Health Watch Blog - Part 11

The Medical Dangers of the Cinnamon Challenge

The Medical Dangers of the Cinnamon Challenge

Swallow a tablespoon of ground cinnamon within 60 seconds without drinking any water. Sounds easy enough, but this feat has proven to be so difficult that it’s become an online fad amongst teens and the immature of all ages to record and post YouTube videos (50,000-plus) of people trying and failing miserably. The so-called Cinnamon Challenge, in fact, is so hard to accomplish that the website declares it to be “practically impossible” (although the TV show Mythbusters showed it to be possible with a little strategy…and more than 60 seconds on the clock; see below). As it turns out, though, this seemingly harmless game is not only not easy, but it’s also not harmless.

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Sleep Eating Woman Consumes a Day’s Worth of Food at Night

Lesley Cusack Sleep Eating Woman Eats a Day's Worth of Food at Night

Think you have a hard time losing weight? At least you’re not Lesley Cusack, a 55-year-old mother of three from Warrington, England, who suffers from a rare condition known as Sleep-Related Eating Disorder (SRED). Known commonly to the average person as “sleep eating,” SRED is a form of sleepwalking (or “somnambulism”) in which the sleeper doesn’t just walk around; he or she eats compulsively and then returns to sleep, awakening the next morning with no memory of the night before. Continue reading →

Those Who Can: Consider Becoming a Medical Assistant Instructor

Consider Becoming a Medical Assistant Instructor

Being a medical assistant opens up many professional avenues, and one of the most exciting turns out to be in education. After all, someone has to teach medical assistants how to do their jobs, right? Colleges and technical schools all over the country are hiring instructors to lead classes designed to train students to enter the medical assisting field. And with the expected rapid growth of medical assistant jobs, there will naturally be a rapid growth in the need for medical assistant teachers.  Continue reading →

Take Two Tweets and Call Me in the Morning: Doctors and the Hazards of Social Media

Doctors and the Hazards of Social Media

In our modern age, technology has contributed immensely to advances in medicine and patient care — from x-rays to defibrillators to artificial hearts — but like everything, there is a downside to technology, and like most technological downsides, social media is involved in some way. Doctors are human, and like other humans, they can become sucked in by the allure of the social connectivity of sites like Facebook and Twitter, sometimes at the expense of their professionalism — and in turn, their jobs.

Rhode Island doctor Alexandra Thran found out about the repercussions of Internet misuse the hard way when she posted (anonymous) information about a trauma patient online in 2010 and found herself fired, fined and stripped of her ability to work in an emergency room. Continue reading →

Weird Medical Condition of the Day: Diphallia; Or, Two Penises Are Better Than One

Juan Baptista dos Santos

To a certain segment of the male population (say, 90% of it), having two penises sounds like some sort of dream scenario full of functional and sexual possibilities, but the truth behind the very real syndrome is much less glamorous than the high-end porno you’d imagine. It’s called diphallia, and as you can guess, it’s very rare, occurring once in ever 5 to 6 million births. There are currently around 100 documented instances around the world. Continue reading →