human behavior

New word: idiopathic

Posted in Health & Medicine, New Word by humanb on December 8, 2006


: arising spontaneously, or from an obscure or unknown cause

: idios (of an individual/of one’s own) + pathos (disease)


As in:

Patient: I have been getting hives every night for the past six months and they won’t go away, and I have no idea where they are coming from. I don’t have any known allergies.

Dr: Hmm… Sounds like chronic idiopathic urticaria.

Urticaria is just the medical term for hives. So all the doctor is saying – albeit in very impressive language is:

Dr: You have chronic hives and hell if I know why.

That is exactly what the patient said when she walked in the door.

Thanks Dr. Nick! 🙂

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2 Responses

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  1. Leinad said, on December 9, 2006 at 2:57 pm

    Ah, good old ‘idiopathic’. For a few years I was struck down with a horrible chest/shoulder inflammation with a whole slew of associated ill effects which after an extensive round of checks the doctors decided to call ‘idiopathic polyserositis’ aka ‘a whole bunch of inflammatory conditions we can’t explain’ – thanks fellas.

    At least I had an impressive name to call it.

  2. humanb said, on December 10, 2006 at 7:28 am

    A very impressive name indeed.

    Thank goodness for you it went away, though hell if we know how.

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