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Common diseases that start with letter “P”

Written by on May 13, 2011 in Diseases & Issues, Health - 1 Comment
Common diseases that start with letter P

Here is the list of the most common diseases that begin with letter “P“:


Pancreatitis is inflammation of the pancreas that can occur in two very different forms. Acute pancreatitis is sudden while chronic pancreatitis is characterized by recurring or persistent abdominal pain with or without steatorrhea or diabetes mellitus.
Severe upper abdominal pain, with radiation through to the back, is the hallmark of pancreatitis. Nausea and vomiting (emesis) are prominent symptoms. Findings on the physical exam will vary according to the severity of the pancreatitis and whether or not it is associated with significant internal bleeding. The blood pressure may be high (when pain is prominent) or low (if internal bleeding or dehydration has occurred). Typically, both the heart and respiratory rates are elevated. Abdominal tenderness is usually found but may be less severe than expected given the patient’s degree of abdominal pain. Bowel sounds may be reduced as a reflection of the reflex bowel paralysis (i.e. ileus) that may accompany any abdominal catastrophe.
The most common cause of acute pancreatitis is the presence of gallstones—small, pebble-like substances made of hardened bile—that cause inflammation in the pancreas as they pass through the common bile duct.
Excessive alcohol use is the most common cause of chronic pancreatitis, and can also be a contributing factor in acute pancreatitis.

Panic disorder is an anxiety disorder characterized by recurring severe panic attacks. It may also include significant behavioral change lasting at least a month and of ongoing worry about the implications or concern about having other attacks. The latter are called anticipatory attacks (DSM-IVR). Panic disorder is not the same as agoraphobia (fear of public places), although many with panic disorder also suffer from agoraphobia. Panic attacks cannot be predicted, therefore an individual may become stressed, anxious or worried wondering when the next panic attack will occur. There are other schools of thought that Panic disorder is differentiated as a medical condition, or chemical imbalance. The DSM-IV-TR describes Panic disorder and Anxiety differently. Panic attacks have a sudden or out-of-blue cause that lasts shorter with more intense symptoms, as opposed to Anxiety attacks having stressors that build to less severe reactions and can last for weeks or months. Panic attacks can occur in children, as well as adults. Panic in young people may be particularly distressing because the child has less insight about what is happening, and his/her parent is also likely to experience distress when attacks occur.

Panniculitis is a group of diseases whose hallmark is inflammation of subcutaneous adipose tissue (the fatty layer under the skin – panniculus adiposus). Symptoms include tender skin nodules, and systemic signs such as weight loss and fatigue.
Restated, an inflammatory disorder primarily localized in the subcutaneous fat is termed a “panniculitis,” a group of disorders that may be challenging both for the clinician and the dermatopathologist.

Panphobia, from the Greek ‘pan’ and ‘phobos,’ also called Omniphobia, Pantophobia, or Panophobia, is a medical condition known as a “non-specific fear” or “the fear of everything” and is described as “a vague and persistent dread of some unknown evil”, or only seeing the extremes to everything. It also was mentioned in A Charlie Brown Christmas. Lucy actually pronounced it “Pantophobia”.”
Panphobia may also be used when describing the persisting and unreasonable fear of individuals toward a person who is pansexual, and therefore, the fear of people who’s sexual, affectional or loving orientation transcends gender, gender identity or mate preference orientations.

Papilledema (or papilloedema) is optic disc swelling that is caused by increased intracranial pressure. The swelling is usually bilateral and can occur over a period of hours to weeks. Unilateral presentation is extremely rare.
In intracranial hypertension, papilledema most commonly occurs bilaterally. When papilledema is found on fundoscopy, further evaluation is warranted as vision loss can result if the underlying condition is not treated. Further evaluation with CT or MR of the brain and/or spine is usually performed. Unilateral papilledema can suggest orbital pathology, such as an optic nerve glioma.
Papilledema may be asymptomatic or present with headache in the early stages. However it may progress to enlargement of the blind spot, blurring of vision, visual obscurations (inability to see in a particular part of the visual field for a period of time) and ultimately total loss of vision may occur.

Papillitis is the term for a specific type of optic neuritis. If ocular inflammation is restricted to the optic nerve head the condition is called papillitis (or intraocular optic neuritis), and if it is located in the orbital portion of the nerve it is called retrobulbar optic neuritis (or orbital optic neuritis).
Papilledema, a bulging of the optic disc, is a consequence of elevated intracranial pressure. There are some important differences between papillitis and papilledema, notably, that papillitis is more often associated with substantial losses in visual fields, pain on moving the globe, and sensitivity to light pressure on the globe. Papillitis is often an early sign of multiple sclerosis.

