the eye may be lost, and smiling is dis-
branches are affected, the sense of taste
may be impaired or sounds may seem
to be unnaturally loud.
In many cases, facial palsy clears up
without treatment. Pain can be relieved
exercising the facial muscles may aid
recovery It may be necessary to tape
the eyelid shut at bedtime in order to
avoid the risk of
to reduce inflam -
mation and speed recovery Re-routing
of nerve tissue may help
people suffering from palsy caused by
an injury or a tumour.
An uncom mon disorder in w hich the
muscles that are supplied by the
twitch frequently Facial spasm,
w hich predominantly affects middle-
aged women, is of unknown cause.
A term used to denote facial expres-
sion, w hich is often used as a guide to
a person’s health. For example, the typ-
ical facies seen in a child w ith enlarged
adenoids is open-mouthed because of
difficulty breathing through the nose.
The term “ facies” may also be used
to refer to a particular surface of a
body structure, part, or organ.
An autosomal dominant
that causes muscle weakness and wasting.
The condition first appears in childhood
chiefly affects the face, shoulder girdle,
arms, and later the pelvis and legs.
A group of disorders in w hich a pa-
tient’s symptoms m im ic those of a true
illness but w hich have been invented
by, and are under the control of, the
patient. There is no apparent cause
other than a w ish for attention; the
desire to assume the role of a patient
may be an escape from everyday life in
order to be cared for and protected.
The most common disorder of this
w hich is
characterized by physical symptoms.
The sufferer may aggravate
physical problems or even inflict self-
are psychological. Factitious disorders
in w hich a
person claims to be ill for a particular
obtain time off work).
One of the blood proteins that m ain-
tains the balance between the blood
clotting too easily or too slowly after
an injury About 5 per cent of the pop-
ulation have an inherited
the gene controlling factor V produc-
tion, known as factor V Leiden. They
ularly if taking the oral contraceptive
p ill or going on long aircraft journeys.
One of the blood proteins involved in
People w ith
have a reduced level of factor V III in
their blood and, consequently, have a
tendency to abnormal bleeding and to
prolonged bleeding when injured.
People with severe haemophilia re-
quire regular treatment with concentrates
of factor VIII. This treatment reduces
the bleeding tendency and allows the
affected person a normal quality of life.
A protein in blood that plays an im por-
tant role in the clotting mechanism.
A condition in w hich a large mass of
cannot be evacuated from
the rectum. It is usually associated with
Faecal im -
young children and in elderly people,
especially those w ho are bedridden.
The main symptoms are an intense
desire to pass a bowel movement; pain
in the rectum, anus, and centre of the
abdomen; and, in some cases, watery
faeces that are passed around the mass
(and may be confused with diarrhoea).
Treatment of faecal impaction is with
or, in cases where these are
ineffective, by manual removal of the
A small, hard piece of impacted faeces
that forms in a diverticulum (a sac in
the wall of the intestine). A faecalith is
harmless unless it forms a blockage at
the entrance to the sac, w hich causes
or to the appendix, which
faecal occult blood test (FOBT)
A test, also known as a stool
test, that is used to check for the pres-
ence of hidden blood in the faeces (see
occult blood, faecal
FOBT is a screening
test that may be carried out because
such bleeding may be one of the earli-
est indications of colorectal cancer (see
colon, cancer of
rectum, cancer of
example of a commonly used brand of
FOBT is Hemoccult.
The vomiting of matter that resembles
faeces, either in appearance or odour
or both. Faecal vomiting is a symptom
of serious intestinal obstruction (see
intestine, disorders of
Waste material from the digestive tract
that is solidified in the large intestine
and expelled through the
are composed of indigestible food resi-
dead bacteria, dead
cells shed from the intestinal lining,
intestinal secretions such as mucus,
from the liver (w hich is the sub-
stance that gives faeces their brown
colour), and water.
Examination of the faeces plays an
important part in the diagnosis of dis-
orders of the digestive tract, such as
Samples of faeces may be
examined physically for their colour,
odour, consistency, or for the presence
of blood. A special test, known as a
cal occult blood test (FOBT)
is used to
detect concealed blood in the faeces
occult blood, faecal
detect pus, parasites, or microorgan-
isms. Chemical tests may be performed
to assess the excretion of fat. (See also