Medical myths, old wives’ tales, your mom’s version of the doctor’s advice, misconceptions about how to take care of your health, no matter which term it is that you wish to apply, the sad truth is that these supposedly ‘sound’ pieces of medical advice still persist up to now.
One example is that you will catch a cold unless you go out with a hat during the night. If this were true, then everyone who is out hopping from one bar to another or the medics working their night shift would all be treating colds. [Cold Remedies]
So if you want to really know what is good for your health or not, it is best to listen to real, sound medical advice from your doctor rather than relying on what your best friend or your mom said.
Now that the cost of health care is shooting up and the economy is taking a pretty bad turn, you should treasure every moment that you’re healthy and able to work so that you can properly earn a living.
Aside from the financial aspect of being healthy and being able to work, having a sound body will also allow you to enjoy more the time that you are spending with your family, friends and the people who are most important to you.
Busting the Top 10 Most Common Medical Myths
Now that you already have an idea about the importance of staying healthy, what are the top most common medical myths that persist up to now which you should not instantly believe?
Take a look at the following list and learn exactly what the truth is behind these medical myths:
1. Never go swimming right after consuming a full meal.
This is a medical myth which has been around for ages, but is there really a truth behind it? As a kid, you might remember your mom warning you not to wade into the pool right after eating lunch.
When you take a look at the behavior of athletes, they would surely feel ravenous right after swimming several laps in the pool.
After eating, they need to go back to their routine in training without even waiting for half an hour. Usually, a few minutes of rest is all they need so it’s not necessarily a medical ‘sin’ to soak in the pool right after eating. [Benefits Of Swimming]
2. When you are outdoors and you have an unfortunate encounter with poison ivy, calamine lotion is a first-aid treatment.
The only effective cure when you have poison ivy is steroid cream like a Hydrocortisone. What this does is relieve the itching and reduce the appearance of the skin rashes – something that calamine lotions cannot do.
Don’t worry if you do not have steroid cream handy once you get a case of poison ivy. If left untreated, a mild case of poison ivy rashes will naturally clear in about three to four weeks.
3. Reading using only a dim light will have a bad effect to your eyesight.
Some people prefer to read over dim instead of bright lights. If this is the case for you, don’t worry about the myth of your having a poor eyesight or worse, going blind, just because you are reading over dim light.
Experts say that this practice is unlikely to cause any permanent change or damage to the structure and functionality of your eyesight. [Eye Care Tips]
4. Sneaking in the kitchen in the middle of the night to eat will cause you to get fat.
If there is one medical myth that those who have weight loss problems will be glad to hear about, it is this. It is not true at all that consuming midnight snacks will make you fatter than if you eat a snack in the middle of the day.
Actually, it doesn’t matter which time of the day you choose to eat. As long as the number of calories that you consume each day is the same, the hour of the day that you have a bite or two of snacks doesn’t matter at all.
5. Eating turkey can make you sleepy.
Perhaps the reason why eating turkey is associated with getting the drowsiness afterwards is because it is usually eaten during lunch or Thanksgiving dinners. Some say that it’s the tryptophan content of turkey which makes people particularly sleepy – but this is not true at all.
Turkey contains the same tryptophan content as chicken and ground beef, while cheese and pork contain even more. So if you think that eating turkey for dinner will cure your insomnia because it has natural effects of making you feel sleepy, think again.
6. If you’re experiencing pains in the back, the best way to cure it is with bed rest.
For this particular medical myth, the opposite is actually true. Lying on your back all day when you are experiencing back pains may actually do you more harm than good.
What you need to do instead is engage in the usual daily activities that you have so that you can ‘fool’ your body into thinking that nothing’s wrong. This is applicable if you have mild back pain – anything severe should be consulted with a medical professional.
7. Cracking your knuckles will cause arthritis.
Some people have this habit of cracking their knuckles – and most people believe that this will cause you to have arthritis later in life. That sound which cracked knuckles make is actually caused by your bones moving apart, which in turn forms a gas bubble.
Arthritis is not a consequence of this habit – perhaps the worst case scenario if you’re a knuckle cracker is that your joints may weaken over a certain period of time.
8. Swallowing chewing gum is never a good idea because its stickiness will cause it to not pass through your system.
Chewing gum, when swallowed, will just pass through your digestive system just like any food does. It won’t stick to your insides or take seven years to digest – it will just follow nature’s course and be eliminated by your body since it is a food item which is not digestible. [Indigestion Problem]
9. Sugar makes your children hyperactive.
Do you remember those times when as a kid, your mom warned you not to eat sweets before dinner? Not only is this supposed to make you lose your appetite, but it also makes you hyperactive. [Improve Appetite]
If you have kids of your own now, don’t worry. Sugary foods such as candy and chocolates will not make them any more active than if they consumed foods which have no sugar content at all. In most cases, the difference in the behavior of their kids is all in the minds of the parents.
10. Teething babies will naturally suffer a fever.
Yet another medical myth that most parents believe about their kids is that teething causes fever.
Even if that first tooth starts showing up on your baby’s gums, this would not necessarily cause his or her temperature to shoot up – so always check for underlying medical causes. Better yet, check with a pediatrician. [Baby Teething]
When it comes to your baby’s health, it’s always better to be safe than sorry.
Looking back, which of these most common medical myths did you actually believe? At the end of the day, it always pays to do your research when there is a health issue about yourself or your loved one that you are not so sure about.
Relying on mere myths is never a good practice, especially when one’s health is concerned.