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Thirsty People Feel More Pain

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 8 years ago | from the ouch-i'm-thirsty dept.

Biotech 273

Bifurcati writes "Being thirsty makes you more sensitive to pain, according to a recent study. By simultaneously doing brain scans, new areas of the brain were activated when both pain and thirst were present, apparently making the pain more "painful" - perhaps a survival method so that pain is prioritized over thirst. They'd like to do more research, but ethical issues make it tough - even these subjects had to spend three hours being poked and prodded!"

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Dehydration and pain - link known for nearly 30yrs (2, Informative)

toby (759) | more than 8 years ago | (#14612895)

The relationship between dehydration and pain has been studied for nearly 30 years by the late Fereydoon Batmanghelidj M.D., an expert in the body's water chemistry. Many such links are documented on his web site [watercure.com] and in his books [abebooks.com] .

I am currently reading Your Body's Many Cries for Water [watercure.com] and it has been very eye-opening about body chemistry, and covers the subject with medical and scientific rigour. I highly recommend it to people for whom conventional medicine is at best 'managing' and not reversing their health issues. Particularly compelling in that book is Dr Batmanghelidj's thorough scientific explanation on how 'diet' sodas actually substantially contribute to weight gain.

The immediately curious can access his library of scientific papers [watercure.com] (in PDF format).

Re:Dehydration and pain - link known for nearly 30 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14612997)

Wow. An informative first post that pretty much sums the entire thread up. Maybe you should write the articles.

Riiiiiight.... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14613029)

"He is arguing for a new scientific approach that turns clinical medicine on its head."

Daily Mail, London, UK


That sounds credible.

Re:Dehydration and pain - link known for nearly 30 (5, Funny)

RomulusNR (29439) | more than 8 years ago | (#14613049)

by the late Fereydoon Batmanghelidj M.D.

Does he introduce himself by saying, "I'm Batman!...ghelidj" ?

Re:Dehydration and pain - link known for nearly 30 (5, Funny)

jsprat (442568) | more than 8 years ago | (#14613053)

What few people realize is that Dr. Batmanghelidj is really Bruce Wayneghelidj's alter ego. Everybody knows that the Wayneghelidj Water has a stranglehold on the world's water distribution networks, so who really benefits if everyone drinks more water? ;)

Re:Dehydration and pain - link known for nearly 30 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14613113)


http://nancymarkle.com/fatter/ [nancymarkle.com]
Main stream medicine also is looking into this. No need to start following halfbaked weirdos with a few good ideas.

Re:Dehydration and pain - link known for nearly 30 (5, Insightful)

Copid (137416) | more than 8 years ago | (#14613119)

I particularly like Dr. B's statement:

I hold the idea that the AIDS is not a viral disease, but is a metabolic disorder precipitated by an exaggerated way of life.
Although, I must admit that, "'Bad' Cholesterol: A Myth and a Fraud" was nearly as interesting.

While it's interesting when somebody smart posits a contrarian view or two, the people who seem to think that essentially everything about prevailing theory is wrong are usually... well... nuts. I couldn't help but notice that very few of his papers had anything in them that indicated that they were actually published by a journal other than his own. Coincidence?

Re:Dehydration and pain - link known for nearly 30 (1)

rolfwind (528248) | more than 8 years ago | (#14613127)

Particularly compelling in that book is Dr Batmanghelidj's thorough scientific explanation on how 'diet' sodas actually substantially contribute to weight gain.


Could you expound (summarize) on that, please?

I quit diet soda myself a while back on a diet, but since I was eating less, I can't say whether it made much difference. A friend of mine quit Diet Coke a while back without changes in eating habits and did lose 20 pounds.

I didn't know why, but I attributed it because Diet Coke contains quite a bit of caffeine, and caffiene is hypothesized to screw with the body's insulin. There were also studies that suggested the sweet taste from the artificial sweetener caused the body to pump up the insulin in anticipation.

Re:Dehydration and pain - link known for nearly 30 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14613208)

I can't remember the specifics, but I believe it has to do with your body wanting more 'sweets' after drinking diet soda.

Higher Histamine Levels -- Pain (1)

ovapositor (79434) | more than 8 years ago | (#14613198)

He identified that dehydration elevates histamine levels. Higher levels contribute directly to pain. Quite clever really...

