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PI: Abbreviation for ... "Para one". A female who has given birth to "one" infant
PII: Abbreviation for ... "Para two". A female who has given birth to "two" infants
P21: A gene believed to trigger many of the diseases associated with old age including cancer.
PA: 1. PA: Abbreviation for ... "alveolar (referring to the small air sacs at the bronchioles of the lungs) pressure". 2. Abbreviation for "posterior and anterior". It is an anatomical position in which the patient is standing up facing the film and parallel to it.
PABA: Abbreviation for ... "para aminobenzoic acid". A part of the folic acid molecule. It is one of the B vitamins that is required for ... nourishment of hair ... cell growth stimulation ... tissue repair. Found in liver, eggs, rice it is synthesized by bacteria in the intestines.
PAC: Abbreviation for an EKG term which means "premature atrial contractions."
PACEMAKER: Also called "sinoatrial node" or "S-A node". Specialized cells located in the heart (right-upper chamber) ... responsible for the electrical signals that begin each heart beat.
PACHYMETER: Thickness gauge ... a device used to measure an object's thickness.
PACHYONYCHIA: Thickening of fingernails / toenails.
PACKED CELLS: Blood cells removed from the plasma.
PACO2: Correctly spelled ... PaCO2. Abbreviation for ... "arterial carbon dioxide pressure".
PAF: Abbreviation for ... "platelet activating factor".
PAGET'S DISEASE: Also called ... "Osteitis Deformans". Bone disease that produces pain, deformity and breaks. It occurs because new bone cells reproduce at an abnormally fast rate to create new bone areas that are incorrectly shaped and fragile. In the year 2000 there are no medications which cure Paget's disease but there are many which can correct the symptoms ... Didronel, Actonel and Fosamax are just a few which slow down the process of abnormally increased bone destruction which causes the new bone cells to increase their production. The Paget's Foundation can be contacted at: (800)-237-2438.
PALATINE: Relating to the palate (bone).
PALATINE TORUS: A cartilage-capped bony projection arising from the middle of the hard palate.
PALATAL: Relating to the palate (bone).
PALATE: Roof of the mouth ... "hard" and "soft".
PALATITIS: Palate inflammation.
PALEONTOLOGY: The study of primitive human beings.
PALINDROMIC RHEUMATISM: An intermittent condition where joints suddenly swell up and then, just as suddenly the joints return to normal with no signs of arthritis. Between 30% and 50% of these patients develop rheumatoid arthritis. Anti-inflammatory medications are used for pain.
PALLIAL: Pertaining to the pallium (gray substance of the brain).
PALLIATIVE: To reduce in severity.
PALLIUM: Gray substance of the brain.
PALLOR: Pale skin.
PALMAR: Relating to the palm.
PALMAR ERYTHEMA: A condition in which the palms of the hands are red ... typically seen in-patients with advanced liver disease because of expanding capillaries (small blood vessels).
PALP: Taking blood pressure using the sense of touch when it is impossible to listen for diastolic and systolic pressures with a stethoscope.
PALPABLE: Able to feel ...
PALPATE: To touch a patient's body for purpose of examination.
PALPATION: A technique used during physician examinations where the hands of the examiner are used to feel body parts to determine their size, location, texture and consistency.
PALPEBRA: Another word for "eyelid".
PALPEBRAL: Relating to eyelids.
PALPITATION: Acute rapid heart beat.
PALSY: Denotes muscle weakness.
PAN-: A prefix (word part) meaning "all".
PANACEA: A cure for "all" ailments.
PANARTHRITIS: The total inflammation of a joint.
PANCARDITIS: The total inflammation of the heart.
PANCREAS: A gland located behind and below the stomach. It produces insulin and assists with digestion by producing food enzymes.
PANCREATIC LIPASE: The main enzyme in the digestive tract. Its purpose is to break down fat into small molecules that can then be absorbed by the body.
PANCREATITIS: Inflammation of the pancreas.
PANCREATOGRAM: A picture of the pancreas.
PANCYTOPENIA: Deficiency of all cell elements of the blood.
PANDEMIC: A wide spread outbreak of a disease over a large area ... usually refers to a worldwide epidemic.
PANG: An acute (sudden) pain or emotion.
PANGAMIC ACID: Vitamin B-15 is an antioxidant that lowers cholesterol levels in the blood, stimulates immunity, protects the liver from alcohol.
PARENCHYMA: The working tissue of an organ as opposed to connective tissue.
PANENDOSCOPY: A cystoscope that permits wide-angle viewing of the urinary bladder and urethra.
PANHYSTERECTOMY: A prefix (word part) meaning "complete hysterectomy".
PANIC ATTACK: Symptoms may include an accelerated heartbeat, dizziness, trembling, and sweats.
PANOREX: A method of taking an x-ray.
PANSYSTOLIC: Also called ... "holosystolic".
PANTOTHENIC ACID: Another term for "vitamin B5" (see for more information).
PAO2: Abbreviation for ... "alveolar oxygen pressure".
PAO2: Correctly spelled ... PaO2. Abbreviation for ... "arterial oxygen pressure".
PAPANICOLAOU: The developer of the Pap smear technique was developed by Dr. George Papanicolaou (1883-1962).
PAPASIFAKIS: Test for artery disease.
PAPILLA: 1. Optic papilla is a small, white disc on the retina of the eye that enters the optic nerve ... also called the "blind spot". 2. Any small nipple-like process ... conic papilla; fungiform papilla; urethral papilla.
PAPILLEDEMA: Swelling of the optic disk caused by pressure in the skull.
PAPILLOMA: 1. Virus thought to cause cervical dysplasia ... associated with cervical cancer ... also a tumor (benign) of membranes. 2. Non cancerous tumor of the epithelial cells (outer layer of skin that covers the human body.
PAPILLITIS: Inflammation of a papilla (any nipple shaped bump). See. "Papilla".
PAP SMEAR: An examination of cells removed from the vagina to detect cancer of the cervix. This technique was developed by Dr. George Papanicolaou (1883-1962).
PAP TEST: A Pap smear is done to detect cancer of the cervix.
PAPULE: A small solid elevation of the skin.
PAPYRACEA: See "lamina papyracea".
PARA-: A prefix (word part) meaning 1) "near" 2) "beside". 3) refers to the involvement of two similar parts.
PARA: A woman who has produced viable young, whether or not the child was born alive; para 0 ... para 1 ... sometimes followed by #-#-#
PARA-AORTIC LYMPH NODES: Lymph nodes located next to the major blood vessel that carries oxygenated blood throughout the body.
PARACENTESIS: Puncture ... a way in which fluid is taken from a space of the body.
PARAESOPHAGEAL: Near the esophagus.
PARAMETRIUM: The tissue which surrounds the uterus.
PARAPARESIS: A slight degree of paralysis.
PARAPLEGIA: Paralysis of the lower part of the body usually caused by damage to the spinal column. Diseases that are capable of causing this condition include poliomyelitis, multiple sclerosis, and muscular dystrophy.
PARASITE: A living creature that inhabits and lives off the body of another.
PARASITIC: Referring to parasites.
PARASITICIDE: Something that destroys parasites.
PARASPINAL MUSCULATURE: Muscle that is near the spine.
PARASPINOUS: Beside or near the spine.
PARASYMPATHETIC NERVOUS SYSTEM: The portion of the nervous system that is responsible for involuntary body functions.
PARATHYMIA: Unorganized emotions.
PARATHYROIDS: Small structures, usually four, which are attached to the thyroid gland. They release a hormone (parathyroid hormone) which regulates the amount of calcium in the blood ... an increase causes calcium to leave bones and enter into the blood stream.
PARAVERTEBRAL: Alongside a vertebra or the vertebral column.
PARENCHYMA: A general term meaning the functional elements of an organ.
PARENCHYMAL HEPATOCYTES: The functional cells of the liver.
PARENTERAL: 1. Not in or through digestion. 2. Parenteral also refers to the introduction of substances into the body by means other than the mouth.
PARESIS: Less than total paralysis. It usually indicates muscle weakness.
PARESTHESIA: A sensation sometimes described as numbness, tingling or "pins and needles".
PARIETAL: 1. Refers to the parietal bone of the skull or the parietal lobe of the brain. 2. Referring to the "outer wall".
PARKINSONISM: A nerve system disorder from nerve damage in the brain. Symptoms include tremors, rigid muscles, poor balance, mumbled speech. The tremors rarely involve the head. Most sufferers die of lung or heart problems, which is a good reason to exercise. The symptoms develop due to a depletion of the brain chemical "dopamine" which is associated with the transfer of electrical energy from brain cell to brain cell. Treatment may include the use of the medication Sinemet that restores the level of dopamine in the brain. Sometimes a sufferer will build up a resistance to the drug with time and therefore physicians do not like to prescribe it until the symptoms become very bad. Two other medications are "Requip" and "Mirapex which imitate dopamine. Note that Comtan is often given with Sinemet for the purpose of increasing the effectiveness of the Sinemet.
