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

R (RA - rupture)

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RArheumatoid arthritis, disease of joints
radiation(see ionizing radiation and non-ionizing radiation)
radioisotopemedicine, special medicine, drug or radioactive tracer
radiologista doctor who studies x-rays and other images, x-ray specialist
radiologistx-ray doctor, a doctor who studies x-ray and other images
radiologyx-ray department
radionuclidemedicine, special medicine or drug
rampantunchecked, raging, uncontrolled
rapid diagnostic testfast result test to see if someone is sick
rationalereason, thinking, intent, purpose
Raynaud’s syndromecirculatory disease
reactiona response
reassortmentchange, new type of virus
receiveget, admit, welcome
recipientperson who gets something
recognizeaccept, know, see, find
recombinantnew gene combination
recoverget better, feel better, heal
recrudescencewhen someone who seemed better gets sick again, relapse
recuperateget better, feel better, get well, recover
recurcome back, get again, happen again
reducelower, cut, trim, dilute
redundantextra, not needed, excess, surplus, spare
regimendiet, plan, program
registersign up, sign in
regularusual, normal, everyday, common
regulatecontrol, restrict, watch over, govern
regulationrule, law
rehabilitateget better, restore
reimbursepay back, refund
reinforcemake stronger, brace, support
reiteraterepeat, say again
relieffeel better, ease, not as bad, ease or lessening from pain or discomfort
relieveease, make better, soothe, rest
remissionperiod of time when a disease is not active
renalrelated to the kidney
requestask for, beg
requireneed, ask for
requirementsneeds, regulations
rescindcancel, take away
resemblelook like, take after, match
residebe in, live in
residencehome, apartment, house
Residual Seizure Disorderseizures, sudden attack, brain problem
respiratory therapistbreathing therapist
respiterest, relief
restrainhold back, stop
retrieveget, bring back, get back
revealshow, tell
reviewgo over, check
Reye’s Syndromebrain disease in children
rheumatoid arthritisdisease of joints, joint swelling
rheumatologistjoint, bone, and immune system doctor
rheumatologystudy of the immune system, joints, and bones
risk reductionreducing the chance of something (usually negative) happening
Rotavirusgerm causing stomach flu
RubellaGerman measles
rupturebreak, burst, break open

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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