Author Topic: Medical Myths  (Read 51109 times)

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Offline pulsetsar

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Re: Medical Myths
« Reply #270 on: November 16, 2010, 02:15:29 PM »
I understand.  But the opposite is also true.  Nobody can say that getting a chill does nothing, or has no relationship to succumbing to a viral infection.   That's why we do science, to find out what is real.

Saying there is no connection is the same as saying there is.  Because we don't know.

Point well made, however the evidence is sparse regardless and we generally have a good understanding of how the body responds to cold temperatures and even hypothermia, even down to the level of enzymatic reactions. Furthermore, this isn't a mystery - we already know the cause of infections, so is the cold air a separate second cause (which has NO plausible pathophysiological explanation - not a definitive point but certainly makes for a very difficult argument) or one that modulates the known cause in a meaningful way?

There may be something to the latter. I remember reading in the past that there is evidence of influenza virus being more stable in colder temperatures. How this relates to infectivity or the higher seasonal prevalence I'm not sure. I'll have to try to dig that article up again and see if any more research has been done on the topic since then.

Being open-minded and reminding ourselves about what we know, think we know, and don't know is important, but at some point the line between the known and the unknown must be drawn. For me, the idea that cold air or chilling can cause an infection independent of a virus or bacterium is clearly on the known side of that line - i.e. cannot happen. Dispelling this belief and, instead of advising people to bundle up or avoid going outside, advising people to cough on their sleeves, wash their hands, and get their flu shots are science-based, evidence supported recommendations. Keeping the myth of "catching a cold" going based on a philosophical idea about what we don't know detracts from this very important and sometimes life-saving teaching.
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Offline Angelhil

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Baby Myths
« Reply #271 on: November 19, 2010, 05:44:24 PM »
I have a 6 month old. I keep buying these old wives tales then being pissed when I find out they are bollocks.

Standing a baby up causes bow legs.
tickling a baby's feet causes it to get a stutter. ( I didn't buy all of these lol)
eating carrots helps them see in the dark

there are lots. email if you want my full list- R
no complaining today. Just get on with it.

Offline MountainManPan

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Re: Medical Myths
« Reply #272 on: November 19, 2010, 06:53:55 PM »
Just post the full list.

Offline eliensign

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Re: Medical Myths
« Reply #273 on: November 22, 2010, 12:16:32 AM »
Quack Remedy from a Chinese Herbalist:  Cooking/drying/powdering and eating your own placenta after you have given birth is a remedy for post-partum depression.

Placenta:  It's not just for some quick protein when you're a gazelle on the Serengeti.

Offline Ingram

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Re: Medical Myths
« Reply #274 on: November 22, 2010, 03:01:57 AM »
Movies/TV shows still using intracardiac injections during a code (have never witnessed that in over 20 years of medicine)
You know, "jamming" the huge scary needle and big syringe directlly through the chest wall...
Really?!?

Offline jaypee

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Re: Baby Myths
« Reply #275 on: November 22, 2010, 09:52:00 AM »

Standing a baby up causes bow legs.


My mom said that to me when my daughter was around six months old and I was standing her up. I'd never heard it before then.
"If I were an Algebra teacher I'd give everyone a letter grade but they'd have to figure out the value of the letter" -- A friend of mine

Offline MountainManPan

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Re: Medical Myths
« Reply #276 on: November 22, 2010, 10:40:59 AM »
Can sitting in that 'W' shape cause bow legginess?




Offline pulsetsar

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Re: Medical Myths
« Reply #277 on: November 22, 2010, 11:21:20 AM »
Like many sayings this has a kernal of truth to it. Bowing of the legs usually involves a problem with bone mineralization, not just weight and stresses on the bones. In fact, normal bones depend on weight and stress to stay healthy and it's from lack of gravity that the astronauts run into trouble.

Vitamin D deficiency can be a problem in exclusively breast fed infants, and if severe and continued in early childhood can lead to rickets, but there are also other causes of rickets. The application of weight to the legs in the setting of bone demineralization can cause bowing, and my suspicion is that this is where this "old wives tale" comes from, as rickets is common in developing countries. A healthy infant will not have this problem.

