20 Things Your Doctor Wishes You Would Stop Believing

By Ange Law
18th Nov 2016

Things your doctor wishes you would stop believing

Why is medicine so damn hard? Seriously, it shouldn’t be so hard to understand how and why our bodies do what they do, but it really is. We had so many (probably quite stupid) questions that we were dying to ask the doctors at Green Square Health and they were more than happy to answer every single one. 

They also told us that there’s no such thing as a stupid question and then filled us in on all of the stupid (we mean normal, smart) questions that they’re asked every single day. Bottom line—even your silly questions are quite valid, so you best be booking in to your local GP is anything is bothering you #nojudgement. 

When you get the annual jab, you’re actually having an inactive virus (aka dead virus) injected, so it isn’t possible to catch an actual flu. In fact, there have been trials where half of the people were injected with water and they experienced the same achy symptoms as those getting the actual flu shot. True story. Also, if you start feeling a bit off, THEN go for your shot, you probably can’t expect miracles, just saying. 

#2 Eating Carrots Will Give You Night Vision

Sorry, but they won’t. However, the opposite is probably true, because a complete lack of vitamin A can cause blindness, but it’s pretty rare in developed countries like ours.

#3 You Need To Poop Every Day To Be Healthy 

According to our mates at Green Square Health, this is one of those stories that’s been passed from grandparents to parents and then to kids. They say that going three days without dropping the kids off at the pool (ahem) may be normal for you, but if you notice any changes in regularity, consistency or even blood in your poop—see your doctor, stat. 

#4 Your Hair And Nails Will Keep Growing After You Die

We thought this one was a little weird but apparently, people totally think this one is a thing. Sorry to burst your bubble, but it isn’t. It just isn’t, okay. 

While you may be feeling the burn, unfortunately, your metabolism may not be, because she’s a far more complex system than that. It’s actually pretty hard to change the speed of your metabolism because just like us, your body resists change pretty hard. Now what are we supposed to do with our huge stash of Sriracha? 

#6 Don’t Go Swimming For An Hour After You Eat

If only we knew this one when we were 10 years old, being terrified with warnings of the impending deadly stitch that’ll definitely happen if you swim right after you eat. Apparently it’s all a bit of a crock, so go forth and swim, hungry humans!! 

#7 Beers In The Pool Is Definitely A Good Idea

False. It definitely isn’t. So while we’re on the topic of swimming, we gotta tell you to keep the bevvies away from the bodies of water this summer. Did you know that 17% of drownings in Australia are alcohol related and in the age bracket of 18-34, it’s 45%. True story. 

#8 Brown Sugar Is Healthier Than White Sugar

In the days of Sarah Wilson and terrifying books like ‘Sweet ‘Poison’, this one shouldn’t really be news. We draw the line at demonising honey, but yeah, brown sugar isn’t really a healthy alternative to white sugar, despite it having 1.8% less calories. Soz. 

#9 You Need To Detox To Be Healthy

Funnily enough, Dr Daniel Chanisheff from Green Square Health has informed us that we don’t really need to detox, because we have organs for that (go figure). If you have a healthy liver and kidneys, and aren’t purposely ingesting heavy metals, then there’s nothing really there to detoxify. We must admit though, we still don’t mind a coffee detox every once in a while. 

Sad, but true. Honestly, we were really hoping that this one would be true, but alas, it is not. I think we all know deep down (like way deep down), that there’s no miracle weight loss treatment, but if you feel like you need a bit of a hand getting started, then head off to see your doctor—because they got you. 

#11 ‘Nice Boys’ Don’t Get STIs And ‘Good Girls’ Don’t Carry Condoms

We alllll know this one isn’t true. Firstly, nice boys just aren’t that special and secondly, the good girls are just plain responsible. Little not-so-fun-fact—most cases of chlamydia and gonorrhoea have no symptoms, but are still transmittable (i.e. you can pass that shit on), so see your doctor. Just, see your doctor. 

#12 White Tail Spiders Cause Ulcers

This one was news to us, but don’t panic, because it’s also an absolute myth. Apparently the poor little (terrifying) white tail spiders are blamed for all types of ulcers, when they actually have nothing to do with it. In fact, the bout of ulcers that popped up in Melbourne recently, was more likely spread by possums and mosquitos. 

#13 Intravenous Vitamins Help Cure Hangovers

The real fix is water, coffee, couch, repeat. It’s never been proven that IV therapy speeds up the clearance of alcohol from the body and in all seriousness; it should only be used when drinking actual water is impossible. 

#14 Antidepressants Are For Weak People

This one is a biggy, but it’s also pretty important. Taking antidepressants aren’t for weak people—they’re for people who want to get better. End. Of. While the doctors at Green Square Health always try to minimise the amount of medications anyone is taking, they also acknowledge that some cases of depression can be so deep, that we may need a helping hand. Everyone is different, but if you’ve been feeling low for any extended period, go and see your doctor. 

Not true! In fact, the exact words spoken by many Ear, Nose and Throat Surgeons are to “never stick anything smaller than an elbow in your ear” (get it?). You get it—don’t stick anything in there. Now, we’re all adults and can freely admit that cleaning out your ears just feels damn good, but keeping a bit of that important ear wax in your ears is, well, important. For starters, it’s your ear’s protection from the outside world and also, you might push it further in there, which is pretty gross really.

#16 When Your Doctor Tells You It’s Virus, They’re Totally Fobbing You Off

In reality, they have listened to you, checked you over and determined that you have (drum roll please) a virus. Antibiotics won’t help you here, but plenty of rest will. 

#17 Antioxidant Supplements Make You Healthy 

They aren’t arguing that oxidative stress causes ageing and general cell breakdown (because it does), but you probs don’t need to fork out for antioxidant supplements to make it all better. The big secret here is hiding in your diet. 

#18 The Jury Is Out On Vaccines

Surely, by now, we shouldn’t have to point this one out, but vaccines are quite literally the most researched topic in the world and our doctors recommend you take advantage of this, frankly, incredible medical advancement. We don’t want to get deep in to this topic, except to say that you should chat to your doctor, and then trust their suggestions on this one. Dr Dan says it can actually be quite emotional for a doctor when someone decides not to vaccinate, despite alllllll the research. 

#19 You Need A Test For Everything

This one has two sides. One—if your doctor sends you for a test, ask them why they are sending you for it. Have them explain to you why you’re having it and what it means—it is your body after all. Two—don’t assume that because you were tested for something a year ago, that you never have to again. If you notice any change in your body, go and see your doctor straight away, ‘kay?

Well actually, you literally can’t, so you should just sleep now. Poor sleep can lead to a lot of different conditions, including primary heart disease and diabetes. The doctors call it sleep hygiene, and you wouldn’t want to be a dirty sleeper now, would you? Look up the NPS guidelines for sleep hygiene and see where you stand, and then you’ll know exactly how much sleep YOU need. Because we’re all unique little butterflies. 

Editor's note: This article is proudly sponsored by Green Square Health and endorsed by The Urban List. Thank you for supporting the sponsors who make The Urban List possible. Click here for more information on our editorial policy.

Image credit: Ariana Grillie
Design credit: Gabby Stjernqvist

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