PARKINSON'S DISEASE: See "parkinsonism".
PARONYCHIA: Inflammation of the nail (hands/feet) folds with separation of the skin.
PARONYCHIAL: Relating to the paronychia.
PAROTID: Located in the vicinity of the ear.
PAROTID DUCT: Also called ... Stensen's duct. A tube that extends from the parotid saliva gland to the mouth.
PAROTID GLAND: One of the salivary glands ... located in front of the ear and over the jaw.
PAROTIDITIS: Inflammation of the parotid gland.
PAROTITIS: Another word for ... "swollen glands".
PARVOVIRUS B-19: Also called "slap cheek disease" or "erythema infectiosa" or ""fifth disease". A childhood disease which usually runs its course in 1-3 weeks ... it is similar to the measles and produces a runny nose and sometimes headache. During the fifth to sixth day the child's cheeks turn bright red and a rash typically covers the body. Adults have also been known to contract the disease and the symptoms may include joint pain and swelling that mirrors rheumatoid arthritis (not permanent). However, sometimes the joint pain and swelling can last for months and even years. Also, inflamed heart muscles may occur in adults but rarely in children.
PAROXYSM: A marked rise in symptoms ... a fit, seizure or spasm.
PAROXYSMAL: Occurring in sudden attacks.
PAROXYSMAL NOCTURNAL DYSPNEA: Sudden attacks of breathing problems after several hours of sleep.
PAROXYSMAL TACHYCARDIA: Intermittent fast beating of the heart.
PARS SELLARIS: A bony part that resembles a saddle and exists on the upper surface of the sphenoid bone (irregular bone at the base of the skull).
PARTIAL REBREATHING FACEMASK: See section on "oxygen supplementation".
PARTURITION: The process of giving birth.
PARULIS GUMBOIL: A red and swollen gum due to injury, tooth decay or infection.
PARURIA: Dysfunctional urination.
PASSIVE IMMUNITY: Also called ... "acquired immunity". Immunity which has been acquired due to prior exposure to an infecting agent or antigen ... it may be acquired naturally or intentionally. It can also be obtained due to a transfer of antibodies from other people of animals (mother to fetus).
PASSIVE IMMUNIZATION: The injecting of immunoglobulins or antibodies to provide a temporary immunity that disappears with time.
PAST POINTING: Cerebellar functioning test.
PATELLA: Kneecap.
PATELLAR: Referring to the kneecap.
PATELLAR TENDON: Tissue of the knee that attaches muscles to bones.
PATELLOFEMORAL JOINT: The area of the body where the knee connects with the femur (thighbone).
PATENT: Open ... obvious / evident.
PATENT DUCTUS ARTERIOSUS: A heart defect in which the duct (connecting the aorta and pulmonary artery prior to birth) remains open following birth.
PATH / (O): A combining word-form that means "disease".
PATHIC: Refers to "disease".
PATHOGEN: Something that is capable of causing disease.
PATHOGENESIS: The progression of a disease or ailment.
PATHOGENIC: Refers to the beginning of a disease.
PATHOGENICITY: The amount of weakness that can be caused by something which is capable of causing disease.
PATHOGNOMONIC: Indicating disease.
PATHOLOGICAL: Something due to or involving a disease.
PATHOLOGIST: 1. A researcher who studies diseases. 2. One who oversees investigations into the cause and nature of diseases.
PATHOLOGY: The study of diseases.
PAUCITY: Small in number.
PC: Abbreviation for "after meals".
PCL: Currently being researched.
PCO2: Abbreviation for ... "carbon dioxide pressure".
PCT: Abbreviation for ... "porphyria cutanea tarda".
PCP: Abbreviation for ... "primary care physician.
PCP PNEUMONIA: Currently being researched.
PDS: Surgical repair stitch ... Currently being researched.
PE: Abbreviation for … "pharyngoesophageal".
PEANUT SPONGE: Sponge typically used in surgical procedures.
PECCANT: Not healthy.
PECTINS: Substances similar to carbohydrates found in vegetables and fruits. Ingesting pectins will decrease the amount of fat and cholesterol absorbed into the body. Also, pectin is used to decrease the risk of gallstones and may decrease the effects of diabetes.
PECTORAL: Referring to the "chest".
PECTORAL AGENT: Substance used in the treatment of ailments associated to the chest (respiratory tract).
PECTUS: Another word for "chest".
PEDAL: Referring to the "foot".
PEDIATRICIAN: Physician who specializes in children.
PEDIATRICS: The sector of the medical world which deals with childhood diseases.
PEDICLE: A stalk ... similar to the stem of a plant ... constricted portion.
PEDICULAR: Lice infestation.
PEDICULOSIS: A condition whereby lice infest the hairy parts of the body. Symptoms include skin inflammation, itching and nits (white eggs). The lice are transmitted from person-to-person by direct contact. Powders are available (pediculicides) for treatment.
PEDICULOSIS: The state of being infested with lice.
PEDICULOSIS CAPITIS: Lice of the head.
PEDUNCLE: A connecting part resembling a stem.
PEG TUBE: Abbreviation for ... "Percutaneous Endoscopic Gastrostomy"; "French" is a brand name.
PELAGISM: Motion sickness.
PELIOSIS HEPATITIS: An abnormal condition in which microscopic pools of blood exist in the functional areas of the liver.
PELLAGRA: A disease caused by and insufficiency of vitamin B3. Symptoms include skin that becomes sensitive to light and afterwards becomes thick, rough and dry. Also weakness, fatigue, anorexia, indigestion, skin outbreaks. Deficiencies can be caused by alcoholism, malnourishment, cancer, protein deficiencies and females taking oral contraceptives. Foods that contain this vitamin include ... beef, pork, fish, milk, cheese, whole wheat, potatoes, corn and carrots. Note that only tiny amounts are contained in foods and therefore (to preserve it) foods should be steamed to retain as much as possible.
PELTRATES: Currently being researched.
PELVES: Plural for pelvis.
PELVIC EXAM: A female examination involving the vagina, cervix and womb.
PELVIC INFLAMMATORY DISEASE: Intense low abdominal pain that can cause a woman to walk in a bent over position while shuffling her feet. Severe cases require intravenous antibiotics while less severe ones require oral antibiotics. Sexually transmitted bacteria are often the cause. Women who have had PID infection have a 50-50 statistical chance of becoming infertile.
PELVIS: A structure of bones located at the lowest portion of the abdomen. In women it contains the uterus, tubes and ovaries.
PEMPHIGOID: A disease that resembles pemphigus but differs histologically and clinically.
PEMPHIGUS: Chronic bullous diseases of the mouth and skin ... also used to designate a variety of blistering skin diseases. Three types; 1. Pemphigus vulgaris (involves the mouth). 2. Pemphigus vegetans 3. Pemphigus conjunctivae.
PENETRATION: One of the stages in which a virus duplicates itself … the point when the virus' genome enters the cell.
PENIA: Deficiency.
PENIS: The sexual organ of the male.
PENROSE DRAIN: Device used to drain wounds, etc.
PENS: Abbreviation for "percutaneous electrical nerve stimulation". It is a technique that requires that needles be inserted into the soft tissue that surrounds bones to provide relief of pain.
PENTALOGY: Obsolete term meaning, a combination of five things.
-PEPSIA: A suffix which means ... "digestion".
PEPSIN: A substance found in digestive fluid to assist in the breakdown of proteins.
PEPTIC: Refers to the digestive system.
PEPTIC ULCER: A sore in the stomach wall or intestines. Two types ... "gastric ulcer" (stomach) ... "duodenal ulcer" (first area of the intestines). Treatment includes limiting foods that may irritate the ulcer and/or alleviation of nervous tensions.
PEPTIDES: Simple proteins comprising only a few amino acids.
PER-: A prefix (word part) meaning "through.
PERACUTE: Extremely acute and severe.
PERCUSSION: An examination technique whereby the examiner uses short, tapping movements to outer areas of the body using fingers or an instrument.
PERCUTANEOUS: Through the skin.
PERCUTANEOUS TRANSHEPATIC CHOLANGIOGRAPHY: Diagnostic x-ray of the gallbladder and bile ducts following the passage of a needle to inject a dye into the liver's duct network.
PERENNIAL: Enduring … present at all times … continuing without interruption.
PERFORATE: To make a hole in the body.
PERFORATED ULCER: An ulcer that has gone through the stomach wall (or duodenum) allowing stomach liquids to gain entry into the peritoneal cavity.
PERFUSE: To cause a liquid to spread.
PERFUSED: Fluid passing through an organ or a part of the body.
PERFUSION: The flowing or spreading of liquids (especially through blood vessels).
PERI-: A prefix (word part) meaning "surrounding" ... "near".
PERIANAL: Surrounding the anus.
