding the molecules to hold them in a configuration that allows the reaction to take place.
Femoral Artery: A large artery in the thigh, which is the main arterial supply to the lower limbs.
Free Radicals: Free radicals are molecules that are very unstable and seek to bond to other molecules to increase their stability. They can damage cells, proteins, and DNA by altering their chemical structure.
Glycation of Proteins: Glycation is when carbohydrates (sugars) combine with a protein, causing cells to become sugar coated, stiff, caramelized, sticky, old and damaged causing premature aging.
Glycemic Index: Measurement of the rate at which a certain food causes the blood sugar to rise.
Glycocalyx: A polysaccharide or glycoprotein covering on a cell surface membrane.
Glycosylation: The process by which sugars are chemically attached to proteins to form glycoproteins.
Glucose Tolerance Testing: Measurement of the speed at which the body can absorb and utilize glucose in the blood.
Glucotoxicity: Damage to the body cells that make and use insulin, caused by high blood sugar levels.
Gluconeogenesis (GNG): One of the two main mechanisms used by humans and many other animals to maintain blood glucose levels.
Heart Disease: A generic term comprising all of the various diseases of the heart. Commonly refers to coronary artery disease and/or coronary heart disease.
Heart Failure: The condition in which the heart muscle is weak and unable to pump sufficient blood to meet the body’s needs.
Hayflik Limit: The number of times a normal human cell population will divide until cell division stops and the cell dies a natural death.
Hemoglobin A1C Test: The A1C test result reflects your average blood sugar level for the past two to three months. Specifically, the A1C test measures what percentage of your hemoglobin, a protein in red blood cells that carries oxygen is coated with sugar (glycated). The higher your A1C level, the poorer your blood sugar control and the higher your risk of diabetes complications.
Hibernation: In tissue, a heart, or brain it is a state of inactivity and metabolic depression, which is different from stunning which is the process of rendering tissues immobile or unconscious, without killing the tissue.
High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS): High fructose corn syrup is industrial waste, and far from “natural” or a naturally occurring substance. It is a corn-based sweetener, and can be purchased only by food manufacturers. Its use increased greatly around 1975 because of its low cost, and in the ensuing years it has replaced sucrose as the primary sweetener in processed foods. This trend is now changing.
Hypertension (HTN): High blood pressure.
Impaired Glucose Disposal: Is the delayed or abnormal rate of glucose uptake from the blood by the peripheral tissues, such as skeletal muscle.
Infarction: Tissue death caused by a local lack of oxygen, due to an obstruction of the tissue’s blood supply. See Myocardial Infarction.
Insanity: Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.
Integrative Medicine: Integrative Medicine is the practice of medicine that reaffirms the importance of the relationship between practitioner and patient. It focuses on the whole person, is informed by evidence, and makes use of all appropriate therapeutic approaches, healthcare professionals, and disciplines to achieve optimal health and healing.
Leukoaraiosis: A common finding of nonspecific scarring in the cerebral white matter frequently seen in stroke patients. It has been strongly associated with risk of incident stroke and dementia.
Macro Circulation vs Micro Circulation: Macrovascular circulation is the circulation of blood to and from the organs, ie: the heart. This contrasts with the Microvascular circulation, which is the circulation of the blood in the smallest blood vessels.
Metabolic Syndrome: A cluster of abnormalities (both physiological and biochemical). The presence of metabolic syndrome signals a higher risk of the development of heart disease, diabetes, and other obesity-related illnesses.
Maillard Reaction: A chemical reaction between amino acids and reducing sugars that gives browned food its desirable flavor.
MBBS Degree: Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery, is awarded upon graduation from medical school by universities in countries that follow the tradition of the United Kingdom. In countries that follow the tradition of the United States, the equivalent medical degree is awarded as Doctor of Medicine (MD).
Methylated: The biologically active form of vitamins that have been shown in research to reverse protein glycation, caramelization, stickiness and aging.
Microcirculation (Microvascular circulation): The circulation of the blood in the smallest blood vessels, present in the vasculature embedded within organ tissues.
