The past year and counting was marked by the biggest public health crisis in modern history, and it’s fair to say that healthiness and wellbeing have been at the top of our minds. But in times of anti-vaxxers, covid deniers, and fake news sweeping across the web like a parallel viral storm, we must get our health facts straight.
So when someone asked doctors and medical practitioners “What one medical fact do you wish everybody knew?” on r/AskReddit, the thread blew up and it now serves as a perfect source for things we should all know without exceptions.
From trusting our immune system to following antibiotic treatment, and exercising like it was the most prescribed pill in the world, these are some of the most eye-opening responses from people devoting their lives to treating others.
I may be alone in this, but I want my patients to know that there is no possible way I can keep up with all the medical advances and new studies that are out there. And I also want them to know that there are thousands of conditions that I learned about in medical school that I've forgotten because I've never seen or recognized them in practice.
This is important, because my patients frequently apologize for looking up things on the internet. No, don't apologize. I want you to research your condition. I want you to look things up. I want you to know about new treatments, new research, and alternative medications. Because often I don't. I may not agree with the things you've read, and that's fine too. Ask me about thinks you've read and the picture you found that looks like your rash. I can't tell you how many times a patient has come to me with a suggestion about a possible explanation for symptoms because they read about it on the internet that turned out to be a correct or at least reasonable guess. Please educate yourselves about yourselves.
Some good websites are the CDC website and AAFP.org (the American Academy of Family Practice). And if your doctor is offended that you're trying to be educated, get a different doctor.
Source: I'm a doctor
Mental illness can be as serious as a physical one. Get treated. You wouldn't let a broken leg go.
If your kid has a fever, and you give them Tylenol or Ibuprofen to bring it down, they are STILL. SICK. You're only treating symptoms temporarily, not curing anything.
For the love of everything holy, do not give them Tylenol and send them to school/daycare/sports/birthday parties/etc. to become patient zero and infect everyone else.
I work in a burn unit.
Don't put accelerants on a camp/bonfire.
Don't go back into a burning house/vehicle/airplane
Don't put accelerants on bonfires. This includes aerosol cans of stuff. Those blow up.
Don't make meth unless you have an advanced degree in the field.
Don't put accelerants on bonfires. Even if it "Just won't light."
Don't let your pot handles hang over the edge of the stove where your kid can reach.
Don't put accelerants on bonfires, even if you've "been doing it for years."
Don't pick up containers of flaming grease and oil.
Don't put accelerants on bonfires. Diesel is an accelerant.
Don't keep electric cigarettes in your pocket.
If you wear oxygen, don't smoke with it on/in your lap.
Don't burn trash. You don't know what the f**k's in there. Probably accelerants.
Stop opening your radiator cap unless the car is cold.
Carburetor injuries are common. I don't know how it happens. Help me out car people.
DON'T. PUT. ACCELERANTS. ON. YOUR. GADDAM. FIRE
if exercise were a pill, it'd be the most prescribed drug in existence
Vaccines are the greatest advancement in modern medicine. They save lives and prevent weeks of lost work each year (flu season). If people started seeing more pertussis (whooping cough) or epiglottitis (part of the throat swells up and can kill children) they'd get their shots, but vaccines have become victims of their own success. Get your shots to protect immunodeficient people that can't get their shots.
tl;dr If you don't get vaccinated and you don't vaccinate your kids then you are an a-hole.
You should not stop an antibiotic treatment because you feel better already.
Smoking will kill you.
"Nah... cancer won't get to me" you might say, and you'd be statistically right.
It'll be your heart.
In the simplest of terms, smoking makes your arteries rigid, so as they progressively get filled with fat, instead of increasing their diameter they'll just get stuffed until no more blood can get through and you'll be done.
If you're lucky you'll get some chest pains beforehand but that's not always the case.
"Joke's on you sucka! I got a heart attack and survived, death ain't got shit on me!"
Welcome to the world of chronic heart failure where from now on every day that goes by your heart will be less a pump and more a container, until you get out of breath from just speaking and eventually die. There's no going back.
Please stop smoking.
Your immune system is one of the greatest assets you have and you never thank it. In your life, your body will autonomously eradicate between 6-10 cancers without your realising. It will fight your infections, repair micro traumas and police the entire population of billions of cells in your body without your asking.
All it requests in return is a little bit of health to preserve it. Stop smoking, lose weight. Maybe exercise a little. Don't drink so much. Your diet is so much more important that you realise.
Australian paramedic intern here. we are not the police and we really honestly don't care about any of the shit, illegal or not, you have done or taken. we just need the full story to make sure that you can get the best targeted treatment. also, we don't mind getting called to old people falling and not being able to get up, especially if they have no family or no way to contact them. for me, that's a medical emergency, because if you stay there you will die and paramedic school taught me that that is bad for you.
Just because you're not suffering from a mental health disorder, it doesn't mean it's not a real thing.
Vaccines don't cause autism, nor do they contain elemental aluminum or mercury.
Former EMS here.
Don't get angry when that quiet person gets taken out of the ER waiting room before you. You have a headache and are raging and I can't help you, but that person who just got taken back is quiet for a reason.
You're not dying. Death is quiet. I can't tell you how many times I took someone to the ER yelling and kicking and screaming and when we roll up and they get looked at it's often minor.
I've seen people who I had a feeling would not make it. They don't rave like idiots, they lay still and quiet and it's almost eerie.