PERIARTHRITIS: Inflammation of a joint.
PERICARDIAC: Surrounding the heart.
PERICARDITIS: Inflammation of the pericardium.
PERICARDIUM: Membrane sac that encompasses the heart.
PERIHEPATIC: Happening around the liver.
PERIHEPATITIS: A condition in which the capsule surrounding the liver is inflamed.
PERIHILAR: In the vicinity of an organ where nerves and vessels enter and leave.
PERIMETRIUM: Tissue that surrounds the uterus.
PERINATAL: The time period, which exists from the 28th week of pregnancy to the end of the first week, following birth.
PERINATAL HEPATITIS: Inflammation of the liver that occurs around the time of birth.
PERINATAL TRANSMISSION: The transfer of a disease from mother to infant.
PERINEAL: 1. Referring to the perineum. 2. Referring to the region around the pelvic area.
PERINEAL RESECTION: Also called ... "Abdomino". This is a surgical procedure that removes the end portion of the sigmoid colon and the rectum/anus. The colon that remains is then brought to the surface of the body to make a permanent colostomy.
PERINEUM: The part of the body between the inner thighs on either side ... located between the legs from the tailbone to the pubis ... also, in the female it refers to the area between the anus and the vulva ... in the male, it is the area between the scrotum and the anus.
PERINEPHRIC: Located in the vicinity of the kidneys.
PERIODONTAL: Surrounding a tooth.
PERIODONTAL DISEASE: A disease that begins with inflammation of the gums (gingivitis) and can develop into pyorrhea (periodontitis). Swelling and inflammation are often caused by deposits of tartar that builds up along the gums. In advanced stages the inflamed gums pull away from the teeth where germs and particles of food become trapped to develop even more inflammation. The cycle continues until the pockets fill with pus and become deeper and deeper. Even the bone that provides support for the tooth is infected and damaged which results in the tooth becoming loose and eventually falling out. Surgical removal of the "pockets" is an option in advanced cases as is reconstructive surgery of the bone. Note that chronically infected comes have been linked to coronary heart disease (CHF).
PERIONYCHIA: Plural of the word "perionychium".
PERIONYCHIUM: The area of the skin that attaches fingernail and toe nails.
PERIOPERATIVE: Shortly prior and postoperative.
PERIORAL: Around the mouth.
PERIOSTEUM: Thick membrane that covers the surface of bones.
PERIOSTITIS: An inflamed membrane that surrounds bone tissue.
PERIOTIC: In the vicinity of the "ear".
PERIPHERAL: The outer part.
PERIPHERAL NERVES: Nerves located outside the spinal cord and brain ... they relay messages back to the them.
PERIPHERAL NERVOUS SYSTEM: The 12 cranial nerves and 31 pairs of spinal nerves that lead from the brain to the spinal cord.
PERIPHERAL NEUROPATHY: Nerve damage located outside the brain or spinal cord. It often produces pain in the legs and feet. If the cause cannot be found and corrected then Neurontin is generally prescribed to combat the pain. It is effective in some but not in others. Diabetes and deficiency of B-12 are common causes. For more information contact the Neuropathy Association at (800)247-6968.
PERIPHERAL VASCULAR DISEASE: Poor circulation due to poor blood flow in the arteries of the extremities (peripheries), i.e. arms and legs. Symptoms include leg pain from walking that goes away with rest. A test to determine this condition would be to apply pressure to a toenail and observe how long the white area takes to return to a pink color ... "capillary refill". A healthy time is usually less than two seconds. Exercise is helpful with this disease ... a sufferer should walk until pain is encountered and then rest ... after the pain subsides the walk should be continued until the pain again appears. Drugs which help blood flow through partially obstructed arteries are cilostazol (Pletal), clopidogrel (Plavix), pentoxifylline (Trental). Other methods of treatment include angioplasty and the replacement of an obstructed artery with a graft.
PERISTALSIS: Wavelike contractions of smooth muscles like the intestines that keep food moving through the digestive system.
PERITONEAL: Relating to the peritoneum ... the membrane lining the abdominal wall that is used as a filtering membrane.
PERITONEAL DIALYSIS: The membrane lining the abdominal wall is being used as a filtering membrane.
PERITONEUM: A thin membrane (sack) which covers most of the abdominal organs. Note that the kidneys and ureters are not contained in this sack.
PERITONITIS: An inflamed peritoneum resulting from infection. Treatment usually involves antibiotics. Symptoms include tenderness and pain.
PERITONSILLAR: An area surrounding the tonsils.
PERIVASCULAR: In the vicinity of a vessel.
PERLA: Abbreviation for pupils equally reactive to light and accommodation".
PERMEATION: To penetrate.
PERNICIOUS: Destructive, harmful, and usually fatal if not treated.
PERNICIOUS ANEMIA: A large reduction in the number of red blood cells. Weakness and fatigue are typical symptoms and only a few steps can cause shortness of breath. Red blood cell production is inhibited because Vitamin B-12 cannot reach bone marrow. Without B-12 the nervous system degenerates and sufferers may stagger while walking or may experience loss of control of bowel or bladder functions. Treatment consists of injecting B-12 into muscles that the body then is able to transfer to bone marrow.
PERONEAL: Relating to the fibula, to the lateral side of the leg or to the muscles there.
PER OS: Via the mouth.
PEROXIDATION: Oxidation that produces peroxides in tissues of the body that have high oxygen content.
PER RECTUM: Via the rectum.
PERRLA: Pupils equal, round, regular, react to light and accommodation.
PERSEVERATION: The persistence or repetition of a response after the stimulus that caused it has stopped.
PERTUSSIS: Another word for "whooping cough".
PESSARY: A device inserted in the vagina to treat a prolapsed uterus.
PES CONTORTIS: Another word for "clubfoot".
PES PLANUS: Another word for "flatfoot".
PESSARY: A method (device) for keeping the female womb in its normal position.
PESTILENCE: A contagious disease affecting many people in a confined area.
PESTLE: A device used to pulverize solids into powder ... used in pharmacies to break up drugs.
PET: Abbreviation for "positron emission tomography". Used to scan the brain.
PETECHIA: Non-raised, perfectly round, purplish-red bruises caused by intradermal or submucous hemorrhage ... blood loss due to blood leaking from capillaries. One cause is inflamed capillaries, another endocarditis (heart infection.
PETITE MAL SEIZURES: Now called "absence seizures". They do not result in loss of consciousness ... associated with epilepsy.
PEU D'ORANGE: Orange skin, peeling.
PEYER'S PATCHES: Closely packed lymphoid follicles that make up small elevations in the small intestines. Also called ... aggregate glands, aggregated lymphatic follicles, aggregated lymphatic nodules, agmen peyerianum, agminate glands, aginated glands, and Peyer's glands.
PEYRONIE'S DISEASE: An ailment in which scar tissue develops in the pieces which makes it bend sometimes preventing sexual intercourse. Many men find that it alleviates itself with time (approximately two years). Some drugs that have met with limited success are Colchicine and Potaba. Sometimes the injection of cortisone into the tissue scar will soften it. If medications are ineffective then a surgical operation is an option.
PFANNENSTIEL INCISION: Surgical cut into the body.
PFT: Abbreviation for "Pulmonary Function Test".
PH: Correctly spelled pH. Abbreviation for "potential of hydrogen". It is a measure of the acidity / alkalinity of substances. The scale is from 0-14 with 7 being neutral. Numbers under 7 are increasingly acidic while numbers above 7 denote increasing alkalinity.
PHACOMALACIA: A type of cataract ... soft.
PHACITIS: A condition in which the lens of the eye is inflamed.
-PHAGIA: A suffix that means ... "eating".
PHAGOCYTE: A type of cell that absorbs. It is related to the immunity system in that it ingests bacteria and other foreign substances. There are two types: 1) microphages (polymorphonuclear leukocytes) which absorb bacteria, 2) macrophages (mononucleated cells which include histiocytes and monocytes) which absorb dead and degenerating cells.
PHALANGES: Finger bones.
PHALANX: A single finger bone.
PHALEN SIGN: Orthopedic test for carpal tunnel; Impingement on the median nerve is determined by holding the wrist flexed or extended for 30-60 seconds.
PHALLECTOMY: Penis amputation.
PHALLIC: Another word for "penis".
PHALLUS: Another word for "penis".
PHANTOM LIMB: Sensations that occur in amputated body parts. Probably due to the activation of nerves that used to lead into the limb.
PHARMACEUTICAL: Refers to medications (drugs).
PHARMACOGNOSY: Science that deals with the medicinal values of plants and other natural products.
PHARMACOKINETIC: The effects of drugs in the body.
PHARMACOLOGY: The science that deals with drugs.
PHARMACOPOEIA: The legally accepted listing of pharmaceutical medications (drugs).
PHARYNGITIS: Sore throat (pharynx).
