Are you headed for a heart attack because of “marginal scurvy”, a condition resulting from a lack of vitamin C? Moreover, if vitamin C is sound medicine for gorillas, why isn’t it good for us? And in the 16th century, why did the ship’s cat survive long sea voyages when its sailors died from scurvy?
“Why didn’t you come to see me earlier? It could have saved you months of worry,” I recently asked a patient. She had delayed seeing me because of rectal bleeding and she was terrified I’d tell her the diagnosis was cancer. Yet her only complaint was anusitis, an often overlooked rectal condition. But whether it’s anusitis or a serious problem a cardinal rule is never, never ignore rectal bleeding.
What made Cleopatra, Queen of Egypt, so attractive? Certainly being born beautiful wasn’t a hindrance for her seduction of Mark Anthony. But apart from having genetics on her side she knew that natural beauty could be preserved and augmented by the application of healthy emollients. Both Cleopatra and Poppea, wife of the Roman Emperor Nero, used a honey-and-milk lotion to keep them looking youthful. But what would Cleopatra and Poppea have done to get their hands on a new potion proven to reduce wrinkles up to 78 percent?
“Do you ever buy organic food?” I asked my wife. She quickly answered, “No”. Then I asked, “Why do some people buy it?” She replied what most people say, “Because it’s free of pesticides”. But is this true? And with increasing food prices is it prudent to spend hard-earned dollars on organic farm products?
Why am I scratching my head? It’s because I’m writing about head lice and even the thought of having this crawly beast, “Pediculosis capitis”, in my hair triggers this reaction. It also makes me understand the traumatic, emotional and embarrassed reaction of parents (and child) when they’re told, “Sarah (or Johnnie) has head lice”. Now that school has started, over a million parents in this country will hear this news. Fortunately, a new “Sahara Desert” treatment rids families of this common pest.
It’s been said that a little knowledge is an dangerous thing. A report from The Mayo Clinic shows that this is particularly true when the subject is ovarian cancer. And it illustrates how easy it is to both inform women and worry them at the same time.
“Desperate diseases require desperate cures”, wrote the immortal bard, William Shakespeare. For grossly obese patients this means putting part of the stomach and small intestine out of commission (bariatric surgery). But this is not minor surgery and patients should know the risks before making this desperate decision.
“Why don’t you go to lunch? I’ll wait here until he dies”, I suggested to the nurses. The patient was a 90 year old Baptist minister, and after days of futile treatment for cardiac problems I was sure the end was imminent.
“What causes liver disease?” Ask anyone this question and 99 percent will answer, “It’s imbibing in too much Cabernet Sauvignon or other alcoholic drinks”. But today the liver can be injured by a host of less known, but equally hazardous habits. So how are you being unfriendly to your liver? And what can we learn from the “Mayflower”, the ship that carried Pilgrims to this continent in 1620?