Glossary

Browse through glands, hormones and endocrine conditions.
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S

secondary sexual characteristics

a set of physical changes to the body that occurs during puberty in boys (growth of facial, chest and pubic hair; enlargement of penis and testes) and girls (breast development; growth of underarm and pubic hair).

Secondary hyperparathyroidism

Secondary hyperparathyroidism is the release of too much parathyroid hormone resulting from a failure of one or more of the body's mechanisms that control levels of calcium in the blood.

systemic lupus erythematosus

a chronic autoimmune condition (where the body attacks itself) that causes damage to tissues throughout the body. Symptoms are variable and extensive.

Sheehan's syndrome

Sheehan's syndrome is a rare condition affecting the pituitary gland that occurs as a result of heavy bleeding during or after childbirth.

Somatostatinoma

Somatostatinomas are rare tumours that arise from specialised cells in the pancreas or duodenum (first part of small intestine) that produce large amounts of the hormone somatostatin.

Somatostatin

Somatostatin is a hormone that inhibits the secretion of several other hormones, including growth hormone, thyroid stimulating hormone, cholecystokinin and insulin.

subfertility

reduced levels of fertility in a man or woman, where some form of assisted reproductive therapy may be needed to conceive a child; equally, a natural conception may be possible but may take longer than average to achieve.

screening

the practice of checking a person at regular intervals for signs or genetic predisposition of a condition before any symptoms have developed.

surrogate

a woman who agrees to carry the child of another couple through pregnancy.

sporadic

describes an event that occurs randomly.

scrotum

the sac of skin that lies outside the body in men, behind the penis, in which the testes sit.

sternum

the chest bone.

sodium

an essential salt found in the body, which is important in the transmission of electrical signals between nerve cells in the brain.

stroke

sudden damage to brain cells caused by a lack of oxygen to the brain, usually by a blockage in the brain’s blood supply. Symptoms include drooping of one side of the face, lack of feeling in one arm, difficulty talking. Immediate treatment is needed.


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