Blood is the most important fluid in the human body. The normal blood contains from about five million red blood cells to six million, in each cubic millimeter. The blood of women contains slightly less than that of men. The body of a woman is smaller and needs fewer red blood cells. Red blood cells grow in the bone marrow. The blood contains fluid matter called plasma which contains some solid substances that settle out, leaving the serum. An examination of the blood is a vital part of any complete physical examination. The doctor may obtain the blood from a puncture of the ear or finger or by putting a needle into a vein. He counts the red blood cells, the white blood cells and the blood platelets; he may determine the amount of sugar or protein in the blood as a whole; he detects the amount of hemoglobin, or red coloring matter. The blood carries the anti-substances against infections, it provides the tissues with oxygen and nutrients and it carries waste matter to the kidneys, where such waste matter is eliminated. It is also responsible for carrying the hormones, or substances of the glands of internal secretion, to various parts of the body. The total amount of blood is equal to about one-thirteenth of the body weight. Of this 78 per cent is water and 22 per cent solid.*12/318/5*
Folklore is replete with suggestions on how to curb snoring, including sleeping on a wooden pillow, as do the Japanese, or having someone whistle near the snorer’s ear. One suggestion frequently proposed is to sew a tennis ball or some other object into the pajamas in order to prevent snorers from sleeping on their backs. Nearly two hundred antisnoring devices have been patented in a vain effort to squelch the problem. These inventions—mostly commercial variations on old folk remedies— range from mouth gags, muzzles, and chin straps to nasal tubes and neck collars to prevent the neck from kinking. Other, somewhat more elaborate methods which have been tried (and have largely failed) include amputation of the uvula (a small fleshy extension of the soft palate, just above the root of the tongue), which was standard operating procedure a century ago, and injection of paraffin or some other hardening agent into the soft palate to make it resistant to vibration.*143\226\8*
HEADACHES THAT ARE NOT MIGRAINE: TRIGEMINAL NEURALGIA, CERVICAL SPINE AND CHINESE RESTAURANT SYNDROME
Trigeminal neuralgiaThis affects people in the second half of life, affecting women twice as frequently as men. It consists of paroxysms of severe shooting or stabbing pains on one side of the face which are brought on by shaving, eating, talking, or cold draughts. The painful spasms may last only a few seconds but can recur frequently.
The cervical spineAbnormalities of this bone in the neck are often said to be the cause of headache. In fact this is the case much less commonly than supposed; anyone over the age of 50 years may have X-ray changes in the cervical spine but this does not necessarily mean they are the cause of the headaches.There are many other less common causes of headache which come on after certain types of food but are not migrainous or allergic.
The Chinese restaurant syndromeThe symptoms come on within half an hour of starting a Chinese meal. Although headache, affecting chiefly the temples and forehead, is a feature, the chief complaints are of a feeling of tightness or pressure over the face and chest.The offending substance has been found to be a chemical called monosodium glutamate. This compound is added to food to bring out its taste and the reason why Chinese food is often the culprit is because this substance is regularly added in relatively large quantities. It has also been found that three grams is enough to bring on the symptoms in susceptible subjects, particularly on an empty stomach. The syndrome is therefore more likely to occur after soup than after more solid food (absorption of the substance then being less rapid).