Health & Spirit

Pain Gain

Scott LaFee on

The aches and pains of arthritis may be more common than previously thought. New research suggests national estimates based on whether study participants recall ever complaining to a health professional about arthritis, likely do not capture all cases. They estimate that (more accurate but higher) 56 percent of men and 69 percent of women over age 65 have signs of arthritis.

Doobie Others

With more and more states implementing new marijuana laws, emergency physicians in a new study are cautioning their peers that the number of children who show up in hospitals after accidentally consuming marijuana edibles could rise significantly. And doctors will need to keep that in mind during diagnoses -- since many of the symptoms of marijuana intoxication in children, such as drowsiness, respiratory ailments or vision problems -- are similar to other conditions.

Body of Knowledge

One square inch of skin contains, on average, four yards of nerve fibers and 100 sweat glands.

Get Me That, Stat!

Almost 9 million children and 370,000 pregnant women are covered by the federal Children's Health Insurance Program. Lawmakers missed a September 9 deadline to extend funding and efforts to renew support have thus far failed. States are preparing plans to let those affected know coverage may run out by end of year.

Life in Big Macs

One hour of massaging someone while standing burns 272 calories (based on a 150-pound person) or the equivalent of 0.4 Big Macs. For the recipient, there's minimal calorie consumption. On the other hand, they're getting a massage.


11: Number of years between a judicial order (2006) that tobacco companies produce print and TV ads admitting the industry misled the public on the risks of smoking and the actual appearance of the first ads (2017)

Hypochondriac's Guide

Superior canal dehiscence syndrome is a rare but real condition in which every sound emanating from within the body -- heartbeat, pulse, even the movement of eyes in their sockets -- is magnified by a disorder of the inner ear.

Never Say Diet

The Major League Eating record for slugburgers is 43 in 10 minutes, held by Matt Stonie. Note: No actual slugs were harmed in the making of this record. A "slugburger" is traditional southern fare consisting of a meat patty ground beef or pork and an extender, such soybeans. It's deep fried (naturally) and served on a bun with mustard, pickles, onions and a side of French fries.

Doc Talk

Astasia-abasia: The inability to either stand or walk in a normal manner

Phobia of the Week

Sciophobia: Fear of shadows

Best Medicine

Nineteen percent of doctors say that they'd be able to give their patients a lethal injection. But they also went on to say that the patient would have to be really, really behind on payments.


"If your doctor's last name is Google, it's time to get a second opinion."

--Toni Bernhard

Medical History

This week in 1933, an American doctor and a refrigeration engineer prepared dried human blood serum for the first time. The freeze-dried serum is the clear fluid in blood containing proteins and antibodies. In its powdered form, it became widely used to prevent childhood diseases and to treat wounded soldiers during World War II.

Med School

Q: What is a pulled muscle?

A: Muscles are comprised of networks of fibers laced together in specific patterns. When a muscle is "pulled," some fibers are forcibly moved out of play and the muscle cannot function without causing pain. The healing process involves repairing and realigning the affected fibers so they expand, contract and slide smoothing, without pain.

Final Words

"Sister, you're trying to keep me alive as an old curiosity, but I'm done. I'm finished. I'm going to die."

--Irish playwright George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950) to his nurse


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