Tag Archives | Health

Panic over Ebola echoes the 19th-century fear of cholera

This article was originally published on The Conversation.
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By Sally Sheard, University of Liverpool

On October 19 an inspector sent north from London to Sunderland reported a long-awaited arrival: the first British case of cholera. It was 1831 and as part of a second pandemic cholera had again progressed from its Bengal heartland through Europe, before reaching the Baltic ports. It was only a matter of time.

Broadsheet warning in 1831. Wellcome Library, London, CC BY-NC-SA

The British public, informed by newspaper reports, were acquainted with the symptoms: profuse watery diarrhoea, severe abdominal pain and often death within a matter of hours. In advance of its arrival in Russia thousands fled from the cities. In Poland it was killing one in two victims. And unlike today, where oral rehydration solution can prevent dehydration and shock, there was no effective treatment.

Cholera was (and is) caused by vibrio cholerae bacteria and spread by poor sanitation and unsafe drinking water.… Read the rest

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An Ancient Way to Heal The Mind Finds New Scientific Support

By daveynin via Flickr (CC by 2.0)

By daveynin via Flickr (CC by 2.0)

Sometimes, scientists like to research things that most of us already assume. I suppose it doesn’t hurt to have some proof and evidence to get us off the couch and into the woods.

via Psyblog:

Taking group walks in nature is associated with better mental well-being and lower stress and depression, a new large-scale study finds.

The study is one of the first to show that simply walking in nature doesn’t just benefit the body, but also the mind.

Sara Warber, one of the study’s authors, said:

“We hear people say they feel better after a walk or going outside but there haven’t been many studies of this large size to support the conclusion that these behaviors actually improve your mental health and well-being.”

The study evaluated a British program called ‘Walking for Health’ and it involved nearly 2,000 participants (Marselle et al., 2014).

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Leaving Your Religion Can Damage Your Health

WARNING: Leaving your religion can damage your health (courtesy of The Atlantic):

…Americans are less religious than ever. A third of American adults under 30, and a fifth of all Americans don’t identify with any religion, according to a 2012 study by Pew Research (an increase from 15 percent in 2007). But though scientists have studied people who leave cults, research on the health effects of leaving religion is slim.

Minsk praying woman

The most mainstream research on this is a 2010 study out of Pennsylvania State University, which examined data from 1972 to 2006. The study showed that 20 percent of people who have left religion report being in excellent health, versus 40 percent of people currently part of strict religious groups (such as Jehovah’s Witnesses and Latter-Day Saints) and 25 percent of people who switched from a strict religion to a more lenient religion. “Strict” in this study was defined as “high-cost sectarian groups that are theologically and culturally exclusive.”

There are some studies comparing the health of religious and nonreligious people.

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This Man Has 100 Orgasms A Day – and Calls It Hell

Persistent Genital Arousal Syndrome is one of the most bizarre physical afflictions you’re likely to come across, and it’s perfect tabloid fodder for the New York Post. (What astounds me is that he’s gone public with his condition!):

Experiencing 100 orgasms a day may sound like the gift that keeps on giving, but a heartbroken man from Wisconsin can assure you — it’s much more of a curse.

Dale Decker is a 37-year-old husband and father of two who suffers from an uncontrollable condition known as Persistent Genital Arousal Syndrome, Barcroft Media reports.

He first felt the symptoms after he slipped a disk in his back and was on his way to the hospital. Decker inexplicably ejaculated five times on the drive — and says the orgasms have kept on coming ever since.

“Imagine being on your knees at your father’s funeral beside his casket, saying goodbye to him — and then you have nine orgasms right there,” he said.

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French Restaurants’ Food Quality Turns to ‘Merde’

PHOTO By Jan Wellmann

PHOTO By Jan Wellmann

This article originally appeared on HoneyColony.

The moment I touch down in a new city I assess the quality of the food and locate the nearest health-food store and gastro-friendly restaurants. Food is thy medicine, and given my allergies to gluten, sugar cane, and dairy, my food options are usually very limited; I have to avoid processed foods like the plague.

When I recently arrived in France, perennially known for its culinary traditions as it is, I was astonished by the amount of prepackaged and frozen foods served in French restaurants and the staggering number of loud-colored labels lining the shelves in grocery stores.

