Medical Jokes : You’ve probably been doing too much work for the church

A young doctor moved out to a small community to replace the aging doctor there. The older doctor suggested that the younger doctor accompany him as he made his house calls so that the people of the community could become  accustomed to him.

At the first house they visited, the younger doctor listened intently as the older doctor and an older lady discussed the
weather, their grandchildren and the latest church bulletin. After some time, the older doctor asked his patient how she had been feeling.

“I’ve been a little sick to my stomach,” she replied.

“Well,” said the older physician, “you’ve probably been over doing it a bit with the fresh fruit. Why don’t you cut back on
the amount of fresh fruit you eat and see if that helps.” As they left the house, the younger doctor asked how the older

doctor had reached his diagnosis so quickly.

“You didn’t even examine that woman,” the younger doctor stated.

“I didn’t have to,” the elder physician explain. “You noticed I dropped my stethoscope on the floor in there. Well when I bent over to pick it up, I looked around and noticed a half dozen banana peels in the trash can. That is probably what has been making her ill.”

“That’s pretty sneaky,” commented the younger doctor. “Do you mind if I try it at the next house?”

“I don’t suppose it could hurt anything,” the elder physician replied.

At the next house, the two doctors visited with an elderly widow. They spent several minutes discussing the weather and
grandchildren and the latest church bulletin. After several minutes, the younger doctor asked the widow how she had been feeling lately.

“I’ve felt terribly run down lately,” the widow replied. “I just don’t have as much energy as I used to.”

“You’ve probably been doing too much work for the church,” the younger doctor suggested without even examining his patient. “Perhaps you should ease up a bit and see if that helps.”

As they left, the elder physician said, “Your diagnosis is probably right, but do you mind telling me how you came to that

“Sure,” replied the younger doctor. “Just like you, I dropped my stethoscope on the floor. When I bent down to pick it up, I looked around and there was the preacher hiding under the bed!”

Think You’re All That? You Might Be Putting Your Health at Risk

Everybody knows somebody like this: the self-obsessed, self-congratulatory type with an outsize sense of entitlement and a deluded sense of superiority. He turns every conversation back to himself, prattling on about his own opinions and thoughts, but never deigns to ask about you.

That narcissistic personality can take a toll — and not just on the listeners. It turns out that the more narcissistic a person is, the more likely he (and, yes, it’s especially true of men) is to have health problems like heart disease and hypertension.

Sara Konrath, a psychologist at University of Michigan, studied 106 male and female undergraduate students, measuring their levels of narcissism and the stress hormone cortisol. Previous studies have found that people who score high on the narcissism scale show elevated levels of cortisol when threatened. So Konrath and her colleagues wanted to plumb the cortisol connection more deeply, to see if narcissists have higher levels of the stress hormone overall.

Indeed, that’s what they found. The researchers measured cortisol levels in the students’ saliva and then gave them a 40-item questionnaire to assess their narcissistic tendencies. The test assessed variously adaptive forms of narcissism: some narcissistic qualities can be useful, leading to stronger leadership and authority skills as well as self-confidence, while others are less so because they are more focused on exploitation and entitlement.

Interestingly, Konrath and her team found that people who scored higher on the exploitative aspects of narcissism showed higher levels of cortisol, while those who scored higher on the more positive aspects of narcissism did not. And the trend was more pronounced in men than in women, probably due to the fact that more men tend to be narcissistic.

The consequences of chronically high cortisol levels have been well documented in previous studies. Cortisol, which tends to rise when people feel threatened or anxious, activates the body’s stress response, elevating the heart rate, sharpening the senses and burning a lot of energy to keep the body on alert. Activating this system when it’s needed — if you’re being chased by a saber-toothed cat, for example — is critical for survival. But a constant flow of cortisol can take a toll on the body, stressing the heart and the blood vessels and setting the stage for heart disease.

People who are narcissistic tend to be defensive, becoming aggressive when their superiority is threatened, says Konrath, and that style of coping can elevate cortisol and make the heart more vulnerable to disease.

Biologically, she says, narcissists with negative personality traits looked very similar to people with anxiety disorders. But they differed in one respect that may make them even more susceptible to cortisol’s damaging health effects. “When people have anxiety disorders, they recognize [it] and talk about feeling anxious and under stress,” she says. “For people who are narcissistic, this seems to be happening at a physiological level but for some reason the people aren’t feeling stress, which makes it potentially more toxic because they don’t seek help.”

The higher cortisol levels found among the higher-scoring narcissists suggest that they perceived even the task of filling out a questionnaire in the lab to be a potentially threatening situation, and one in which they needed to be on their guard in order to appear superior or in control, compared with the other participants.

