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Glossary of terms: D  
Defecation The process of expelling or evacuating faeces or a bowel movement out of the body.  
Definition A precise statement explaining the meaning of a word. In medical terms, an explanation of the essential nature of a medical disorder to distinguish it from other disorders.  
Degranulation Degranulation refers to the process whereby mast cells release the content of their granules and thereby help to initiate an inflammatory response. The granules contain large amounts of histamine and other molecules that act on blood vessels and in the case of IC may possibly have an effect on nearby nerves. Cimetidine is one of the drugs that can inhibit the effects of histamine released through degranulation.  
Demyelination The myelin sheath acts as insulation around a nerve fibre. Demyelination or destruction of this myelin sheath has a drastic effect on nerve conduction.  
Detrusor The muscle in the wall of the urinary bladder.  
Detrusor hyperreflexia Overactivity of the bladder muscle  
Diagnosis The identification or recognition of diseases. The process of determining the nature of a disorder by taking into account the signs and symptoms, medical history, the results of tests and examinations, and where appropriate imaging.  
Diclofenac An oral non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug.  
Differential diagnosis Distinguishing between conditions with similar symptoms.  
Dilatation Widening or stretching.  
Dipstick Dipsticks are a simple chemical test for urine. A dipstick may include tests for infection, glucose, pH factor, protein and blood in the urine. However, in the case of repeated infection, a urine culture is necessary.  
Diuresis Increased production of urine by the kidneys. Either caused by increased drinking of fluids or induced artificially by administration of a diuretic.  
Diuretic Any drug used to increase the production of urine. Diuretics are used for treating heart failure, high blood pressure and many other conditions where fluid and salt are retained in the body.  
Diverticulum (plural: diverticula) A pouch or small bulge formed at weak points in the lining of the mucous membrane of an organ, e.g. the intestines, commonly the colon. Can also occur in the bladder where diverticula are uncommon but not rare.  
Diverticulitis Inflammation of a diverticulum, commonly in the colon and usually with pain felt on the left side of the abdomen.  
Diverticulosis Presence of diverticula without inflammation. Occurs in many people, particularly the elderly, may go unnoticed and only be found by chance.  
DMSO Dimethyl Sulfoxide, originally a commercial solvent, approved by the FDA for the treatment of interstitial cystitis. Analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties. Administered intravesically for IC, often in a cocktail with other ingredients.  
DNA Deoxyribonucleic acid or DNA: a molecule that carries the hereditary information of most living organisms. It is located in the cell nucleus.  
Double blind study A study in which neither the doctor nor the patients being treated know whether patients are receiving the active ingredient being tested or a placebo (an inactive substance).  
DRE Digital Rectal Examination. Insertion of a gloved, lubricated finger into the rectum of men to feel the prostate and check for any abnormalities.  
Drug-induced cystitis Certain drugs are believed to cause IC-like symptoms. These include tia profenic acid. Cystitis induced by drugs has often been misdiagnosed in the past as interstitial cystitis.  
Dysmenorrhoea Pain with menstrual periods, mainly in the lower abdomen or small of the back.  
Dyspareunia Painful sexual intercourse, a term usually applied to women but can also be used for men.  
Dysuria Painful or difficult urination often accompanied by a burning sensation in the urethra.  
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