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aerophagy

Excessive swallowing of air, which may be caused by rapid eating or drinking or by anxiety.

AF

An abbreviation for atrial fibrillation

AFP

An abbreviation for alpha-fetoprotein

agranulocytosis

A blood disorder in which there is a sudden and dangerous fall in levels of a type of white blood cell called granulocytes.

AIDS

Acquired immune deficiency syndrome, a deficiency of the immune system due to infection with HIV.

Albright's syndrome

A genetic disorder affecting bones, skin pigmentation and hormone production.

albumin

A type of chemical called a protein, formed in the liver.

aldosterone

A hormone produced by the adrenal glands that helps to regulate salt and water balance in the body.

Alexander technique

A physical therapy technique that aims to amend everyday movement patterns and posture to improve coordination, balance and ease of movement.

alkaline phosphatase

An enzyme that leaks into the blood in certain diseases of liver and bone, especially metastases from cancer.

ALL

An abbreviation that stands for acute lymphoblastic leukaemia, a type of leukaemia that is most common in the one to five age group.

allergen

Any substance that provokes an allergic reaction

allergic eczema

A red, itchy skin eruption due to an allergic reaction.

allergic rhinitis

A runny nose (rhinitis) due to an allergic response

allergy

Various conditions caused by exaggerated reactions of the immune system (hypersensitivity reactions) to a variety of substances.

allogeneic transplant

A donor transplant.

alopecia

Loss or absence of hair.

alopecia areata

A patchy hair loss condition.

ALT

An abbreviation for alanine-amino transferase

alveoli

The tiny air sacs of the lungs where gas exchange takes place

alveolitis

Inflammation of the alveoli

Alzheimer’s disease

A form of dementia common among older people.

amenorrhoea

The absence of menstrual periods.

amino acid

An organic compound that is the basic building block of all proteins.