PAINKILLERS
PANCREAS
tendon
or
bursa
around the shoulder
joint
being squeezed between the
scapula
and
humerus.
Treatment includes
physiother-
apy
and injection of
corticosteroid drugs.
painkillers See
analgesic drugs
.
pain relief The treatment of pain, usu-
ally with
analgesic drugs. Paracetamol,
aspirin
and
codeine
are the most widely
used drugs in this group. Pain accompa-
nied by
inflammation
is often alleviated
by
nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs
(NSAIDs)
. Severe pain may require treat-
ment with
opioids,
such as
morphine.
Other methods of pain relief include
massage
,
ice-packs
,
poultices
,
TENS
,
acu-
puncture
, or
hypnosis
. Surgery to destroy
pain-transmitting nerves (as in a
cordo-
tomy
) is occasionally performed when
other treatments fail.
palate The roof of the mouth, which is
covered with
mucous membrane
and
which separates the mouth from the
nasal cavity. At the front is the hard
palate, a plate of bone forming part of
the
maxilla.
At the rear is the soft
palate, a flap of muscle and fibrous
tissue that projects into the
pharynx.
(See also
cleft lip and palate
.)
palliative
treatment Treatment that
relieves the symptoms of a disorder but
does not cure it.
pallor Abnormal paleness of the
skin
and
mucous membranes
, particularly notice-
able in the face. Pallor is not always a
symptom of disease. It may be due to a
deficiency of the skin pigment
melanin
that may affect people who spend very
little time in daylight. It is also a feature
of
albinism
. In addition, pallor may be
caused by constriction of small blood
vessels in the skin, which may occur in
response to shock, severe pain, injury,
heavy blood loss, or fainting.
Disorders that cause pallor include
anaemia, pyelonephritis, kidney failure,
and
hypothyroidism. Lead poisoning
is a
rare cause.
palpation
A technique used in
physical
examination,
in which parts of the body
are felt with the hands,
palpitation
Awareness of the
heartbeat
or a sensation of having a rapid and
forceful heartbeat. Palpitations are usu-
ally felt in tense situations, or after
strenuous exercise or a scare. When
experienced at rest or when calm, they
are usually due to
ectopic heartbeats
and are felt as fluttering or thumping in
the chest. Palpitations may also be
due to
cardiac arrhythmias
and
hyper-
thyroidism.
Recurrent palpitations, or
those causing chest pain, breathless-
ness, or dizziness, may be investigated
by a 24-hour
ECG
and
thyroid function
tests.
Treatment depends on the cause.
palsy A term applied to certain forms of
paralysis
, such as
facial palsy
.
panacea A claimed remedy for all dis-
eases. No such remedy is known.
pancreas A tapered gland that lies
across the back of the abdomen, behind
the stomach. The broadest part (head)
is on the right-hand side. The main part
(body) tapers from the head and extends
horizontally. The narrowest part (tail) is
on the left near the spleen.
The pancreas has a digestive and a
hormonal function. It mostly consists of
exocrine tissue, which secretes diges-
tive
enzymes
into the duodenum via the
pancreatic duct. Also secreted is sodium
bicarbonate, which neutralizes stomach
acid entering the duodenum. The pan-
creas also contains groups of endocrine
cells, called the islets of Langerhans,
which secrete the hormones
insulin
and
glucagon.
These hormones regulate the
level of
glucose
in the blood.
The most common pancreatic disorder
is
diabetes mellitus
.
PANCREAS
Islet of
Langerhans^
/
\
.
]
,
cells
\
LOCATION
Pancreatic duct ,
' PANCREATIC CELLS
Tail
. Head
Body
PANCREAS
431
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