Health dictionary - G


Ganglioneuromas

Rare tumors that occur most often in people aged between 10 and 40. They are usually benign (not cancerous) and are often discovered during a test for another condition. There are no known risk factors involved.

Gastroenterology

The study of your digestive system. A doctor who specialises in disorders of the digestive system is called a gastroenterologist.

Gastroscopy

This is a test that is used to look at the way you digest food. An endoscope (a thin wobbly tube) is passed through your mouth. It doesn't hurt but it gives you a bit of a sore throat afterwards.

Gastrostomy

A way of feeding where the food goes directly into a tube in your stomach bypassing your mouth and throat.

Gene

Your genes are what makes you like your parents. Each cell in your body contains about 50,000 different genes. Each gene tells a particular cell how to work, so if you have a genetic problem, this could mean that certain cells don’t work properly.

General anaesthetic

The name of a medication that sends a patient to sleep and stops them feeling pain during a surgical procedure by blocking signals from nerves to the brain.

Genetics

Genes are what make you like your parents. They decide what colour your hair is, how tall you are and even what you sound like. They're like computer data that's carried on DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) and decoded by your body.

Germ

Germs cause diseases. There are different types of germ, including viruses and bacteria.

Gingiva

The medical word for your gums.

Gland

Glands are the areas of the body that give off hormones and enzymes.

Glue ear

This is a really common illness in children. Fluid builds up inside the middle ear and goes sticky like glue. This stops the little bones in the ear from moving about which makes it difficult to hear. It usually clears up on its own, but you may need a small drainage tube put into your eardrum called a grommet.

Granulocyte

This is a type of white blood cell – there are three types of granulocyte – neutrophils, basophils and eosonophils. Neutrophils are the most important – they fight bacteria by swallowing it up and are what makes pus!

Grommet

This is a small drainage tube that is used to treat glue ear.

Gums

Your gums are what hold your teeth in place. They fit tightly around the base of each tooth to stop germs getting inside your jaw. Healthy gums are usually a light pink or brown colour, but if your gums bleed a lot when you brush your teeth, this could be a sign of gum disease.