Pain can be relieved by regular low
O pioid anal-
gesics, such as
may be given
if pain is severe. Other methods of pain
Nausea and vomiting may be
controlled by drugs. Constipation can
be treated with
is another common problem in the
dying, and this may be relieved by
Towards the end, the dying person
may be restless and may suffer from
breathing difficulty due to
These symptoms can be
relieved by drugs and by placing the
patient in a more comfortable position.
Emotional care is as important as the
relief of physical symptoms. Many peo-
ple w ho are terminally ill feel angry or
depressed, and feelings of guilt or of
regret are common responses. Loving,
caring support from family,
and others is very important.
HOME OR HOSPICE?
Many terminally ill people would prefer
to die at home, and few terminally ill
patients need specialized nursing for
a prolonged period. Specially trained
nurses or health-care workers from a
hospital, hospice, or charity may be
able to provide additional support for
the dying person and his or her carers.
Care in a hospice may be offered.
Hospices are small units that have been
established specifically to care for ter-
minally ill people and their families.
A prefix meaning abnormal, difficult,
painful, or faulty, as in dysuria (pain on
caused by disease or
damage to the physical apparatus of
speech or to the nerves controlling this
apparatus. Affected people can form u-
late, select, and write out words and
sentences grammatically; the problem
is with vocal expression only.
Dysarthria is common in many degen-
erative neurological conditions, such as
It may also result from a
or an isolated defect or damage
to a particular nerve. Structural defects
of the mouth, as occur in
cleft lip and
can also cause dysarthria.
Drug or surgical treatment of the under-
lying disease or structural defect may
improve the person’s ability to speak
is also useful.
A disorder in w hich there is difficulty
in solving mathematical problems. (See
A rare disorder, also called multiple
enchondromatosis or O llier’s disease,
that is present from birth and charact-
tumours of cartilaginous tissue within
the bones of a limb. It is caused by a
bone development. The bones are short-
ened, resulting in deformity. Rarely, a
tumour in the bone may become can-
An intestinal infection, causing diar-
rhoea (often mixed w ith blood, pus, or
mucus) and abdominal pain. There are
two distinct forms of dysentery:
w hich is due to shigella bacteria;
w hich is caused
protozoan parasite E
. The main risk w ith dysen-
caused by loss of
fluid in the diarrhoea.
An abnormality or impairment in the
functioning of an organ or body sys-
minimal brain dysfunction
The term “ dysfunctional”
used to describe a poor relationship
between two or more people.
Problems with w riting (see
Abnormal changes in the nuclei of
cells, particularly in the early stages of
Dyskaryosis may be detected by
microscopic examination of cells in
procedures such as a
cervical smear test.
An abnormality in keratinization (the
deposition of the tough protein
in the surface of the skin or nails. One
form is due to a rare, inherited disorder
that is most often caused by an X-
linked recessive genetic trait, although
recessive forms also exist (see
). The condition affects more
males than females and first become
apparent in childhood.
Dyskeratosis is characterized by pre-
mature thickening of epithelial cells
) in the skin;
(raised white patches on the mucous
membranes of the mouth or vulva);
nail dystrophy (a disorder caused by
inadequate nutrition); and
(a simultaneous decrease in the num -
ber of red cells,
), and platelets (
) in the blood).
Abnormal muscular movements. These
writhing movements cannot be sup-
pressed, and they may affect control of
may involve the whole body or be
restricted to a group of muscles.
Types of dyskinesia include
(repetitive fidgets), and
damage at birth or may be a side effect
of certain drugs (see
w hich often disappears when the drug
is stopped. Otherwise, dyskinesia is dif-
ficult to treat. (See also
A reading disability characterized by
difficulty interpreting written symbols.
Dyslexia is more common in males,
and evidence suggests that a specific,
sometimes inherited, neurological dis-
order underlies true dyslexia.
A child with dyslexia has normal intel-
ligence, but his or her attainment of
reading skills lags far behind other
W hile many young children tend to
reverse letters and words (for example,
w riting or reading p for q, or was for
saw), most soon learn to correct such
errors. Dyslexic children continue to
confuse these symbols. Letters are often
transposed (as in pest for step), and
spelling errors are common. The chil-
dren may even be unable to read words
that they can spell correctly.