Glossary

Browse through glands, hormones and endocrine conditions.
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

P

Patient factsheet: UK guidance on disorders of sex development in children

This is a patient factsheet on the Society for Endocrinology?s guidance document on the initial evaluation of a child with a suspected disorder of sex development.

Patient factsheet: SfE position statement on male hypogonadism and ageing

This is a patient factsheet summarising the Society for Endocrinology's position statement on male hypogonadism and ageing.

parasympathetic nervous system

part of the autonomic nervous system, which is not under voluntary control. It serves to slow the heart rate, increase intestinal and gland activity and relax sphincter muscles.

Primary hyperparathyroidism

Primary hyperparathyroidism is the release of too much parathyroid hormone from the parathyroid glands causing high levels of calcium in the bloodstream.

Primary hyperaldosteronism

Primary hyperaldosteronism (often also called primary aldosteronism) refers to a condition in which one or both adrenal glands generate increased blood levels of the hormone aldosterone. This causes sodium (salt) retention, leading to high blood pressure.

Polycystic ovary syndrome

Polycystic ovary syndrome is a term that covers a spectrum of problems caused by an imbalance in the level of the body's sex hormones (oestrogen and testosterone).

Premature ovarian failure

The period between puberty and the menopause represents the reproductive window of most women. If the ovaries stop working prematurely (roughly before the age of 40) and there are subsequently no periods, this is called premature ovarian failure.

paraventricular nucleus

a group of nerve cells found in the front half of the hypothalamus which is linked with the rear lobe of the pituitary gland.

Prader-Willi syndrome

Prader-Willi syndrome is a genetic disorder leading to excess hunger and obesity, lack of some hormones, developmental delay, learning difficulties and behavioural problems.

Premenstrual syndrome

Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) is a condition that affects women during the days leading up to her monthly period; it can cause distressing physical and emotional symptoms.

Parathyroid hormone

Parathyroid hormone is secreted by the parathyroid glands and is the most important regulator of calcium levels in the blood and within the bones.

Parathyroid glands

The parathyroid glands are situated in the neck and control the levels of calcium in the blood.

Pituitary apoplexy

Pituitary apoplexy is caused by either death of an area of tissue (known as an infarction) or a haemorrhage in the pituitary gland. It is usually associated with the presence of a pituitary tumour.

Precocious puberty

Precocious puberty is the early development of any secondary sexual characteristics: before the age of nine years in a boy and eight years of age in a girl.

Phaeochromocytoma

A phaeochromocytoma is a tumour of the adrenal gland that produces excess amounts of hormones such as adrenaline and noradrenaline.

pituitary tumour

a growth of cells in the pituitary gland. Pituitary tumours are usually benign but can cause the gland to produce too much or too little of certain hormones, and can threaten sight if pressing on the optic nerve.

Pituitary gland

The pituitary gland is a small pea-sized gland that plays a major role in regulating vital body functions and general wellbeing. It is referred to as the body's 'master gland' because it controls the activity of most other hormone-secreting glands.

Paget's disease

Paget's disease is a common, chronic bone disorder which may have no symptoms or it may cause pain, deformity and bone fracture. Early diagnosis of symptoms and treatment with medication will help to control Paget's disease.

Prostaglandins

The prostaglandins are a group of lipids made at sites of tissue damage or infection that are involved in dealing with injury and illness. They control processes such as inflammation, blood flow, the formation of blood clots and the induction of labour.

Paraganglioma

A paraganglioma is a rare type of tumour that arises from the parts of the body's nervous system that control blood pressure. Paragangliomas can occur in the head, neck, chest or abdomen.

Pre-eclampsia

Pre-eclampsia is a condition that arises during pregnancy in which the expectant mother experiences very high blood pressure and protein in her urine; it can lead to a range of complications.

Pineal gland

The pineal gland is situated in the middle of the human brain and is the major site of the body's melatonin production.

Progesterone

Progesterone is a hormone released by the corpus luteum in the ovary. It plays important roles in the menstrual cycle and in maintaining the early stages of pregnancy. It may also be involved in the growth of certain cancers.

Prolactinoma

A prolactinoma is a benign tumour of the pituitary gland that produces excess amounts of the hormone prolactin. It responds well to medication and surgery is avoidable in the majority of cases.

psychiatrist

a medical professional who treats patients with psychiatric disorders such as schizophrenia, mood disorders, depression, and so on.

Peptide YY

Peptide YY is a hormone made in the small intestine. It helps to reduce appetite and limit food intake.

Prolactin

Prolactin is a hormone produced in the pituitary gland, named because of its role in lactation. It also has other wide ranging functions in the body, from acting on the reproductive system to influencing behaviour and regulating the immune system.

psoriasis

overproduction of skin cells mostly commonly found on the ankles, knees and elbows.

Pancreas

The pancreas is an organ that serves two vital purposes: to aid food digestion and to produce hormones that mainly serve to control levels of energy in the blood.

Placenta

The placenta is a temporary endocrine organ formed during pregnancy, which produces hormones important in the maintenance of a healthy pregnancy and in preparation for labour and breastfeeding.


Top