plastic surgeon. Too bad medical ethics do not allow kickbacks for patient referrals.
deposits in the gallbladder wall. As we all know, the gallbladder stores and releases bile (which is made in the liver) which helps us emulsify and subsequently digest the fats in our diet. The stippled appearance of the gallbladder is due to the cholesterol deposits, which I guess would represent the seeds of the strawberry. Like a lot of medicine, the cause of strawberry gallbladder is unknown. Luckily for all gallbladders out there, having high cholesterol does not seem to have any harmful effects.
deposited as a result of injury. This causes a characteristic “friction rub” that is audible with a stethoscope. Another key finding is chest pain similar to a heart attack, that gets better when you lean forward. Treatment is usually with aspirin or anti inflammatory medication, with surgery rarely required. Of note, this is another one of those factlets that are pounded into your head in medical school, but never tested on because that would make things too easy.
diabetes, other chronic lung diseases and alcoholism. Other symptoms include high fever, chills and flu-like symptoms.
I, personally, found medical school to be a grueling and tedious regimen of rote memorization and sleep deprivation – the experience of which can be more or less distilled down to a masochistic exercise in self denial and deprivation for the sake of human well being (and Porsches and golf club memberships). One bright spot in my training was the quirky trivia and neat historical anecdotes that would pop up once in a while. Doctors throughout history have proven to be a very creative and resourceful bunch, and their naming conventions can often be downright tongue in cheek. Among my favorites are disease findings and symptoms that are named after food. I am morbidly fascinated about how gross and unpalatable these naming conventions can be, but I smile when I realize that such “culinary” descriptors may partially arise out of the dark humor that is a natural outcome of such rigorous training and prolonged exposure to human suffering. Without further delay, here is a list of ten disease findings from the emerging medical specialty of “culinary pathology and pathophysiology.” Where appropriate, a photograph of the disease is linked – be warned – they are not pretty.
- Café au Lait Spot
- Currant Jelly Sputum
- Bread and Butter Pericarditis
- Port Wine Stain
- Chocolate Cyst
- Strawberry Gallbladder
- Cauliflower Ear
- Watermelon Stomach
- Nutmeg Liver
- Blueberry Muffin Rash
hungry.” In theory, if you had enough Hoodia in your system you could go for days without eating. There is no published scientific evidence that Hoodia works as an appetite suppressant in humans. The safety and/or effectiveness of Hoodia Gordonii as a dietary supplement must thus be considered as unsubstantiated.
ingredient was banned in the U.S. The new TrimSpa formula X32 contains no ephedra. Its active ingredient is Hoodia gordonii, along with the stimulants caffeine and theobromine. Interestingly enough, TrimSpa’s spokesperson, Anna Nicole Smith, died with much controversy as to the cause.
ingredients as substitutes.
meals daily over 8 weeks resulted in an average weight loss of 5.5 pounds. This product also boasts a clinical study published on a government website.
Alli started out as the prescription drug Xenical. It is marketed as a fat burner though this is not precisely what it does. Its primary function is preventing the absorption of fats from the human diet, thereby reducing caloric intake. It also comes with a reduced calorie, low-fat diet. The major drawback of this pill is the “treatment effects.” Basically, if you don’t follow the diet, all that excess fat comes out the other end; uncontrollably. It’s suggested that you wear dark pants when first starting out and don’t go anywhere public for a couple days. It should also be noted that Alli is the only product, which is FDA, approved as a weight loss product, though the FDA regulates all dietary supplements.
company as a generic. Although much the same as many diet pills, it is most known for costing a whopping $153 per month. Originally, the product was called Anorex and the formula was based on the ECA Stack (see number 6 on this list), with an almost identical ingredients list. After the ban of ephedra, the name was changed to Leptoprin and the formula was changed (still containing almost exactly the same ingredients as Stacker 2). Then in 2007, the formula was changed once more as the parent company of “A. G. Waterhouse” and “Generix Labs” discontinued a failing product known as “Formula 9.” The current formula of Leptoprin/Leptopril is the same as Formula 9. As a fun side fact, a short while after the new formula went into effect you could actually get Leptoprin/Leptopril with “Formula 9” stamped on the capsules.