Maintaining the narcissistic personality, in other words, is similar to keeping the body under stress, and Konrath says that’s particularly worrisome given the rising rates of narcissism in the U.S. “It makes me wonder what the long term health implications of this will be,” she says.

The findings also suggest that both primary care physicians and mental health professionals need to be more aware of the connection between mind and body, and appreciate that personality can influence our health in potentially serious ways. “People who work with mental health populations should realize that if people show signs of narcissism, then that personality is probably taking a toll on their body,” she says, and those individuals might benefit from some simple stress-relieving therapies.

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Study: Caffeine May Alter Estrogen Levels in Women

For women, that morning cup o’ joe may act as more than just a pick-me-up. New research shows that caffeine may alter women’s estrogen levels, and that such changes differ according to race.

The study, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, looked at more than 250 women ages 18 to 44, and found that for white women, caffeine appeared to lower estrogen levels, while in Asian women it seemed to raised them.

The women were analyzed one to three times a week over two menstrual cycles. Exercise, eating and smoking behaviors were recorded and reviewed with blood samples. On average, the women consumed about 90 milligrams of caffeine per day, the equivalent to a cup of coffee.

Among Asian women, those who consumed 200 milligrams of caffeine or more per day had higher estrogen levels than those who drank less. The opposite was true among white women: those who consumed at least 200 milligrams of caffeine a day had lower levels of estrogen. The results in black women were similar to those in Asians, but did not reach statistical significance.

The good news is that, in terms of overall health and ovulation, these changes in estrogen had no meaningful impact on healthy women. “For women of reproductive age, drinking coffee will not alter their hormonal function in a clinically significant way,” Dr. Enrique Schisterman, senior investigator at the National Institutes of Health and author of the study, told the New York Times.

It’s not clear why caffeine may affect women differently by race, according to Schisterman, but he suggests that the influence of genetics on metabolism may play a role. The researchers also found differences depending on the source of women’s caffeine. For instance, when researchers isolated the effect of caffeine from beverages like green tea and soda, they found it was associated with higher estrogen in women of all races. It’s possible that the level of antioxidants in various beverages, as well as other added ingredients in coffee, such as sugar and milk, may modify caffeine’s effect.

Overall, however, the researchers said that healthy young women need not worry about their caffeine consumption. What’s more, other research shows that drinking coffee actually has health benefits like reducing the risk of stroke and depression, and staving off diseases like cancer, Type 2 diabetes, Parkinson’s and dementia.

Thankfully, there is no need to skip that coffee break.
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Start Early To Curb Heart Risks For A Lifetime

Heart disease remains the leading cause of death in the U.S. But who’s at the most risk?

A study in the lastest New England Journal of Medicine offers a simple way to predict the risk of a fatal or debilitating heart attack or stroke for a middle-aged person over the rest of his or her life.

“If at age 45 you have two or more of either elevated blood pressure, cholesterol, diabetes or smoking, and you’re a man, then there’s a 50-50 proposition that you will have a heart attack or a stroke during your remaining lifespan,” cardiologist Donald Lloyd-Jones, who headed the study at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine. Women with two risk factors have about a 30 percent chance.

Having even one risk factor dramatically increases the risk of heart disease. And 95 percent of middle-aged Americans (ages 45-55) have at least one risk factor for heart disease.

In this study, Lloyd-Jones and his colleagues tallied the results of 18 long-term studies conducted over the past 50 years. The studies included men and women, African-Americans and whites. All told, there was information on more than 250,000 adults.

The specific risk factors were most important, regardless of age or race.

If you’ve got some of these risk factors, don’t despair, though. You may not be able to get down to zero, but you can reduce the odds for cardiovascular trouble with exercise, a better diet and treatment for the conditions.

Indeed, Lloyd-Jones says talking about lifetime risks may help motivate patients do that sooner rather than later.

He says he worries that patients won’t take action on diet or exercise when they hear they have just a 3 or 4 percent risk of suffering a debilitating heart attack or stroke over the next five or 10 years. If, on the other hand, he provides a clearer picture about what is in store for them over a lifetime, they’ll be more likely to adhere to a healthful lifestyle.

There was some heartening information in the study, according to Lloyd-Jones. Nonsmokers who make it to middle age with normal blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar have almost no risk of heart disease. “Our data suggested that for a 45-year-old man the likelihood that he would have a heart or stroke by 80 was only 1.4 percent,” Lloyd-Jones says.

If more people could get to middle age without the usual risks, it could make a big difference. That means patients and doctors should start tracking blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar starting early in adulthood.

Cardiologist Gordon Tomaselli, president of the American Heart Association, says young adults without a doctor should measure their blood pressure on their own with one of the automated blood pressure cuffs common at pharmacies and grocery stores. If the reading is high, get to a doctor.

If there’s a family history for high cholesterol or diabetes, get that checked early too.

