A paralyzing fear of interacting with others. Symptoms include excessive blushing, sweating, trembling, rapid heartbeat, muscle tension, nausea, and extreme anxiety. Social phobia can occur in very young children or emerge at a later age. It can be disabling to a person’s work and social and family relationships. Many people with social phobia have trouble reaching their educational and professional goals or even maintaining employment. They may depend on others financially and try to relieve anxiety by using alcohol and drugs. In extreme cases, a person with social phobia may begin to avoid all social situations and become housebound. Treatment options include using medications and cognitive-behavioral therapy, which employs exposure and response prevention. Medications for social phobias include antidepressants called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs), as well as high-potency benzodiazepenes. People with the specific form of social phobia called performance phobia may be helped with drugs called beta blockers.
A birth defect in which the hands and feet are attached to abbreviated arms and legs. The term comes from phoco (meaning ‘seal’) and melia (meaning ‘limb’), to indicate that a limb is like a seal’s flipper, as in exposure of the developing fetus to thalidomide. Phocomelia may also, in some cases, be genetic.
Surgical procedures that maintain, restore, or enhance the human voice. Phonosurgery includes phonomicrosurgery (microsurgery of the vocal folds done through an endoscope), laryngoplastic phonosurgery (open-neck surgery that restructures the cartilaginous framework of the larynx and the soft tissues), laryngeal injection (injection into the larynx of medications as well as synthetic and organic biologic substances), and […]
- Phosphatase, acid
An enzyme that acts to liberate phosphate under acidic conditions and is made in the liver, spleen, bone marrow, and prostate gland. Abnormally high serum levels of acid phosphatase may indicate infection, injury, or cancer of the prostate.
- Phosphatase, alkaline
An enzyme that liberates phosphate under alkaline conditions and is made in liver, bone, and other tissues. Alkaline phosphatase can be measured in a routine blood test. Abnormally high serum levels of alkaline phosphatase may indicate bone disease, liver disease, or bile duct obstruction.
A form of phosphoric acid. Calcium phosphate makes bones and teeth hard.