Paraphilia is a biomedical term used to describe sexual arousal to objects, situations, or individuals that are not part of normative stimulation and that may cause distress or serious problems for the paraphiliac or persons associated with him or her. A paraphilia involves sexual arousal and gratification towards sexual behavior that is atypical and extreme. The term was coined by Wilhelm Stekel in the 1920s.Controversial sexologist John Money later popularized the term as a nonpejorative designation for unusual sexual interests.He described paraphilia as “a sexuoerotic embellishment of, or alternative to the official, ideological norm.”
In the late 19th century, psychologists and psychiatrists started to categorize various paraphilias as they wanted a more descriptive system than the legal and religious constructs of sodomy and perversion. Before the introduction of the term paraphilia in the DSM-III (1980), the term sexual deviation was used to refer to paraphilias in the first two editions of the manual. American Journal of Psychiatry describes paraphilia as “recurrent, intense sexually arousing fantasies, sexual urges, or behaviors generally involving: non-human objects; the suffering or humiliation of oneself or one’s partner; children; non-consenting persons.
Up until 1973, sexual attraction to persons of the same sex was included in this list.
The view of paraphilias as disorders is not universal. Some groups seeking greater understanding and acceptance of sexual diversity have lobbied for changes to the legal and medical status of unusual sexual interests and practices.

Parapsoriasis refers to one of a group of skin disorders that are characterized primarily by their resemblance to psoriasis (red, scaly lesions), rather than by their underlying etiology.
The parapsoriasis group, described and debated for nearly a century, has spawned a confusing nomenclature. There are some authors who prefer to limit the term “parapsoriasis” to large- and small-plaque variants only.

Parkinson’s disease (also known as Parkinson disease, Parkinson’s, idiopathic parkinsonism, primary parkinsonism, PD, or paralysis agitans) is a degenerative disorder of the central nervous system. It results from the death of dopamine-containing cells in the substantia nigra, a region of the midbrain; the cause of cell-death is unknown. Early in the course of the disease, the most obvious symptoms are movement-related, including shaking, rigidity, slowness of movement and difficulty with walking and gait. Later, cognitive and behavioural problems may arise, with dementia commonly occurring in the advanced stages of the disease. Other symptoms include sensory, sleep and emotional problems. PD is more common in the elderly with most cases occurring after the age of 50.
The main motor symptoms are collectively called parkinsonism, or a “parkinsonian syndrome”. Parkinson’s disease is often defined as a parkinsonian syndrome that is idiopathic (having no known cause), although some atypical cases have a genetic origin. Many risk and protective factors have been investigated: the clearest evidence is for an increased risk of PD in people exposed to certain pesticides and a reduced risk in tobacco smokers. The pathology of the disease is characterized by the accumulation of a protein called alpha-synuclein into inclusions called Lewy bodies in neurons, and from insufficient formation and activity of dopamine produced in certain neurons of parts of the midbrain. Diagnosis of typical cases is mainly based on symptoms, with tests such as neuroimaging being used for confirmation.

Paruresis is a type of phobia in which the sufferer is unable to urinate in the (real or imaginary) presence of others, such as in a public restroom. It most commonly affects males, though there are female sufferers too. The analogous condition that affects bowel movement is called parcopresis.
Many people have brief, isolated episodes of urinary difficulty in situations where other people are in close proximity. Paruresis, however, goes well beyond simple shyness, embarrassment, fear of exposure, or fear of being judged for not being able to urinate. Other people may find that they are unable to urinate while in moving vehicles, or are fixated on the sounds of their urination in quiet restrooms or residential settings. In severe cases, a person with paruresis can urinate only when alone at home or through the process of catheterization.
Although most sufferers report that they developed the condition in their teenage years, it can strike at any age. Also, because of the differing levels of severity from one person to another, some people’s first experience of the problem is when, for the first time, they “lock up” attempting to produce a sample for a drug test. Many women are unaware that they, too, are subject to paruresis; articles about women and urination emphasize other female urinary dysfunctions, such as urinary incontinence or frequent urination.

