Health Literacy Thesaurus: Medical terms, phrases, references,
and their Plain English equivalents or definitions

B (B cells - by which time)

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B cellsdisease fighting cells, cells that are made inside your bones and help fight disease, white blood cells
bacteriagerms
behavior modificationdeveloping new habits, changing what you do, stopping bad habits
beneficialgood, good for, helpful, useful
beneficiarysomeone who receives, person who comes out ahead
benefithelp, aid
benignnot a danger, not harmful, easily treated
benignnot cancer
bereavementgrief after death, loss, sadness, mourning
beveragedrink, fluids, liquids
biannualevery two years, twice a year, two times every year
bilateralwith both sides considered, two-sided, when both sides get a say, even, balanced
bioterrorismspreading virus or disease to cause fear or hurt
BMIa measure of body fat based on height and weight
biotaplants and animals
bona fidereal, true
bone density testbone strength test, a test of how solid and how strong your bones are
bone marrowarea (or the space) inside your bones where blood cells are made
booster shotsa shot you get months or years after your vaccine shot, to keep you safe from that disease
brachial neuritisswelling of the nerves in your arms
breakthrough infectiongetting a disease even though you’ve been vaccinated against it
bronchial tubesthe tubes letting air in and out of the lungs
bronchodilatormedicine, drug that helps you breathe easier
bursitisswollen, painful joints, disease that causes joint pain
by means ofby, using, with
by which timeby then

Source: CDC Plain Language Thesaurus for Health Communications. Other related materials: Vaccines & Immunizations Glossary; Harvard School of Public Health "Plain Language Glossaries" for asthma, arthritis, and lupus; Medical Library Association "Deciphering Medspeak" for diabetes, stroke, and HIV-AIDS


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