17 complicated medical terms and their simpler explanations

Though PR pros should simplify their writing as much as possible, complex words may be necessary when writing for clients in the medical industry.

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But when it comes to medical writing, using simpler terms is not always possible.

Medical terminology is notoriously complicated, given the Latin and Greek origins of many medical terms. Then there are the eponyms (words derived from someone’s name), such as listeriosis or Guillain–Barré syndrome.

Below is a list of complicated medical terms and their simpler explanations. (Definitions from Medline Plus):

1. Aphthous stomatitis: benign, non-contagious mouth sores. Also known as canker sores.

2. Borborygmi: the sound of your stomach growling, caused by the movement of gas in the intestine.

3. Bradykinesia: having slow movement or reflexes.

4. Choledocholithiasis: stones in the gallbladder or common bile duct.

5. Costochondritis: chest pain caused by the inflammation of the cartilage that connects the ribs to the breastbone.

6. Epistaxis: a nosebleed.

7. Hypercholesterolemia: high cholesterol.

8. Lachrymation: the abnormal or excessive flow of tears.

9. Morsicatio buccarum: cheek biting.

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