Pee after sex. Any sex, just do it. All kinds of bacteria get pushed up your ureatha. UTIs suck.
The pregnancy test you get in the ER is no different from the one at the store and equally accurate.
Nurse here. If you're an alcoholic that's admitted to the hospital, don't lie about how much you drink. There are drugs we can give you to take the edge off of withdrawals. It's safer for you and safer for us. We're not judging you, we have safety in mind.
Doctors are there to help you, stop lying to them. They have to protect your privacy, so if you're doing drugs - tell them, they have to keep it secret, and it could kill you if you don't.
It's significantly more effective to prevent cancer than it is to treat it, but the world isn't interested because most people just want a pill to fix their problems.
Don't smoke. Wear sunscreen. Don't drink excessively. Get a bit of exercise and eat some goddamn vegetables. Do those and bam!, huge drop in cancer risk, but nobody wants to hear it.
If you're impaled by something don't pull it out.
Not a doctor but something a doctor told me when the incident occurred.
Girls if you get excruciating cramps at the time of your period and it feels much worse then it actually is, go to a doctor.
When I was 13 I had already been confirmed to having a ovarian cyst, and it made it very painful for me during my periods to the point where I had passed out from the pain of it once. However at one point it felt much worse then it typically did and I blew it off as being because of my period.
It turned out my appendix was bursting.
The doctor told me a lot of woman blow off period cramps because doctors tend to do the same. Don't, it almost meant life or death for me.
If you get in an accident as a biker, don't take your helmet off your head under any circumstances. You can unhook the strap if you really need to to not suffocate, but that's it.
(Stop reading here if you're a faint of heart): Many times, your head will break like an egg and the helmet is basically the only thing preventing your skull from being skewered by your cranium shards or spilling out.
Nurse & Midwife here.
I wish people understood that if they are receiving treatment for a condition, they still have that condition.
Case in point: If you're taking medication for something you aren't suddenly free of that disease.
Your blood pressure meds are maintaining a normal blood pressure BECAUSE you have the condition of high blood pressure. Your insulin is maintaining your blood sugars BECAUSE you have diabetes.
Sounds simple but amazing how much people tell us they have no conditions but are on 1000 medications that tell a different story
Volunteer SAR-ship crewmember here; when you suspect whoever is lying down is not breathing by themselves, begin CPR immiditially AND DO NOT STOP until medical professional arrives, even if this means that you have to go on for several hours. We do not perform CPR to have the patient miraculously wake up and make out with us, we do this to sustain the most vital bodily function - the circulation of oxygen to the brain - until we can get that person to a hospital.
In a situation where first aid is required it is better to do something than to be scared and not do anything. You might save someones life.
RPh here. Do not keep your medicine in your "medicine cabinet" in your bathroom. The steam from a shower and the temperature fluctuations will degrade your medication. Keep them in a cool dry place away from direct sunlight.
Also look through your OTC items in your house and clean out the expired drugs and restock your basics ( ibuprofen, acetaminophen, pepto, eyedrops, etc).
Alcohol withdrawal is deadly. Many of my patients don't know this. It's a gamble - I've seen fifth of vodka/day drinkers not withdrawal, and 2-3 beers/day withdrawal. It onsets quickly, and it's deadly. Anyone who drinks almost daily and is deciding to quit cold turkey needs to understand this, and notify family at the bare minimum.
Not a doctor and this is a minor thing, but: If you don't have celiac disease, gluten is not bad for you.
More important: Vaccines do not cause autism. They save lives.
If you want to keep hands/fingers/upper limbs intact:
Do not punch a wall/car door/guy in the face/brick, etc. You will end up with a "boxer's fracture," or a break of your fifth metacarpal bone. Most of the time everyone will know you were drunk when it happened and it's not comfortable or fun.
Do not reach into the chute of a running snow-blower, even if it's stopped because something is stuck in there.
Do not attempt to fix your chain-driven garage door opener by putting your fingers in the track and asking your wife to "hit the button."
Do not reach into an auger at work trying to retrieve your safety glove that just fell in there.
Do not hold onto something at work that winches rope.
If you have a wound on your hand/fingers/arm, and it is oozing something that looks green, yellow, white, or pink, go to the doctor and have it looked at. You may save yourself from an amputation.
Source: I'm an RN at an orthopedic surgery center. All of these things have happened NUMEROUS times. And yes, archaic as it seems, sometimes people have to get fingers or even hands amputated (in this day and age!) because they ignored an infection.
Prostrate is to throw yourself onto the ground.
Prostate is the gland that can make it hard to pee. (or give you cancer).
Doctor here. Don't stop your medications by yourself. Just don't, no matter how good you feel. Patients stop antibiotics and relapse. So many resistant TB cases here. Stop taking insulin and come with DKA. Stop taking anti-hypertensives and get a stroke. Don't stop any drug unless cleared prior with your doctor. Most of the diseases can only be managed, they can't really be cured. If you have diabetes, get sugar levels tested at least once a month. Don't ignore it. Don't mix alcohol and anti-depressants. Also, no matter how bad it is, we have seen worse. Don't be ashamed. Pull out doesn't mean she won't get pregnant. Precum has sperm too. Last, if you see anyone vomiting and loss conscious, turn them to their side. Less chances of it entering lungs.
Keep an eye on your weight. Rapid unintentional weight loss is often a sign something serious is up.