Experiences of a med student with an incurable travel bug.

Archive for January, 2011

The Magic of Chicken Soup

Turns out that chicken noodle soup is more than just comfort food — it not only makes you feel better, it can actually help you get better! It’s intuitive that it can help you with hydration (after all it is mostly water) and the steam can do wonders for your feelings of congestion. However, apparently some anti-histamine is generated from boiling the chicken, which means it’s really an all-natural form of your cold meds! And don’t worry, you get the same benefit* from the canned version as you do from mom’s homemade goodness, so all of you (us) on your own can get in on the action.

…This is what I took from my small group on colds and flu. I’m sure this is what’s going to be on the exam. Really. Totally useful.

*Well, the same anti-histamine benefits, that is. As far as taste goes you might not be quite so lucky.

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Bloody Sunday

We’ve been back in class for three weeks here at Lakeside Med (a pseudonym, of course, in keeping with my super-pseudo-anonymity for the occasional awry google search), which means it’s high time for a final exam. This first block was hematology, so I’ve been up to my eyeballs in [information about] blood. It turns out that there the blood can do some pretty crazy things, so I thought I’d share some of the more random ones.

Fun Blood Facts:

Running is dangerous! For real. Every time your feet slam onto pavement it’s a micro-trauma that can destroy your red blood cells. This fun little hemolytic event is transient and normal, but I’m going to go ahead and use it to justify the days that I skip spin class.

Kissing can kill you! Actually, it’s hickeys that might do you in: apparently if the bruising is in just the right place – over a major artery – it may induce enough damage to trigger clot formation, which can then dislodge and cause a stroke.

Pregnancy is dangerous! There are all sorts of reasons behind this one, but a few of the hematologic fun facts: the mother can produce ~50 different antibodies that can attack the fetus, leading to red blood cell lysis and possible fetal death; the mother can develop Diffuse Intravascular Coagulation (DIC) which creates lots of small clots throughout her body while simultaneously┬ácausing excessive bleeding…and the list goes on.

The more you know!