Hektoen International

A Journal of Medical Humanities

Tag: weight loss

  • Andersonville, Georgia and Elmira, New York: When Hell was on Earth

    Howard Fischer Uppsala, Sweden   “Abandon all hope, ye who enter here” — Dante Alighieri, Divine Comedy   Andersonville Prison, Georgia. South end view of the stockade, showing the sentry stands in the distance. Photographed by A.J. Riddle, August 17, 1864. Library of Congress Liljenquist Family Collection. No known restrictions on publication. Elmira Prison, Elmira,…

  • Two words in the patient portal

    Paul RousseauMount Pleasant, South Carolina, United States He lost twenty pounds from January to June. Not purposely. Still, he was pleased; at seventy-nine, he looked svelte, and younger. He lost another twelve pounds from July to December. His lips grimaced. He was a stick figure, his bones rising like periscopes amidst clumps of sallow skin.…

  • My health care crisis

    Yessenia GutiérrezMiami, Florida, United States “Mom, will it hurt?” These were the first words that came out of my mouth the day after my kidneys stopped working. The day after I found out that I had kidney failure and had to get a fistula in my arm for dialysis. I was very afraid because I…

  • Walter Kempner (1903–1997) and his rice diet

    Photo of Walter Kempner. Source. Walter Kempner, the doctor with the thick German accent who came to America to escape from the Nazis, was born in 1903. Son of two bacteriologists who had both worked on tuberculosis, he graduated in medicine from the  University of Heidelberg in 1928 and subsequently worked there and in Berlin. When…

  • From enigma to Jeremy

    Ami Schattner Jerusalem, Israel   The Doctor. Sir Luke Fildes. Exhibited 1891. Photo © Tate. CC-BY-NC-ND 3.0 (Unported). One day each week I leave my hospital to serve as a consultant in ambulatory internal medicine. General practitioners from the area refer difficult patients to me, and thus my encounters vary from the very simple to…

  • Fasting: For body and spirit

    Isabel AzevedoPorto, Portugal Having struggled with the obesity epidemic for decades,1,2 the scientific and health care communities are now giving attention to the effects of fasting for preventing and treating this important health problem. Appearing at first sight to be a simple issue of energetic balance, obesity has been shown instead to be a complex…