He may have said some wacky things... as do most docs that figure out one aspect of physiology and assume they have the whole figured out. In this regard, he is typical

Re:Dehydration and pain - link known for nearly 30 (3, Interesting)

hunterx11 (778171) | more than 8 years ago | (#14613337)

+5, Informative? More like -50,000, fucking retarded batshit insane troll.

http://www.snopes.com/medical/myths/8glasses.asp [snopes.com]

Drinking more water, "cures many diseases like arthritis, angina, migraines, hypertension and asthma." Sure thing, Doc. Speaking of water, have I got a bridge to sell you...

what about pleasure? (3, Interesting)

Douglas Simmons (628988) | more than 8 years ago | (#14612896)

If not drinking water amplifies pain, wouldn't the same be true from a not-so-distant-cousin, pleasure?

Re:what about pleasure? (5, Funny)

dzarn (760066) | more than 8 years ago | (#14612977)

If not drinking water amplifies pain, wouldn't the same be true from a not-so-distant-cousin, pleasure?

If getting shot causes pain, wouldn't the same be true for its not-so-distant-cousin, pleasure?

Cue Super Troopers (1)

pkhuong (686673) | more than 8 years ago | (#14613017)

Erh, yeah... It seems the comment was in jest, but you'd be surprised.

Re:what about pleasure? (5, Funny)

jd0g85 (734515) | more than 8 years ago | (#14613110)

If not drinking water amplifies pain, wouldn't the same be true from a not-so-distant-cousin, pleasure?

I dunno, but where can I sign up for the study?

Re:what about pleasure? (-1, Offtopic)

CyricZ (887944) | more than 8 years ago | (#14613145)

Actually, fucking your not-so-distant cousin can have some very serious implications. If you manage to get her pregnant, then the baby will likely be born with various disorders and possible mental deficiencies. And if your not-so-distant cousin is a man, then he may spread a number of venereal diseases to your genitals.

Re:what about pleasure? (1, Interesting)

Tony Hoyle (11698) | more than 8 years ago | (#14613233)

I know you're joking... but that's rather a myth. If two relatives have children then there is an increased risk of abnormality, but it isn't certain at all.

Interestingly this has been studied in communities that marry within families a lot, and found that after the second generation the risk diminishes (for some reason a geneticist could probably explain only with lots of hand waving).

Re:what about pleasure? (2, Interesting)

Daniel Dvorkin (106857) | more than 8 years ago | (#14613292)

No hand-waving needed: the kids born with the really serious abnormalities die off before they have a chance to reproduce. It only takes a couple of generations of that sort of selective pressure to eliminate the seriously bad alleles, or at least reduce their occurrence to the level found in the general population.

Re:what about pleasure? (2, Interesting)

Retric (704075) | more than 8 years ago | (#14613335)

In the first generation you would see more "uncommon" and recessive DNA show up. Chances are if it's not the "common" DNA then it's bad mojo.

However, in the second generation your dealing with a smaller pool of DNA so if nothing killed of the first generation then the second generation probably got a little lucky and skipped out of most of the "bad" DNA so while you don't have a lot of diversity there are fewer things "hiding in the back of the closet" as it where. Over time inbreeding is bad, but 3 or 4 generations is not going to produce people with flippers...

Well, most of the time. One of the reasons animal breeders tend to use highly related offspring is so they can focuses on eliminating things they don't like or promoting things they like. Say you take 10 random dog's and pair them up producing 60 new dogs dogs per pair. Now select the 10 dogs with say the longest tail and bread them over time you end up with a small set of DNA that happens to have long tails and a host of other problems. But if you separate them into 5 groups you can focus on promoting long tails in each set and then cross bread at a latter time to remove any problem DNA in your line. (The fresh blood idea. You don't want a bunch of clones you want a bunch of random DNA with some specific change.)

This might be true. (3, Interesting)

CyricZ (887944) | more than 8 years ago | (#14612898)

I used to work with a fellow named Mike. He suffered from severe carpal tunnel syndrome, perhaps caused by the decades of typing he had done while programming. He would always drink massive amounts of water and juice while working, saying that it helped his wrists. We'd make fun of him because he had to piss every half hour, but perhaps he was on to something.

Re:This might be true. (5, Funny)

tool462 (677306) | more than 8 years ago | (#14612951)

I'm betting that taking a couple minute break every 30 minutes wasn't hurting anything either ;)

Re:This might be true. (3, Funny)

gkhan1 (886823) | more than 8 years ago | (#14613137)

Hey, maybe the "bathroom breaks" caused the carpal tunnel syndrome in the first place! Anyone check his breifcase for "grown-up" magazines?

Re:This might be true. (2, Interesting)

rolfwind (528248) | more than 8 years ago | (#14613169)

He would always drink massive amounts of water and juice while working, saying that it helped his wrists. We'd make fun of him because he had to piss every half hour, but perhaps he was on to something.


