Glossary of suggested lab wording general definitions



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GENERAL DEFINITIONS:

  • Gland – A part of the body that makes a hormone or fluid.

    • salivary glands – produce saliva in the mouth

    • thyroid gland – controls the speed of the body’s chemical functions and helps regulate growth and physical maturity.

    • pituitary gland – controls most other glands.

    • adrenal glands – there are two adrenal glands. They control blood pressure, the level of salt and potassium in the body, and affect the speed of the body’s chemical functioning and sweating.

    • ovaries – female glands that produce eggs.

    • testes – male glands that produce sperm.

    • pancreas – gland that produces insulin that regulates sugar in the body

    • parathyroid gland – regulates calcium and phosphorus in the body.

    • hypothalamus – produces hormones that affect the production of other hormones.




  • Hormone – A substance made in the body that is sent directly out into the bloodstream to increase or decrease the function of certain organs, glands, or other hormones.




  • Gene – The basic unit of heredity. A gene contains the instructions or code for making a protein. Proteins are the building blocks of life.




  • Metabolism – The chemical changes in cells that provide energy to the body.

Definition of certain hormones:


Aldosterone: produced by the adrenal glands. Helps to regulate salt and water balance by holding on to salt and water and removing potassium.
Antidiuretic hormone (vasopressin): produced by the pituitary gland. Causes the kidneys to hold on to water and helps to control blood pressure.
Corticosteroid: produced by the adrenal glands. It helps fight inflammation, regulate blood sugar levels, maintain blood pressure, muscle strength, and helps control salt and water balances.
Erythropoietin: produced by the kidneys. Stimulates red blood cell production.
Estrogen: produced by the ovaries. Controls the development of female sex characteristics and the reproductive system.
Glucagon: produced by the pancreas. Raises the blood sugar level.
Growth hormone (GH): produced by the pituitary gland. Controls growth and development and promotes protein production.
Insulin-like growth factor (IGF-1)– a blood test of the level of growth hormone production. Growth hormone (GH) stimulates growth and regulates metabolism.
Insulin: produced by the pancreas. Lowers the blood sugar level, affects the metabolism of blood sugar, protein, and fat throughout the body.
Luteinizing hormone (LH) and Follicle stimulating hormone (FSH): produced by the pituitary gland. These hormones work together to control reproductive functions including the production of sperm and semen, the maturing of the females’ eggs, and the menstrual cycle. They control male and female characteristics such as body hair, muscle formation, skin texture, and thickness, and voice.
Parathyroid hormone (PTH): produced by the parathyroid glands. Controls bone formation and the removing of calcium and phosphorus from the blood.
Progesterone: produced by the ovaries. Prepares the lining of the uterus (womb) for the fertilized egg and prepares the breasts for milk production.
Prolactin: produced by the pituitary gland. Starts and maintains milk production in the female.
Renin and angiotensin: produced by the kidneys. These hormones work together to control blood pressure.
Thyroid hormone: produced in the thyroid gland. Regulates growth, physical maturing, and the speed of metabolism.
Thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH): produced in the pituitary gland. Stimulates the production and secretion of hormones by the thyroid gland.
Testosterone: produced by the testes. Controls the development of male sex characteristics and the reproductive system.

Chemistry – Safety blood tests to determine the balance of the salts and proteins in your blood.

  • electrolytes – a measure of normally-occurring salts and gases in your blood

  • glucose – measure of sugar in your blood

  • albumin – a protein in your blood

  • creatinine – a measure of how well your kidney is functioning

  • BUN – a measure of how well your kidney is working to remove waste

  • total bilirubin – a measure of how well your liver is working

  • alkaline phosphatase (alk phos) – a protein in your blood that can be measured to help determine liver disease.


Hematology – tests certain blood cells including:

  • Hct (Hematocrit) –a measure of red blood cells

  • Hgb (Hemoglobin)– a measure of the amount of oxygen-carrying protein

  • Plt (Platelets) –a measure of cells that help clot your blood

  • PT, PPT (Prothrobmin Time, Partial Prothrombin Time) – measures of time for specific blood products to clot

  • WBCs (White Blood Cells) – a measure of the number of these cells indicates the presence of infection or the ability to fight infection

CBC – complete blood count that measures certain red and white blood cells.
Pharmacokinetics – a blood test that measures how much of a drug is in your system.
Lipids – HDL (good) and LDL (bad) cholesterol and triglycerides. Types of fats in your blood.
Liver Function Tests – blood tests that measure how well your liver is producing and processing many of the things needed by your body (such as vitamins, fats, iron, protein, and sugar).
Kidney Function Tests – blood tests that show how well your kidneys are working to remove waste. Kidney function blood tests include BUN (Blood Urea Nitrogen) and Cr (Creatinine).
Pituitary Hormone Tests – blood tests that measure how well your pituitary gland is working.
Thyroid Function Tests – blood tests to measure how well your thyroid is working

  • Includes thyroxine, TSH, T3, and T4



Diabetes – abnormally high level of sugar in your blood


  • Hemoglobin A1c (also called glycosylated hemoglobin) – blood test that shows your average blood sugar level over the past 2 to 3 months

  • C-Peptide –indirect measure of how much insulin your body produces


General Urinalysis - urine screening test for abnormalities like infection or kidney problems

  • Microalbumin or microalbuminuria – urine test for protein, which may indicate an early stage of kidney disease

  • Creatinine Clearance – kidney function test determined by 12 or 24 hour urine collection

  • Total Urine Protein – kidney function test determined by a 12 or 24 hour urine collection



Revised July 29, 2002


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