Zantrex-3 is marketed toward people under 30 as an energy boosting, fat burning diet pill. The ingredients of Zantrex contain about three types of caffeine with a whopping estimated total of 300 mg per serving. That’s about the equivalent of 3-4 cups of coffee. This is the cause of the majority of the side effects associated with Zantrex. It’s effectiveness as a diet pill though comes into question due to the company’s official stance that Zantrex-3 is designed specifically for people who only want to lose 5-10 lbs. As a fun side fact, Dustin Diamond claimed to have used Zantrex-3 and lost 13 lbs. in 2 weeks, while he was on the VH1 television show “Celebrity Fit Club.”
Estrin-D is marketed as the first diet pill designed specifically for premenopausal and menopausal women. Akavar 20/50 is marketed as “the fastest, easiest weight loss ever” and also boasts the claim “eat all you want and still loose weight.” You might be wondering why they are in the same listing. Well, get this; they are the exact same product. That’s right. They both contain the exact same list of ingredients save one. It should be noted that when Akavar was released in March 2007 it contained exactly the same ingredients as Estrin-D. However, due to a phenomenal marketing campaign the company soon sold out of Akavar containing DHEA (the differing ingredient). Thus, by the beginning of May 2007 Akavar was being manufactured without DHEA and is therefore technically different from Estrin-D. The product claims to work through “automatic calorie restriction” aka you feel full faster. The company will also claim that preliminary studies show an affect on ghrelin, the “hunger hormone.”
Honorable Mention: These products didn’t make the list due to the fact they are not pills. L. A. Weight Loss, Nutrisystem, Enviga Tea.
Afterword: Neither the contributor nor the List Universe endorse any of these products and would suggest that if you decide to try any of them do so only after checking the guarantee and under medical supervision. In the world of miracle pills, take nothing at face value. I feel that I should also mention that Relacore, the same company makes all Leptoprin/Leptopril/Formula 9, Zantrex-3, and Estrin-D/Akavar 20/50.
Milk is an excellent compress for minor burns; simply soak the burned area in milk for 15 minutes or so, or apply a milk-soaked washcloth to the area. Whole milk is effective: Its fat content soothes burns and promotes healing. But make sure to rinse your skin and the washcloth in cool water afterward, because the milk will smell. Additionally, Preparation H, the hemorrhoid treatment cream, is also incredibly effective when treating minor burns – just dab it on the area and you can cut 3 or more days off the healing time. This is because it contains a yeast derivative that speeds healing.
A word of warning about burns: You probably will instinctively reach for cold water to soothe a new burn. But don’t make it too cold. Using ice water can risk making the burn even worse, because extreme cold can kill just as many skin cells as extreme heat. (That’s why frostbite damage is very similar to the skin damage caused by a bad burn.) Cool, not cold, water will stop the burning from spreading through your tissues and will act as a temporary painkiller. So instead of running to the freezer, head to the kitchen faucet.
One of the best ways to remove a stinger–and avoid any additional pain–is to “scrape”–it out of the skin with a credit card, a knife or a long fingernail, advises John Yunginger, M.D., professor and pediatrics consultant at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. “The biggest mistake people make is trying to pull the stinger out. In doing that, you squeeze the tiny venom sac attached to the stinger and accidentally release more venom into your skin.” If you scrape the stinger out, this sac goes undisturbed. Some doctors say baking soda can help ease bee sting pain. Claude Frazier, M.D., an allergist in Asheville, North Carolina, recommends applying a paste of baking soda and water directly on the sting for 15 or 20 minutes. Another cure is to make a paste with meat tenderizer and water and apply it to the sting – the tenderizer breaks down the proteins in the venom, speeding up recovery.
slices of tomato–or raw onion, mashed garlic or the outer leaves of cabbage. You can press these cut vegetables directly on the boil and see for yourself how well they work. Another kitchen compress: place a warm tea bag of black tea directly on the boil for 15 minutes several times a day.
This is mostly a semantic error, which is why I put it in tenth place. Many people refer to someone who is reluctant to participate in social situations as “antisocial”. In fact, these people are often pro-social, even unusually so.
