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A prescription for writing in medicine
October 29th, 2010
06:21 PM ET

A prescription for writing in medicine

Writing has always been a prominent part of medicine. Doctors write “histories” of their patients all the time—brief for ordinary office visits, extensive for admissions to the hospital. Some medical schools use creative writing to help students gain empathy and insight.

There are doctors who write more publicly—from Anton Chekhov and William Carlos Willams to Oliver Sacks and Jerome Groopman—bringing medicine beyond the clinic walls.

Patients, too, have been writers. William Styron’s "Darkness Visible" could be seen as one of the most important “textbooks” on depression that exists.

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October 29th, 2010
04:45 PM ET

Fitness digest: Behind the fat-in-soda ads and elusive diet drugs

Diet pills to treat obesity are like unicorns and fairy godmothers - they don't really exist.  The FDA scuttled another weight-loss drug this week.  Here's another myth - a YouTube video went viral warning that drinking soda every day would make you gain 10 pounds.  Viewers got to see a man chugging dollops of fat.   Disgusting? Yes, but was it true?

Here are some of the  interesting, quirky or  bizarre diet-and-fitness items this week.   Tell us your suggestions for interesting stories, posts or websites that caught your eye. FULL POST


Ozzy and Sharon Osbourne: Who's healthier?
October 29th, 2010
02:54 PM ET

Ozzy and Sharon Osbourne: Who's healthier?

SAN DIEGO, California - If Ozzy Osbourne had a genetic predisposition to an incurable illness, he wouldn't want to know, he told the TEDMED 2010 conference Friday.

But his wife, Sharon, whose idea it was to get both of their genomes sequenced, is very interested in what her own genes might say about incurable diseases, and wants to prepare herself.

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October 29th, 2010
02:37 PM ET

Your comments: Donating your body to science

Perhaps because Halloween is upon us and our minds are on all things ghoulish, our Empowered Patient column yesterday on ten uses for your body after you die (organ donation, museum submission, cadaver dissection for first-year medical students, among others) generated nearly 400 comments.

Some of you were distrustful, such as PeaceBWitU, who wrote, “Really folks, who can we trust these days? Who knows what they will really do to your body when you donate?” Others, such as Mike425, were thankful: “As a medical student, I can say that I am very grateful to those who have donated their bodies for my education.” Other comments were just, well, odd, such as: “Anyone else here remember a book of cartoons from c. 1979 called ‘101 Uses For A Dead Cat”?

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How to avoid an allergic Halloween
October 29th, 2010
01:59 PM ET

How to avoid an allergic Halloween

For some kids, ghosts and goblins aren't the biggest fear on Halloween: It's having a serious allergic reaction.

The candy that gets passed out on Halloween may contain common allergens such as nuts or peanuts, or it could be processed in a facility that also manufactures those foods. Depending on how allergic your child is, that could mean trouble.

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October 29th, 2010
11:31 AM ET

Carrier

By Dr. Sanjay Gupta
CNN Chief Medical Correspondent

The tragic story of 22-year-old Saint Helene and her 15-month old daughter Cherie began like many here in Haiti. About two weeks ago, Saint Helene bought a bus ticket to Artibonite, a city about an hour north of Port Au Prince. Visiting with friends there last week, they had likely heard about the cholera outbreak that was unfolding in front of them. The good news: When Saint Helene and Cherie headed back to Port-au-Prince a few days later, they felt perfectly fine. Asymptomatic, as we say in the medical world. What Saint Helene or Cherie could not have known at that time is they were likely carrying the cholera bacteria back to the nation’s capital.

What happened next is not entirely clear. Saint Helene told us she was walking in Port-au-Prince, when she became suddenly ill. Within a couple hours, she was terribly dehydrated from diarrhea, and began to vomit. A good Samaritan brought mother and her young child to the closest hospital, where Saint Helene was taken to a back, somewhat isolated area and began treatment for cholera. She had an IV placed, and was given salts to replace the lost electrolytes. All of this happened within a few hours, relatively speedy, especially given the logistical challenges of Haiti.

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October 29th, 2010
11:17 AM ET

Does wild game meat cause the same health problems as red meat?

Every weekday, a CNNHealth expert doctor answers a viewer question. On Friday, it's Dr. Melina Jampolis, a physician nutrition specialist.

Question asked by Rob of Colorado

Does wild game meat (deer, elk, antelope, etc.) cause the same health problems typically associated with red meat consumption or are its health benefits more akin to eating fish or chicken?

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October 29th, 2010
10:13 AM ET

FDA rejects new diet drug

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has rejected the approval of Qnexa, an experimental drug used to treat obesity.

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October 29th, 2010
07:59 AM ET

Human Factor: Rich Roll's 'experiment' in fitness

In the Human Factor, Dr. Sanjay Gupta introduces you to a survivor who has overcome tremendous odds. Confronting a life obstacle – injury, illness or other hardship – they tapped their inner strength and found resilience they didn’t know they possessed. Be inspired by their successes, as we have been.

Very late on the eve of my 40th birthday just four years ago, I was blessed with a precious moment of clarity.  Face to face with an unforgiving mirror after a losing battle with a simple flight of stairs that left me buckled over and seeing stars, I was shocked out of a long-held denial and forced to confront an uncomfortable truth more painful than my heaving lungs - that I was woefully overweight, terribly unfit, and facing a certain future of heart disease – a trending topic in my genealogy.

It was time for a change.  A line-in-the-sand, life altering kind of change.  Seizing the moment, I awoke the next day to formulate a plan and put it into action.

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Filed under: Exercise • Healthy Eating • Human Factor • Nutrition • Obesity

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About this blog

Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.

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