Thursday, October 05, 2006

Medical facts you were dying to learn about

I was doing some research this evening (surfing the Internet for lack of anything better to do) and came across the following medical trivia that I thought I would share with you. My long-time readers know how much I love trivia.

  • Medical researchers contend that no disease ever identified has been completely eradicated. (No wonder there's so much obesity still left in the world.)
  • The attachment of the human skin to muscles is what causes dimples. (I wonder if cellulite is caused by the same thing.)
  • No one seems to know why people blush. (Silly, it's because you get red in the face when you're embarassed.)
  • In 1972, a group of scientists reported that you could cure the common cold by freezing the big toe. (The government must have paid these guys big bucks to do a study on this. Do you think we got our money's worth? The next time I get a cold, I'm going to stick my foot into the freezer.)
  • The number one cause of blindness in the United States is diabetes.
  • The adult human heart weighs about ten ounces. (So, don't go breakin' my ten ounces.)
  • People who laugh a lot are much healthier than those who don't. Dr. Lee Berk at the Loma Linda School of Public Health in California found that laughing lowers levels of stress hormones, and strengthens the immune system. Six-year-olds have it best - they laugh an average of 300 times a day. Adults only laugh 15 to 100 times a day. (I'm trying to help you people out here by giving you a few more laughs.)
  • People who have a tough time handling the stress of money woes are twice as likely to develop severe gum disease, a new study finds. (Now you know why so many people wear dentures.)
  • Between 25% to 33% of the population sneeze when they are exposed to light. (And I thought it was because of all the junk in the air.)
  • Of the 206 bones in the average human adult's body, 106 are in the hands and feet. (54 in the hands and 52 in the feet)
  • In 1815 French chemist Michael Eugene Chevreul realized the first link between diabetes and sugar metabolism when he discovered that the urine of a diabetic was identical to grape sugar.
  • Men have more blood than women. Men have 1.5 gallons for men versus 0.875 gallons for women. (Now men finally have something to brag about. They can drink more alcohol than women because it becomes more diluted in their bodies with all the extra blood they have.)
  • The first Band-Aid Brand Adhesive Bandages were three inches wide and eighteen inches long. You made your own bandage by cutting off as much as you needed.
  • The human brain stops growing at the age of 18. (You can stop wondering why so many kids are in trouble these days.)
  • In 1977, a 13 year old child found a tooth growing out of his left foot. (Maybe this kid stuck his foot in his mouth too many times and came out with a tooth -- like Little Jack Horner.)
  • According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 18 million courses of antibiotics are prescribed for the common cold in the United States per year. Research shows that colds are caused by viruses. 50 million unnecessary antibiotics are prescribed for viral respiratory infections. (Doctors are prescribing antibiotics unnecessarily? No wonder so many people are developing immunities to certain antibiotics.)
  • It takes an interaction of 72 different muscles to produce human speech. (How many brain cells does it take to produce meaningful human speech that is not laced with hatred or profanity?)
  • The first known heart medicine was discovered in an English garden. In 1799, physician John Ferriar noted the effect of dried leaves of the common plant, digitalis purpurea, on heart action. Still used in heart medications, digitalis slows the pulse and increases the force of heart contractions and the amount of blood pumped per heartbeat.
  • Blood is red only in the arteries after it has left the heart and is full of oxygen. Blood is a purplish, blue color in the veins as it returns to the heart, thanks to having picked up carbon dioxide and other wastes from the body's cells. In fact, your blood is red throughout only half your body. When cut, of course, the blood always appears red because it is instantly exposed to oxygen outside the body.
  • During his or her lifetime, the average human will grow 590 miles of hair. (Does this mean that if you never cut your hair during your lifetime, you could be an oddity listed in the Guiness Book of Records?)
  • The average human bladder can hold 13 ounces of liquid. (No wonder I always have to run to the bathroom after drinking a 16 ounce soft drink.)
  • You lose enough dead skin cells in your lifetime to fill eight five-pound flour bags. (I think I've already filled my lifetime quota.)
  • Your thumb is the same length as your nose. (For those folks out there who like to pick their noses, the thumb should be their digit of choice.)
  • The Mad Hatter in Alice in Wonderland was a symbolic character for the hat makers in towns of the late 1800's. The large felt hats of the day had supports made out of lead. The lead caused an organic form of psychosis (brain damage) to develop in the hat makers causing them to be declared crazy.
  • Although your system cannot digest gum like other foods, it won't be stuck inside of you forever. It comes out with other waste your body can't use. (Did the scientists have to do a little digging to come to this conclusion?)
  • The substance that human blood resembles most closely in terms of chemical composition is sea water. (Some scientists say that all humans evolved from sea creatures so this stands to reason.)
I hope you all learned something new today from this post. You never know when you will be chosen to appear on Jeopardy and you should be ready. I know I am.


