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Phantom pain is pain that feels like it's coming from a body part that's no longer there. Doctors once believed this post-amputation phenomenon was a psychological problem, but experts now recognize that these real sensations originate in the spinal cord and brain.

Although phantom pain occurs most often in people who've had an arm or leg removed, the disorder may also occur after surgeries to remove other body parts, such as the breast, penis, eye or tongue.

For some people, phantom pain gets better over time without treatment. For others, managing phantom pain can be challenging. You and your doctor can work together to treat phantom pain effectively with medication or other therapies.

Phenylketonuria (fen-ul-ke-toe-NU-re-uh), also called PKU, is a rare inherited disorder that causes an amino acid called phenylalanine to build up in your body. PKU is caused by a defect in the gene that helps create the enzyme needed to break down phenylalanine.

Without the enzyme necessary to process phenylalanine, a dangerous buildup can develop when a person with PKU eats foods that are high in protein. This can eventually lead to serious health problems.

For the rest of their lives, people with PKU — babies, children and adults — need to follow a diet that limits phenylalanine, which is found mostly in foods that contain protein.

Babies in the United States and many other countries are screened for PKU soon after birth. Recognizing PKU right away can help prevent major health problems.

A pheochromocytoma (fee-o-kroe-moe-sy-TOE-muh) is a rare, usually noncancerous (benign) tumor that develops in cells in the center of an adrenal gland. You have two adrenal glands, one above each kidney. Your adrenal glands produce hormones that give instructions to virtually every organ and tissue in your body.

If you have a pheochromocytoma, an adrenal gland releases hormones that cause persistent or episodic high blood pressure. If left untreated, a pheochromocytoma can result in severe or life-threatening damage to other body systems, especially the cardiovascular system.

Most people with a pheochromocytoma are between the ages of 20 and 50, but the tumor can develop at any age. Surgical treatment to remove a pheochromocytoma usually returns blood pressure to normal.

A phobia is an overwhelming and unreasonable fear of an object or situation that poses little real danger but provokes anxiety and avoidance. Unlike the brief anxiety most people feel when they give a speech or take a test, a phobia is long lasting, causes intense physical and psychological reactions, and can affect your ability to function normally at work or in social settings.

Several types of phobias exist. Some people fear large, open spaces. Others are unable to tolerate certain social situations. And still others have a specific phobia, such as a fear of snakes, elevators or flying.

Not all phobias need treatment. But if a phobia affects your daily life, several therapies are available that can help you overcome your fears — often permanently.

A pilonidal (pie-low-NIE-dul) cyst is an abnormal pocket in the skin that usually contains hair and skin debris. A pilonidal cyst is almost always located near the tailbone at the top of the cleft of the buttocks.

These cysts typically occur when hair punctures the skin and then becomes embedded. If a pilonidal cyst becomes infected, the resulting abscess is often extremely painful. The cyst can be drained through a small incision or removed surgically.

Pilonidal cysts most commonly occur in young men, and the problem has a tendency to recur. People who sit for prolonged periods of time, such as truck drivers, are at higher risk of developing a pilonidal cyst.

A pinched nerve occurs when too much pressure is applied to a nerve by surrounding tissues, such as bones, cartilage, muscles or tendons. This pressure disrupts the nerve's function, causing pain, tingling, numbness or weakness.

A pinched nerve can occur at several sites in your body. A herniated disk in your lower spine, for example, may put pressure on a nerve root, causing pain that radiates down the back of your leg. Likewise, a pinched nerve in your wrist can lead to pain and numbness in your hand and fingers (carpal tunnel syndrome).

With rest and other conservative treatments, most people recover from a pinched nerve within a few days or weeks. Sometimes, surgery is needed to relieve pain from a pinched nerve.

Pink eye (conjunctivitis) is an inflammation or infection of the transparent membrane (conjunctiva) that lines your eyelid and covers the white part of your eyeball. When small blood vessels in the conjunctiva become inflamed, they're more visible. This is what causes the whites of your eyes to appear reddish or pink.

Pink eye is commonly caused by a bacterial or viral infection, an allergic reaction, or — in babies — an incompletely opened tear duct.

Though pink eye can be irritating, it rarely affects your vision. Treatments can help ease the discomfort of pink eye. Because pink eye can be contagious, early diagnosis and treatment can help limit its spread.

Pinworm infection is the most common type of intestinal worm infection in the United States. Pinworms are thin and white, measuring about 1/4 to 1/2 inch (about 5 to 13 millimeters) in length.

While the infected person sleeps, female pinworms lay thousands of eggs in the folds of skin surrounding the anus. Most people infected with pinworms have no symptoms, but some people experience anal itching and restless sleep.

Pinworm infection occurs most often in school-age children, and the microscopic eggs are easily spread from child to child. Treatment involves oral drugs that kill the pinworms and thorough washing of bedclothes, bed linens and underwear. For best results, the entire family should be treated.

Pituitary tumors are abnormal growths that develop in your pituitary gland. Some pituitary tumors cause excessive production of hormones that regulate important functions of your body. Other pituitary tumors can restrict normal functions of your pituitary gland, causing it to produce lower levels of hormones.

The vast majority of pituitary tumors are noncancerous growths (adenomas). Adenomas remain confined to your pituitary gland or surrounding tissues and don't spread to other parts of your body.

Treatment for pituitary tumors involves various options, including removing the tumor, controlling its growth and managing your hormone levels with medications. Your doctor may recommend observation — or a ''wait and see'' approach.

Pityriasis (pit-ih-RIE-uh-sis) rosea is a skin rash that usually begins as one large circular or oval spot on your chest, abdomen or back. Called a herald patch, this initial spot can be up to 4 inches (10 centimeters) across.

The herald patch is typically followed by a distinctive pattern of similar but smaller lesions that sweep out from the middle of your body in a shape that resembles drooping pine-tree branches.

Pityriasis rosea can affect any age group, but it most commonly occurs between the ages of 10 and 35. It usually goes away on its own within six weeks. Pityriasis rosea can cause itching, and treatment usually focuses on relieving symptoms.