The Surprising Science of Everyday Ailments

Graham Lawton

Unedited manuscript Popular Science

In this authoritative and highly entertaining book, science writer Graham Lawton describes what science can — and cannot — tell us about everyday aliments.

One of the many strange effects of the Covid-19 crisis has been to make us much more vigilant about the state of our health in general — and about minor symptoms in particular. And this, in turn, has made us more conscious that we all feel slightly out of sorts a great deal of the time.

This book is not about what happens when we’re ill with something sufficiently serious to send us to the doctor or confine us to bed. Instead, it focuses on the multitude of mild, irksome, distracting illnesses, aches and pains with which we all put up with constantly.

In 120 short chapters — some very short, some a little longer — Graham Lawton ex-plains the latest scientific thinking about everything from blackheads to chilblains; dead legs to haemorrhoids; ear wax to hiccups; and hay fever to heat stroke.