At October 05, 2006 11:24 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

cool round up of trivia. would make a good board game, medical trivial pursuit.

At October 06, 2006 4:53 AM, Blogger susan said...

Between 25% to 33% of the population sneeze when they are exposed to light.

That's me! At least I am not alone. Thanks for the great list, I feel smarter already.

At October 06, 2006 5:14 AM, Blogger Kerri said...

I'm wondering how in the world those scientists came to the conclusion that freezing the big toe would cure a cold????? Who thinks of these things???
Interesting stuff Motherkitty. Thanks!

At October 06, 2006 7:10 AM, Anonymous Alissa said...

I actually put my thumb on top of my nose, just to see if it was the same lenghth. It WAS! I'm going to share that one with everyone I see today.

At October 06, 2006 8:04 AM, Blogger Abandoned in Pasadena said...

Kerri...the government pays people to do these kinds of studies.

Next time someone has a cold I'm going to put ice on their big toe and see if it helps any...I really can't freeze it because wouldn't that be harmful to the skin? Or I could send them out to play in the snow without their shoes.

At October 06, 2006 12:12 PM, Blogger Sue said...

I also wonder how they come up with this stuff! I've often wished they knew what caused blushing! It's something I've done all my life!
People love to poke fun at it!!

At October 06, 2006 12:56 PM, Blogger Tammy said...

All very funny!!!
Thanks so much for making me chuckle today!!

At October 06, 2006 3:59 PM, Blogger jellyhead said...

What fascinating facts!! - some of them truly gross (the dead skin one - EW!!)

At October 07, 2006 8:18 PM, Blogger PEA said...

I really enjoyed reading this, so interesting!! Of course, I had to check if my thumb was the size of my nose! lol And now I understand why I have dimples and why I blush! hehe

At October 07, 2006 10:47 PM, Blogger Smalltown RN said...

You know what....I loved this post. Guess what I did about the one on "your thumb is the same length as your nose" You got it.....i measured....dang they are right. LOL

Thank you....I to love trivia...this was a great read....

At October 08, 2006 8:32 PM, Blogger MrsGreenThumb said...

Well, that certainly increased my laugh allowance today. Don't you just love to learn weird stuff? Your nose is as long as your thumb? That's a new one on me. I like dr. charles idea of medical trivial pursuit, but they'd have to keep it fairly simple for people like me. Very funny post.

At October 09, 2006 6:45 PM, Blogger Alipurr said...

i knew about the antibiotics thing, but the statistics are just crazy

we really do need a game day to pursue some trivia....i haven't played any games in a while

At October 09, 2006 10:30 PM, Blogger Cathy said...

Yep, I measured my thumb against my nose. Same size...These are pretty good. I have a cold right now, I'am going to go try and figure out how to get my toe into the freezer. That ought to be an interesting position.

At October 10, 2006 12:26 AM, Blogger Rachel said...

Very interesting stuff!

Love the kittens in the previous post. Soooo cute!!!

At October 10, 2006 6:46 AM, Blogger Lee-ann said...

O! gosh! I think I will take a visit to the doctor tomorrow now I have read this post.
lol lol lol lol lol!

what an interesting history of health.

At October 10, 2006 11:10 AM, Blogger T. said...

72 muscles to make speech eh?

My Bug was screwed from the very beginning then.

Thanks for the Jeopardy trivia. Now I have something to entertain my daddy with while he sits in ICU....


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