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What's Wrong With You?

Sarah Holper

Take a tour through your body and its common medical symptoms with What’s Wrong with You? An insider’s guide to your insides.

Everybody has a body, and everybody gets sick. But unless you go to medical school, the mechanisms behind your medical symptoms remain a mystery. Why do you get diarrhoea when you’re stressed? Why do both teenagers and bodybuilders get acne? Why do you feel like yawning when you’re tired, nervous, or when you think about yawning (like now)? Why do many men go bald, but women (and castrated men) don’t?

Over a billion health-related Google searches – more than one in every 15 Google enquiries – are made every day. Ask ‘Dr Google’ about your headache or fever and it will spew forth a bewildering, and often terrifying list of possible diagnoses, invariably topped by brain cancer or a parasitic infection. What Dr Google won’t tell you is the infinitely more interesting bit: what's actually going on in your body to make you feel sick.

In What’s Wrong With You? Dr Sarah Holper takes you on an extensive tour through your body, explaining how its failings cause your medical symptoms. Packed with memorable patient encounters, cultural diversions, historical oddities and insider doctor secrets, Dr Holper arms you with the knowledge you need to understand why your body reacts to illness the way it does.


Dr Sarah Holper is a neurology doctor working in Melbourne, Victoria. A passionate communicator, she has published research on the impenetrability of the writing of doctors and academics and how poor communication can jeopardise patient care. Holper served as medical adviser for David Astle’s popular science book ‘Rewording the Brain’ and she devised a world-first study identifying the brain region responsible for the ‘aha!’ moment when cracking a crossword clue. Over the past decade Holper has worked in more than a dozen hospitals in rural towns and city centres. She has cared for thousands of patients, given thousands of explanations and answered thousands of questions. Patients have commended her ability to ‘explain things in plain English’, though her puns have received variable reviews.

Category:  Health
ISBN:  9781743797112
Publisher:  Hardie Grant Books
On sale:  September 2021
Format:  Paperback
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