Diet, exercise and drugs can be highly effective when people have these health problems, Tomaselli says. And while they can’t wipe out heart disease risk entirely, they can keep it under control.

See more : NPR blog

Study: Stem Cells May Aid Vision in Blind People

Two legally blind women appeared to gain some vision after receiving an experimental treatment using embryonic stem cells, scientists reported Monday.

While embryonic stem cells were first isolated more than a decade ago, most of the research has been done in lab animals. The new results come from the first tests in humans for a vision problem. Researchers caution the work is still very preliminary.

“This study provides reason for encouragement, but plans to now get such a treatment would be premature,” said stem cell expert Paul Knoepfler of the University of California, Davis, who had no role in the research.

Last summer, each patient was injected in one eye with cells derived from embryonic stem cells at the University of California, Los Angeles. One patient had the “dry” form of age-related macular degeneration, the most common cause of blindness. The other had a rare disorder known as Stargardt disease that causes serious vision loss. There’s no cure for either eye problem.

After four months, both showed some improvement in reading progressively smaller letters on an eye chart. The Stargardt patient, a graphic artist in Los Angeles, went from seeing no letters at all to being able to read five of the largest letters.

However, experts said the improvement of the macular degeneration patient might be mostly psychological, because the vision in her untreated eye appeared to get better too.

Both patients remain legally blind despite their improvements, said experts not connected with the study.

“One must be very careful not to overinterpret the visual benefit,” said Vanderbilt University retina specialist Dr. Paul Sternberg, who is also the president-elect of the American Academy of Ophthalmology.

The findings were published online Monday by the journal Lancet. This early test was meant to study whether the stem cell therapy was safe in people and not whether it would improve vision.

Scientists at UCLA and Advanced Cell Technology, which funded the work, said they were pleased that there have been no signs of rejection or abnormal growth months after the procedure.

Embryonic stem cells can transform into any cell of the body. Scientists are hoping to harness embryonic stem cells to create a variety of replacement tissues for transplant, but their use has been controversial because human embryos have to be destroyed to harvest the cells.

The latest news comes two months after Geron Corp. halted its stem cell-based experiment for spinal cord injuries, saying it planned to focus instead on two experimental cancer drugs.

Meanwhile, ACT is pushing ahead with its blindness study. The company said Monday that surgeons in London injected a patient with Stargardt disease last week.

Study: 1 in 14 People Has Oral HPV Infection

So how many people have human papillomavirus in their mouths?

Quite a few, say researchers who got more than 5,000 volunteers across the country to spit into a cup and answer detailed questions about their sex lives.

The bottom line: 6.9 percent of people in the U.S. (ages 14 to 69) have oral infections with HPV. Some types of HPV are linked to cancer and genital warts.

About 3.7 percent of people have “high-risk” oral infections from types of HPV that are most likely to lead to cancer. About 3.1 percent have “low-risk” infections.

The results were just published online by JAMA, the Journal of the American Medical Association. An accompanying editorial says “these results are remarkable….”

How come?

A dramatic increase in cancers of the head and neck has been linked, in part, to HPV, which is also a cause of many cervical cancers. Now we have some real numbers about the extent of infection in the U.S. to go on.

For instance, a virus type dubbed HPV-16 was found to affect about 1 percent of people. That’s the one that’s been detected in about 85 percent of oral cancers.

There were some other noteworthy findings. Men are much more likely to have an oral HPV infection than women (10.1 percent vs. 3.6 percent). And people who have had more sex partners and more frequent sex are more likely to be positive for HPV.

Merck and GlaxoSmithKline make vaccines against HPV. The vaccine is recommended for girls and, recently, boys to guard against cancers of the cervix and anus, as well genital warts.

But the vaccines aren’t approved to prevent oral cancers. And the researchers note that the vaccines’ effectiveness against oral HPV infections is “unknown, and therefore vaccination cannot currently be recommended” to prevent oral cancers.

Ohio State’s Dr. Maura Gillison, lead author of the paper, has served as a consultant to both Merck and Glaxo. Merck was one of the funders the study.

See More : NPR blog

Medical Jokes : Surgeon died and went to heaven

The famous surgeon died and worked his way Heavenwards, arriving ultimately at the Pearly Gates. Just like the VA clinics there was a long line. He was not having any of this and strode to the head of the queue and berated St. Peter who was overseeing the admissions procedure.

“I can’t hang around here in a line like this,” explained the surgeon. “Don’t you know who I am?”

“No, who are you?” asked St. Peter.

“I’m Dr. Simon Rothschild III, President of the American College of Surgeons, Surgeon on-call for the United States President, Chairman of …”

“O.K., O.K., O.K.,” said St. Peter, “I get the idea. However, it makes no difference here. Everyone is equal and you must go to the back of the line.”