PHARYNX: Throat.
PHBSO: Abbreviation for "partial hysterectomy bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy".
PHENOLIC ACID: A class of antioxidants which counteract the aging and disease causing free radicals which occur as a by-product of normal metabolism. Phenolic acid is especially found in apples.
PHENOMENON: An observable and repeatable fact.
PHENYLKETONURIA: A genetic disease that results in the loss of a needed enzyme that converts phenylalanine into a harmless substance. If the baby continues eating foods containing phenylalanine brain damage can result.
PHENYLALANINE: An amino acid found in many foods.
PHEO: A combining word form that means dark, dusky, grey.
PHEOCHROMOCYTOMA: A normally benign vascular tumor of the adrenal gland. Symptoms include headaches, sweating and a forced heart beat. Sometimes skin can become pale and nausea/vomiting may result. Detection can be made via a urine test (which detects the chemicals produced by the tumor) or a scan of the adrenal gland.
PHIMOSIS: Narrowness of the opening of the prepuce (foreskin of the penis).
PHLEBITIC: Pertaining to phlebitis. Also phlegm.
PHLEBITIS: "Superficial phlebitis" is an inflammation of a vein (typically in the leg). It occurs just below the skin and is often the result of varicose veins. A red streak is often seen which is caused by a clot that usually clears up in a few days. Rarely does the clot travel to the lungs (where death can occur). "Deep thrombophlebitis" is caused by deep blood clots that often do not give warning until a pulmonary embolism occurs (which can cause death).
PHLEBOGRAPHY: An x-ray of a vein.
PHLEBOSCLEROSIS: Vein hardening,
PHLEBOTHROMBOSIS: Development of a blood clot in a vein.
PHLEBOTOMY: Blood removal ... surgical opening made into a vein.
PHLEGM: Respiratory tract mucus.
PHLEGMON: Suppurative inflammation of connective tissue.
-PHOBIA: A suffix that means ... "fear".
PHONAL: Refers to the voice.
PHONATION: Utterance of sounds.
PHOSPHAMIDASE: Also called "phosphoamidase". An enzyme which causes the breakdown of phosphorus nitrogen bonds, in particular the hydrolysis of N-phosphocreatine to creatine & orthophosphate.
PHOSPHATASE: Enzymes that release inorganic phosphate from phosphoric esters.
PHOSPHATE: A salt or ester of phosphoric acid (powerful acid used in industry, dentistry and the medical profession).
PHOSPHATIDYLCHOLINE: Contained in lecithin ... breaks up fats throughout the body. Used to counteract gallstones, liver problems, atherosclerosis and heart disease.
PHOSPHOAMIDASE: Also called ... "phosphamidase". An enzyme which causes the breakdown of phosphorus nitrogen bonds, in particular the hydrolysis of N-phosphocreatine to creatine & orthophosphate.
PHOSPHOAMINO ACIDS: Amino acids containing phosphorus.
PHOSPHOLIPID: Also called ... "phosphatide". A fat which contains phosphorus ... seen predominantly in the brain.
PHOSPHONATE: A carbon-phosphate compound ... stable in enzymatic and chemical hydrolysis.
PHOSPHORIC ACID: A powerful acid used in industry, dentistry and the medical profession.
PHOSPHORUS: A primary constituent in every living cell ... it is important for the proper functioning of nerves and muscles and is used by cells to initiate other nutrients.
PHOSPHOLIPIDS: Molecules of fat and phosphorus that make up the outer portion of body cells.
PHOTOCATALYSIS: Destruction using a substance that results in a light catalyzed reaction.
PHOTOCATALYST: Substance that results in a light catalyzed reaction.
PHOTODYNAMIC: Associated with the forces exhibited by light rays.
PHOTODYNIA: Eye pain resulting from bright light.
PHOTOPHOBIA: An abnormal reaction to light.
PHOTOSENSITIVE: Light sensitivity.
PHRENIC: Refers to the diaphragm or mind.
PHRENIC NERVE: The nerve that serves the diaphragm muscle.
PHRENICOESOPHAGEAL: Refers to the diaphragm (the primary breathing muscle ... separates the inside of the abdomen and the inside of the chest) and esophagus (a muscular tube that measures between 7-10 inches in length and connects the mouth with the stomach).
PHRENITIS: Another word for "delirium".
PHRENOPLEGIA: Diaphragm paralysis.
PHTHISIS: Another word for "tuberculosis".
PHYLAXIS: The ability of the immune system to fight off infections.
PHYLUM: A taxonomic division below the kingdom and above the class.
PHYMA: Tumor of the skin.
PHYSIATRIST: A doctor who specializes in physical medicine.
PHYSIOGNOMY: Referring to the "face".
PHYSIOLOGY: The study of the body and it's functioning.
PHYSIS: Epiphysial cartilage.
PHYTIN: Stimulant that is derived from plants.
PHYTOCHEMICAL: Natural substances that are found in plants which have therapeutic properties.
PHYTOESTROGEN: Compounds in plants that resemble estrogen and imitate many of the benefits of estrogen but without the risk of cancer. Soy is a good source.
PHYTONUTRIENT: Plant nutrients.
PHYTOTOXIN: Poisons derived from plants.
PIA MATER: One of the three meninges and closest to the brain. It is transparent and in physical contact with the brain and spinal cord.
PIC: Abbreviation for "Pulmonary Intensive Care"; Also a psychiatric center in Michigan.
PICA: A desire to eat substances that are not considered to be food like grass, papers or clay.
PICC LINE: Abbreviation for "peripheral inserted central catheter".
PICK'S DISEASE: A disease that causes impairment of mental functioning. Areas of the brain are known to shrink in size. Personality changes are typical ... people who were once easy going becomes cantankerous and lose control of their behaviors. Heredity does play a role in this disease due to the fact that approximately half of sufferers have a relative who had the disease. Modest improvement can be obtained with medications that boost levels of the brain chemical "serotonin".
PID: Abbreviation for "pelvic inflammatory disease".
PIGELIAN LOBE: Also called ... "lobus caudatus" ... "pigelian lobe". One of the lobes of the liver located next to the inferior vena cava and connected to the right lobe.
PIGMENTED LIVER: A liver that contains pigment due to a disease such as malaria or Dubin-Johnson syndrome.
PILES: Another word for "hemorrhoids" ... painful and inflamed veins in the vicinity of the anus.
PILOMATRIXOMA: A non-cancerous single hair follicle tumor.
PILONIDAL: The growth of hair in the deeper layers of skin ... typically results in a cyst at the base of the spine.
PIN: A surgical instrument that resembles a nail and is used to hold bone fragments together ... "transfixion" pin.
PINEAL GLAND: A gland located in the brain ... pea sized.
PINK EYE: Inflammation of the conjunctivae ... contagious.
PINNAE: A structure of the external ear.
PINWORM: Parasite that inhabits the intestines and areas about the anus. They infest the body when eggs are swallowed ... hatching in the stomach. The larvae are then transported to the intestines where they grow into adult worms (5-6 weeks). Mature females migrate to the anal area where they deposit new eggs in the folds of the skin. This process of egg laying normally happens at nighttime after the sufferer has gone to bed. Symptoms include a sensation of tickling, itching or pain in the vicinity of the anus. The worms can travel to the genital area of females to result in a vaginal discharge. Other symptoms can include restlessness, loss of appetite, insomnia, loss of weight, vomiting, and nausea.
PIP: Bone joint in the hand.
PIRIFORMIS: A muscle that resembles a pyramid in shape and moves/extends the thigh.
PIRIFORMIS FOSSA: A depression (pouch) below the surface of the muscle which moves/extends the thigh.
PIRIFORMIS TENDON: Special tissue that attaches muscles to the thighbone.
PITRESSIN: Currently being researched.
PITUITARISM: Inability of the pituitary gland to operate normally.
PITUITARY GLAND: Located at the base of the brain, it has two lobes ... the anterior lobe secretes hormones while the posterior lobe stores and releases neurohormones produced by the hypothalamus.
PITYRIASIS ROSEA: A dermatosis outbreak of papules or macules on the trunk and sometimes the face, extremities or scalp.
PITYRIASIS LICHENOIDES ET VARIOLIFORMIS ACUTA: Also called ... PLVA. This disorder typically begins in the 30's or 40's with an itch. Following the itch is noted small, red-brown, circular bumps on the skin. The sizes of the bumps approximate fine sandpaper. The cycle (which can last months or even years) continues with the bumps turning into blisters. There appears to be no one best treatment ... gold shots, antibiotics and cortisone drugs have all been used.
PIVOT SHIFT TEST: A test/maneuver to determine the operation of a joint ... usually referring to the knee.
PKU: Abbreviation for "phenylketonuria".
PL: Abbreviation for popliteal.
PLACEBO: A term used to describe the phenomenon that occurs when a person "believes" in the power of medication to affect them. A strong belief will cause the body to do everything in its power to support that belief.
