Obscure Medical Terms: How Well Do You 'Speak Medicine'?

Albert B. Lowenfels, MD


November 09, 2018

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Although alcohol has been imbibed for thousands of years, the medical term to describe the unpleasant symptoms of excessive consumption was only coined more recently. Faculty from the Veterans Affairs Medical Center and the University of California, San Francisco, combined a Norwegian word, kveis, which translates loosely as "uneasiness after debauchery," and the Greek word algia, meaning "pain."[8] "Hangover" is such a common term that it is likely to persist in the medical vocabulary, rather than be replaced by a newly minted obscure term.

Well-known symptoms include headache, diarrhea, nausea, tremor, and fatigue. Although suggestions for treatment abound, a systematic review of randomized controlled trials concluded that there was no evidence to support commonly suggested cures.[9]


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