Indeed, I discovered, French restaurants and the French public at large purchased over $94 billion worth of packaged goods in 2013, according to EuroMonitor. This basically includes anything canned and wrapped, such as snack bars, spreads, canned and preserved foods, pasta, ready meals, sauces, dressings, and soup.… Read the rest

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Legal Scholar: Is Fluoridation an Illegitimate Human Experiment?

waterfluoridation-overview1

NEW YORKSept. 3, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — “The cessation of all compulsory water fluoridation schemes should be the goal of all public health agencies, ethical lawmakers and informed citizens,” argues Rita Barnett-RoseChapman University Associate Law Professor, (online August 2014), reports the New York State Coalition Opposed to Fluoridation (NYSCOF).

Evidence of fluoride’s harm is ignored, downplayed or not studied; benefits exaggerated and informed consent disregarded. “Claims that fluoridation is not mass medication are unpersuasive,” she writes.

After scientists disproved the 1945 theory assuming ingested fluoride was essential for healthy teeth, fluoridation promoters newly speculate, without evidence, that fluoridation benefits low-income children who have the most decay and least access to dental care – a problem that persists today despite 7 decades of fluoridation. In fact, dental socioeconomic disparities have increased.

The National Research Council acknowledges significant fluoride health research has yet to be done – especially fluoride’s effect on the young brain.… Read the rest

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Mark Bittman’s ‘Drinker’s Manifesto’

The conclusion of Mark Bittman’s “Drinker’s Manifesto” (in the New York Times) is really the best part: “…when it comes to public health we fail to prioritize correctly. The C.D.C. says that excessive alcohol consumption causes 88,000 deaths a year and ‘costs the economy about $224 billion.’ Obesity-related illnesses cause somewhere around 112,000 deaths, and cost maybe a trillion dollars. You don’t see the C.D.C. saying that people under 21 years of age ‘drink too much’ if they consume a can of soda. But it should.” Bittman has a pretty good rationalization for boozing:

Across my desk recently came a reissue of the 1964 classic “The Drinking Man’s Diet,” a cute little volume that maintains that if you drink a bit you’ll lose weight. Counterintuitive, since one of the things we think we know about alcohol is that it provides truly empty calories, which generally speaking cause weight gain (see, for example, soda).

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The Science Behind Meditation and Dan Harris’ Journey to Serenity

9780062265425I’ll be the first to admit that I’m often uptight and easily stressed. I don’t meditate regularly, but when I do the relief I feel is often surprising. Just taking a few moments to focus on my breathing can release tension.

via Big Think:

Dan Harris is a self-described “fidgety and skeptical news anchor” who would probably be the last person you’d expect to buy into the hocus pocus of supposed new age wellness. But after suffering a live, on-air panic attack on “Good Morning America,” the ABC News correspondent took up meditation not because he was in search of a magical solution, but rather because of the overwhelming scientific evidence that it just works.

After his attack, Harris became an advocate for the practice and even wrote a book — 10% Happier: How I Tamed the Voice in My Head, Reduced Stress Without Losing My Edge, and Found Self-Help That Actually Works–A True Story – in which he compiled his personal story with copious amounts of research backing the benefits of meditation.

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Man Has Tooth Pulled From Nose

Credit: Hamed O. Al Dhafeeri, Abdulmajid Kavarodi, Khalil Al Shaikh, Ahmed Bukhari, Omair Al Hussain, Ahmed El Baramawy. American Journal of Case Reports. Via Live Science

Credit: Hamed O. Al Dhafeeri, Abdulmajid Kavarodi, Khalil Al Shaikh, Ahmed Bukhari, Omair Al Hussain, Ahmed El Baramawy. American Journal of Case Reports. Via Live Science.

Man’s frequent nosebleeds caused by tooth inside his nasal cavity.

via Live Science:

Nosebleeds are common among children and young adults, but one young man’s frequent nosebleeds turned out to have a rather unusual cause: He had a tooth in his nose, according to a new report of his case.

After suffering from nosebleeds once or twice a month for three years, the 22-year-old man in Saudi Arabia consulted a doctor, who found an ivory-white, bony mass, about half an inch (1 centimeter) long in the man’s nose. The doctors then consulted with dentist colleagues, who concluded that the mass was actually an extra tooth that had somehow ended up growing in his nose, according to the report.

The patient had a well-aligned and complete set of teeth in his mouth, according to the report.

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