PLACENTA: The structure that provides nutrition and oxygen to the developing fetus ... Two arteries and veins provide blood flow in-and-out of the placenta via the umbilical cord. Waste products fro the fetus are carried to the placenta where an exchange of nutrients and oxygen takes place.
PLAGUE: Two types of infectious diseases ... pneumonic (attacks the lungs) and bubonic (results in swollen lymph nodes). Transmitted by fleas that infest rodents.
PLANTAR: Referring to the sole of the foot.
PLANTAR FASCIA: Dense tissue leading from the bottom of the foot.
PLANTAR WART: A painful wart that occurs on plantar surface (bottom) of the foot.
PLANUM TEMPORALE: A portion of the brain located in the left hemisphere associated with auditory processing.
PLAQUE: 1. The sticky, colorless film of bacteria that forms continuously on the teeth which can result in inflammation of the gums (periodontal disease). 2. A small area or patch on the surface of the body.
-PLASIA: A suffix that means ... "development".
PLASMA: The component of blood which is colorless fluid ... not the blood cells.
PLASMA CELL: Large, oval cells associated with the manufacture of antibodies that combat infections (immunoglobulins).
PLASMA MEMBRANES: The structure that surrounds cell contents and protects them from the outside environment.
PLASMAPHERESES: A process to remove plasma from the blood ... cleans it of antibodies that attack nerves.
PLASTER OF PARIS: A substance used to make casts for the purpose of immobilizing damaged body parts.
PLASTIC: A material that can be "molded" ... referring to "plastic surgery".
PLASTIC SURGERY: A subdivision of surgery that seeks to correct disfigurements by reducing scar tissue to provide greater mobility. Also, cosmetic surgery is an option that might be used to alter an unattractive cheekbone.
-PLASTY: A suffix which combines with a word to include the meaning, ""surgical repair'".
PLATELET: A blood cell that forms into a clot. Also called a thrombocyte. A normal count is between 130,000 and 400,000. A count above 50,000 rarely represents a problem while counts below 20,000 may result in spontaneous bleeding. The count is measured per cubic millimeter of blood. An excess of platelets causes a condition called thrombocytosis that can be caused by rheumatoid arthritis, ulcerative colitis and polycythemia.
PLATYSMA: Refers to the platysma muscle.
PLEDGET: A small flat compress made of cotton gauze.
-PLEGIA: A suffix which means ... "paralysis".
PLETHYSMOGRAPH: A device for indicating changes in the size of hands, feet and organs by measuring changes in the amount of blood.
PLEURA: A two-ply covering which surrounds and protects the lungs. In between the two layers in an area filled with liquid that helps ease the expansion and contraction of the lungs with breathing.
PLEURAL EFFUSION: Abnormal buildup of fluid in the "pleural space" (space that exists between the two-ply sheets (pleura) that encompass the lungs). A liquid normally occurs in this area to provide room for contraction and expansion of the lungs. When the amount of liquid is large then it is drained to improve the patient's breathing. Typically a large needle is placed in the cavity for purpose of draining the excess fluid. Pleural effusion often occurs following heart surgery. Causes: heart failure, pneumonia, infections, rheumatoid arthritis, cirrhosis, cancer, etcetera.
PLEURAL SPACE: The area that exists between the two tissue layers which surrounds the lungs.
PLEURISY: Inflammation of the linings of the chest.
PLEURISY: An inflamed pleura (thin membrane lining of the chest which also surrounding the lungs) usually due to a bacterial or viral infection.
PLEURITIC: See "pleurisy".
PLEURODYNIA: Muscle pain between the ribs.
PLEVA: Abbreviation for ... "pityriasis lichenoides et varioliformis acuta". This disorder typically begins in the 30's or 40's with an itch. Following the itch is noted small, red-brown, circular bumps on the skin. The size of the bumps approximate fine sandpaper. The cycle (which can last months or even years) continues with the bumps turning into blisters. There appears to be no one best treatment ... gold shots, antibiotics and cortisone drugs have all been used.
PLEXOR: A physician's examining tool ... resembles a hammer.
PLEXUS: Network of interjoining blood vessels or nerves. Brachial;
PLUMMER'S DISEASE: Hypothyroidism caused by a nodular toxic goiter.
PLUMMER-VINSON SYNDROME: A group of symptoms that include the death (necrosis) of mucous membranes in the mouth, throat and feeding tube (esophagus). It is linked to diet deficiencies and often is a precursor of mouth cancer. PLURIPOTENT: Capable of giving rise to most tissues of an organism
PMD: Private medical doctor.
PMI: 1. Abbreviation for Past Medical Illness. 2. Perioperative Myocardial Infarction. 3. Point of Maximum Intensity.
PMN: Abbreviation for ... "polymorphonuclear".
PMS: Abbreviation for "premenstrual syndrome".
PND: 1. Abbreviation for "Paroxysmal Nocturnal Dyspnea". 2. Post Nasal Drainage.
-PNEA: A suffix that means ... "breathing".
PNEUMATIC TOURNIQUET: A device used to arrest (stop) blood flow using pressure via an encircling device ... expands/contracts due to air pressure.
PNEUMOCEPHALUS: Gas or air inside the cranial cavity.
PNEUMOCOCCUS: Bacteria that typically infect the lungs.
PNEUMONECTOMY: Removal of a lung.
PNEUMONIA: An inflammation of the lungs which can be caused by a bacteria, virus or fungus. Viral pneumonia produces symptoms like: 1. A dry hacking cough. 2. A feeling of achiness all over. 3. Slight fever. Often sufferers can function and are not forced into bed. There are no medicines (year 2000) available to treat viral pneumonia. Pneumonias caused by bacteria have a sudden onset of chills and high temperature combined with a cough productive of yellow, green or reddish phlegm. Antibiotics are used to control this pneumonia which typically forces the patients to their beds. Note that fungus and chemicals can also cause pneumonia. The winter months are when the disease is seen the most and a case of the flu can quickly develop into this infection of the lung. Note that it is virtually impossible to tell the difference between this disease and bronchitis during a simple office visit to the doctor. The longer that a bacterium is allowed to inhabit the body the more of a chance that it may mutate and become resistant to an antibiotic.
PNEUMONITIS: Inflammation of the lungs.
PNEUMOPERITONEUM: Air in the peritoneal cavity due to disease or by laparoscopy.
PNEUMOTHORAX: A collection of air or gas in the chest causing the lung to collapse. The air or gas infiltrates in between the two layers of the pleura (pleural space) and eventually compresses the lung and causes it to collapse. Symptoms include ... stabbing chest pains and difficulty in obtaining adequate oxygen for the body. Correction of the problem can be made by inserting a tube into the pleural space to draw out the air bubble.
PNV: Abbreviation for ... "prenatal vitamins".
PO: Correctly spelled "po" ... by mouth.
PO: The oxygen tension in artery blood.
PODAGRA: Foot pain usually associated with gout of the large toe.
PODALGIA: Foot pain.
PODIATRIST: One who specializes in understanding and treating the foot.
POEMS SYNDROME: A group of symptoms which includes ... polyneuropathy, organomegaly, endocrinopathy and the skin becomes darker. High levels of an anti-body protein called M-protein is produced by plasma cells which can weaken bones. The severity of this syndrome depends on the condition of the immunity system and bone sites involved ... death can occur.
POIKILOCYTE: A red blood cell that has an irregular shape.
POIKILOCYTOSIS: A condition in which poikilocytes are contained in peripheral blood.
POISON IVY: A plant whose sap irritates skin and causes a rash. The fluid from the blisters does cause the rash. Sap can be transferred to people from tools, dog hair, tools, etcetera. Note that even dead plants in the winter can contain enough sap to produce an outbreak.
POLAR PACK: Currently being researched.
POLE: A point located at the extremity of the axis of any body organ.
POLIO: A virus that destroys the nerve cells that are responsible for muscle movement. After the virus is eradicated the unaffected nerves develop new root which restores some muscle function. After 30-40 years these new nerve rootlets stop operating leaving the patient with muscle weakness, muscle pain and fatigue. INTERNATIONAL POLIO NETWORK can be contacted at NETWORK, 4207 Lindell Blvd., 110.
POLKA FEVER: Also called ... "aden fever", "bouquet fever", breakbone fever", "dandy fever", "date fever", "dengue fever", "exanthesis arthrosia", "dengue", "scarlatina rheumatica", "solar fever". A viral disease which exists in tropical and subtropical areas of the world ... transmitted by mosquitos. Grade I symptoms are fever and general constitutional problems. Grade II symptoms are the same as Grade I but with spontaneous bleeding of the gastrointestinal tract, gums and skin. Grade III symptoms are the same as the first two but with circulatory failure added. Grade IV symptoms add to the first three profound shocks.
POLLEN: Sex (male) cells of flora (plants).
