Glossary C


Glossary of Terms

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CMP (Comprehensive Metabolic Panel)

A group of 14 tests that provide important information about the status of kidneys, liver, electrolyte and acid/base balance, blood sugar, and blood proteins. A broad screening tool, the CMP is also used to monitor complications of diseases or side effects of some medications.

C-Reactive Protein (CRP)

One of the plasma proteins known as acute-phase proteins: proteins whose plasma concentrations increase (or decrease) by 25 percent or more during inflammatory disorders. CRP is a test of value in medicine, reflecting the presence and intensity of inflammation although an elevation in C-Reactive Protein is not the absolute diagnostic sign of any one condition. Inflammation is believed to play a major role in the development of coronary artery disease; markers of inflammation have been tested in respect to heart health. In a recent study, CRP was found to be the only marker of inflammation that independently predicted the risk of a heart attack.


An abnormal growth of cells that tend to proliferate in an uncontrolled way and, in some cases, to spread (metastasize).


Primarily sugars and starches that constitute one of the three principal types of nutrients (carbohydrates, fats, and proteins) used as energy sources (calories) by the body. Carbohydrates come in complex forms, such as starches and fiber, and simple forms such as sugars. Most sugars and starches are broken down by the body into glucose, a simple sugar that can be used to fuel cells.

Cardiovascular Disease

A disease affecting the blood vessels or heart. Women with PCOS are at increased risk for early-onset cardiovascular disease.

Cesarean section

The surgical removal of an infant from the uterus. Also called a C-section.

Chaste tree berry (Vitex agnus-castus)

A plant traditionally thought to suppress sexual excitability (hence the name “chaste”), current and historical evidence support its use in menstrual irregularities, PMS, insufficient lactation, and other conditions associated with prolactin, dopamine and indirectly, progesterone dysfunction.


The body’s most common type of steroid, it is crucial to the formation of Vitamin D, sex hormones (progesterone, estrogens and androgens), mineralocorticoid hormones (aldosterone), and glucocorticoid hormones (cortisol) and bile acids (for digestion of fat). It is carried in the bloodstream as lipoproteins, e.g., LDL (low density lipoproteins) and HDL (high density lipoproteins). Cholesterol is also essential for cell membrane function.


A trace mineral considered essential to health, it is linked to the production of glucose tolerance factor (GTF) that affects insulin binding receptors and thus, stability of blood glucose levels. It is also involved in carbohydrate and fat metabolism.

Chromium picolinate

A biologically active chromium salt containing three picolinic acid ligands used as a dietary supplement.

Cimetidine (Tagamet)

Cimetidine belongs to a class of medications called H2-blockers that inhibit the action of histamine on the stomach cells, thus reducing stomach acid production.


Having to do with the examination and treatment of patients.

Clomid (clomiphene citrate, Serophene)

A drug used to treat infertility through its action on endocrine processes leading to ovulation.


In medicine, a complication is an additional problem that arises following a procedure, treatment, or illness and is secondary to it.

Coronary Heart Disease

Coronary heart disease (or coronary artery disease) is the most common form of heart disease and affects the blood vessels (or coronary arteries) of the heart. It can cause angina (chest pain) and heart attacks. High blood pressure, high cholesterol, smoking, obesity, and not being physically active put individuals at risk for coronary heart disease.

Corpus Luteum

A section of the ovary that produces progesterone and some estrogen. When fertilization occurs the corpus luteum provides the progesterone required until the placenta is formed.

CT scan

A computerized tomography (CT) scan. Pictures of structures within the body are created by a computer that takes the data from multiple X-ray images and turns them into pictures on a screen.

Cushing’s syndrome

A complex condition caused by an excess of the hormone cortisol. Common signs and symptoms include thinning of the skin, weakness, weight gain (especially in the trunk), easy bruising, hypertension, glucose intolerance, osteoporosis, facial puffiness and, in women, irregular menstrual cycles.

Cystic Ovaries

Ovaries with a “string of pearls” or “pearl necklace” appearance with many cysts or fluid-filled sacs. Ovarian cysts can be detected with a pelvic ultrasound.


Cysts are abnormal, closed sac-like structures within a tissue that contain a liquid, gaseous, or semisolid substance. Cysts can occur anywhere in the body and can vary in size. The outer, or capsular, portion of a cyst is termed the cyst wall.

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