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The San Diego Union-Tribune

 
Wellnews: All the news that's fit

March 13, 2007

Medtronica

National Center for Alternative and Complementary Medicine

http://nccam.nih.gov/

General information about alternative and complementary therapies with links to research being conducted on addiction, aging, AIDS, cancer, asthma, stroke and women's health.

Can't stand the heat

Hot tubs may be fine places for a bit of romance, but if the guy's planning on having kids eventually ... well, there may be better places to hang out.

A three-year study by a UC San Francisco urologist concludes that too much hot tubbing can cause male infertility, though Dr. Paul J. Turek also said the effect may be reversible.

Dry heat exposure, such as from a fever or external source, has long been known to impair sperm production both in animals and humans. Turek's study, which involved 11 patients who had been repeatedly exposed to high water temperatures through hot tubs, indicates the same may hold true for wet heat.

All of the men exhibited low sperm counts. Turek found that five of the men displayed increased fertility levels after avoiding hot tubs for three or more months. No word, however, on what the prohibition meant to their dating lives.

Get me that. Stat!

Currently, only one person in 2 billion lives to be 116 or older.

Never say diet

The world's eating record for most slugs eaten in two minutes is 12; for cockroaches, 28 in four minutes; for earthworms, 60 in three minutes, six seconds. The record for consuming 100 live maggots is an almost leisurely five minutes, 29 seconds.

Stories for the waiting room

Until the 16th century, when the French surgeon Ambroise Pare thankfully proved it unnecessary, a standard cure for male hernias was castration.

Hypochondriac's Guide

If you can't stop moving your fingers and toes, you suffer from athetosis.

Phobia of the week

Taeniophobia – fear of tapeworms

Best medicine

A man took his Rottweiler to the veterinarian. “Excuse me, but my dog has gone cross-eyed,” the man said. “Could you please help?”

The vet picked up the dog and looked at his eyes and teeth. “I'm sorry, sir, but I'm going to have to put your dog down,” the vet said.

“Why, because he's cross-eyed?” asked the man.

“No, because he's heavy!”

Observation

Medicines are only fit for old people.

– Napoleon Bonaparte (1769-1821), who reportedly suffered from nausea, pituitary dysplasia, prolapsed hemorrhoids, constipation, syphilis, chronic fatigue, peptic ulcers, dysuria, abdominal cramps and anorexia.

Last words

Sergeant, there isn't a Spanish bullet made that will kill me.

– William “Bucky” O'Neill, a Rough Rider during the Spanish-American War of 1898, just before a Spanish bullet proved him wrong.

HEALTH SCREENINGS

“The Bailey Multiples”8 tonight, Discovery Health (digital cable)

One couple's long journey to parenthood through multiple attempts at in vitro fertilization. Pregnant with six babies, they are faced with many bumps along the road, including the loss of two babies.

“When Sleep Goes Bad”

10 p.m. tomorrow, TLC

Sleep problems affect one in four of us. They cause accidents, broken homes and death. This show examines three of America's worst sleepers.

“Discovery Health CME: Eat Right, Live Right ... The Power of Simple Steps”

9 a.m. Sunday, Discovery Health (digital cable)

Obesity has reached epidemic proportions among Americans. Experts discuss the 2005 Dietary Guidelines for Americans.

CALENDAR

Diabetes info: The Price-Pottenger Nutrition Foundation will offer “Diabetes Improvement” from 7 to 9 p.m. Thursday at 7890 Broadway, Lemon Grove. Cost: $20 and $10 for PPNF members. Information: (619) 462-7600 ort www.ppnf.org.

Bone testing: Henry's Farmers Market will offer bone density testing from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Thursday at the Rancho Bernardo store, 15727 Bernardo Heights Parkway. Cost: $25, includes immediate results and osteoporosis prevention kit. Information: (858) 385-1606.

Driver safety: The Sharp Cabrillo's Senior Resource Center will offer AARP's driver safety course from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday and March 24 at the Sharp Cabrillo Medical Staff Conference Room, 3475 Kenyon St. Cost: $10. Registration: (619) 641-7020.

Health fair: Henry's Farmers Market will hold a health fair from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. March 21 at the Rancho Bernardo store, 15727 Bernardo Heights Parkway and from 5 to 8 p.m. March 22 at the Point Loma location, 3315 Rosecrans St. Free. Information: (858) 385-1606.

Fibromyalgia film: Hillcrest Landmark Theater will present a premiere of “Living With Fibromyalgia,” at 6:30 p.m. March 22 at 3965 Fifth Ave., San Diego. Free. Information: (714) 921-0150.


 E-mail calendar items to health@uniontrib.com

S.D. STAT: HIV patients

309

Number of people in San Diego County who were living with HIV as of January.

– California Department of Health Services, Office of AIDS, HIV/AIDS Case Registry Section, Jan. 31, 2007

ASTHMA BREATHING EXERCISES

Learning proper breathing techniques can alleviate asthma symptoms, according to a study in the journal Thorax. Researchers taught 57 volunteers with asthma one of two exercises: slow, shallow nasal breathing or breath control through the nose or mouth. Subjects practiced for 30 weeks. Afterward, both groups had reduced their need for an inhaler during an attack by 80 percent.

LIGHTHEADED AT THE SIGHT OF BLOOD?

Feel like passing out when you're watching a particularly gory “CSI” episode? Try crossing your ankles and clenching your thighs together, or interlocking your fingertips and pulling in opposite directions. The sight of blood can trigger the brief loss of consciousness, which is linked to a rapid drop in blood pressure and blood pooling in the lower body. Tensing muscles helps to raise blood pressure, the University of Amsterdam says.

– COMPILED BY R.J. IGNELZI

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