Monograph: A detailed work on a specific subject that is basically a stand-alone document that has not been reviewed by peers.
Myocardial Infarction (MI): Is commonly referred to as a heart attack. It occurs when one or more of the coronary arteries are suddenly and completely blocked causing an area of the heart muscle to die.
Myocardial Perfusion: The blood flow patterns in the heart muscle.
Myocardium: The heart muscle.
Nitric Oxide (NO): A substance released by endothelial cells that causes blood vessels to relax and dilate.
Nuclear Cardiology: The use of nuclear imaging techniques for the non-invasive study of cardiovascular disease.
Occlusion: The blockage or closing of a blood vessel or hollow organ.
Oriental Medicine: Includes not only acupuncture, but also herbal medicine, nutrition, Tui Na (a form of Chinese therapeutic massage), and Qi Gong (involving breathing exercises combined with movements to create proper energy flow and improve health in the body).
Oxidation: The reaction of a substance with oxygen.
Oxidative Damage: An imbalance between the production of free radicals and the ability of the body to counteract or detoxify their harmful effects through neutralization by antioxidants. Rusting iron is a familiar result of oxidation.
Pathophysiology: The functional physiological processes and changes associated with or resulting from disease or injury. The study of such changes are also called physiopathology.
Plaque Buildup in the Arteries: The growth of cholesterol plaques slowly blocks blood flow in the arteries. A cholesterol plaque can suddenly rupture. The sudden blood clot that forms over the rupture may then cause a heart attack or stroke.
Peripheral Vascular Disease (PVD): Disease of blood vessels outside the heart and brain, most commonly involving atherosclerotic narrowing of the arteries that bring blood to the legs.
Plaque: Deposits of fats, cholesterol, inflammatory cells, proteins, and calcium in the lining of the arteries which causes narrowing and slow blood flow.
Posterior Wall of the Heart: Referrers to the wall of the left ventricle that faces posteriorly towards the spine.
Post Occlusive Reactive Hyperemia (PORH): A test used to investigate and assess microvascular function. It is the increase in capillary circulation that occurs in response to a previous artificial cutting off of the circulation for a specified time (usually 3 minutes) to evaluate the capillary bed’s ability to respond to the lack of oxygen stress.
Pulse Volume Recording: Noninvasive methods used to find significant blockage for peripheral arterial disease or (PAD), a common circulatory problem in which narrowed arteries reduce blood flow to your limbs. It is composed of two parts: the heart wave and the arterial wave (see dicrotic wave).
Receptors (cell receptors): Nerve endings that respond to sensory stimuli.
Regional Fraction Performance: A quantitative method to assess regional wall motion to determine the natural progression of coronary artery disease, or changes resulting from pharmacologic, surgical or physiological interventions.
Scientism: Excessive belief in the power of scientific knowledge and techniques.
Senescence: Biological aging, to grow old.
Stent: A tubular support inserted into a blockage in an artery and expanded to allow blood flow through the vessel.
Stress Test: An exercise test that examines how well the heart works, during which patients walk on a treadmill to increase their heart rate while their EKG is monitored for abnormalities.
Stunning: The process of rendering tissues immobile or unconscious, without killing the tissue; and hibernation is a state of inactivity and metabolic depression.
Sugar: Is the generalized name for sweet, short-chain, soluble carbohydrates, many of which are used in food. They are carbohydrates, composed of carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen. There are various types of sugars derived from a number of different sources.
Systole: The contraction or pumping phase of the cardiac cycle. This is when the heart is maximally contracted or squeezed to empty of blood.
Trial to Assess Chelation Therapy (TACT Study): This National Institute of Health (NIH) study was the first large-scale, multicenter, double blind study designed to determine the safety and efficacy of ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid (EDTA) chelation therapy for individuals with coronary artery disease.
Telomere Shortening: Telomeres are the end part of chromosomes or genes that determine when death occurs. The less or shorter the telomere the closer the cell is to death.