Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Masturbation as a prevention for Prostate Cancer?

Leave it to those wacky Aussies to study something like this...

Who would have ever sat in a meeting and said, with a serious tone of voice, "I would like some funding to studying my hypothesis that there is a negative correlation between flogging the dolphin and prostate cancer."

I would love to have been there for that.


(On the upside, I shouldn't have to worry about prostate cancer now. One less thing to worry about, eh? Oh gosh, did I just type that out loud?)

Friday, April 18, 2008

Daily Didactics: Urinary Tract Infections

For the most part, I've been very happy with my rankings on Helium. It's hard to complain too much when you have one of the "bonus" stars for being in the top 15%. Yes, that's a little bragging.

But every now and then, one of my articles will sink like a lead weight to the bottom of a title list and stay there. This is one of those articles. OK, it's an over-written topic. Everyone has an opinion on urinary track infections. And some of the other articles in the title are pretty good, so this isn't meant to be a "The Rating System at Helium is Crap!!!!" rant.

But even the losers need a hit, right?

As usual, here's the first two paragraphs, followed by a link. If you don't follow the link, I can assure you that the next time you pee... it's going to burn. It's bad juju not to read the entire article. Very bad juju.

Urinary tract infections are one of the most common infections in people. It is estimated that urinary tract infections are responsible for over 8 million office visits to a doctor each year. These infections are more common in women, due to the shorter length of the urethra. The urethra is the tube allowing urine to pass from the bladder out of the body. Despite this, urinary tract infections are also possible in men, and can be quite serious when they do occur. A commonly used medical term for urinary tract infections is cystitis.

Normal human urine is sterile. This means that it is generally completely free of bacteria. In a urinary tract infection, the bacteria infects the bladder and the urine that is contained within. A vast majority of urinary tract infections are caused by a single species of bacteria. This bacteria is known as E. coli. In most cases, the E. coli is able to enter the bladder through the urethra from the outside of the body.


Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Tree Man

Wow. Just wow. There's really not much I can say about this that does it justice. You have to watch it twice to believe it's even real. A man in Indonesia was infected by HPV and has his hands and feet entirely covered in gigantic warts. And when I say "gigantic", I mean freakin' HUGE.

Warning, it could be somewhat disturbing to look at, especially if you're a bit squeamish.


There's a write-up HERE.

Monday, April 14, 2008

A Guide to Diuretics

Sometimes in medicine we need to make our patient's pee a lot more than normal. Urine output is one of the major ways we get rid of fluid from the body. If you have too much fluid circulating in your body, one of the safer ways to reduce this excess is to increase urine output.

Enter diuretics. This is a group of medications that work in different ways to increase urine output. Not all diuretics are prescription medications... even things like coffee can acts as mild diuretics.

Here's an article I wrote for Helium that outlines some of the major prescription diuretics. The emphasis is on categories, not necessarily on specific drugs.

A diuretic is a type of medication that is used to increase the rate
of urine production by the kidneys. There are several types of
diuretics, all of which work in a slightly different fashion and have
different side effects and clinical uses. All diuretics are used to aid
in the elimination of excess fluid from the body.

People with high blood pressure, heart failure and certain types of
kidney problems are the most likely to be using a diuretic. The
specific type of diuretic is chosen by a doctor based on the individual
needs of the patient. Let's take a look at some of the major categories
of diuretics and how they function.


Saturday, April 12, 2008

Nutrition Tips: Everything You Wanted to Know About Crumpets

I spent over a year and a half living in England, and for some unexplainable reason, I never really had a run-in with this very English food - The Crumpet.

Sure, they were there in the grocery store, but I wouldn't say I was ever inclined to buy them. Frankly, I had no idea what the heck they were.

Enter Elizabeth. She's a Crumpet-holic. Remember that guy in Forrest Gump who was obsessed with shrimp? That's E with Crumpets. Only she doesn't cook them. Rather they just get eaten raw.

Anyhow, if you want to educate yourself on the wonderful world of batter-based doughy goodness, read her Squidoo Page on Crumpets.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Cirrhosis of the Liver - Symptoms and Treatment

I'm on a roll with the Helium links lately. Maybe it's because Helium has recently re-indexed it's database and royally screwed up the earnings from Google searches. So I'm reduced to Blog-Pimping of my articles.

Today's lesson is about cirrhosis of the liver. This happens when you soak your liver in too much booze over a long period of time. Alcohol soaked livers are NOT a good thing to have in your abdomen. A couple of drinks in moderation are fine. Shooting cheap-ass vodka until your liver is flammable - not so good. Again, here are the first two paragraphs. CLICK HERE to read the rest of the article.

