Sometimes when you’re working with doctors they’ll use the term, “idiopathic.” It turns out that’s just a fancy word for, “We don’t know.” I haven’t looked up the origin of the word, but I remember its meaning by thinking, “Idiot, we’re not telepathic.” (Supernatural fans: substitute “idjit” for “idiot.”)
As an example, there’s an illness named, “Chronic Idiopathic Uticaria.” Chronic means constant, uticaria is a fancy word for hives, so that phrase means, “Some people constantly break out in hives, and we don’t know why.”
I have this problem, but for me it’s no longer idiopathic. I now know if I stick to a diet of a small set of organic foods I won’t get hives, but if I stray from that diet I quickly get itchy, and if I keep eating that way I eventually get hives.
That’s my medical lesson of the day. ;)