Sunday, April 20, 2008



How wrong is this? Fairly. The risk is hugely exaggerated by the familiar portrayals of men in books, films and dramas gasping their last in flagrante. What are the facts? Research shows that the chances of a 50-year-old non-smoking male suffering a heart attack is about one in a million in any hour. Having sex increases these odds to two in a million, but doubling a barely existent risk means that risk is still negligible. Any related myths? That sex is a form of exercise. In fact, it equates only to climbing two flights of stairs.


How wrong is this? Very. An astronomically high blood pressure might cause a headache, but this is rare. What are the facts? High blood pressure (hypertension) usually has no symptoms at all. It's not a disease, it's a risk factor, so it is treated to reduce your chances of a future stroke or heart attack, not too make you feel better. Any related myths? That high blood pressure causes dizziness. No, dizzyness is a side-effect of the treatment.


How wrong is this? Fairly. Diabetics do have to alter their sugar intake and they sometimes require an urgent sugar fix if their blood glucose is too low. So concluding that craving sugar equals diabetes is understandable but wrong. What are the facts? Diabetes isn't caused by excess sugar, it's simply that the diabetic body has problems handling it. Any related myths? That diabetics need to buy special, low-sugar versions of food and drink. They don't - a simple healthy diet will suffice.


How wrong is this? Very. What are the facts? Research shows that routine self-examination does no good in terms of breast cancer outcomes because it isn't sensitive enough to detect important lumps. In fact, it can actually cause harm. How? By subjecting self-examiners to increased levels of anxiety. Any related myths? There is an exact parallel with routine self-examination of testicles in males - another discredited activity that continues to receive publicity because it sounds like a good idea.


How wrong is this? Fairly. Doctors rarely suggest diet alone if your cholesterol really needs lowering. What are the facts? A healthy diet's a good idea. But if you want lower cholesterol, you'll probably be disappointed. Because, even in trials, the best that's achieved is a 10 per cent reduction. Most cholesterol is made by your liver, with your dietary intake contributing little. Cholesterol is usually treated with statins. Any related myths? That a high cholesterol is a cause for panic - it's simply a risk factor, like high blood pressure, for future problems.


How wrong is this? Totally. What are the facts? The stats alone may be ease your headache. After all, your GP sees this symptom daily, but encounters a brain tumour only a few times in his entire career. Nasties of this sort almost always produce other symptoms - fits, personality change or unsteadiness. Any related myths? That a scan is a good idea. The chances of turning up an irrelevant but worrying abnormality are fairly high.


How wrong is this? Totally, with the exception of the antibiotic metronidazole. What are the facts? Any interaction of alcohol with virtually all antibiotics is nonexistent, or so small as to be irrelevant. Metronidazole, an antibiotic used for a variety of infections, is the exception to this rule. When mixed with even small amounts of booze, it causes vomiting. Any related myths? That you should always finish your course of antibiotics. It usually makes little difference.


How wrong is this? Fairly. What are the facts? Tiredness is common and, in the absence of other symptoms, is usually caused by lifestyle issues such as stress and lack of exercise. Mild anaemia caused by iron deficiency is common, too, particularly in women. As tiredness often prompts a blood test, it's common for anaemia to be revealed, and assumed wrongly to be the cause. Any related myths? That tiredness will be solved by vitamins - though the chemist might tell you otherwise.


How wrong is this? Totally. You might suffer a sore arm or, at most, a slight fever. What are the facts? The vaccine does not contain live germs and so cannot cause flu. But, as it's given in autumn, peak snuffle period, many patients will pick up a virus around the time of their jab. This they misinterpret as flu, which they link to the jab. Any related myths? The idea that if you are healthy, the flu jab isn't necessary. In fact, it's recommended to all over-65s, even if they're fit and well.


Australian man too fat for jail

Obesity has its pluses

A man considered too fat to be jailed has spoken out after escaping time behind bars because of his weight. Shepparton man Claude Jackson was ordered to do community service for smashing a glass over another man's head at a Shepparton bar on January 14, 2007. The victim, Tim Kirkman, received a 4cm cut to his neck in the incident and required hospital treatment. Jackson pleaded guilty to recklessly causing serious injury and affray.