POLLEX: First digit of the hand ... large toe.
POLLINOSIS: Another word for "hay fever".
POLY-: A prefix (word part) meaning "many".
POLYARTERITIS: Inflammation of many arteries. If the arteries are excessively inflamed then blood is unable to pass and tissues starve due to lack of oxygen. Anti-inflammatory drugs like Prednisone are commonly prescribed. Note, can be fatal in five years if untreated.
POLYARTHRALGIA: Pain in many joints.
POLYARTHRITIS: A large number of inflamed joints.
POLYCHOLIA: An excessive production of bile.
POLYCHROMASIA: Also called ... "polychromatophilia".
POLYCHROMATOCYTE: Also called ... "polychromatophil", "polychromophil". A young or very old red blood cell that stains readily with acid, neutral and basic dyes.
POLYCHROMATOPHIL: Also called ... "polychromatocyte", "polychromophil". A young or very old red blood cell that stains readily with acid, neutral and basic dyes.
POLYCHROMOPHIL: Also called ... "polychromasia", "polychromatocyte". A young or very old red blood cell that stains readily with acid, neutral and basic dyes.
POLYCYSTIC: Multiple cysts.
POLYCYSTIC DISEASE: Liver degeneration linked with cystic kidneys since birth.
POLYCYSTIC LIVER: Cystic liver disease since birth.
POLYCYTHEMIA: The opposite of anemia ... a condition where an excess of red and white blood cells, platelets, are produced by bone marrow ... an increase in red cells in the blood.
POLYDACTYLISM: A condition whereby a person has more than the normal number of fingers or toes.
POLYDIPSIA: Excessive thirst.
POLYHYDRAMNIOS: Excessive amounts of the fluid that encompasses the fetus. .
POLYMERASE: Any enzyme that initiates a reaction resulting in a simple compound taking on a higher molecular weight.
POLYMERIZATION: A reaction in which a simple compound develops a higher molecular weight.
POLYMORPHIC: Many different shapes.
POLYMORPHONUCLEAR CELL: A type of leukocyte that has nuclei is various forms.
POLYMYALGIA RHEUMATICA: Muscle pains and stiffness in older people that often includes the shoulders, hips, torso and neck muscles. Sufferers have extremely high "sed rates". Cortisone medication is the traditional treatment in the year 2,000.
POLYMYOSITIS: A common muscle disorder of older people that causes muscle weakness. It progresses slowly. Cortisone drugs are the preferred method of treatment in the year 2000.
POLYNEURITIS: Many inflamed nerves.
POLYP: A mass of soft, fleshy tissue resembling a tumor that grows from the mucous membrane. Also, grape like growths in the uterus. They can be shaped like cauliflower, warts, mushrooms and sometimes have the appearance of a marble. Growth can be rapid or slow. Polyps are currently considered to be noncancerous and usually occur in groups. There is controversy however ... in the year 2000 it has been suggested that 95% of colon cancer comes from polyps.
POLYPECTOMIES: The surgical removal of polyps.
POLYPHAGIA: Abnormally increased eating behavior.
POLYPOSIS: Many polyps.
POLYURIA: Release of abnormally large amounts of urine.
PONS: An area of the brain stem that passes and receives information about movement.
POLYSACCHARIDES: Carbohydrates able to be reduced to two or more sugars (simple).
POLYTHERAPY: Medical treatment using various medications.
POLYUNSATURATED FAT: Unsaturated fats typically found in plant foods ... when used instead of saturated fats they contribute to a decrease in blood cholesterol.
PONTINE: Relating to a pons.
POP: Abbreviation for "Patient Observation Area".
POPLITEAL: Referring to the back of the knee.
PORPHYRIA: Eight different illnesses that develop due to a defect in the bodies manufacturing of hemoglobin. Acute intermittent porphyria manifests itself with symptoms of crampy abdominal pain that sometimes combines with nausea and vomiting. Drugs that can precipitate an attack include barbiturates, ergot, valproic acid, phenytoin, sulfa drugs, birth control pill and primidone. Fast weight loss can also trigger the disease. More information can be obtained at the American Porphyria Foundation at: Box 22712, Houston, TX 77227 ... www,enterprise, net/apf.
PORPHYRIA CUTANEA TARDA: Also called ... "PCT". A condition that results in decreased liver functioning and typically commences in middle age ... manifests as photosensitive skin blisters that break and form shallow sores. There are two forms of the condition: 1. Non-familial (not affecting other members of the family). 2. Familial (affecting several members of the same family).
PORPHYRIA HEPATIC: A type of porphyria which is associated with excessive porphyrin (a molecule possessing four pyrrole nuclei) in the liver.
PORRIGO: Another word for "ringworm".
PORT-A-CATH: A peritoneal access device.
PORTACAVAL SHUNT: A surgical bypass of the liver ... causes the portal vein to flow into the inferior vena cava.
PORTAL VEIN: Also called ... "vena protae hepatitis", "hepatic portal vein". The large vein carrying blood to the liver. Vein formed by the splenic vein and the superior mesenteric vein which splits into a branchlike pattern within the liver in which blood flows through a network of tiny vessels where worn out red cells, bacteria, and other debris are removed and nutrients added (or removed) for storage.
PORTA HEPATIS: Also called ... "transverse fissure" ... located underneath the liver that is the site at which many vessels enter and leave.
PORTAL: 1. Entry/exiting point of structures within the body. 2. Referring to the "portal hepatis".
PORTAL HYPERTENSION: An increased blood pressure of the vessels that enter the liver ... typically seen with cirrhosis.
PORTAL SYSTEM: A system of blood vessels that begins and terminates in capillary networks.
PORTIO DURA: A nerve of the face.
POSOLOGY: The system of medication dosages.
POST-: A prefix (word part) meaning "after" or "at the rear of".
POSTCARDIOTOMY SYNDROME: Refers to symptoms (like pleural effusion) which occur following heart surgery. Patient's usually recover quickly.
POSTER / (O): A combining word-form that means "back of the body".
POSTERIOR: At the back ... rear.
POSTEROANTERIOR: Abbreviated "PA". An anatomical position in which the patient is placed facing the film and parallel to it.
POSTEROLATERAL: Behind and to one side.
POSTHUMOUS: Following death.
POSTICTAL: Referring to the time after convulsions.
POSTMORTEM: Following death ... autopsy.
POSTNASAL: Located in back of the nose.
POSTNATAL: A suffix that means "following birth".
POSTNECROTIC CIRRHOSIS: Disease of the liver after widespread death of liver cells ... hardening of tissue distorts the liver and impedes it from performing it's many tasks ... often a result of hepatitis.
POSTORAL: At the rear of the mouth.
POSTPARTUM: After the birth of a child.
POST-POLIO SYNDROME: Also called ... "PPS". Occurs in people originally infected ... occurs approximately 30 years following infection. Symptoms include fatigue, joint pain, respiratory ailments, decreased muscle strength. Treatment in the year 2000 includes rest and physiotherapy.
POSTPRANDIAL: Following a meal.
POSTURAL: Relating or effected by posture.
POSTURE: A posture is a position of the body made by the muscles that move the limbs.
POTABLE: Okay to drink.
POTASSIUM: A mineral that is required by the body to maintain normal functioning of nerves (electrical firing), muscles and the heart. An abundance of potassium can cause irregular and sometimes lethal heart rhythms while a deficiency may cause paralysis due to muscle weakness. The kidneys maintain the proper balance of potassium in the body by excreting excessive amounts in urine so consistently high levels in the blood is cause to check kidney functions. Also, the adrenal glands manufacture the hormone aldosterone that is responsible for regulating blood potassium. Normal blood potassium levels are 3.5 to 5.0 mEq/L (some labs establish 5.5 as the normal upper limit). The following symptoms appear when the blood level readings reach 6.5: 1) Nausea. 2) Abdominal cramps. 3) Diarrhea. 4) Changes noted on electrocardiograms. 5) Heart stops beating at extremely high levels.
POTENTIATION: The combined actions of two different drugs to increase their effectiveness.
POULTICE: A hot and wet mass for application to the skin.
POX: Scars of the skin.
PPD: Abbreviation for ... "purified protein derivative of tuberculin".
PPM: Correctly spelled ... "ppm". Abbreviation for ... "parts per million".
PR: Abbreviation for "by way of rectum".
PRADER-WILLI SYNDROME: Congenital group of symptoms including obesity, mental retardation, and short stature.
PRAGUE PELVIS: Also called "Rokitansky's pelvis. It is a dislocation of the vertebra of the low lumbar region that occludes the brim of the pelvis.
PRANDIAL: Relating to eating.
PRAXIS: Term for execution of pallial impulses.
PREAURICULAR: Denoting lymph nodes situated at the anterior of the auricle of the ear.
PRC: Abbreviation for "packed red blood cells".
PRE-: A prefix (word part) meaning "prior to".