It sounds like he may have diabetes II. Especially if he's drinking a lot of juice (this is sugar water for blood sugar purposes).

If you're still see him from time to time, make sure he sees a doctor about that - I drink water all day long and have to visit the bathroom maybe every 4 hours.

It could also be an enlarged prostrate..... anyway, the bladder is capable of stretching to several liters....

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Urinary_bladder [wikipedia.org]

Completely OT, but I was wondering the other day (-1, Offtopic)

phaetonic (621542) | more than 8 years ago | (#14612900)

I randomly wonder why nature gave humans certain attributes. The other, I couldn't figure out why human males have chest hair. Anyone know? =)

Re:Completely OT, but I was wondering the other da (2, Funny)

amazon10x (737466) | more than 8 years ago | (#14612918)

For velcro-chest-hair-pockets

Re:Completely OT, but I was wondering the other da (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14613183)

Not all males have chest hair.

I've got a Mediterannean background, and I've got just the right genes to grow it like a monkey. I grow thick facial hair, thick body hair, and apparently have no baldness action.

My brother, on the other hand, grows sparce body hair, can't grow a goatee, and is balding at a disturbing rate.

And aside.. I'm thinking James Bond, "You Only Think Twice": "Japanese have beautiful bald skin."

Re:Completely OT, but I was wondering the other da (1)

AlienSlav (944547) | more than 8 years ago | (#14612975)

MY mom has chest hair. Oh yea and to keep on topic she drinks water too:P
AlienSlave

Re:Completely OT, but I was wondering the other da (1)

mark_hill97 (897586) | more than 8 years ago | (#14613031)

hair was given (by nature or $DEITY, either way) for warmth, to survive harsh winters.

Re:Completely OT, but I was wondering the other da (1)

aliscool (597862) | more than 8 years ago | (#14613058)

male chest hair...

you ever see a play ground that didn't have a little grass on it?

Re:Completely OT, but I was wondering the other da (1)

TerminaMorte (729622) | more than 8 years ago | (#14613109)

So men were given chest hair so that small children wouldn't harm themselves playing on their chests?

Re:Completely OT, but I was wondering the other da (1)

Rebelgecko (893016) | more than 8 years ago | (#14613181)

Exactly!

(OT) Playgrounds without grass (1)

246o1 (914193) | more than 8 years ago | (#14613161)

Yes. They are the rule in Japan, rather than the exception. No clue why, not being Japanese and apparently not curious enough to find this shit out.

Two words: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14613103)

Happy. Trail.

Re:Completely OT, but I was wondering the other da (1)

RKenshin1 (899412) | more than 8 years ago | (#14613106)

Traction

Re:Completely OT, but I was wondering the other da (1)

kfg (145172) | more than 8 years ago | (#14613171)

Because, like, ya know, they're mammals.

KFG

Ethics (2, Interesting)

pclminion (145572) | more than 8 years ago | (#14612904)

Why would it be unethical if the test subjects were made fully aware of what was to be done to them, and were willing to undergo the experiment? Unless somebody was deceived or coerced I don't see how ethics would even come into it.

Re:Ethics (0, Troll)

imoou (949576) | more than 8 years ago | (#14612929)

Maybe if users are made aware of the censorship, censoring search results becomes okay.

Re:Ethics (3, Insightful)

pclminion (145572) | more than 8 years ago | (#14612999)

Maybe if users are made aware of the censorship, censoring search results becomes okay.

How the hell is that even remotely analogous?

Re:Ethics (4, Interesting)

fafalone (633739) | more than 8 years ago | (#14613044)

You wouldn't even make it to getting people to consent to something like that because no institutional review board would ever approve it. It's considered unethical regardless of their consent, for so many reasons anyone with any experience in a field that researched on humans should be aware of. And furthermore it's alot easier to get permission to conduct a study with deception, as long as its not deception that's going to really harm them.

Re:Ethics (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14613319)

So hold the experiment in a tattoo parler. Problem solved... as long as everyone get the same tatoo.
.mm.mm.
M..v..M
.m...M
..m.m
...v

It's true... (5, Funny)

megla (859600) | more than 8 years ago | (#14612907)

...all true!
Whenever I've been without a beer for a while, the pain just kicks in man. Oh the terrible pain!

Re:It's true... (3, Insightful)

fafalone (633739) | more than 8 years ago | (#14613055)

I hope this was modded funny because alcohol dehydrates you, but I suspect it was just because of the beer reference.

Re:It's true... (2, Funny)

Trepalium (109107) | more than 8 years ago | (#14613185)

Depends. He could be drinking American beer. It's mostly water, after all.