Alcohol consumption can be a controversial topic. There is much
evidence that some types of alcohol, in limited quantities can have
some positive health benefits. However, alcohol can be very detrimental
to your health if consumed in quantity over a long period of time. The
liver is the organ most commonly damaged by excessive drinking,
although the esophagus and nervous system can also be damaged in severe

Liver damage due to alcohol consumption follows a spectrum of
severity. The more you drink, the more severe the damage becomes. As
the problems progress, they also become harder to reverse as well.


Saturday, April 5, 2008

Can eating oatmeal lower your cholesterol and lipid level?

There is a lot of information out there about lowering cholesterol. On the Internet, you can count on most of this information to be junk. Unless, of course, you are reading something I wrote. In which case, you should assume I'm totally right, all the time. Don't ever question my advice. Ever. To do so is to bring the wrath of millions of Plague infested rats which will swarm through your house and bite you on the ankles.

So here's the article on oatmeal I have up on Helium. Once again, it's the first paragraph, followed by a link that you MUST follow to read the rest of the article. Click the link, I need the pennies.

"Do you remember back when you were a child and your mother would nag you constantly to, "Eat your oatmeal! It's good for you. And don't forget the apple as well!" Of course you do. It seems that every mother is given a handbook at the hospital on how to make their child eat food that more closely resembles warm cat food than anything "healthy". In fact, I'm not even sure my cat would eat the oatmeal when I was little. But, as with just about everything else in life, in the end mom's advice turned out to be right.

It may not have much going for it in the taste department, but it turns out that oatmeal can have a significant effect on lowering cholesterol. But what's in the oatmeal that causes it to lower cholesterol? In a word: Fiber..."


Friday, April 4, 2008

Survey finds optimal duration for sex

Yes, this surprises me - but not for the reason you think. It surprises me that someone actually gets paid to study this stuff.

Researchers did a survey to determine the "optimal" duration for intercourse. Can you imagine being a subject in the study? "Hang on honey, I have to start the timer. Ready... GO!"

Anyhow, I guess it shouldn't come as a shock that this would be a popular news story to make the rounds. After all, if it has to do with sex, Paris Hilton, Lindsay Lohan, or any combination of the three, it's bound to make good reading, right?

If you haven't read the story, here it is on WebMD:

7 - 13 minutes is DESIRABLE

Daily Didactics: Fasting before a blood test

Yet another article posted to Helium (are you sensing a trend yet?). This one is about the reasons to fast before a getting a blood test done. Eating before you have a blood sugar or lipid profile done is going to mess up the test.

"If you've ever visited your doctor and required blood test, he or she may have told you to return on another day to have the blood drawn when you haven't eaten overnight. Although it may seem as if the doctor is doing this to make your life inconvenient, there are some real medical reasons for doing these blood tests after a short fast (not eating).

There are two main groups of test that are significantly affected by fasting state, blood sugar and lipids. More specifically, these tests are for LDL and HDL cholesterol, and triglycerides. On a daily basis, the normal range for blood sugar and lipids undergoes changes hour to hour depending on recent ingestion of food and drink. By fasting, one is getting a baseline sugar and lipid value that is not influenced by a recent meal."


Thursday, April 3, 2008

My Review of the LG Chocolate

I did a review of the LG Chocolate cellphone a while back. I guess someone liked it, as it's gotten on the front page of Helium today. Yippie. Personally, I think the review sort of sucks, but I'm a harsh personal critic.

"If you are looking for a good quality, easy to use cell phone with some nice extra features, look no further than the LG VX8550 Chocolate. The LG Chocolate is offered through Verizon Wireless.

The Chocolate is appropriately named as it is a "candybar" style cell phone. To open it, you simply slide the top half up with your thumb and it reveals a small number pad along the bottom third of the phone. This differs from the popular "flip" style phones which open like a clam shell. I found the Chocolate quite easy to open and close with one hand."


Wednesday, April 2, 2008

So you want to be a surgeon

This is a quick piece I wrote for Helium a couple weeks ago. It's actually an adaptation of an earlier article on "How to be a Pediatrician". Since the basics of the process, at least before Medical School, are essentially the same, the articles aren't terribly unique.

Regardless, it's got some Google Juice and is doing quite well on Helium.

"So you want to cut people open for a living, eh? Surgeons have one of the hardest and most intense jobs on Earth. And the training and education it takes to become one of them is equally as challenging. To become a surgeon, you will have to dedicate years of your life to studying - putting aside sleep, sanity and a social life. In the end, you will be one of the few who are given the tremendous responsibility of helping the sick and injured in a way that few other jobs allow."