PRECANCEROUS: Changes in body cells which may (or may not) preclude cancer.
PRECORDIUM: The part of the chest over the heart.
PREECLAMPSIA: Development of hypertension, proteinuria or edema due to pregnancy. It usually commences after the 24th week of gestation. Pre-eclampsia usually happens in a woman's first pregnancy and is not very common. Symptoms include high blood pressure ... edema (swelling) of the legs, feet, hands, arms and sometimes the face. If it is allowed to continue then "eclampsia" (seizures) develops. The typical cure is giving birth … but not in every case. Woman most at risk are those who had pre-eclampsia previously combined with a very high blood pressure reading.
PRECLINICAL: Prior to a diseases symptoms becoming recognizable.
PRECORDIA: And area of the body located in the front, at the upper abdomen and lower part of the thorax neck.
PRECURSOR: Prior to.
PREHENSION: Being able to grasp with the thumb and fingers.
PREMENSTRUAL SYNDROME: A group of symptoms which occurs 1-2 weeks prior to a woman's period ... tenderness of the breasts, retention of water, anxiety, depression, lack of energy, headache and general body aches.
PRENATAL: Prior to birth.
PREPATELLAR: Anterior to the patella.
PREPUCE: See preputium.
PREPUTIUM: The free fold of skin that covers most or all of the glans penis.
PRESBYOPIA: Commonly called "aging eyes". Current thought (year 2000) says it is caused by hardening and thickening of the lens, which makes it more difficult for the eye to focus and adjust.
PRESSOR: Producing increased blood pressure.
PRETIBIAL FEVER: An infection in which one of the signs is a rash on the front legs, headache, chills, fever, and muscle pain.
PREVNAR: Currently being researched.
PRIAPISM: Penis erection without sexual stimulation.
PRICKLY HEAT: Skin irritation that produces blisters ... due to hot conditions.
PRIMARY ATYPICAL PNEUMONIA: A species that causes "mycoplasmal pneumonia" ... which involves the lungs and is caused by Mycoplasma pneumoniae. Symptoms include fever and cough.
PRIMARY BILIARY CIRRHOSIS: Destruction of the bile ducts due to an immune system which turns on itself ... retention of bile kills the cells of the liver.
PRIMARY HYPERTENSION: High blood pressure not due to diseases.
PRIMIGRAVIDA: A first pregnancy.
PRIMIPARA: Having given birth once.
PRINCEPS: Another word for a "primary artery".
PRINGLE'S DISEASE: Also called ... "adenoma sebaceum". A tumor like nodule that occurs on the face and is made up of tissue which is both vascular and fibrous and takes the appearance of small, red or yellow elevations of the skin.
PRINZMETAL'S ANGINA: Chest pain that is more severe and longer than traditional angina pectoris.
PRK: Abbreviation for "photo refractive keratectomy" which is a surgical procedure to correct near sightedness.
PRN: Properly spelled "prn". Abbreviation for "as the occasion arises" ... "as needed".
PRO-: A prefix (word part) meaning "prior to".
PROBIOTICS: Probiotics are materials or organisms which contribute to healthy intestinal flora (friendly bacteria). For example, the "good bacteria" in yogurt.
PROCESS: A natural growth that comes out from a bone or other part of the body.
PROCTALGIA: Rectal pain.
PROCTITIS: An inflamed rectum or anus.
PROCTOLOGIST: One who specializes in the treatment of anal and rectal disorders.
PROCTOLOGY: A subdivision in the medical field that deals primarily with the rectum.
PROCTOSCOPE: A device used by examiners of the rectum.
PRODROME: An early symptom of disease.
PROGENY: Another word for "children".
PROGERIA: Something that causes an acceleration of the aging process.
PROGESTERONE: Considered a "simple" hormone in year 2000 ... associated with females. Used to treat PMS, fibroids, endometriosis and fibrocystic disease.
PROGNOSIS: A prediction of the likely outcome of a disease / disorder.
PROLAPSE: The falling of an organ from its normal position.
PROLIFERATIVE: Multiplication of cells or morbid cysts.
PROLINE: Amino acid classified as non-essential ... it is associated with the maintenance and strength of heart muscle, joints and tendons.
PROMINENCE: An anatomical part or tissue that extends past a surface.
PRONATOR: A muscle that turns a part to the prone position.
PRONE: A body position ... lying face down.
PROPHYLACTIC: Prevention of or protection against a disease with the use of a substance or device.
PROPHYLAXIS: Prevention of or protection against a disease.
PROPRIOCEPTION: Capable of receiving stimuli originating in muscles, tendons, and internal tissues.
PROPTOSIS: Another word for "exothalmos".
PROSODY: The variations in voice that convey extra meaning to what is being said.
PROSPECTIVE STUDY: A study in which people are initiated and then checked up on at later dates.
PROSTAGLANDIN: Chemicals that are similar to hormones. They are produced by the body from essential fatty acids. They influence blood pressure, inflammatory responses and the time it takes for blood to clot. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) word by blocking prostaglandins. Which can cause arthritis and pain. They also protect the stomach from acid related damage ... some people can develop stomach bleeding from long term use.
PROSTATE: A walnut sized structure deep and low in the pelvis below the bladder. The prostate surrounds the neck of the bladder and urethra ... it produces a secretion that turns coagulated semen into liquid form. It can become a major problem when enlarged because muscles surrounding the bladder also become enlarged with the prostate. Cardura, Flomax and Hytrin can relax those muscles to allow for urination. Proscar actually shrinks the gland by interfering with the production of testosterone which heavily contributes to prostate growth. It can take as much as six months to obtain relief with Proscar. The typical treatment surgically is called a TURP (transurethral resection of the prostate).
PROSTATE CANCER: Age plays a large role as to who develops prostate cancer ... those in the highest risk groups are: 1. older men, 2. African Americans, 3. family genetics. Treatment is dependent upon: 1) the size of the cancer, 2) extent of it's spread, 3) maturity of the cancer cells, 4) age of the sufferer, 5) health of the sufferer, 6) life expectancy of the sufferer. Growth of this type of cancer is stimulated by the hormone "testosterone" ... cancer cells that are depleted of this hormone shrivel up. Lupron is a medication that suppresses the production of testosterone ... however, it does not completely eradicate the cancer. External radiation is another possible treatment plan and requires repeated applications. And yet another possibility is to implant radioactive seeds (small pellets of radioactive materials) directly into the prostate. Foods that are reputed to protect against the disease are tomatoes, broccoli, green tea, soy products, garlic, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower and sunlight (due to its ability to manufacture vitamin D).
PROSTATECTOMY: Surgical removal of part (or all) of the prostate gland. Usually performed to treat prostate cancer. Following the operation men may experience loss of bladder control and impotence.
PROSTATIC: Referring to the prostate gland.
PROSTATITIS: Inflammation of the prostate.
PROSTHESIS: A manufactured body part that takes the place of a missing one.
PROSTHETIC: Relating to an artificial part.
PROSTHETICS: A surgical subdivision that deals with artificial body parts.
PROSTRATION: Another word for "tired".
PROTEASE: An enzyme that breaks down proteins.
PROTEIN: The stuff that muscles are made from. They are substances comprised of amino acids in peptide linkage. Living cells are composed primarily of proteins that account for 3/4 of their dry weight. Also they contribute to hormones, antibodies and a myriad of other substances essential for life. Two dietary sources are meats and vegetables.
PROTEIN C: A body substance that inhibits the formation of blood clots. A deficiency of this substance can result in blood clots forming almost anywhere in the body. Typical treatment involves the use of the blood thinning medication Coumadin.
PROTEINURIA: Presence of urinary protein in concentrations greater than 1 gram per liter.
PROTEOLYSIS: Protein division of peptide (simple proteins) bonds.
PROTEUS: A category of anaerobic bacteria that contains Gram-negative rods ... they produce acid and/or gas from glucose. These bacteria typically are found in putrefying matter and fecal materials.
PROTHROMBIN: One of the constituents of blood ... responsible for coagulation.
PROTHROMBIN TIME: Also called ... "PT". The difference between the clotting time of two samples of blood ... the first has calcium and thromboplastin added to it ... the second is a "standard" which includes a specified amount of fibrinogen thinned by an anticoagulant (Coumadin).
PROTOCOL: A step-by-step procedure.
PROTOPLASM: The primary matter of live organisms.
PROTOZOA: A tiny one celled organism ... a subkingdom of the animal kingdom which includes acellular and unicellular forms.
PROTRACTION: To move forward.
PROTUBERANCE: A projection.
PROVIRUS: A virus that becomes integrated in the nucleus of infected cells and transmitted to that cells offspring.
PROVISIONAL: Subject to change.
PROXIMAL: Next to a reference point.
PROXIMATE: In the vicinity of.
PRURIGO: An long time skin disease that inflames due to tiny, itching bumps filled with pus.