Re:It's true... (1)

PornMaster (749461) | more than 8 years ago | (#14613223)

Even a good, strong Belgian tends to top out at 12-15%. All beer is mostly water, silly.

Re:It's true... (0, Offtopic)

MustardMan (52102) | more than 8 years ago | (#14613245)

Even a good, strong Belgian tends to top out at 12-15%. All beer is mostly water, silly.

15% alchohol, maybe, but there's a lot of other stuff in there too. I've had belgians that feel like there's a good half inch of grit on the bottom from the bottle fermentation. And some of them pour more like cough syrup than beer, so surely there can't be THAT much water in there.

Re:It's true... (1)

saskboy (600063) | more than 8 years ago | (#14613178)

Next time I go to a hospital, I'm chugging a litre of water first.

It might not help with the pain very much, but I'll be able to provide for the urine testing at least.

Obvious? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14612911)

People who are suffering from discomfort find that AND pain even more painful than just pain by itself. Who would have thought?

about time for a new university... (-1, Troll)

myowntrueself (607117) | more than 8 years ago | (#14612913)

Presumably a university located in, say, Guantanamo Bay would have a very relaxed ethics board?

I'm surprised they havn't set one up. Question is, who would be on that board...

But I bet it would have a top notch medical research center

Re:about time for a new university... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14613228)

The medical community still uses data gathered from the Nazi's 'experiments' in the concentration camps during WW2. Despite the experiments and their manner being morally repugnant, the view taken was that facts are facts and here are some well-researched facts that are still valid - just try not to think how they were gathered.

Re:about time for a new university... (1)

Capt'n Hector (650760) | more than 8 years ago | (#14613230)

Auschwitz...

Foreplay (5, Funny)

imoou (949576) | more than 8 years ago | (#14612917)

That's why foreplay is so important so that one can sustain prolonged poking.

Dry == Painful.

I'll probably be modded off topic since no one here would understand what I'm saying.

Re:Foreplay (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14613199)

You sick sick bastard.
I like it.

Re:Foreplay (1, Offtopic)

MustardMan (52102) | more than 8 years ago | (#14613266)

How many slashdotters can honestly sustain prolonged poking?

I think most would be finished right about the time the first article of clothing hit the floor.

Nothing new here (2, Insightful)

pHatidic (163975) | more than 8 years ago | (#14612920)

As a former lightweight rower I can vouch for this. Rowing a balls out 2K is hard. Doing it the day after sweating off 10 pounds is just sadistic.

Okay... and? (4, Interesting)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 8 years ago | (#14612925)

Previous studies in rats have shown that mild thirst makes the animals feel more pain but severe dehydration actually dulls pain, he says.
So basically, what they're saying is that dehydration & pain follow a curve of some type and that curve peaks relatively early on.

Their conclusion: Be hydrated.

Pain coming from fear? (4, Interesting)

dada21 (163177) | more than 8 years ago | (#14612927)

I am one of the least sensitive-to-pain people you'll ever meet. I used to always feel pain, because I was afraid of feeling pain. But I learned years ago how to ignore that fear -- avoid fearing entirely. Since then, my tolerance for pain is huge. I've broken bones, lost teeth (punch to the face in a bar) and had my share of other situations (cat bites, skateboard accidents, car accident, etc) and my tolerance to pain is impressive. I've even done major dental work without pain killers and passed kidney stones the same way.

I don't drink a lot of fluids. I should (considering the kidney stones), but I don't. I love water, just don't drink a lot of it. I love tea, too, but forget to drink it.

I think feeling pain is often a mind over matter kind of thing. I had a carpenter friend who cut two of his fingers off and didn't feel pain until he noticed it. I had a friend who broke a foot snowboarding and didn't feel pain until he looked at it.

Have there been studies on pain and mind-over-matter situations?

Re:Pain coming from fear? (1)

imoou (949576) | more than 8 years ago | (#14612952)

I'm not sure if that's a good thing that one is too pain-tolerant.

I would rather feel pain and cry like a little girl than subjecting to potential injuries without fear.

Re:Pain coming from fear? (2, Interesting)

JoeShmoe950 (605274) | more than 8 years ago | (#14612956)

I must agree. I've always had a major fear of needles, and thus even a simple shot has always hurt for me, yet once I cut my finger open (somewhat deeply) after I thought it would be clever to hit a sheet of plexiglass with a sledgehammer (which exploded and cut me open), and this barely hurt at all, simply because it was unexpected, however stupidily.

Re:Pain coming from fear? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14613085)

Well, yeah, but unexpected or not, paper cuts often hurt worse than much more serious injuries. I cut one of my fingers open pretty good, it probably should have been stitched, and it barely hurt at all--at first.

