What does DYS Mean in Medical Terms?

Medical terminology seems difficult to understand. When glancing over a long list of terms, it’s like looking at a foreign language and can be hard to grasp. However, though some six-syllable words are intimidating, there are ways that, when broken down, they start to make more sense. Understanding the prefixes and roots of terms, you’ll realize they are not as scary as they seem and a lot easier to understand than you might think.


What Does DYS Mean?

In the medical world, DYS- means bad or difficult. When this prefix is at the beginning of a word, it generally means there is a fault in an organ or bodily function. For example, let’s look at the word “dyspepsia.” -Pepsia is a term that means digestion in the world of medicine. So, putting the prefix and suffix together, you get “bad” or “difficult” digestion. Let’s try another one. The word “dyspnea” looks strange but take the prefix aside and look at what is left. -Pnea deals with the lungs and the action of breathing. Therefore, just like above, putting the two words together, dyspnea means difficulty breathing.


A Quick Trick to Remember

For the younger audience out there, this trick will work wonders. To start, think of rappers and some of their lyrically poetic insults. These insults directed at others are known as a dis, generally found in rap battles. So, to remember DYS-, think of a dis. It might be a bad example for some but, we promise it will help. Even if you’ve never enjoyed the “flowetry” of Eminem or Dr. Dre, you can still get the picture.


The Bigger Picture

One important thing to keep in mind when studying or using medical terminology is knowing a few things come in handy. With each new word you learn, start with dissecting it and look for the meaning in both the prefix and suffix. For example, when you see long terms starting with DYS-, your brain will automatically think of the word “bad.” So, just like you have a trick to remember the prefix, do the same for other common prefixes. These include prefixes like hyper-, macro-, anti-, and semi-. Once you start to study up on prefixes then, you can move on to suffixes. Just like any other form of study, it takes time and patience to understand medical terminology.


Tips to Studying Medical Terminology

If you’re on your way to medical or nursing school, you’ll need to know medical terminology. First, don’t panic, and second, start looking over common words now. You know what works best for you when it comes to studying, so find what makes words stick. Start with prefixes and then quiz yourself, seeing if you can find the meaning without running to the dictionary. Dissecting words will save you a ton of time and help you better prepare for your entrance exams into secondary schools and programs. Though words look intimidating, they are actually not, with a ton of small clues to help you find the meaning.