Glossary Of Terms Starting With
-P-

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ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ

Medical definitions of terms starting with 'P'

PAF:
Often PAF antagonist: Platelet activating factor inhibitor.  PAF activates platelets to secrete serotonin and other mediators to cause smooth-muscle contraction and vascular permeability, involved in asthma; a PAF antagonist counters these effects.
Paleness:
See Pallor.
Pallor:
Paleness of the skin, especially the face, caused by illness.
Paracrine:
Hormonal response from cell to cell near a secretory site.

More medical terms starting with 'P'

Parametritis:
Inflammation of the tissues adjacent to the uterus.
Parasympatholytic:
Agent, such as atropine, that annuls or antagonizes the effects of the parasympathetic nervous system.
Parasympathomimetic:
Drugs or chemicals having an action resembling that caused by stimulation of the parasympathetic nervous system, e.g., acetylcholine.
Parenchymal:
These are cells in a tissue or tissues in an organ that are concerned with function.  These are the characteristic cells or tissues that "do the actual stuff."
Pathologist:
See Pathology.
Pathology:
Disease, particularly one with clear and obvious changes in structure or function; the study of same.
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More medical terms starting with 'P'

Perfusion:
Usually Coronary/Myocardial perfusion: Flow of blood to the heart and/or blood vessels surrounding the heart.
Periapical Abscess:
An abscess or pus pocket around the apex of the root of a tooth, sometimes called a gumboil.
Periostitis:
Inflammation of the thick fibrous membrane surrounding a bone.
Periumbilical:
The abdomen is the area between the chest and the hips.  Divided into a 3-by-3 grid, the middle-center abdomen surrounds the navel (belly button).  This is also known as the umbilical or periumbilical region.  It contains the umbilicus, jejunum, ileum, duodenum, stomach, small intestines, pancreas, transverse colon, left and right kidneys, and the left and right ureters.
Petechia:
See Petechial.
Petechiae:
See Petechial.
Petechial:
Fine, pinhead-sized hemorrhages on the skin.
pg:
See Picogram.
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More medical terms starting with 'P'

pH:
A measure of an environment's acidity or alkalinity.  The more acidic the solution, the lower the pH.  For example, a pH of 1 is very acidic; a pH of 7 is neutral; a pH of 14 is very alkaline.
Pharmacokinetics:
The study of the absorption, distribution, metabolism and excretion of drugs and other substances in living organisms.
Phosphaturia:
The presence of excess phosphates in the urine.  This occurs in – and can even cause – alkaline urine (it's normally acidic), resulting in cloudy urine, small particle sedimentation, and the more common kinds of kidney stones.
Physical Exertion:
Using your muscles for work, exercise or any other physical activity.
Phytosterol:
A sterol derived from plants.
Picogram:
0.000000000001 or a trillionth of a gram.
Picoliter:
0.000000000001 or one trillionth of a liter.
pL:
See Picoliter.
Placebo:
A pharmacologically inactive substance.  Often used to compare clinical responses against the effects of pharmacologically active substances in experiments.
Placebos:
See Placebo.
PMDD:
See Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder.
pmol:
See mol.
Polydipsia:
Chronic excessive thirst.
Polyuria:
Excess urination.  The excreted wastes may stay unchanged but they are dissolved in a far higher volume of water.  Causes include drinking too much, diabetes, kidney disease, elevated thyroid function and others.
Portal circulation:
Circulation in which the outflow from one organ goes directly to a second organ, most commonly used to refer to the venous circulation of the intestine which goes to the liver.
Postpartum:
After childbirth.
Postprandial:
Following a meal.
Pound:
454 grams, or about half a kilogram.
ppb:
Parts Per Billion.  A measure of the concentration of a substance, usually in air or water.
ppm:
Parts Per Million.  A measure of the concentration of a substance, usually in air or water.
Precursor:
A biochemical substance, such as an intermediate compound in a chain of enzymatic reactions, from which a more stable or definitive product is formed.
Precursors:
See Precursor.
Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder:
Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD) is a condition in which a woman suffers severe depression, irritability, and tension before menstruation.  The symptoms of PMDD are more severe than those seen with premenstrual syndrome (PMS).
Pressor:
An agent, neurologic or hormonal, that increases blood pressure.
Prodrug:
A drug whose actions result from its conversion by metabolic processes within the body.
Prognosis:
A prediction (estimate) of the future course and outcome of a disease and an indication of the likelihood of recovery from that disease.
Protein:
Compounds composed of hydrogen, oxygen, and nitrogen present in the body and in foods that form complex combinations of amino acids.  Protein is essential for life and is used for growth and repair.  Foods that supply the body with protein include animal products, grains, legumes, and vegetables.  Proteins from animal sources contain the essential amino acids.  Proteins are changed to amino acids in the body.
Proteins:
See Protein.
Proximal:
Nearer to a point of reference such as an origin, a point of attachment, or the midline of the body.
Pseudomelanosis Coli:
Changes in the pigmentation of the colon.
Psychoanaleptic:
Psychoanaleptic drugs: Central nervous system stimulants that reverse depression.
Pulpitis:
Inflammation, usually infectious, of the pulp of a tooth.
Pylorospasm:
Abnormal contraction of the lower sphincter of the stomach.
Pyretic:
Fever-inducing agent.
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