Three weird, scary and horrific things about Halloween

Here are some fun factoids for Halloween: the good, the bad and the ugly for the scary night of the year: 1. Weird: Ever wondered why your wee smells funny after eating asparagus? This was first investigated in 1891. There are a number of chemicals in asparagus, which are not found in any other food. They are metabolised (broken down) by the body and they produce some interesting and quite smelly by-products (one of which is methyl mercaptan, as an example). Studies have shown that not everyone is able to produce these by-products and some people produce them, but can’t smell them. So, if you can do both, you can be proud of your chemical metabolic mechanism! 2. Scary: You can actually drink yourself to death. Over-hydration is the circumstance where the body takes in more water than it can lose, causing a decrease in sodium concentrations and an electrolyte imbalance. This can also be called water intoxication. The risk of over-hydration occurs more typically in individuals who have been sweating profusely from several hours, or days, of exertion. Marathon runners and extreme athletes are most at risk, so stick to wandering round neighbours’ houses for Trick or Treat! 3. Horrific: The death rates from Bariatric Surgery (gastric bypass, gastric bands etc) are as high as 2% within the first 30 days, 3% within 90 days and nearly 5% of patients will die in the first year. Men have even higher death rates, at nearer 4%, 5% and 8% for the 30 days, 90 days and 1 year milestones. Within 180 days, approximately 40% of patients experience complications arising from the procedure – ranging from stomach leaking to infections to hernias. We also cannot know the long term implications of altering our digestive system in such a fundamental way, not least how our health will suffer with the mal-absorption of nutrients. Stick to the apple bobbing and pumpkin soup on Halloween and you’ll be just fine.