PRURITIC: Itching.
PRURITUS: The symptoms of itching.
PRURITUS ANI: Another word for "itchy anus".
PSA: Abbreviation for "prostate-specific antigen". This is a blood test for prostate cancer. If free (PSA not attached to proteins in the blood) exceeds 25% of the total PSA then the risks of cancer are low.
PSEUD / (O): A combining word-form that means "false".
PSEUDOCYESIS: False pregnancy.
PSEUDOMEMBRANOUS COLITIS: Also called ... "pseudomembranous enterocolitis". An enterocolitis condition which is typically seen following the use of antibiotics in which a pseudomembranous material is present in feces.
PSEUDOMEMBRANOUS ENTEROCOLITIS: Also called ... "pseudomembranous colitis". An enterocolitis condition which is typically seen following the use of antibiotics in which a pseudomembranous material is present in feces.
PSEUDOMONAD: See "Pseudomonas"
PSEUDOMONAS: A family (genus) of bacteria that is common to soil and water.
PSEUDOTUMOR: A growth that resembles a tumor.
PSITTACOSIS: Disease carried and transmitted by pet birds.
PSOAS MAJOR: Muscle in the lumbar area of the back that moves the thigh and spine.
PSOAS MINOR: A muscle of the pelvis that flexes the spine.
PSORIASIS: Considered to be a hereditary condition of the skin involving the immune system. Normally the lowest layers of skin progress to become the outer layers in 28 days. Psoriasis causes this to occur in as little as 4 days, which results in red patches of skin with silvery scales. Medicines include anthralin and coal tar (older remedies), Dovonex, Cyclosporine, Methotrexate, Soriatane. Tazorac gel. The National Psoriasis Foundation supplies up-to-date info for treatment @ 1-800-723-9166.
PSVT: Abbreviation for "Paroxysmal Supraventricular Tachycardia".
PSYCH / (O): A combining word-form that means "mind".
PSYCHIATRY: The study of the mind and its disorders.
PSYCHOANALYSIS: The analysis of a person's emotional history.
PSYCHOGENIC: Resulting from mental factors.
PSYCHOLOGY: The division of medicine that deals with the mind and it's functioning.
PSYCHOGENESIS: Growth of the mind.
PSYCHOPATHY: Any disorder of the mind.
PSYCHOSOMATIC: 1. Symptoms of illness caused by an emotional / psychological component. 2. A term often used to describe disorders that do not involve tissue damage but are rather of mental origin.
PSYCHOSIS: A situation (disease) in which a person loses contact with reality.
PSYCHOSOMATIC ILLNESS: Diseases caused by mental components (emotions).
PSYCHOTHERAPY: The analysis and treatment of mental problems.
PSYCHOTROPIC: A drug that alters moods.
PT: Abbreviation for ... "prothrombin time". It is the difference between the clotting time of two samples of blood ... the first has calcium and thromboplastin added to it ... the second is a "standard" which includes a specified amount of fibrinogen thinned by an anticoagulant (Coumadin).
PTARMUS: Another word for "sneezing".
PTC: Abbreviation for "prothrombin complex".
PTCA: Abbreviation for "Percutaneous Transluminal Coronary Angioplasty".
PT CATHETER: Abbreviation for "Peritoneal Catheter".
PTD: Abbreviation for ... "percutaneous transluminal dilation".
PTERYGIUM: A patch of bulbar conjunctiva tissue located from the middle of the corner of the eye (canthus) to the border of the cornea (sometimes further).
PTH: Abbreviation for ... "parathyroid hormone".
PTOMAINE: A type of poison caused by rotting food.
-PTOSIS: A suffix that means ... "drooping".
PTOSIS: Sagging of an organ part or upper eyelid.
PTSD: Abbreviation for ... "post traumatic stress disorder".
PTU: Abbreviation for ... "propylthiouracil".
PTYALISM: An abnormal increase in saliva production.
-PTYSIS: A suffix that means ... "spitting".
PU: Abbreviation for ... "peptic ulcer".
PUBIS: The pelvic bone.
PUBOVESICOCERVICAL FASCIA: Currently being researched.
PUC: Abbreviation for ... "pediatric urine collector.
PUD: Abbreviation for ... 1) " Pulmonary disease". 2) "Peptic ulcer disease".
PUDENDA: Sex organ (external).
PUFFS: Inhaler activations.
PULMONARY: Refers to the lungs.
PULMONARY ARTERY: A large blood vessel which transfers blood (which is deficient of oxygen) from the heart (lower, right chamber) to the lungs.
PULMONARY EMBOLISM: Blood vessel obstruction located in the lung or pulmonary artery ... typically caused by a blood clot.
PULMONARY HYPERTENSION: Lung high blood pressure is a rise in lung pressure. The high pressure moves the blood through the lungs too fast to adequately absorb oxygen. Symptoms include breathlessness and fatigue.
PULP: The inner tissue inside the root of a tooth. It consists mainly of blood and nerve fibers.
PULPALGIA: Currently being researched.
PULPY: Soft.
PULSATILE: Referring to a rhythmic pulsing.
PULSATILE TINNITUS: The sound of the heartbeat in the ears ... typically due to hardened arteries in the vicinity of the ear.
PULSE: An artery that pulsates in conjunction with the heartbeat ... approximately 70 beats per minute.
PULSE OXIMETRY: See "oximetry".
PULSE POINTS: Abdominal pulse; Apical pulse (top of the heart); Brachial Pulse (elbow); Carotid; Dorsalis pedis; Femoral; Popliteal; Posterior tibialis (ankle); Venous.
PULSE RATE (normal): A normal pulse rate for an adult is 60-100 per minute. For a newborn, 120 per minute.
                0 = completely absent
                +1 = markedly impaired
                +2 = moderately impaired
                +3 = slightly impaired
                +4 = normal
                Bigeminal pulse
                Corrigan's pulse: Throbbing pulse during great excitement.
                Bounding pulse
                Peripheral pulse: Outermost pulses.
                Quadrigeminal pulse
                Thready pulse
                Wiry pulse: Strong but small pulse.

PUNCTATE: Marked with points or dots different than the surrounding surface by color, elevation or feel.
PUNCTUM: 1. A tiny, round spot. 2. A tiny entry or opening.
PUPIL: The part of the eye which adjusts it's opening in response to light intensity.
PUPILLARY: Refers to the pupil(s).
PURGATIVE: A medication used to treat constipation.
PURGE: Emptying of the bowels.
PURINE-FREE DIET: A gout diet (limiting uric acid).
PURKINJE FIBERS: Fiber like material located in the walls of the heart (lower chambers).
PURPURA: Bruises ... bleeding beneath the skin or mucous membrane ... causes black and blue spots (ecchymoses).
PURULENT: Making or having pus.
PUS: Coryza ... semi liquid material containing dead cells and other debris.
PUSTULE: Another word for "pimple".
PUTREFY: Decomposition of organic matter and proteins that produce a foul smell.
PV: Abbreviation for ... "portal vein".
PVC: Premature ventricular contraction.
PYELITIS: Inflammation of the area where the kidneys connect to the tube which leads to the bladder (ureter).
PYELOGRAM: An x-ray film of the kidneys and ureters (taken after the ingestion of a dye).
PYELONEPHRITIS: Kidney inflammation.
PYEMIA: Blood poisoning that results in abscesses.
PYGMALIONISM: Being in love with one's own creation(s).
PYLORALGIA: Rarely used term for pain in pyloric region of the stomach.
PYLORI: Plural of ... "pylorus".
PYLORIC STENOSIS: A narrowing of the pylorus (portion of the stomach leading to the small intestines).
PYLORUS: 1. Tube shaped part of the stomach that leads into the small intestines. 2. Muscle tissue that encompasses and regulates the aboral outlet of the stomach.
PYODERMA: A skin infection that results in the formation of "pus".
PYO / (O): A combining word-form that means "pus".
PYOGENESIS: The forming of "pus".
PYOGENIC: Referring to the formation of pus.
PYORRHEA: Gum infection ... symptoms include bleeding gums during brushings.
PYOSALPINX: A collection of pus in the uterine tube.
PYRAMIDAL TRACT: Nerve path in the brain that affects muscles at will.
PYRETIC: Referring to a condition of fever.
PYREXIA: A condition of fever.
PYRIDOXINE: Also called "vitamin B6" (see for more information).
PYROGENIC: Something which causes a fever.
PYROMANIA: A compulsive need to start fires.
PYROSIS: Ailment in which the sufferer experiences a burning sensation in the stomach coupled with an acid taste in the mouth.
PYRROLE: A compound whose atoms form a ring and is present in many living organisms.
PYRUVATE: A salt or ester of pyruvic acid.
PYURIA: White blood cells in the urine; it is a sign of infection in the urinary tract.
PYRUVIC ACID: A keto acid that is an intermediate product formed by glycolysis.

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