I tell all my breastfeeding mothers to start supplementing their infants with vitamin D at 2 months of age. Formula fed babies don't need this precaution, and I'm not sure that babies in more tropical climates do either given enough exposure. Here in Michigan even if we get enough sunlight, given our latitude, it's at an angle that is not great for producing vitamin D.
« Last Edit: November 22, 2010, 12:30:36 PM by pulsetsar »
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Re: Medical Myths
« Reply #278 on: November 22, 2010, 11:37:00 AM »
Why not have the mother's take Vit D?  Isn't breast milk low in D due to the mom being low in D?
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Offline pulsetsar

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Re: Medical Myths
« Reply #279 on: November 22, 2010, 12:18:31 PM »
Why not have the mother's take Vit D?  Isn't breast milk low in D due to the mom being low in D?

No, it's low because vitamin D doesn't get secreted into breast milk that well, even if the mother's levels are adequate. Again, it's mostly a problem in temperate climates and developing countries. We should also remember that vitamin D is not truly a vitamin, in the strictest sense, because your body is able to synthesize it but only with exposure to sunlight. Without sunlight, dietary sources become important and then it really is a vitamin.
« Last Edit: November 22, 2010, 12:26:42 PM by pulsetsar »
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Offline cerveauxfrits

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Re: Medical Myths
« Reply #280 on: November 22, 2010, 12:36:27 PM »
It seems odd that that would be such a problem for breast-fed infants.  Is it that they normally rely on sun exposure to produce their own vitamin D, and less of that's happening nowadays because parents have become more conscientious about limiting their children's sun exposure?

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Re: Medical Myths
« Reply #281 on: November 22, 2010, 12:38:33 PM »
Would a full spectrum light allow babies (and anybody else) to synthesize Vit D?  Or would it have to be a sunlamp?  Is there any sort of artificial sunlight people could use in the northern regions to get Vit D?

I'm asking because I use full spectrum light in the winter to avoid SAD, and I wonder if it involves creating D, or what? 
It is difficult to believe that a man is telling the truth when you know that you would lie if you were in his place. - H.L. Mencken

 “That men do not learn very much from the lessons of history is the most important of all the lessons history has to teach.” - Aldous Huxley

Offline MountainManPan

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Re: Medical Myths
« Reply #282 on: November 22, 2010, 12:58:09 PM »
Are the bulbs expensive?
Where can you buy them?

Offline pulsetsar

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Re: Medical Myths
« Reply #283 on: November 22, 2010, 12:59:02 PM »
Would a full spectrum light allow babies (and anybody else) to synthesize Vit D?  Or would it have to be a sunlamp?  Is there any sort of artificial sunlight people could use in the northern regions to get Vit D?

I'm asking because I use full spectrum light in the winter to avoid SAD, and I wonder if it involves creating D, or what?

No, it has to be ultraviolet light, but making a recommendation about exposure is complicated by a two main factors:

1) Ultraviolet light exposure causes skin cancer later in life to babies exposed early on (and in adults exposed as well). Let me be clear that I'm not recommending anyone go out in the sunlight without sunscreen for purposes of vitamin D production (and sunscreen will block vit D production).  Most pediatricians, and the AAP, have moved away from making a recommendation about sunlight exposure for vitamin D because of a real association seen with cancer.

2) There are too many variables to control for in order to make any meaningful, specific recommendations such as the amount of sunlight exposure (varies by latitude and the time of day), the percent surface area of the body that is exposed, and the pigmentation of the skin (dark skinned people get less vitamin D activation from a given amount of exposure).

This is why most of us recommend vitamin D supplementation and not UVB exposure.
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Offline cerveauxfrits

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Re: Medical Myths
« Reply #284 on: November 22, 2010, 01:06:08 PM »
So what's an appropriate amount? 

I've been taking a 2,400 IU D2 tablet a few times a week, on the advice of a biochemist friend who says that the RDA is too low.