Health & Wellbeing

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M�nière's and music: the sound of silence

People who don't know me assume I'm slightly odd when I press my face to speakers and musical instruments. Commuters appear frightened by my soulful relationship with my iPod. But since I learnt that I could become suddenly and irreversibly deaf at any time, sound is everything to me, and music valuable beyond words. Will this next song be my last?

Inside Features

Behavioural problems: are drugs really the answer?

Tuesday, 3 June 2008

Spending too much time on the internet? Worried about a low sex drive, shyness or lack of social skills? Or do you lose your temper too easily, blush too readily or spend too much time and money shopping?

Doctor Nose best

Tuesday, 27 May 2008

Forget painful injections, hard-to-swallow pills and nasty-tasting medicines, and get ready to start sniffing.

A better death: Help the Hospices

Tuesday, 20 May 2008

The NHS doesn't do death, or perhaps it just does it very badly. Like the rest of us, most doctors don't seem to want to think about death, much less discuss it, plan for it, and help to make it a positive experience rather than a terrible one.

The doctor will see you now: Who does Vernon Coleman think he is?

Wednesday, 14 May 2008

You'd be forgiven for thinking that Dr Vernon Coleman is an oddball, a weirdo, a bona fide, card-carrying English eccentric. After all, this former GP, TV doctor and newspaper columnist-turned self-publishing phenomenon has spent the best part of 40 years kicking against authority, speaking his mind and generally pissing people off.

Moebius syndrome: The boy who will never smile

Tuesday, 13 May 2008

Choosing a name for our second child was hard but we finally settled on the name Isaac, which we especially liked because it means "he laughs" in Hebrew, and every parent wants their child to be a smiley, happy person. Ironic that choice was to be – for Isaac will never smile, blink or even frown.

Tales of the unexpected: Medicine's accidental discoveries

Tuesday, 13 May 2008

When surgeons switched on the power to electrodes in the brain of an obese man to try to reduce his appetite, the results were not those that had been expected. As the electrodes were being moved around the brain to locate the food control areas, the patent began to get memories of events long forgotten.

Virginia Ironside's Dilemmas

Monday, 12 May 2008

Dear Virginia, My father died last month and I feel nothing – just faint relief. He was never much of a dad to me, although he did love me. He was an alcoholic and drove my mother crazy; she often says she'd wished him dead. He spent all her money and was totally selfish. Yet my mum is beside herself with grief and she and some of my friends berate me for being so cold, or warn it will 'hit me later'. I feel guilty. Am I weird? Yours sincerely, Cherie

Does anyone eat normally any more?

Sunday, 11 May 2008

Perhaps John Prescott's recent revelation shouldn't have been so surprising; though bulimia was not even recognised as a medical condition just 30 years ago, now over 1 million Britons are known to have an eating disorder. And while bulimia, along with anorexia – which killed the 49-year-old academic Rosemary Pope last month – are eating-disorder stalwarts, there is a whole swathe of new dietary disturbances on the rise: drunkorexia – substituting meals with alcohol; orthorexia – obsessive healthy eating; and bigorexia – men bingeing on protein for more muscle mass. Add to these an ever-increasing array of food intolerances, imagined or otherwise, food phobias, faddy diets and health trends, and one starts to wonder: does anyone eat normally any more? And why are we all so obsessed with the way we – and others – eat?

Parkinson's disease: The longest wait

Tuesday, 6 May 2008

About me. I'm a 40-year-old, physically fit man, the holder of a PhD in something suitably arcane, with my own house, teeth and hair. But when people ask me how I am, the "Are you well?" of pre-meteorological conversation, my impulse is to reply: "Bar the incurable, degenerative neurological condition: splendid."

Virginia Ironside's Dilemmas

Monday, 5 May 2008

I don't know if you know, Natalie, of a syndrome called the "frog in the pot". The thinking behind it is that, if you throw, heaven forbid, a frog into a pan of boiling water, he will spring out immediately. But if you put a frog into a pan of cool water, then slowly bring it to the boil, he will simply fall asleep and die.

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