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The Middle of Infinity : Kevin R Anderson M D :

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Kevin R. What industry do you think your business is most related to? Refresh and try again. Open Preview See a Problem? Details if other :. Thanks for telling us about the problem. Return to Book Page. The Middle of Infinity by Kevin R. Imagine that you slowly and insidiously descend from perfect health into an existence wherein everything that defines you is perniciously plucked from your life.

Anderson, M. Anderson intricately details the process of becoming "the patient" and how it taught him what all patients need from their doctors; and from themselves. Get A Copy. Paperback , pages. More Details Other Editions 1. Friend Reviews.

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The Story of the Human Body: Evolution, Health, and Disease

Be the first to ask a question about The Middle of Infinity. Lists with This Book. This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Community Reviews. Showing Rating details. More filters. Sort order. This was fantastic, it reminded me of the book "When Breath Becomes Air", which I also loved except, the author is a friend of my sister and is LDS from Connecticut, then California spoiler alert and that he lives, barely.

The Middle of Infinity : Kevin R Anderson M D :

Jun 27, Liz rated it it was amazing. People are taller, and formerly life-threatening conditions like appendicitis, dysentery, a broken leg, or anemia are easily remedied. To be sure, there is still too much malnutrition and disease in some countries, but these evils are often the result of bad government and social inequality, not a lack of food or medical know-how.

On the other hand, we could be doing better, much better. A wave of obesity and chronic, preventable illnesses and disabilities is sweeping across the globe. These preventable diseases include certain cancers, type 2 diabetes, osteoporosis, heart disease, strokes, kidney disease, some allergies, dementia, depression, anxiety, insomnia, and other illnesses. Billions of people are also suffering from ailments like lower back pain, fallen arches, plantar fasciitis, myopia, arthritis, constipation, acid reflux, and irritable bowel syndrome.

Some of these troubles are ancient, but many are novel or have recently exploded in prevalence and intensity. To some extent, these diseases are on the rise because people are living longer, but most of them are showing up in middle-aged people. This epidemiological transition is causing not just misery but also economic woe. As baby boomers retire, their chronic illnesses are straining health-care systems and stifling economies.

Moreover, the image in the crystal ball looks bad because these diseases are also growing in prevalence as development spreads across the planet. The health challenges we face are causing an intense worldwide conversation among parents, doctors, patients, politicians, journalists, researchers, and others. Much of the focus has been on obesity. Why are people getting fatter? How do we lose weight and change our diets? How do we prevent our children from becoming overweight?

How can we encourage them to exercise? Because of the urgent necessity to help people who are sick, there is also an intense focus on devising new cures for increasingly common noninfectious diseases. How do we treat and cure cancer, heart disease, diabetes, osteoporosis, and the other illnesses most likely to kill us and the people we love?

As doctors, patients, researchers, and parents debate and investigate these questions, I suspect that few of them cast their thoughts back to the ancient forests of Africa, where our ancestors diverged from the apes and stood upright. They rarely think about Lucy or Neanderthals, and if they do consider evolution it is usually to acknowledge the obvious fact that we used to be cavemen whatever that means , which perhaps implies that our bodies are not well adapted to modern lifestyles.

A patient with a heart attack needs immediate medical care, not a lesson in human evolution. If I ever suffer a heart attack, I too want my doctor to focus on the exigencies of my care rather than on human evolution. Our bodies have a story—an evolutionary story—that matters intensely. For one, evolution explains why our bodies are the way they are, and thus yields clues on how to avoid getting sick. Why are we so liable to become fat?

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Why do we sometimes choke on our food? Why do we have arches in our feet that flatten? Why do we have backs that ache? The answers to this question are tricky and unintuitive but have profound implications for making sense of what promotes health and disease and for comprehending why our bodies sometimes naturally make us sick. We are still evolving.

Right now, however, the most potent form of evolution is not biological evolution of the sort described by Darwin, but cultural evolution, in which we develop and pass on new ideas and behaviors to our children, friends, and others. Human evolution is fun, interesting, and illuminating, and much of this book explores the amazing journey that created our bodies.

I also try to highlight the progress achieved by farming, industrialization, medical science, and other professions that have made this era the best of all times so far to be a human. But I am no Pangloss, and since our challenge is to do better, the last few chapters focus on how and why we get sick.