Antisocial Personality Disorder is diagnosed in adults who consistently ignore the rights of others by behaving violently, lying, stealing, or generally acting recklessly with no concern for the safety of themselves or others. They are often extroverted and very much the opposite of the type of people who are so often called “antisocial”, who usually care very much about other people’s feelings. These people are usually just shy or have some form of autism, depression, social anxiety disorder, or avoidant personality disorder (AvPD). AvPD, which is diagnosed in people who avoid social interaction because of an intense fear of being rejected, is probably part of the reason for this confusion. The two personality disorders, after all, have pretty similar names, even if they are entirely different things.
Some people would say that DID itself is the myth, since it’s, suspiciously, much more commonly diagnosed in North America than anywhere else, but let’s assume for today that it does exist.
People with DID have anywhere from two to over a hundred different personalities that alternately take over their bodies. These alternate personalities (“alters”) usually, but not always, form due to childhood trauma. The alters don’t always cause huge, noticeable changes in appearance or behavior, so observers might not even notice their existence. Many people with DID (“multiples”) realize that various alters are present and know who those people are, even before therapy, which wouldn’t work very well if they had no memory of switching. It’s possible that one personality has no knowledge of what happened while one of their alters was in charge, causing a sense of amnesia, but they might be entirely aware of what is happening and just not actively involved. The group of alters can usually communicate to some degree, and might even work together to hide the fact that they are multiple. Some multiples prefer not to have therapy to choose one personality and stop switching, because they are perfectly fine living as a team.
This is actually two myths in one, but still only two of many myths about dyslexia. The first is that dyslexic people can’t read. Actually, most do learn to read, but if they don’t get appropriate help, they often learn slowly and stay well below their grade level in speed and comprehension. But even that’s not always true: many dyslexic children figure out how to cover up their difficulty reading until third or fourth grade or even longer. And if they are taught by someone who understands dyslexia, they can learn to read perfectly well.
The other half of this myth is that the problem dyslexics have with reading is because they see words backwards or out of order. This can seem to be the case because, in their confusion while they try to figure out a word, they mix up letters or sounds, and some dyslexic people confuse left and right or have a lot of trouble spelling. However, this is not the cause of their problem. Dyslexia is much more to do with a unique way of thinking than a problem with processing visual information.
We all know about schizophrenia, and we’ve all read jokes about “the voices in my head”. But, contrary to what a lot of people believe, not all people with schizophrenia hear voices in their heads. Auditory hallucinations are very common in schizophrenic people, but they are more likely to hear voices coming from some object outside of their body than inside their mind. Plus, not everyone with schizophrenia experiences the same symptoms. They may have hallucinations (actually seeing or hearing things that don’t exist), delusions (believing unrealistic ideas), disordered thoughts, lack of affect (no appearance of emotions), or, in catatonic schizophrenia, even a lack of desire to move at all. Schizophrenia is a complicated disorder with a wide range of possible symptoms. (Note that alternate personalities is not one of the symptoms. We already covered that disorder.)
There are many myths and even more potential/disputed myths about autism, but this seems to be one of the most common. Many people hear “autism” and imagine children who are permanently in their own world where they can’t talk or interact with anyone else, who throw tantrums for no apparent reason, and who will never be part of normal society. However, autism is called a spectrum disorder for a reason: autistics range from people who are unable to communicate in any way with others, all the way to people who live ordinary, productive lives and just seem a bit eccentric to the rest of us.
Severe autism is not a life sentence, either. Even very low-functioning autistics can lead a perfectly happy life. There are also stories of low-functioning autistic children improving with therapy and almost entirely recovering from any autism-related problems they had, and many people and organizations are searching for a cure for autism. Unfortunately, those organizations pushing for a cure are usually the ones who spread this particular myth by only focusing on issues related to low-functioning autism, and almost entirely ignoring the existence of high-functioning autism and autistic people who would never want to be “cured”
ADHD is a disorder that has been becoming pretty famous in recent years, so I’m sure you all know what it is. For those of you who aren’t sure, people with ADHD have trouble concentrating on tasks and can be hyperactive or impulsive. But it isn’t true, as it sometimes seems, that people with ADHD just can’t pay attention. Many of them can pay attention to something that they find genuinely interesting, the same way all of us are much more willing to be distracted from a dull task than an enjoyable one. And, in fact, some people have trouble focusing because they actually pay too much attention. They think about all the sights, sounds, and smells around them, not just the task at hand. They have to learn to deal with all the other interesting stimuli and keep most of their attention on what is important.
