Saturday, January 12, 2008

Pee, Sweat & Tears

Question One:

How often do women pee or sweat compared to the men in their lives? I think we all know the answer.

Sweat removes excess salts from the body and cools us down when we are overheated; urine expels waste products that can harm the body. Both sweat and urine lower the level of toxic proteins associated with stress. This speaks to the efficiency of human design. If males had to sit down every time their bladders responded to stress, there would be lines in front of every men's room door and we would see a lot more men peeing their pants.

Tears are body excretions just like sweat and urine. There are three types of tears and they differ completely in function and biochemical composition. Basil tears (also called continuous tears) keep the ocular surface moist; reflex tears (also called irritant tears) are a reaction to onion vapors, smoke or foreign bodies; emotional tears, secreted in moments of intense feelings or total fatigue, lower levels of proteins and hormones that can become toxic when the body experiences emotional stress.

One of the major stress hormones released from tears is prolactin, which is found in higher concentration in women's bodies than in men's, therefore explaining the tendency for females to tear up quicker than males.

If the hormones and proteins associated with stress are not discharged through body excretions, they build up to toxic levels---the outcome being a compromised immune system in both males and females.

So, let's make a deal. We women will continue to pretend we don't notice how often you men suddenly have to pee, and you men will understand that when a woman gets a tear in her eye, it's a similar physiological response designed to protect our health.

Question Two:

Forgive me, but I have to ask this question, too.

Given the information above and in order to be fair, shouldn't both the liberal and conservative press start giving the same amount of coverage to the number of times the presidential hopefuls visit the men's room, as they are giving to one tear that didn't even fall.

I'm Ellen Troyer, and this article is meant to be educational, not a Senator Clinton endorsement.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Who Gets Pain Drugs?

A study published in this week's JAMA suggests a dramatic difference in prescribing practice for whites and non-whites.

Among patients in severe pain, opioids were prescribed to 52 percent of whites, 42 percents of Hispanics and 39 percent of African-Americans.

The use of opioids increased overall from 1993 to 2005, but the differences in use between racial and ethnic groups did not change.

The study data comes from analysis of 374,891 emergency department visits over 13 years.

Another study published in the January 2006 issue of Cancer found that white women with metastatic breast cancer suffer less pain than nonwhites.

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Nalgene Water Bottle Safety

Canadian retailers have pulled nalgene plastic water bottles from store shelves. These bottles contain a hormone-mimicking chemical bisphenol A (BPA).

Few scientists dispute the fact that BPA causes hormonal system disruption, but the FDA and the plastics industry have argued the BPA-based products do not pose a health risk.

An expert panel of researchers recently reported that many Americans have higher levels of BPA than those found to cause harm in lab animals.