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Let's put it this way up front: your health is very important to us here at Why? Because we like you, and we like it when you are here to click around a lot and participate because it makes a better place just having all you around.

To be apologetically morbid, if you get sick and die, it means you won't be around to click around in here anymore, which cuts back our hit count so The Powers That Be won't be able to get any advertisers and make money with this thing. So your health can have indirect repercussions on our longevity as well.

How does one improve their health? Well, the first step is education. The more you know, the better armed you are against those forces that might seek to take you down.

Good health is the condition of being sound in body, mind, and spirit. Particularly freedom from physical disease or pain. In general, health has to do with the overall condition of your body.

Whether you think about it often or not, your body's condition is of paramount importance to your present and future. You only get one body in life. You can't just turn it in for a newer model, at least not until cloning becomes fashionably acceptable. So it's very important for all field researchers to keep their bodies in good health, so they can continue to muck about the galaxy and report their findings here.

IMPORTANT: Never under any circumstances should any layperson's opinion be taken without the consideration of competent, trained medical personel. This is not intended to be a substitute for going to see your doctor, but the information that we hope to compile in this guide entry is to be used as a supplement to dependable information supplied by countless doctors, therapists and theologists.


Those annoying pains you sometimes get in [insert that part of your body where you get occasional annoying pains here] occur for a reason. They're not just there to annoy you. The nervous system of a human body is like a general alarm system. If you feel pain, there's always a reason, even if it's not immediately noticable to you at the time.

Your body is a vast system of literally scores of different organs. This complex system of organs work in conjunction with one another, but each serves a serious and important role in the overall health of your body.

The three primary operative organs are the brain, heart and lungs. If any one of these cease to function, your body as a whole will cease to function permanently in three to five minutes without external assistance (like mouth to mouth or a jumpstart for example). Other body organs like the kidneys, spleen, or gall bladder are of slightly less importance. The body can survive a bit longer without certain organs, but often needs periodic external assistance from that point on in order to remain in good health (for example, without kidneys daily dialysis will be required).

The largest organ of your body is your skin. It is designed to operate as the first line of defense for protection of the rest of the system. If inflammation of the epidermis or discoloration occurs, it generally means something has either tried to harm the body from the outside, or there's something wrong within. For example, burns are caused by external heat getting too close to your body, and the skin acts as resistance from said heat causing permanent damage to your muscles, the circulatory system and other internal organs. Blue, black and red discolorations are bruises, which generally means internal bleeding or hemorraging of other bodily fluids.

If your brain registers pain anywhere in your body, your first thought will probably be to silence or deaden the pain. Headaches can be treated with aspirin, bufferin, or other pain relieving items. However do remember, pain is an alarm and should not be overlooked or ignored for long periods of time.

Sometimes this alarm is there to tell you something is wrong that can be rectified more naturally. A headache or lightheadedness can mean your body is deficient in certain vitamins, minerals, proteins etc and simply eating something will fix the problem. If you have had a lot of alcohol the night before and are suffering from a hangover, your body is probably a little dehydrated and drinking water will resolve the issue.

If you continue having pain, or if your skin is showing discoloration or other abberations which you cannot easily explain, you should consult a trained medical professional. Even if it turns out to be minor, at least then you will know.

In future revisions of this document, we hope to detail some common health issues for you to consult. Again, this should be considered in relation to a doctor's care as a supplement to other information. It should not be considered a substitute. There are however some things which can be taken care of in the home or office. We also hope to make a page about first aid kits, and how you can either purchase or put together one yourself for minor emergencies.

If you have any knowledge in this area, please feel free to share it below in the forums. This is a guide entry still in progress.

Mental and Spiritual

The mind and soul are important as well. Granted, some argue whether or not we actually have souls but we'll set that argument aside right now. Admittedly, this document focuses more on the physical, but that should not indicate mental and spiritual conditions should be taken any less seriously.

Oftentimes, a lack of health in mind or soul can become noticable physically. Someone who is very stressed out due to work or other pressures may exhibit ulcers, headaches or other physical symptoms. Relieving the mental or spiritual stress can often minimize or remove the physical ailments.

Psychiatrists and psychologists are trained in diagnosing mental areas of unsound health, and religious leaders like priests, pastors, rabbis, gurus, etc are educated in understanding the elusive but unmistakable aspects of the spirit. If you feel you may have trouble in either of these areas, it's very wise to consult those who have devoted most of their lives to the subject. Granted, these topics are much more elusive. You can't x-ray someone's soul, or dissect a brain and figure out what's on someone's mind. So you should consult more than one source, and seriously examine any theory of mind or spirit before embracing it entirely.

And if even after all that you still don't know what's going on, sometimes you just have to go on blind faith. I mean, if it works, that's something, isn't it?

Elsewhere in

The following are links found elsewhere in this Earth Edition of the Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy which deal with health issues in sometimes a more serious vein than perhaps we usually deal with things around here. We hope to improve this list in the future as we go along. At present they're listed in alphabetical order though for the life of me I don't know why.

  • Asthma - Different from the occassional sinus trouble or allergies, asthma is an inflammation of the bronchial passages that haunts some people all their lives.

  • Diseases - from Chickenpox to The Plague, what doesn't kill you can only make you weaker, at least until you beat the bug.

  • Hangovers - Oh these pesky little buggers! Here you can learn what they are, how to face them, what to do about them, and most importantly how to survive until next weekend when you'll just do it to yourself all over again.

  • How to Get a Doctor's Attention - This document is the kind of thing that makes so precious and useful (and such a joy to be part of). This is a mother's testimony and wisdom. Read it wisely.

  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) - A detailed and experienced look at the digestive system, and what to do when your stomach is upset with you.

  • Metabolic Disease - The average human body has more chemical reactions happening in it any given day than the average scientist could perform in his laboratory in a given year! If certain chemical reactions don't happen in your body in just the right way, all hell can break loose. Peta explains it all for you.

  • Osteopathy - One of many branches of medicine, dealing with the muscles and joints. I'd honestly like to see more of these kinds of guide entries. Very informative.

  • Sexually Transmitted Disease (STDs) - Sometimes we only hurt the ones we love... The news that 2 out of every 100 condoms have been known to break is rather disturbing to me, and should be disturbing to anyone who has had sex more than a hundred times. I've been pushing my luck for years now and didn't even know it!

  • Vitamins - They're not little pills, but what's inside them. The h2g2 writing team took a crack at this topic, which admittedly is only slightly overdue for an overhaul..

These links take you out of

The following are dependable and recommended references throughout the World Wide Web which are designed to educate and enlighten people regarding the issues of health. If you know of other useful links, please feel free to share them in the forums below. The following links are not in alphabetical order and that's probably for the best.

  • On Health - A new way to look at everything... One of the most intensive and grand scoping reference materials on the topic available on the Internet, although a wee bit commercial.
  • DOH UK - Dedicated to the wellbeing of all England's subjects, the United Kingdom's Department of Health has information on topics ranging from childcare to peanut allergies.

It's Your Turn...

Please feel free to share your thoughts and knowledge on the general topic of health in the forums below. If you have written a guide entry on a specific subject that falls under this general topic, please feel free to share a link.

Facts and opinions supplied by other field researchers will be considered for future revisions of this guide entry, which we hope to accomplish by the end of the next millenium. If your thoughts and ideas are included, you will recieve credit for said data.

Above all, be kind to you, and you will be kind to you. Take care. And we mean that.

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