This is the only disorder on the list that you may have never heard of by name before, though I’m willing to bet you’ve heard of it and its myths. I don’t know of another disorder with myths more commonly believed, not just by society as a whole but actually by professionals.
Selective Mutism (formerly Elective Mutism) is a disorder that almost always first appears in early childhood. Someone with selective mutism can, and often does, speak perfectly well, but doesn’t speak, and sometimes doesn’t even communicate in other ways, in specific situations. A very large number of parents, teachers and psychologists who work with selectively mute people believe that these people are choosing not to speak, maybe in an attempt to control other people. However, it turns out that most selectively mute people do want to talk, but don’t because they’re actually afraid to. An overwhelming majority of selectively mute people also suffer from social anxiety disorder, and silence seems to be one way that they cope with stressful situations. Punishing a child for not speaking, as many people who believe in this myth do, paradoxically makes the child even more anxious and therefore even less likely to speak.
But if you don’t know someone with selective mutism, chances are you still believe in a myth very common in the media: some children and teenagers stop talking entirely, or to everyone but one or two people, because they were traumatized or repeatedly abused. While some people do become mute after trauma, this usually lasts a few weeks, not months or years. Most people do not develop selective mutism in later childhood or because of any kind of trauma or abuse.
Many people, particularly teenagers, who suffer from a variety of mental disorders cope with their inner pain by physically harming themselves, most commonly by cutting. Self-injury seems to be becoming more common and well-known these days, but myths about the self-injurer’s intentions have not gone away.
No matter what it looks like, self-injury is not a failed suicide attempt. Some self-injurers harm themselves over and over for years without having a single injury that would threaten their life, which would be an amazing record of failure if they were actually trying to die. Many people who self-injure are actually trying to avoid suicide by letting out their feelings in a (somewhat) safer way.
Many people also believe that self-injurers are just seeking attention. This is true of a few people, especially since self-injury is becoming more well-known and almost popular, but most self-injurers actively try to hide their injuries by wearing long sleeves or pants, or by cutting in a place that is usually covered by clothing, like their upper thighs or stomach. Some self-injurers desperately want someone to find out about their behavior so they can get the help they need, but even many of them are too frightened of another person’s reactions, and ashamed of themselves, to actually point out their injuries. Besides, even if someone decided to injure themselves to get attention, shouldn’t you be very concerned about be what problem could be causing them to need attention so badly that they harm themselves to get it?
I can’t count how many times I’ve heard people say that they’re OCD because they’re very neat or careful about cleanliness. Most people seem to think that people with OCD are neat freaks and/or germophobes, not realizing that it’s a lot more complicated than that.
OCD is an anxiety disorder with two characteristics. First, people with OCD have recurring unwanted thoughts (obsessions), usually of something they find disturbing or not at all in their character. It’s common to have an obsession about germs or contamination, or of not having properly locked their doors so burglars can’t get in, but it’s also common to have thoughts about something terrible happening to their families, about hurting or even killing someone, doing something forbidden in a religion they strongly believe in, or any other undesirable idea. Second, these people think that doing some certain ritual will get rid of the danger. It could be washing hands, keeping their house in perfect order, checking that the door is locked, thinking certain words, avoiding odd numbers, or just about anything imaginable. Doing this compulsion doesn’t make the thoughts go away for very long, so the ritual is repeated.
Not everyone who has OCD cares about germs, or does the rituals that we usually hear about. Not everyone even has compulsions an observer would actually notice, since a lot of them are mental. And perfectionism or neatness? While some people with OCD are perfectionists, this is more associated with another disorder. If you liked the first entry, you’ll love this: the disorder is called Obsessive-Compulsive Personality Disorder, and it’s actually a different thing. One major distinction is that people with OCPD consider their habits to be part of themselves and desirable, while people with OCD are often very disturbed by their disorder.