Thin cuts from paper, plastic or metal, though... Oh boy, you sure know you got into something good when one of those gets yah.

Re:Pain coming from fear? (1)

klahnako (209184) | more than 8 years ago | (#14612993)

Sociopath?

Why are you breaking teeth?

Re:Pain coming from fear? (1)

dada21 (163177) | more than 8 years ago | (#14613135)

Not a sociopath, I was punched because I talked to a girl. The boyfriend was jealous and cold-cocked me. End of story :)

Re:Pain coming from fear? (1)

The_Fire_Horse (552422) | more than 8 years ago | (#14613232)

Wow - you actually talked to a girl?

You really do have a no fear attitude dont you.

Re:Pain coming from fear? (1)

Nirvelli (851945) | more than 8 years ago | (#14613023)

I had a carpenter friend who cut two of his fingers off and didn't feel pain until he noticed it. I had a friend who broke a foot snowboarding and didn't feel pain until he looked at it.

This is a very common thing. It is usual for someone to not feel pain until they actually see an injury. It is more common when the injury is unexpected, because the brain doesn't know that the feeling it is recieving is supposed to hurt.

Re:Pain coming from fear? (3, Interesting)

Cobralisk (666114) | more than 8 years ago | (#14613102)

I don't know about studies, but I think adrenaline is a great pain-killer. I broke my ankle playing basketball. My foot kept falling off the gas pedal on the drive home. I didn't feel any pain until I sat on the couch at home and put ice on it. It quickly became excruciating. I can think of several other similar abeit less severe experiences in my life as well.

It could be that in moments of extreme pain the brain quickly releases endorphins to dull the pain so you can focus on the task at hand of, say, running away from a mountain lion while bleeding from the neck. But when the danger is gone the brain really lets you have it so you remember not to go stealing dinner from the nice kitty again. We do feel pain for a reason, but too much or too little or at inapproriate times is almost always bad in the long run (it sucks losing teeth, fingers, or eyes).

Re:Pain coming from fear? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14613180)

I too used to have a fear, except mine was of heights. I was so afraid that I couldn't even stand up on a chair. Then I realized it was all a mind over matter thing so I decided to jump off of the roof of an apartment building. I broke every bone in my body, but it's okay because I've conquered my fear of pain. That is why I decide to take up kickboxing and weighing 100 pounds go into the heavyweight division - mind over matter.

Seriously, pain, of all the sensations, is the most effective at telling your brain "Hey, this really isn't good for our health." Ignoring it in some situations is fine (for the computer-minded among us, it's like ignore a compiler warning). But you've got to be a complete idiot to be completely ignoring pain - if you're breaking bones/teeth/whatnot, pain's a good way of telling you to stop being an idiot. However, your story may make a hilarious footnote for the Darwin awards someday - here's hoping.

Re:Pain coming from fear? (5, Insightful)

fafalone (633739) | more than 8 years ago | (#14613218)

Considering I've met people with various levels of HSAN, I'm sure your sensitivity to pain is actually quite high. Sensitivity and tolerance for pain are also different concepts. Unless you have late developing CIPA or a similar HSAN disease, I suspect your sensitivity is normal. However, extensive research has been conducted and shown that perception of pain can be controlled by the higher parts of the brain, and thus can be selectively or conditioned to be ignored to various degrees of success. Now this is also different from pain from massive trauma, which is probably an evolutionary mechanism to let you get out of situations that are severely harming you before you have to deal with the pain.
It's not mind over matter, it's just how the mind works. Guess what controls parts of higher order affective pain response? Some abstract construct people call the "mind"? No, hows about parts of the insular cortex.

Re:Pain coming from fear? (1)

Dance_Dance_Karnov (793804) | more than 8 years ago | (#14613318)

I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain.

Where's the problem here? (1)

CODiNE (27417) | more than 8 years ago | (#14612961)

They'd like to do more research, but ethical issues make it tough - even these subjects had to spend three hours being poked and prodded!

I don't know... sounds like something quite a few people would pay good money for.

Re:Where's the problem here? (1)

plate of felt (705944) | more than 8 years ago | (#14613326)

exactly.. as a consistantly dehydrated masochist.. i'm really wondering how there would be ethical issues..

the perfect test patient... (2, Funny)

Bananatree3 (872975) | more than 8 years ago | (#14612965)

Find a self-inflicting sadist, and voila!

RE: the perfect test patient... (1)

alexmat (792763) | more than 8 years ago | (#14613283)

You mean "find a masochist"? What you just did to my brain was sadistic ;P

Flawed Logic (2, Interesting)

NoData (9132) | more than 8 years ago | (#14612971)

Fromt the article:

Survival instinct

He says pain is accentuated because it is more important to survival than mild thirst.

