path-, patho-, -path-, -pathia, -pathic, -pathology, -pathetic, -pathize, -pathy

(Greek: feeling, sensation, perception; suffering, disease, or disorder; a system of treating diseases)

In medicine, some of these elements usually mean "someone who suffers from a disease of, or one who treats a disease"; so, they should not be confused with the words that mean "feeling" which are also shown on these pages even though both meanings come from the same Greek element.

hieropathic (adjective), more hieropathic, most hieropathic
Pertaining to a love of, or strong feeling for the clergy: Wilber's elderly grandmother was very hieropathic, gave generous donations to the church, and never missed attending church services on Sundays.
hippopathology (s) (noun) (no pl)
In veterinary medicine, the study of the diseases of horses: Since Sam loved horses, he decided to go to get a veterinary education and specialize in hippopathology, or the science of examining and treating the ailments of horses.
histopathology (s) (noun), histopathologies (pl)
The study of abnormal or diseased tissue or microscopically visible changes in diseased tissue: Histopathology is the science of the structural alteration of cells and tissues caused by infections and ailments.
homeopath (s) (noun), homeopaths (pl)
An individual who cures diseases or ailments by allopathy: In the year 1881, homeopaths were thought to be quacks who used questionable or useless medications to treat people's disorders.
homeopathology (s) (noun) (no pl)
The science of alternative medicine stating that the body can cure itself: Since Jane didn't want to study conventional medicine, she decided to learn more about homeopathology and the use of natural substances for treating ailments.
homeopathy (s) (noun), homeopathies (pl)
A system of medical treatment based on the use of small quantities of remedies that, in massive doses, produce effects similar to those of the disease being treated.

Homeopathy, historical background

Homeopathy was invented by the German physician Samuel Hahnemann (1755-1843) in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. It was both refined and popularized by the American physician James Tyler Kent.

Homeopathy is based on the theory that each naturally occurring element, plant, and mineral compound will, when ingested or applied, result in certain symptoms. Hahnemann believed that, by diluting these substances in a standardized manner, one could reach the true essence of that substance. Hahnemann described this process of dilution as "potentizing" (German: "potenziert") the substance. These diluted amounts could then be used to treat the very symptoms they were known to produce.

Hahnemann and his students approached their treatments in a holistic way, meaning that the whole of the body and spirit is dealt with, not just the localised disease. Hahnemann himself spent extended periods of time with his patients, asking them questions that dealt not only with their particular symptoms or illness, but also with the details of their daily lives.

It is also suggested that the gentle approach of homeopathy was a reaction to the violent forms of medicine of the day, which included techniques such as bleeding.

hydropathic (adjective), more hydropathic; nost hydropathic
Concerning the treatment of an ailment using water: Hydropathic therapy includes the method of drinking mineral water or of using it externally in hopes of curing diseases.
hydropathist (s) (noun), hydropathists (pl)
One who specializes in the use of water to treat and cure diseases; a water-cure doctor: Martin's father was a hydropathist, an expert in the employment of water as a means of curing people's disorders and ailments.
hydropathology (s) (noun), hydropathologies (pl)
The system of using water to treat and cure diseases: Dr. Dawson thought that using the method of hydropathology would be a great addition to his clinic in that patients could also receive the benefits of water therapy.
hydropathy (s) (noun), hydropathies (pl)
The use of water to treat and cure ailments internally or externally; hydrotherapy: Dr. Hathaway suggested that Susan should take advantage of hydropathy in order to speed up her recovery.
hydrosudopathy (s) (noun), hydrosudopathies (pl)
A therapy using hydrotherapy integrated with induced sweating: Norman found out that the method of hydrosudopathy could help his ailment and so he went to a Turkish bath!
hylopathic (adjective) (not comparable)
Referring to the theory that matter is affected by spirits: In the newspaper there was a small article about hylopathic research in progress regarding supernatural beings being able to influence or have an impact on matter or substances.
hylopathy (s) (noun) (no pl)
An outdated term, the ability of a supernatural being to enter and affect matter: Nancy found out in her book that hylopathy could also relate to a disease that could be affected or changed by a spirit in a person's body.
hypnopathy (s) (noun), hypnopathies (pl)
Any sleeping disorder caused by an illness: Lance was suffering from unrefreshing sleep, and thought that he must have a case of hypnopathy and went to see his doctor about finding out the reason for this unhealthy mode of sleeping.
hypobaropathy (s) (noun) (no pl)
Sickness or disturbances experienced in high altitudes; high-altitude sickness: Hypobaropathy is due to reduced air pressure and oxygen intake.

Hypobaropathy is caused by reduced barometric pressure and not always distinguished from hypobarism.

Quiz You can find self-scoring quizzes over many of the words in this subject area by going to this Vocabulary Quizzes page.