Peanut allergy is a type of food allergy distinct from nut allergies. It is a type 1 hypersensitivity reaction to dietary substances from peanuts causing an overreaction of the immune system which in a small percentage of people may lead to severe physical symptoms. It is estimated to affect 0.4-0.6% of the population. In England, an estimated 4,000 people are newly diagnosed with peanut allergy per year (11 per day); 25,700 having been diagnosed with peanut allergy by a clinician at some point in their lives.
The most severe peanut allergies can result in anaphylaxis, an emergency situation requiring immediate attention and treatment with epinephrine. It is usually treated with an exclusion diet and vigilant avoidance of foods that may contain whole peanuts or peanut particles and/or oils.

Peritonitis is an inflammation of the peritoneum, the serous membrane that lines part of the abdominal cavity and viscera. Peritonitis may be localised or generalised, and may result from infection (often due to rupture of a hollow organ as may occur in abdominal trauma or appendicitis) or from a non-infectious process.
The main manifestations of peritonitis are acute abdominal pain, abdominal tenderness, and abdominal guarding, which are exacerbated by moving the peritoneum, e.g., coughing (forced cough may be used as a test), flexing one’s hips, or eliciting the Blumberg sign (a.k.a. rebound tenderness, meaning that pressing a hand on the abdomen elicits less pain than releasing the hand abruptly, which will aggravate the pain, as the peritoneum snaps back into place). The presence of these signs in a patient is sometimes referred to as peritonism. The localization of these manifestations depends on whether peritonitis is localized (e.g., appendicitis or diverticulitis before perforation), or generalized to the whole abdomen. In either case, pain typically starts as a generalized abdominal pain (with involvement of poorly localizing innervation of the visceral peritoneal layer), and may become localized later (with the involvement of the somatically innervated parietal peritoneal layer). Peritonitis is an example of an acute abdomen.

Pica is a medical disorder characterized by an appetite for substances largely non-nutritive (e.g. metal, clay, coal, sand, dirt, soil, feces, chalk, pens and pencils, paper, batteries, spoons, toothbrushes, soap, mucus, ash, gum, etc.) or an abnormal appetite for food ingredients (e.g. flour, raw potato, raw rice, starch, ice cubes, salt). For these actions to be considered pica, they must persist for more than one month at an age where eating such objects is considered developmentally inappropriate. The condition’s name comes from the Latin word for magpie, a bird that is reputed to eat almost anything. Pica is seen in all ages, particularly in pregnant women, small children, and those with developmental disabilities.
Pica is more common in women and children. Pica in children (usually only in young children or children with autism or another mental or developmental disorder) may be dangerous. Children eating painted plaster containing lead may suffer brain damage from lead poisoning.

Pleurisy (also known as pleuritis) is an inflammation of the pleura, the lining of the pleural cavity surrounding the lungs. Among other things, infections are the most common cause of pleurisy.
The inflamed pleural layers rub against each other every time the lungs expand to breathe in air. This can cause severe sharp pain with inhalation (also called pleuritic chest pain).
The main symptom of pleurisy is a sharp or stabbing pain in the chest that gets worse with deep breathing, coughing, sneezing or laughing. The pain may stay in one place, or it may spread to the shoulder or back. Sometimes it becomes a fairly constant dull ache.

Pneumonia is an inflammatory condition of the lung, especially inflammation of the alveoli (microscopic air sacs in the lungs) or when the lungs fill with fluid (called consolidation and exudation). There are many causes, of which infection is the most common, infecting agents can be bacteria, viruses, fungi, or parasites. Chemical burns or physical injury to the lungs can also produce pneumonia.
Typical symptoms include cough, chest pain, fever, and difficulty in breathing. Diagnostic tools include x-rays and examination of the sputum. Treatment depends on the cause of pneumonia; bacterial pneumonia is treated with antibiotics.
Pneumonia is a common disease that occurs in all age groups. It is a leading cause of death among the young, the old, and the chronically ill. Vaccines to prevent certain types of pneumonia are available. The prognosis depends on the type of pneumonia, the treatment, any complications, and the person’s underlying health. People with infectious pneumonia often have a cough producing greenish or yellow sputum or phlegm and a high fever that may be accompanied by shaking chills. Shortness of breath is also common, as is sharp or stabbing chest pain during deep breaths or coughs. Less frequent symptoms of pneumonia include coughing up blood, headaches, sweaty and clammy skin, loss of appetite, fatigue, blueness of the skin, nausea, vomiting, mood swings, and joint pains or muscle aches. Some forms of pneumonia can cause specific symptoms.