"The sensation with the most immediate implications for survival is pushed to the forefront of attention," he said.

Dr Farrell says the findings suggest it could be wise for people who are about to go through a painful experience should drink more water beforehand.

He says evidence from different types of studies also support this relationship between drinking water and pain.

But could people deliberately use dehydration to maximise pain, say via torture?

"We suspect if they got dehydrated enough that the overwhelming sense of thirst would probably make pain less rather than more," he said.

Previous studies in rats have shown that mild thirst makes the animals feel more pain but severe dehydration actually dulls pain, he says.

He says this too makes sense from the point of view of survival.

"If you were very dehydrated it would pay to suppress pain because it might get in the way of your search for water," he said.


Wouldn't that imply that the more hydrated you are, the more salient the pain should be, because then thirst is particularly irrelevant to your current needs? They say that "mild thirst" is not as pressing a survival need as experienced pain--well then, wouldn't NO thirst be even less pressing than the pain? I don't get it. They predict the situation switches for severe dehydration which makes sense (the thirst is more salient than the pain) but they don't explain why the pain should be more salient for mild thirst as compared to slaked thirst.

I would guess the logic in the actual PNAS paper is better. Perhaps it's the reporting here that's got something screwy.

Possibly ignoring other routes? (3, Insightful)

Hellasboy (120979) | more than 8 years ago | (#14612984)

What I mean is this:
There was an experiment where they stuck a cat and mouse in a cage. The cat ignored the mouse. Absolutely showed no interest in it. But pain was then inflicted on the cat and the cat attacked the mouse until it was dead.

Did the researchers test to see if it's not only pain that the subject feels? Maybe the subject will feel more agitated, stressed, angered, emotional, or a combination?

Re:Possibly ignoring other routes? (1)

gkhan1 (886823) | more than 8 years ago | (#14613189)

While you do have a point, you get the experiment backwards. They don't inflict pain, and see what happens, they dehydrate the subject and sees what happens (more pain, as it turns out). Therefore your cat and mouse thing doesn't apply

On a related note, I don't need an experiment to tell me that I get agitated, stressed, angered, emotional or a combination when I feel pain! Yes I do! Really! Not something that needs to be put to an experiment, in my humble opinion.

Re:Possibly ignoring other routes? (1)

kfg (145172) | more than 8 years ago | (#14613225)

. . .the cat attacked the mouse until it was dead.

That must have been one badass mouse. Ya sure it wasn't a baby kangaroo.

KFG

that's funny.... (4, Interesting)

Nihilanth (470467) | more than 8 years ago | (#14613026)

we just learned this today in anatomy and physiology. It didn't seem like ground-breaking science, just common sense. If you're thirsty, neurons in the pre-optic nucleus are shrinking (crenating) because your plasma fluid compartment is drying up. This creates a hypertonic (or hyperosmotic) environment that literally sucks the water out of your cells. Since your plasma is more concentrated (or has a higher osmolarity), the resting membrane potential goes up because the crenation of your nervous cells causes chemically-operated protein channels to open when they otherwise wouldn't be. This happens all over your body, not just in the pre-optic nucleus (also called the supra-optic nucleus). The crenation at that location (right near where the optic nerves cross eachother) causes those particular cells to pump more Anti-Diuretic Hormone through the pituitary gland, causing your urine volume to decrease (by causing the nephron tubules in your kidneys to reabsorb more water instead of making urine with it), but the same thing happens to cells all over your body when your plasma becomes too concentrated (too dry). In lab today, I had to drink 80ml of water with 7g of NaCl in it, and my feet would fall asleep whenever I stood on them for more than a few minutes. Oh, and I was thirsty and sensitive to pain. Hooray for science!

Re:that's funny.... (2)

barefootgenius (926803) | more than 8 years ago | (#14613128)

Couldn't it be because as your body lacks in fluids it raises the sodium and potassium levels in your nervous system, thus raising their efficiency in transmitting?


(These are the sort of questions you get from people who went out with nursing students, lol)


Oh...having looked at your comment again I find thats almost exactly what you said...oops.

What are all these ethics about? (1)

pembo13 (770295) | more than 8 years ago | (#14613032)

Could someone please explain to me why there are always ethical restrictions in potentially important human experimentation if the subjects are well informed and willing? In my psychology course I became aware that there are many psychological experiments done it years past that simply cannot be carried out these days because of such ethical restrictions.

