YDzine October 2003

Celebrity Illness - Quote - 2min with Hippocrates - Your Health - Lifestyle Tip - Web Watch - Win It - Just for Fun

From the Editor

Hi!
It's a great spring here in Sydney so I'm sending a warm greeting to all our readers around the world.

Get ready for celebrity facts, diagnosis advice from 'Hippocrates', health tips, quotes and even jokes. Laughter is great medicine.

YourDiagnosis now has over 10,000 satisfied customers. It is available in Spanish, Portuguese and Indonesian. www.mynetrecord.com, the personal health record site is up and running, and ready for you to start building your own record.

We hope you enjoy our first issue of YDzine. Drop me a line and tell me what you think!

Eddie
 Celebrities Get Sick Too
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Michael Jackson's Skin Condition

Several years ago pop star Michael Jackson revealed that the cause of his much talked about change in skin color was due to the skin disorder vitiligo.

1 to 2% of people world wide will experience the signs of this disease, which appears as white skin spots or patches. They can vary in size and location on the body. It is obviously most noticeable in people with darker skin, but it affects all races and sexes.

Vitiligo is an auto-immune condition, where the body’s natural defenses attack the pigmented cells in the skin (the melanocytes). The reason this happens is still a mystery, but it’s sometimes thought to be triggered by a very stressful physical or mental event. In some cases it appears to be inherited.

The beginning of vitiligo and the severity of pigment loss differs with each patient. For some people the white patches spread slowly, over many years. For others, the spreading occurs rapidly.

There is no complete cure yet, but there are some treatment options. There is a process of repigmentation by encouraging the growth of more pigmented cells. If however, more that 50% percent of the body is affected by vitiligo it can be easier to de-pigment the remaining normal skin to give a more even appearance. Presumably this is the approach taken by our Celebrity.

Any skin lacking in pigment, whether caused by vitiligo or artificial de-pigmentation, is very easily burned by the sun, so it seems a good idea that Michael covers up when outdoors.

 Quote

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"Wise men say: Forgiveness is divine but never pay full price for late pizza."
- Michelangelo, Ninja Turtle

 2min with Hippocrates

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Abdominal Bloating

One of the most common symptoms reported by users of YourDiagnosis.com is a bloated abdomen. This is most common in those over the age of 30, but can also occur in infants. There are a number of causes, most of which are not dangerous. However, abdominal bloating can also be a sign of some more serious underlying conditions and should not be ignored.

The most common cause of stomach bloating is the unconscious swallowing of air. Often seen in people who are anxious or under stress, this condition is usually self limiting. Another common cause is overeating, which is fairly obvious. If the bloating is more long standing then other possible causes are irritable bowel syndrome, very common in the over 40s, and possibly lactose intolerance, especially in younger people.

A potentially dangerous cause of stomach bloating is a bowel obstruction. This is usually accompanied by pain, vomiting, and constipation. What is happening is that the intestine is actually blocked and whatever goes in is trapped, thus the bloating and vomiting. This is an emergency and you should go to the hospital emergency department if these symptoms arise.

Occasionally abdominal bloating can be caused by the build up of fluid in the abdomen, known as ascites. This can be a sign of a more serious underlying problem, either liver failure or possibly heart failure. If you have had any liver problems in the past, e.g. hepatitis, or chronic alcohol problems, or a history of bowel cancer, then you should get it looked at. Also if you have a history of heart disease you should also have your stomach bloating looked at by your doctor.

Abdominal bloating by itself is not enough to diagnose most conditions. Doctors and YourDiagnosis.com use a combination of symptoms and signs to diagnose disease. Some things you might consider trivial may help diagnose your problems.

 Your Health

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Can Water Reduce Appetite?

Itís a commonly held dieting myth Ė drinking water before meals can help you lose weight. The idea has been around for a long time, and was particularly common in the 60ís. But can drinking before meals really Ďfill you upí so that you eat less? There is no good evidence that this is true.

You may feel full immediately after drinking water but in most studies it has been found people will still eat just as much after drinking water. It seems hunger is quite a separate drive to thirst.
There is some good news for water and dieting though. Some researches have found eating water rich foods such as soups, smoothies, vegetables and fruit can help you feel fuller while eating much less calories.
If you are watching your weight, try and eat more water filled sprouts, lettuce, tomatoes and fruit with every meal.

Rolls BJ, Bell EA, Thorwart ML. Am J Clin Nutr. 1999 Oct;70(4):448-55
Gray RW, French SJ, Robinson TM, Yeomans MR. Nutr Neurosci. 2003 Feb;6(1):29-37.

 Lifestyle Tip

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Comfort Food

Do you tend to find comfort in food? Here’s a tip to help you take control of your cravings. Next time you’re feeling the blues and looking for a snack go for a walk to your letterbox, count to ten and then head back inside. If you’re at work, exit the building for a few minutes and then return to your desk. If you’re still hungry make yourself a cup of tea or hot water with lemon and honey.

Email us your lifestyle tips. Please include your name and state if you wish to be acknowledged.

 Web Watch

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For the latest research in medical journals try using MEDLINE, the largest database of Medical papers. You can search it for free at the National Library of Medicines Site - www.nlm.nih.gov

Keep a personal health record online with our sister site - www.mynetrecord.com

Just for fun, facts you never knew - www.hookedonfacts.com

 Win It!

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The first 5 people to email us at editor@yourdiagnosis.com win a free YourDiagnosis session. Winners will be notified by email and published in the next issue of YDzine. Include your name and state if you wish to be acknowledged.

 Just for Fun

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Did you hear about the baby delivered in the high-tech ward?

It was cordless!

 Hot Dates

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Child Health Day: Monday 6 October
Their motto is 'children with special health care needs and their families need coordinated systems of care in their communities'. See www.mchb.hrsa.gov

Columbus Day: Monday 13 October
Celebrated on second Monday of the month. In 1492 Columbus first encountered the Americas (Haiti).

Halloween: Friday 31 October
Check out this creepy site filled with Halloween treats and tricks. You can even choose your own eerie tunes to listen to while you create your own Pumpkin Lotto sheet or find a recipe for Pumpkin cake!

 Next issue

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  • Britney's Diet Pills
  • October winners announced
  • Hippocrates on Heartburn
  • November prize packs
  • All the latest health and lifestyle tips
 

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