Actos (pioglitazone hydrochloride)
A drug that decreases Insulin Resistance in peripheral and
hepatic tissue. It is in a class of anti-diabetic drugs called "thiazolidinediones"
that are used in the treatment of Type 2 Diabetes.
A protein hormone produced and secreted exclusively by
adipocytes (fat cells) that regulates the metabolism of lipids
and glucose. Adiponectin influences the body's response to
insulin. It also has anti-inflammatory effects on the cells
lining the walls of blood vessels. High blood levels of
adiponectin are associated with a reduced risk of heart attack.
Low levels of adiponectin are found in people who are obese and
therefore at increased risk of a heart attack.
Adipose tissue cushions and insulates the body and is the
largest reservoir of fuel-storing energy in the form of rapidly
utilizable triglycerides. It is primarily located beneath the
skin but also found around internal organs. In the skin, the
tissue accumulates at the deepest level, the subcutaneous layer,
where it provides insulation from heat and cold. Around the
organs, it provides protective padding and also functions as a
reserve of nutrients. In a severely obese person, excess adipose
tissue hanging downward from the abdomen is referred to as a
panniculus (or pannus). A panniculas complicates surgery of the
morbidly obese and may remain as a literal "apron of skin" if a
severely obese person loses most of his or her excess weight, as
in the case of a bypass.
Located above each kidney, adrenal glands are comprised of an
outer wall (cortex) that secretes important steroid hormones (aldosterone,
cortisol, testosterone, estrone) and an inner portion (medulla)
that produces epinephrine, norepinephrine and dopamine. These
hormones influence many vital functions such as heart rate,
blood pressure and the way the body uses food, adapts to stress
and expresses sexual characteristics.
Hormones secreted by the adrenal cortex, e.g. cortisol,
aldosterone and androgens (testosterone).
A diuretic used in the treatment of hirsutism, PCOS (Polycystic
Ovarian Syndrome), congestive heart failure, cirrhosis of the
liver, kidney disease, hypertension and in resistant cases of
low potassium (hypokalemia). It is also used to counteract the
effects of excessive adrenal aldosterone production (as from an
adrenal tumor) which influences sodium retention, potassium
excretion and blood volume.
A progressive, neurodegenerative disease characterized by loss
of function and death of nerve cells in several areas of the
brain leading to loss of cognitive function including memory and
language. It is the most well known type of dementia.
The precursor to angiotensin II, which constricts blood vessel
walls and raises blood pressure. In addition, it enhances
macrophage accumulation (see Tumor Necrosis Factor TNF) as well
as the metabolism of nitric oxide into free radicals.
Literally the hardening and thickening of the arteries. This
condition, divided into three distinct variants, can occur due
to build up of fat deposits (plaque) on the inner walls of
arteries (atherosclerosis), calcification of the wall of the
arteries (Monckeberg's medial calcific sclerosis), or thickening
of the muscular wall of small arteries and arterioles
A form of arteriosclerosis that occurs when fatty deposits
called plaque cling to the interior walls of the arteries
causing narrowing and blockages which can lead to heart attacks,
stroke and embolism.
Illness that occurs when body tissues are attacked by their own
immune system. It is felt that estrogen in females may influence
the immune system to predispose some women to autoimmune
diseases. Examples of autoimmune diseases include Juvenile (Type
I) Diabetes, systemic lupus erythematosus, Sjogren syndrome,
Hashimoto thyroiditis, rheumatoid arthritis, Addison's disease,
vitiligo, pernicious anemia and pulmonary fibrosis.
Avandia (rosiglitazone maleate)
A drug that increases insulin sensitivity, it is in a class of
anti-diabetic drugs called "thiazolidinediones" that are used in
the treatment of Type 2 Diabetes.
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Excess Weight and Elevated Cholesterol