Author Topic: Medical Myths  (Read 22010 times)

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Offline Steven Novella

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Medical Myths
« on: October 31, 2009, 12:04:07 PM »
I am developing a lecture series on common medical myths. Please post any topics here you would like to suggest for this series.
Steven Novella
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Offline veganerd

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Re: Medical Myths
« Reply #1 on: October 31, 2009, 01:00:46 PM »
that going outside with wet hair or in the rain makes you sick.



Offline stands2reason

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Re: Medical Myths
« Reply #2 on: October 31, 2009, 02:46:52 PM »
That sweating is somehow good for you (besides the obvious temperature reason). That getting exposed to sunlight is healthy, beyond the vitamin D reason. Then there's the classic "8 cups of water a day" myth.

Offline Lukas

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Re: Medical Myths
« Reply #3 on: October 31, 2009, 02:52:39 PM »
That sweating is somehow good for you (besides the obvious temperature reason). That getting exposed to sunlight is healthy, beyond the vitamin D reason. Then there's the classic "8 cups of water a day" myth.

Well, getting exposed to sunlight gives you vitamin D, so what's the myth? I also believe that sunlight has positive psychological effects, but I haven't really looked into it, so that might be a myth.

Offline stands2reason

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Re: Medical Myths
« Reply #4 on: October 31, 2009, 03:02:38 PM »
That sweating is somehow good for you (besides the obvious temperature reason). That getting exposed to sunlight is healthy, beyond the vitamin D reason. Then there's the classic "8 cups of water a day" myth.

Well, getting exposed to sunlight gives you vitamin D, so what's the myth? I also believe that sunlight has positive psychological effects, but I haven't really looked into it, so that might be a myth.

I've heard that it can do all sorts of things, that have nothing to do with vitamin D, like treat certain kinds of skin conditions. I thought the idea of sunlight being good for your skin was particularly bizarre.

Offline veganerd

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Re: Medical Myths
« Reply #5 on: October 31, 2009, 03:17:26 PM »
That sweating is somehow good for you (besides the obvious temperature reason). That getting exposed to sunlight is healthy, beyond the vitamin D reason. Then there's the classic "8 cups of water a day" myth.


Well, getting exposed to sunlight gives you vitamin D, so what's the myth? I also believe that sunlight has positive psychological effects, but I haven't really looked into it, so that might be a myth.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seasonal_affective_disorder
apparently you dont live in a wintery climate.  here in minnesota everyone knows about  SAD

Offline Lukas

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Re: Medical Myths
« Reply #6 on: October 31, 2009, 04:08:34 PM »
That sweating is somehow good for you (besides the obvious temperature reason). That getting exposed to sunlight is healthy, beyond the vitamin D reason. Then there's the classic "8 cups of water a day" myth.


Well, getting exposed to sunlight gives you vitamin D, so what's the myth? I also believe that sunlight has positive psychological effects, but I haven't really looked into it, so that might be a myth.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seasonal_affective_disorder
apparently you dont live in a wintery climate.  here in minnesota everyone knows about  SAD


I know about stuff like that, and I grew up in Germany, which is further to the north than MN (even though it doesn't get as cold in the winter), but I was just not sure whether the lack of sunlight was the reason. (I suspect it is, but I didn't know of any definite proof.)

Offline Chew

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Re: Medical Myths
« Reply #7 on: November 01, 2009, 08:46:47 AM »
The myth that 98.6 F is normal body temperature. The initial study was done in Germany, IIRC, and was done in celsius. The researcher rounded off the average temperature found in the study to a whole degree, 37 C. Which converts to 98.6 F. Saying 98.6 F is going beyond the study's precision.
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Offline Soodal

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Re: Medical Myths
« Reply #8 on: November 01, 2009, 11:09:26 AM »
Here in Korea there are literally millions of medical myths. Here are a few off the top of my head...

-Eating eel gives you sexual stamina
-eating octopus gives sexual stamina
-any food shaped like a winky gives sexual stamina
-ginseng cures all
-acupuncture
-dongchimis good for your health
-parts of your feet represent organs in your body and can be stimulated to relieve pain in these organs (I emailed about this recently)
-fan death
-doctors routinely prescribe loads of different pills without ever explaining what they are for. when quizzed, the regular response is, "you wouldn't understand." I think they are chinese herbal pills.
-kimchi cures all
...I'll see what else I can find

On a related note, a friend of mine has a grandmother who claims to have eaten nothing but boiled onions for the past decade. The only time she strays from her all-onion diet is when she goes to her daughter's house for Sunday lunch. She claims that onions are the key to her health, and she does seem to be in very good shape for a woman of 90. That said, other people live long lives while enjoying rich and varied diets, but I'm not about to try to slam a nice old lady, either mentally or physically.
Is there any chance that there is something to the all-boiled onion diet?


Offline Beep Boop Boop

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Re: Medical Myths
« Reply #9 on: November 01, 2009, 11:58:06 AM »
Quote
-fan death
Hey!!!! I'm a Mythbuster and I didn't even know it.  Seriously????  Seriously?????? Korea. Shame on you. Shame shame shame.
« Last Edit: November 01, 2009, 12:12:24 PM by Mad_Scientist_Working »

Offline Karyn

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Re: Medical Myths
« Reply #10 on: November 01, 2009, 03:18:16 PM »
Eating chocolate/greasy foods gives you acne.

The Atkins Diet

Going out in the cold with wet hair will make you sick.

Vitamin C overdosing will help you with your cold.
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Offline seaotter

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Re: Medical Myths
« Reply #11 on: November 01, 2009, 03:45:03 PM »
That men have fewer ribs than women.
"There is no use trying," said Alice; "one can't believe impossible things." Lewis Carroll

Offline Hanes

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Re: Medical Myths
« Reply #12 on: November 01, 2009, 06:49:21 PM »
I sent in an email, but I'll repost here because, well, I guess my ego makes me think it's that important ::)

My suggestion for medical myths to discuss: multivitamins.  Taking multivitamins is pretty widespread, at least in my family, but I've heard they're not necessary most of the time.  I don't really know much about when they're helpful and when they're bunk, and I suspect that misperceptions about them are pretty widespread amongst rational people.

Offline Belgarath

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Re: Medical Myths
« Reply #13 on: November 01, 2009, 06:53:56 PM »
Couple of really good ones mentioned so far.

Here are some more:

- Colon Cleansing
- The whole 'toxins in the body need cleansing' schtick
- Antibiotics for viral infections.

Offline Karyn

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Re: Medical Myths
« Reply #14 on: November 01, 2009, 09:48:58 PM »
oh yeah, the colon cleansing...especially the 'hydrotherapy' industry and how dangerous it is.  I used to know a hydrotherapist...she was bat shit insane.
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