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Pancreatitis

Pancreatitis simply means inflammation of the pancreas. Located in the upper part of the abdomen, behind the stomach, the pancreas plays an important role in digestion. The pancreas is a gland, producing two main types of substances: digestive juices and digestive hormones.   Digestive juices include enzymes and bicarbonate. They ...

Pericarditis

Pericarditis describes the condition where the thin membrane lining the heart becomes inflamed. Most often, acute pericarditis is self-limiting and will resolve within a few weeks. However, it may recur and is considered chronic if the symptoms persist for more than 6-12 months.   Some people that develop pericarditis can have ...

Pinched Nerve

Nerves are like electrical cords that carry information from the brain to the rest of the body and vice-versa. They are distributed throughout the entire body.   Motor (efferent) nerves carry information from the brain out to the body. This allows the brain to send commands to the various organs of the body. For example, these ...

Plague

Plague is a term applied to an infectious disease that spreads easily and, without antibiotics treatment, can be fatal. The plague has caused more fear and terror than perhaps any other infectious disease in history. It has killed nearly 200 million people and has produced monumental changes, such as marking the end of the Dark Ages and causing ...

Pleurisy

Pleurisy describes the chest pain syndrome characterized by a sharp chest pain that worsens with breathing.   Pleurisy is caused by inflammation of the linings around the lungs (the pleura), a condition also known as pleuritis.   There are two layers of pleura: one covering the lung (termed the visceral pleura) and the ...

Renal Artery Stenosis

Aside from filtering blood and making urine, the kidneys have other functions. One such function is monitoring blood pressure (performed by special cells called macula densa). Using a chemical messenger called angiotensin, these cells can help adjust blood flow throughout the body and maintain normal blood pressure.   The angiotensin ...

Rotavirus Infection

Rotavirus is a virus that infects the bowels. It is the most common cause of severe diarrhea among infants and children throughout the world and causes the death of about 600,000 children worldwide annually. The name rotavirus comes from the characteristic wheel-like appearance of the virus when viewed by electron microscopy (the name rotavirus ...

Salmonella

Salmonella are a group of closely related rod-shaped, Gram-stained negative bacteria that have flagella (tail-like structures used for movement). Salmonellatypes are further characterized by specific proteins found on the bacterial and flagellar surface. Each different combination of protein coats is termed a serovar. Serovars are distinguished ...

SAD

Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is a type of depression that is tied to seasons of the year. Most people with SAD are depressed only during the late fall and winter (sometimes called the "winter blues") and not during the spring or summer. A small number, however, are depressed only during the late spring and summer.   ...

Scoliosis

Scoliosis is a disorder that causes an abnormal curve of the spine, or backbone. The spine has normal curves when looking from the side, but it should appear straight when looking from the front. Kyphosis is a curve seen from the side in which the spine is bent forward. There is a normal kyphosis in the middle (thoracic) spine. Lordosis is a ...

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