Primary Care Physician
Dr. Orrange received her BA in Biology at the University of California, San Diego, and a Masters Degree in Health Sciences at the Johns Hopkins University School of Public Health. She received her MD from the USC Keck School of…
"Say What?" The 10 Weirdest Medical Terms for Common Ailments
Posted in DailyStrength M... by Dr. Sharon Orrange on Apr 04, 2011
I have been compiling this list in my head for years. Physicians in training love to throw out these words while patients look at us in disbelief. Here are the weirdest medical terms for fairly common conditions with shockingly simple explanations. Why does it have to be so complicated?
1) Borborygmi: This is the rumbling sound you hear in your stomach, made by the movement of gas in the intestines. A very cool word.

2) Labile: “Characterized by wide fluctuations” such as with blood pressure, blood sugars or mood (think menopause).

3) Pruritus Ani: Pruritus of the anal region, more commonly known as itchy butt.

4) Choledocholithiasis: Stones in the gallbladder and common bile duct. This is a crazy word for a fairly common condition.

5) Xerostomia: Dry mouth. Simple, right?

6) Xerosis: Dry skin. Enough said.

7) Aphthous ulcers: These are canker sores, the white shallow ulcers you get in your mouth that hurt way out of proportion to their tiny little appearance.

8) Epistaxis: The medical term for nosebleed.

9) Menometrorrhagia: Irregular and heavy bleeding. Not to be confused by Menorrhagia which is heavy bleeding during your regular period, menometrorrhagia is heavy bleeding during your period as well as other times in between.

10) Bradykinesia: This is slowness of movement, either the slow ability to start or continue movement. We see this in Parkinson’s patients but many folks after the LA Marathon looked like this too.

Many of these are derived from Greek words and there are tons more. Apparently as doctors we need our own language so we look more important when we talk to you about dry skin and nosebleeds.

Dr O.

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LOL !! how funny is this ?
By fedupwdrs  Apr 05, 2011
Raymh you are so right, I had both dry mouth and dry eyes in my mind when Iwas writing it and though I know Xerostomia is dry mouth I made a mistake THANK YOU! Dry eyes, in our world, on our billing codes is actually keratoconjunctivitis sicca...crazy right? Dr O.
By DrOrrange  Apr 05, 2011
Thanks for the laugh. I'm a caregiver for my wonderful amazing and mentally sharp mother. In between her major emergencies, she's perky, inspirational and healthy. But this month has been rough. I needed to hear a doctor lighten up the crazy medical world.
By nightbyrd  Apr 05, 2011
i want to correct it a bit--
xerostomia-- is not dry eyes, it is dry mouth, due to lack of salivation,

dry eyes is called as xeropthalmia
By raymh  Apr 05, 2011
i want to correct it a bit--
xerostomia-- is not dry eyes, it is dry mouth, due to lack of salivation,

dry eyes is called as xeropthalmia
By raymh  Apr 05, 2011
I had fun reading all of that. This is really funny, I just knew it. Thanks for your post anyway. I like that term Borborygmi, I usually hear that from my stomach.
By ricamonete  Apr 04, 2011
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