At that moment a harassed little man in a crumpled suit rushed up in an obvious hurry. He carried a little doctor’s bag, a stethoscope was hanging round his neck and an VA prescription pad was poking out of his pocket. He quietly said something in St. Peter’s ear, and without further ado St. P. opened the Pearly Gates and the crumpled little man went through.

This was too much for our eminent surgeon.

“And what was all that about everyone being equal ! ! You send an eminent doctor like me to the back of the line, but you let an insignificant common-place G.P. like that through without so much as a hesitation.”

“Sorry,” said St. P., “but that wasn’t a G.P., that was God. Sometimes he likes to play at being a doctor”

Medical Jokes : One patient saved another from a suicide attempt

After hearing that one of the patients in a mental hospital had saved another from a suicide attempt by pulling him out of a
bathtub, the director reviewed the rescuer’s file and called him into his office.

“Mr. James, your records and your heroic behavior indicate that you’re ready to go home. I’m only sorry that the man you saved later killed himself with a rope around the neck.”

“Oh, he didn’t kill himself,” Mr. James replied. “I hung him up to dry.”

Medical Jokes : A cardiac specialist died

A cardiac specialist died and at his funeral the coffin was placed in front of a huge mock up of a heart made up of flowers. When the pastor finished with the sermon and eulogy, and after everyone said their good-byes, the heart opened, the coffin rolled inside and the heart closed. Just then one of the mourners burst into laughter.

The guy next to him asked: “Why are you laughing?”

“I was thinking about my own funeral” the man replied.

“What’s so funny about that?”

“I’m a gynecologist.”

Heart Attack Grill: Taste Worth Dying For?

The Heart Attack Grill is an outrageously unhealthy, hospital-themed, American fast food hamburger restaurant in Dallas, Texas, that serves high-calorie items with deliberately provocative names. This over-the-top eating establishment, whose tag line is “Taste worth Dying For,” has become internationally recognized for embracing and promoting an unhealthy diet of incredibly large hamburgers and greasy fries.

The menu includes “Single”, “Double”, “Triple”, and “Quadruple Bypass” hamburgers, ranging from 230 to 910 g of beef, “Flatliner Fries” cooked in pure unadulterated lard, and “ButterFat Shake” with the world’s highest butter fat content, so their website says. The “Quadruple Bypass Burger”, the biggest item on the menu, is made of four meat patties totaling 2 pounds, practically a whole tomato and about half an onion, 8 slices of cheese and 16 slices of bacon for a total of 8,000 calories.

Customers are referred to as “patients,” their orders are called “prescriptions,” and the scantily clad, cleavage-baring waitresses act as “nurses”. A tag is wrapped on the patient’s wrist showing which foods they order and a “doctor” examines the “patients” with a stethoscope. Customers who weigh over 350 lb (160 kg) are served free food. Anyone who finish a Triple or Quadruple Bypass Burger are rewarded by wheeling them out of the restaurant in a wheelchair by their “personal nurse”. This is a restaurant that clearly intends to kill you, and they are very forthcoming about it.

Heart Attack Grill was founded in 2005 by Jon Basso with the declared intent of serving “nutritional pornography”, food “so bad for you it’s shocking”. Basso, a former personal fitness trainer and nutritionist, came up with the idea while writing a marketing thesis about fitness training studios. He was intrigued by stories about his clients who were cheating on their diets and decided to open up a restaurant where patrons could come to have fun and leave their clean, healthy lifestyles behind.

Heart Attack Grill has achieved acclaim and attention by deliberately courting controversy as a marketing strategy. The popularity of the restaurant comes through word-of-mouth and widely circulated news stories that continue to keep his trademarked food and controversial practices in the media spotlight.

The Heart Attack Grill: A Restaurant Proud To Make You Fat

The Heart Attack Grill: A Restaurant Proud To Make You Fat

The Heart Attack Grill: A Restaurant Proud To Make You Fat

The Heart Attack Grill: A Restaurant Proud To Make You Fat

The Heart Attack Grill: A Restaurant Proud To Make You Fat

The Heart Attack Grill: A Restaurant Proud To Make You Fat

The Heart Attack Grill: A Restaurant Proud To Make You Fat

The Heart Attack Grill: A Restaurant Proud To Make You Fat

The Heart Attack Grill: A Restaurant Proud To Make You Fat

The Heart Attack Grill: A Restaurant Proud To Make You Fat

The Heart Attack Grill: A Restaurant Proud To Make You Fat

The Heart Attack Grill: A Restaurant Proud To Make You Fat

The Heart Attack Grill: A Restaurant Proud To Make You Fat

The Heart Attack Grill: A Restaurant Proud To Make You Fat

See more pic at : Amusing planet