A medical report submitted to the County Court sitting at Shepparton said Mr Jackson, who weighed 190kg, had suffered three heart attacks earlier in life and suffered from ongoing arthritis, sleep apnoea and other weight-related ailments. It said he had once weighed up to 234kg and that "morbid obesity" had been present all his life. The medical report also warned that a jail term would "create great problems" for his health.

While reluctant to talk about the incident, the 21-year-old told the Herald Sun he was deeply sorry and had been keeping out of trouble since the bar brawl. "I would like to say sorry to (Mr Kirkman)," Mr Jackson said yesterday. "If I could take back everything that happened on the night, I would. "But unfortunately it happened and I have to deal with it. I have definitely learnt my lesson."

Mr Jackson, who is studying for a certificate in youth work at a local university, was ordered by the court to undertake eight hours a week of community service at Rumbalara Football and Netball Club, and four hours of counselling a week for the remainder of his sentence. He was initially considered unsuitable for an intensive corrections order by the Office of Corrections.



Michael said...

Blood pressure is pretentious by a number of factors. These include the strong point of your heart, blood vessels' order and the kidneys' fitness. A person who movements regularly, most often has a healthy heart that can drive more blood with each drive and will not need to beat as often in order to keep a normal blood pressure.High Blood pressure also depends upon the artery. Hardened and narrowed arteries caused by old age or a high fat diet can make it harder for the blood to flow, causing the blood pressure to rise. When the arteries begin to stop up, the heart is then subjected to harder work. The kidneys' health also affects blood force. Because the kidneys functions to maintain water and salt volume in the body, if the kidney retains too much water and salt then the blood pressure will also boost.

Anonymous said...

"Man too fat for jail."

Another Stupid Fat Guy in Jail Story:

* * *

I was in jail for an extended weekend once. What I most noticed was that most of the inmates had a hardened, unwavering textbook cases of "criminal mindset." They did not fight each other, but daily ruminated about those who ratted them out in the first place, and yet, like gamblers who "double up their bets" in the rude math fallacy that says eventually you will win, just by odds, so thus become rich, if you just stay in the game. Cigarettes are money, in jail, so I had some money sent to me to buy my gal. I was not bothered since the carrot method worked. The alpha males were easy to spot, and made slight mafia-like demands for currency, but never went over the edge. They had a weapon though. Electric coffee pots. They could burn the hell out of anybody using boiling water, but I think realized this was a two way street. I once helped a poor speller write a letter on a mechanical typewriter, to a grandmother, claiming he didn't kill her grandchild. Obviously, he had, but was working the system. He was one of the saviest, albeit semi-illiterate men I've ever met. The thing is, in a place like that, my writing ability was immediately valued. That saddest people there were drunk drivers with red faces, in for the weekend instead of months. The food? It was fine. My first meal was a crappy McDonalds bag, in a piss and shit strewn room with NO HEAT IN WINTER, next to drug addicts who were screaming during drug withdrawal. But after that, I must say, a monk would (except for the blaring TV till 10PM), love it in a small American jail. You have free use of phones, and a library too, and people can sent you books. But you only get short stubby pencils or crappy ball point pens. I fashioned a quill pen instead from a plastic straw, and kept my diary. Paper was cheap.

American jail is NOT punishment at all. It's a fraternity with stainless steel fold down tables and card games all day, along with a verbal knowledge base about how to scam wealth as a parasite, since well, society sucks and is well worthy of a scam or two.

The guards get into the jail economy too, not being paid to well in real money. That's why there's so much drugs in jails. There is a distance though. It is pure economy. There is little loyalty, or much in the way of vendetta. But there is humanity, likely because many a person became out of control when drinking alcohol, and knew it, but now were sober, alcohol being the one drug that is NOT readily available in jail.

But drugs are not the biggest problem there, which the spot searches every few days indicated. It was dental floss, knitted into suicide nooses.