Glossary - F

Fats
In chemistry, fats are compounds formed from chemicals called fatty acids (see Lipid).
Fats, saturated
Fatty acids, abundant in red meat, lard, butter, hard cheeses, and some vegetable oils (particularly tropical oils such as palm, coconut, and cocoa butter, and partially hydrogenated oils), in which each molecule has the maximum amount of hydrogen atoms.
Fats, unsaturated
Fatty acids in which some of the hydrogen atoms in each molecule have been replaced by double bonds.
Fauces
The narrow passage from the mouth to the pharynx, between the soft palate and the base of the tongue. On either side, two membranous folds inclose the tonsils.
Favus
A contagious fungal disease of the skin, especially the scalp.
Febrifuge
Reduces fever.
Febrile
Pertaining to or characterized by fever.
Felon
A soft tissue infection of the finger tip.
Fibromyalgia (fibrositis)
Pain, stiffness, tenderness of muscles, tendons, and joints, and fatigue, all without detectable inflammation. A disorder of unknown cause affecting about 1% of North Americans.
Fibrositis
See Fibromyalgia.
Filaricidal
Kills species of Filaria, a genus of slender, nematode worms, parasitic in the blood of various mammals.
Fistula
An abnormal passage, usually between two internal organs or leading from an internal organ to the surface of the body. Fistulas are frequently created experimentally to obtain body secretions for study.
Flatulence
Excessive intestinal gas, a concept difficult to quantify. The average person passes about 2 litres of gas each day through burping and farting.
Flavoring
Any substance employed to give a particular flavor to a medicine.
Flesh-eating bacteria
A strain of group A streptococcus (bacteria) which, in severe cases, can destroy tissues rapidly.
Flu
See Influenza.
Flux
A flow of fluid from the body, especially excessive, abnormal discharge from the bowels.
Folliculitis
Inflammation of a follicle or follicles, usually of the hair.
Fomentation
1. Application of hot moist poultice to the body to ease pain.
2. The materials so applied.
Free radical
An unstable oxygen molecule that can damage tissue.
Frigidity
Lack of sexual desire, especially in a woman; abnormally adverse to sexual activity.
Furuncle
A localized inflammatory swelling of the skin and nearby tissues, caused by a bacterial infection in a hair follicle or skin gland. A boil.