Health & Spirit

Why Lupus is Mostly a Woman's Disease

Scott LaFee on

Doctor: Sounds like some kind of virus.

Patient: Everyone at the office has it.

Doctor: Well then, maybe it's a staff infection.

Hypochondriac's Guide

Trimethylaminuria is otherwise known as "fish odor syndrome," which pretty much describes the main symptom. It's caused by the body's inability to metabolize a compound called trimethylamine, which is what gives fish their fishy odor. Your body produces trimethylamine when it breaks down choline, found in eggs, liver, whole grain wheat and soybeans and trimethylamine-oxide in fish. If you lack the necessary liver enzyme to metabolize it, trimethylamine builds up in your body and eventually is excreted in urine, breath and sweat. It's an inherited condition. There is no cure. It's not particularly harmful, except perhaps to your love life.


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Medical History

This week in 1931, Alka Seltzer debuted in the United States, created by Hub Beardsley, the president of Miles Laboratories. Beardsley had originated the idea after a visit to Elkhart, Ind. during a severe flu outbreak in 1928. The outbreak seemed to have little impact at the local newspaper, where the editor explained that at the first sign of illness, he treated staff with a mix of aspirin and baking soda. Beardsley asked his chief chemist, Maurice Treneer to develop an effervescent tablet with aspirin (acetylsalicylic acid) and sodium bicarbonate as the main ingredients. The resulting tablet was a success, though Beardsley died in 1929 and did not see its debut.


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