Interesting Health Facts

General Health

  • About 8% of the adult population and 5% to 9% of children are affected by serious mental illness
  • Ordinary B-vitamins can enhance human mental performance and even increase happiness
  • Breast-feeding triggers bone loss in areas prone to fractures later in life, such as the hip, wrist, and spine. But this lost bone is completely replaced with fresh, new bone within two years of having a baby.
  • Research has proven that just two bananas provide enough energy for a strenuous 90-minute workout. Containing three natural sugars - sucrose, fructose and glucose combined with fiber, a banana gives an instant, sustained and substantial boost of energy.
  • Bananas works as a natural antacid in the body, so if you suffer from heartburn, try a banana for soothing relief.
  • Nearly one-third of all adults are obese.
  • Studies have shown that eating close to bedtime may enhance the storage of fat and promote weight gain.
  • Long term use of zinc lozenges for treating colds can temporarily suppress the immune system, just the opposite of what you want when fighting off a cold.

Water and Our Body

  • Between 60%-75% of an adult's body weight is water
  • Our brain is 75% water, which is why even mild dehydration causes headaches
  • Our blood is 92% water
  • Our muscles are 75% water

Erectile Dysfunction (ED)

  • The expected increase in the number of men who suffer from ED is the direct result of ageing populations, unhealthy eating habits, the earlier onset of diabetes and obesity and stress.
  • ED is a barometer of cardiovascular health.
  • Sex drive is positively correlated with longevity in males
  • PDE 5 drugs can be used for men with spinal cord injuries. The higher up the spinal cord injury, the better the drug response.
  • In a US survey, it was found that 71% of participants never raised the issue of ED with their doctors, because they thought they would dismiss sexual concerns. 68% feared the doctor would be embarrassed and 76% thought there would be no medical treatment available.

Headaches

  • 28 million Americans suffer from migraines. Of these people, 4,5 million have more than one attack per month. A quarter of the female population is affected and about eight in every hundred men.
  • Most children who get migraines, have at least one close family member who suffers from migraines too. If a child has one parent who suffers from migraines, they have a 50% chance of getting them too, if both are sufferers, this rises to 75%.
  • While most headaches are uncomfortable and sometimes disabling, they are mostly not dangerous. Most of them can be cured by over-the-counter headache medications and by lying down in a quiet dark room for a while.
  • Fasting may cause headaches, as a fasting person is likely to have very low blood sugar. But other factors, such as stress, pollution, noise, smoke, and flashing lights may also cause headaches.
  • Lifestyle plays an important part in preventing headaches. If you don't smoke, don't drink excessively, get regular sleep, eat a healthy diet and get daily exercise, you are unlikely to suffer from headaches frequently, unless you have a medical problem.
  • Tension headache can affect anyone and is the most common from of headache. Tension headaches are often the result of neck and shoulder muscles going into spasm, and can sometimes last for days.
  • More men than women suffer from cluster headaches. These are intense headaches that often occur at the same time every day or every few days. People who are heavy smokers or drinkers often suffer from cluster headaches. More women than men suffer from migraines.
  • Ice cream headaches are no myth - you really can get them from eating this frozen dessert. This is caused by blood vessel spasms, which are caused by the intense cold from the ice cream. The spasms interrupt the blood flow and cause the vessels to swell.
  • Even children get headaches, some well before the age of ten. Before puberty, headaches are more common in boys. Adult women get headaches four times more often than men do, and these are linked to hormonal fluctuations. In both men and women, the severity and frequency of headaches decline with advancing years.

Backache

  • Most people have lower back pain. This is because the lower back bears the weight of the upper body. It also twists and bends more than the upper back.
  • Backache is second only to headaches as the most common location of pain.
  • In about 85% of acute back pain cases, the exact cause cannot be identified.
  • Prolonged use of back braces and supports can actually weaken the muscles in your back, thereby contributing to the problem.