Polyarthritis is any type of arthritis which involves 5 or more joints simultaneously. It is usually associated with autoimmune conditions.
Polyarthritis may be experienced at any age and is not gender specific. Polyarthritis is most often caused by an auto-immune disorder such as Rheumatoid arthritis, Psoriatic arthritis, and Lupus erythematosus but can also be caused by infection with an alphavirus such as Chikungunya Virus and Ross River Virus. This condition is termed Alphavirus Polyarthritis Syndrome. Sindbis Virus, which is endemic in Northern Europe, Africa, the Middle East, and Australia, is the most widely distributed of the alphaviruses causing polyarthritis, though infection is usually mild or asymptomatic.
It is recommended that individuals with this affliction sleep on a firm mattress and a flat pillow.

Precocious puberty describes puberty occurring at an unusually early age. In most of these children, the process is normal in every respect except the unusually early age, and simply represents a variation of normal development. In a minority of children, the early development is triggered by a disease such as a tumor or injury of the brain. Even in instances where there is no disease, unusually early puberty can have adverse effects on social behavior and psychological development, can reduce adult height potential, and may shift some life-long health risks. Central precocious puberty can be treated by suppressing the pituitary hormones that induce sex steroid production.
The term is used with several slightly different meanings that are usually apparent from the context. In its broadest sense, and often simplified as early puberty, “precocious puberty” sometimes refers to any physical sex hormone effect, due to any cause, occurring earlier than the usual age, especially when it is being considered as a medical problem. Stricter definitions of “precocity” may refer only to central puberty starting before a statistically specified age based on percentile in the population (e.g. 2.5 standard deviations below the population mean), on expert recommendations of ages at which there is more than a negligible chance of discovering an abnormal cause, or based on opinion as to the age at which early puberty may have adverse effects. A common definition for medical purposes is onset before 8 years in girls or 9 years in boys.

Prostate cancer is a form of cancer that develops in the prostate, a gland in the male reproductive system. Most prostate cancers are slow growing. However, there are cases of aggressive prostate cancers. The cancer cells may metastasize (spread) from the prostate to other parts of the body, particularly the bones and lymph nodes. Prostate cancer may cause pain, difficulty in urinating, problems during sexual intercourse, or erectile dysfunction. Other symptoms can potentially develop during later stages of the disease.
Rates of detection of prostate cancers vary widely across the world, with South and East Asia detecting less frequently than in Europe, and especially the United States. Prostate cancer tends to develop in men over the age of fifty and although it is one of the most prevalent types of cancer in men, many never have symptoms, undergo no therapy, and eventually die of other causes. This is because cancer of the prostate is, in most cases, slow-growing, symptom-free, and since men with the condition are older they often die of causes unrelated to the prostate cancer, such as heart/circulatory disease, pneumonia, other unconnected cancers, or old age. About 2/3 of cases are slow growing, the other third more aggressive and fast developing.

Psoriasis is a chronic autoimmune disease that appears on the skin. It occurs when the immune system sends out faulty signals that speed up the growth cycle of skin cells. Psoriasis is not contagious. There are five types of psoriasis: plaque, guttate, inverse, pustular and erythrodermic. The most common form, plaque psoriasis, is commonly seen as red and white hues of scaly patches appearing on the top first layer of the epidermis (skin). Some patients, though, have no dermatological symptoms.
In plaque psoriasis, skin rapidly accumulates at these sites, which gives it a silvery-white appearance. Plaques frequently occur on the skin of the elbows and knees, but can affect any area, including the scalp, palms of hands and soles of feet, and genitals. In contrast to eczema, psoriasis is more likely to be found on the outer side of the joint.
The disorder is a chronic recurring condition that varies in severity from minor localized patches to complete body coverage. Fingernails and toenails are frequently affected (psoriatic nail dystrophy) and can be seen as an isolated symptom. Psoriasis can also cause inflammation of the joints, which is known as psoriatic arthritis. Between 10% and 40% of all people with psoriasis have psoriatic arthritis.

Psychosis means abnormal condition of the mind, and is a generic psychiatric term for a mental state often described as involving a “loss of contact with reality”. People suffering from psychosis are described as psychotic. Psychosis is given to the more severe forms of psychiatric disorder, during which hallucinations and delusions and impaired insight may occur. Some professionals say that the term psychosis is not sufficient as some illnesses grouped under the term “psychosis” have nothing in common.
People experiencing psychosis may report hallucinations or delusional beliefs, and may exhibit personality changes and thought disorder. Depending on its severity, this may be accompanied by unusual or bizarre behavior, as well as difficulty with social interaction and impairment in carrying out the daily life activities.
A wide variety of central nervous system diseases, from both external poisons and internal physiologic illness, can produce symptoms of psychosis.

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