Re:What are all these ethics about? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14613227)

The basis of medical ethics is to be able to demonstrate the absence of coercion, and not having to rely on the benefit of the doubt. CYA on a grand scale.

It's a reaction to history. A great deal of what we've learned about the human body came from abuse of slaves, the poor, prisoners, conscripts, the mentally ill, etc. Have a new brain surgery technique? Try it out first on a worthless peon. The real watershed was the world's reaction to experiments done by a certain Dr. Mengele in Germany, and gruesome shit done in the US and Soviet Union during the Cold War.

Nowadays you can't do medical research without lots of funding and cooperation from institutions -- institutions that would rather not be associated with, say, testing risky AIDS medication on orphans living in state care.

Does that retard progress? Absolutely. But the alternative is depravity.

Re:What are all these ethics about? (1)

pembo13 (770295) | more than 8 years ago | (#14613293)

But what about the willing and informed? You made reference to the unwilling only.

Re:What are all these ethics about? (2, Insightful)

Kelbear (870538) | more than 8 years ago | (#14613330)

Hmm, those are some pretty extreme examples that may not explain the problem well enough. In the above, I'm sure the jews weren't well informed and willing subjects. I doubt the orphans would be willing to contract AIDS, not if they understood what it was.

I would use a different example. Say the test involves some sort of danger or discomfort. What sort of people would /rationally/ undertake such experiences? You'd only get people who enjoy danger and discomfort. Such people would need "help", not more danger and discomfort. These folk ought to be convinced to change this behavior since it brings about hazard to their well-being. It broaches the very controversial debate regarding suicide(Most try to convince others not to commit suicide, while some feel that under certain circumstances and a right to the self makes suicide legitimate). It's very rocky moral ground.

Take a homeless guy. The videos of the homeless people engaging in dangerous stunts and beating each other bloody for a small amount of food have circulated on the internet for awhile. A homeless guy would love to join up for a pain test for a slice of pizza. He could be well-informed and willing. The morality of offering a test that would inflict pain on the vagrant is very questionable. Such desperate folk would probably be offered many opportunities for such dangerous experiments if such prohibition was not levied. They'd probably be the majority of the subjects of these tests.

Another example is prostitution. Let's take a developing country where there is little money to be had. Many teenaged boys and girls offer themselves up for prostitution to avoid starvation. If offered, of course they'd sign up for the tests, well-informed and willing. But many would argue that such tests on them would be exploitation, much like if they were offered prostitution instead of sex.

There's no question that we'd receive great deal of useful research if we allowed such testing. The potential benefit for the world at large may even outweigh the exploitation(this is a loaded word, but I don't want it to be interpreted as such, too lazy to use a thesaurus). It's just that the moral stigma is too great of a short-term obstacle to overcome.

But there are other places in the world where such questions of morality can be ignored. Maybe the research can be accomplished over there. Personally I'd find it deplorable, but there is definitely plenty of room for argument.

Toward what end? (1)

Lijemo (740145) | more than 8 years ago | (#14613035)

Is this reasearch to help medical patients with pain management by adding the knowlege that keeping hydrated is an important component of that?

Or is it to conduct illegal and ineffectual "intellegence gathering" on illegally held "enemy combatents"?

Not meant as a flame. I'm very curious in who is conducting this research and why-- because this knowlege is definitely a two-edged sword, depending on how it's used. (Well, that's true of ANY knowlege. In this case, the contrast is just sharper...)

Being thirsty makes you more sensitive to pain? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14613047)

Remind me to take a six-pack the next time I visit the dentist.

thirsty for a beer (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14613048)

When I feel pain usually I haven't meet my MDR for beer that day.

and why did this make the slashdot front page tod. (0, Offtopic)

bariswheel (854806) | more than 8 years ago | (#14613054)

It seems to me Linux officially announcing that they will now have their own distribution of linux and make their own operating system should hold more ground right...?

Hospice Experiences (2, Interesting)

heresyoftruth (705115) | more than 8 years ago | (#14613060)

I think this is an interesting study. When I nurse, I work hospice. When people are close to death they often tell us to allow them to become dehydrated because it decreases pain sensations. I am curious how this information fits into that.

Of course, we get orders to pump enough morphine into them that the whole thing might be considered mute.

Thirst (1)

whoop (194) | more than 8 years ago | (#14613084)

Thirst is a fairly interesting thing to study. Working with kidney failure patients, it's a difficult thing for them to manage. Urges like sex, hunger, etc can be dismissed in one's mind with a little work. But thirst is impossible to get away from. The only way to get rid of the urge is to drink. For renal patients, it's doubly hard as drinking then leads to a series of other problems for them.