Foot Facts

  • Most people have 26 bones in each foot, but some people have 28. These extras, called supernumerary sesamoids, are found on the bottom of the foot just behind the big toe.
  • Fourteen of the 26 bones are found in the toes. Each toe has three bones, except the big toe, which has two.
  • The skin on your feet is thicker than it is anywhere else on your body.
  • When you are stressed, you are more susceptible to the virus that causes warts on the foot.
  • When buying shoes, it is always a good idea to buy them late in the day, when your feet are tired and may be slightly swollen. In this way you are unlikely to buy shoes that are too small.

Acne

  • Most people outgrow acne; but in women it may last until the menopause.
  • 5% of women of 40 years of age have acne; but only 1% of men in that age group.
  • Acne is not caused by dirt or surface oil. As many people believe it to be the case, they tend to overwash their skin, thereby making acne worse, drying the skin out and causing flare-ups. It is only necessary to wash your skin twice a day with a gentle soap.

Osteoporosis

  • The word "osteoporosis" comes from the Greek words "osteon" meaning bone, and "poros", meaning a pore or a passage.
  • People who drink a lot of coffee and alcohol and who smoke cigarettes, are at higher risk of developing osteoporosis than others are.
  • People who are thin or who have a small frame, are at greater risk for osteoporosis.
  • Women can lose up to 20% of their bone mass in the 5 - 7 years following menopause.
  • Osteoporosis can be prevented by eating a diet rich in calcium (1000 - 1500mg/day) when you are young. This will make sure you reach peak bone mineral density.

Medications

  • The average cost of developing and bringing a new prescription drug to market is $802 million. It usually takes between 10 and 15 years to develop and bring a new medication to market.
  • Over 90% of drugs entering clinical trials fail to make it to market.
  • Large manufacturers like Merck and Pfizer spent twice as much on advertising and marketing cost than they do on research costs.
  • Each year in the United States, more than 160 million prescriptions are written for antibiotics. Humans consume 235 million doses of antibiotics annually. It is estimated that 20%-50% of that use is unnecessary.
  • Why is it so difficult to find a powerful pain-killing medication that does not produce addiction? Over the years, pharmaceutical companies have tried to separate these two pharmacological qualities. Perhaps because the brain areas involved with pain reduction and those involved with drug dependence are connected, it has been almost impossible to find powerful "non-addicting" painkillers that block pain transmission. On the other hand, perhaps dependence on drugs and pain reduction are two different phenomena that will someday be separated, as more refined research evolves in this important area.
  • The old time barbiturates that have mostly been replaced by newer drugs were powerful sedatives and hypnotics. That is, they greatly depressed the nervous system by as-yet-unknown mechanisms. They caused a lasting hangover when used to promote sleep, with a great impairment in functioning the day after they were given. They were also highly dependence producing, which is the main reason they are no longer therapeutically used.
  • Lithium, used for the treatment of bipolar illness, is an interesting drug. It is not addicting, perhaps because people understand that it is highly toxic if the dose is not regulated carefully. More importantly, it probably does not produce a "high" for those who like to use drugs for that reason.
  • Caffeine is one of the safest "drugs" known. It is not addicting, the lethal dose is very high, and it has no toxic influence on body organs. People who are sensitive to caffeine, however, can have altered heart rate with higher doses.
  • What is a "placebo effect"? Almost every drug (especially those that affect brain function) has a placebo effect. This is an unexplained therapeutic (or counter-therapeutic) result that does not involve the drug's pharmacology. If a large group of people is given a sugar pill for anxiety, depression, pain relief, etc., approximately 30% of the people will have a reduction in anxiety, depression, or pain. The reasons are not entirely clear, but one thought is that people given any medical attention will expect to get better.
  • What are the differences between a "sedative", "tranquilizer", "anxiolytic", and "neuroleptic"? They are all related. The word "sedative" is a general (older) term for anything that calms people down. "Tranquilizer" is a more specialized (older) term for a drug that reduces anxiety ("minor" tranquilizer) or reduces psychotic symptoms ("major" tranquilizer). These terms have mostly been replaced by "anxiolytics" (anxiety reducers) and "neuroleptics" (anti-schizophrenic drugs).
  • By law when a physician prescribes drugs for a patient, the physician is required to ensure that the patient is fully informed of the drugs risks and benefits and consents to the drug therapy with full informed knowledge. Statistics show that this occurs in less than 20% of the patient population.





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