Glossary

Browse through glands, hormones and endocrine conditions.
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Multiple endocrine neoplasia type 2A

Multiple endocrine neoplasia type 2A (MEN2A) is a rare inherited disease causing the development of tumours in the thyroid, adrenal and parathyroid glands.

Multiple endocrine neoplasia type 2B

Multiple endocrine neoplasia type 2B (MEN2B) is a rare inherited disease causing the development of tumours in the thyroid, adrenal and parathyroid glands, and mucosal tumours.

Multiple endocrine neoplasia type 1

Multiple endocrine neoplasia type 1 is a rare inherited disease, which can result in tumours in the pituitary and parathyroid glands, and pancreas.

Melanocyte-stimulating hormone

Melanocyte-stimulating hormone describes a group of hormones produced by the pituitary gland, hypothalamus and skin cells. It is important for protecting the skin from UV rays, development of pigmentation and control of appetite.

magnetic resonance imaging

(MRI) a type of radiography scan used to visualise parts of the body internally for diagnostic purposes. Electromagnetic energy is used to create an image.

McCune Albright syndrome

a rare genetic disorder which causes overactivity of glands in the body, as well as characteristic skin and bony abnormalities. The overactivity is caused by a change in the protein that usually controls hormone production.

Multinodular goitre

Goitre is a general term for an enlarged thyroid gland. Multinodular goitre is where the enlarged thyroid appears with a number of separate lumps (nodules) in the gland.

Male hypogonadism

Male hypogonadism is the result of deficiency of the male sex hormone testosterone. It can lead to loss of sex drive and function, delayed puberty, osteoporosis, and there can also be associated failure of the testes to produce sperm.

multidisciplinary

involving specialists from more than one area of medicine. Some diseases are complex and affect more than one part of the body and so require doctors from different backgrounds to work together to form a treatment plan.

menstrual cycle

the (roughly) 28-day cycle of a woman’s reproductive system, which is controlled by female reproductive hormones. Menstruation (period) is at Day 1 and an egg is released at Day 14 (ovulation).

mammary glands

tissue in female breasts that produces milk during lactation (breastfeeding).

metabolic rate

the rate at which energy is used by the body.

malabsorption

when the body is not able to take in or absorb nutrients properly.

malnutrition

not eating properly; not receiving enough nutrients.

menstruation

period or monthly bleed. This is the breaking down of the lining of the womb, which occurs in the absence of a pregnancy each month.

menstruate

to have a period or monthly bleed.

metabolism

the storage and break down of nutrients which can provide energy when required.

Melatonin

Melatonin is mainly produced by the pineal gland and, although it appears not to be essential for human physiology, it is known to have a range of different effects when taken as a medication.

Menopause

The menopause is the time when menstruation stops because the ovaries stop producing hormones and releasing eggs for fertilisation. This marks the end of a woman's reproductive years.

medullary

describes the inner area of an organ; e.g. thyroid gland, kidney, adrenal gland.

mutation

a spontaneous permanent change to the genetic code (DNA) that sometimes results in offspring having a different characteristic to parents or sometimes causes no noticeable effect at all.

malaise

a general feeling of not being very well.

medulla

the inner area of an organ; e.g. kidney, thyroid, adrenal gland.

myeloma

(multiple myeloma) a type of cancer that affects plasma cells, a type of white blood cell made in the bone marrow.

MIBG

(metaiodobenzylguanidine) a specialised type of nuclear medicine scan used during the investigation of a phaeochromocytoma or paraganglioma (tumours of the sympathetic nervous system).


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