Combine that with being stuck with two big 15g needle three times a week, and you see a lot of pain. It's interesting that the two can be linked. I have seen how one day a person may only slightly flinch, another day and they are writhing much worse.

Hey doc, it hurts when i push on it (1)

themadplasterer (931983) | more than 8 years ago | (#14613097)

These results are rubbish. The test is first being done on a hydrated patient and he feels pain, later he is mildly dehydrated and the same pain is inflicted on the same area as before and obviously it hurts more than before. ie Chinese water torture etc. Hey doc, it hurts when i push on it...."Yeah, well stop pushing on it!"

Terry Schaivo, anyone?? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14613134)

Seems to me the most obvious example is Terry Schaivo. 95% brain dead or not, to allow someone to starve to death, via lack of water & nutrients, is so cruel. This isn't a "Schaivo vs Iraq" debate, it's about a fellow U.S. citizen being stripped of water and food.

Sick and wrong. Now more proof is in front of us to show us that she WAS in pain, no matter what the so called "experts" say.

Re:Terry Schaivo, anyone?? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14613262)

If all right wingers would drop the asinine idea that euthanasia is UNGODLY!!!11 then that wouldn't have had to happen.

Re:Terry Schaivo, anyone?? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14613309)

It's not that it's "unGodly", rather that it's taking an innocent life. Yes, the life needs to depend on external devices to keep them alive, but if we decide to pull the plug on someone who's still living and partially cognative, when will it end? Remember, other people are deciding on taking an innocent life.

There's a price to pay in society if a person decides to shake a baby too much and hurt it. If the baby suffers brain damage or has spinal problems, should we euthanize the kid? Some might say yes, most would say no. The decision for one to stay living is their own choice. When it's taken out of their hands and given to others, it never is good. The baby needs as much of a chance to live as the Terry Schaivo types.

Wait, I need to get a drink (1)

2443W (946731) | more than 8 years ago | (#14613141)

So that's why my cross-country coach always told us to drink plenty of water...

test: don't read (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14613143)

Testing. Roger Federer has just won the 2006 Australian Open tennis championship. The real story this year was that of his runner-up, Markos Baghdatis, who ranked 54, but was able to march through the draw regardless and garnered (or garniered) huge support from the local Cypriot and Greek communities. It was no surprise Federer won, of course, but I did find his acceptance very touching. He was in tears after being presented with his trophy by Rod Laver, one of tennis' greats and who the main arena here in Melbourne is named after.

I will get... (2, Funny)

mondoterrifico (317567) | more than 8 years ago | (#14613144)

I will get first post in 30 minutes, when everyone that ran off to drink water
has to go pee. My evil plan is working!
Muhahaha
haha
ha
:)

I am sure (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14613209)

there's a lot of experts on what combination of dehydration, sleep deprivation and beating causes more pain in many countries. Too bad they don't publish very much.

Terri Chiavo (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14613231)

When she was humanely starved to death last year, wasn't everyone saying how dehydration was painless?

curiously opposite (2, Interesting)

CupBeEmpty (720791) | more than 8 years ago | (#14613268)

I have been the victim of "heat stroke" at least once. I set out for a hike at Navajo National Monument [nps.gov] that was deemed a "strenuous dayhike". At the time I was engaged heavily in wilderness trips in the desert conditions of NM, AZ, CO, and UT. On this trip we ednded up running out of water (that we were promised we would be able to refill by rangers) and getting seriously bonked by dehydration. This is the one and only time I have ever hallucinated. On the 8 mile return trip we started to get loopy at about mile 6. I fell into a very "sharp" bush at about mile 7 or 7.5 and did not feel any pain at all despite the fact that this bush almost left me with permanent scars. This was also very problematic because the "falling into bushes" occured VERY close to the edge of the canyon itself, but we (at the time) did not seem to care about nearly falling over the 300-500ft drop. These problems were reflected in the behavior of the entire group (I was not the only one to experience a lack of pain/conern). Lack of hydration left us with an impaired sense of judgement and an impaired ability to sense pain/danger.

I have also been trained as a Wilderness First Responder and can tell you that at least "extremely thirsty" people have such an incredibly deranged world view that definitions of "pain" get thrown right out the window.

Huh. (2, Funny)

Mithrandir86 (884190) | more than 8 years ago | (#14613296)

Does this mean I should hold my next S&M party out in the desert?

Sex? (1)

electrosoccertux (874415) | more than 8 years ago | (#14613320)

Does this mean sex is better when you are thirsty?

makes sense (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14613321)

They induced thirst with a saline solution, presumably a hypertonic solution. A raise in extracellular sodium would have increased the current of excitable tissues like nerves that transmit pain.
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