- A person who has hypochondriasis, a disorder characterized by a preoccupation with body functions and the interpretation of normal body sensations (such as sweating) or minor abnormalities (such as minor aches and pains) as portending problems of major medical moment. Reassurance by physicians and others only serves to increase the hypochondriac's persistent anxiety about their health. The hypochondrium is the anatomic area of the upper abdomen just below (Greek "hypo" meaning "below") the cartilage (Greek "chondros" meaning "cartilage") of the ribs. Hypochondriasis was thought by the ancients to be due to disturbed function of the spleen and other organs in the upper abdomen.
* * *1. A person with a somatic overconcern, including morbid attention to the details of bodily functioning and exaggeration of any symptoms no matter how insignificant. 2. A person manifesting hypochondriasis. 3. Beneath the ribs; relating to the hypochondrium.
* * *hy·po·chon·dri·ac -drē-.ak adj1) HYPOCHONDRIACAL2 a) situated below the costal cartilagesb) of, relating to, or being the two abdominal regions lying on either side of the epigastric region and above the lumbar regionshypochondriac n an individual affected with hypochondria or hypochondriasis <a person can be said to be a \hypochondriac when his or her preoccupation with health or disease is so intense that it disrupts normal living habits (People)>
* * *hy·po·chon·dri·ac (hi″po-konґdre-ak) 1. pertaining to the hypochondrium. 2. pertaining to hypochondriasis. 3. a person affected with hypochondriasis.
Medical dictionary. 2011.