Not sure about you but we were pretty sure as kids that if you swallowed a piece of gum, it was going to stick to the sides of your stomach for eight years. No? Maybe that was just us…
Even if you were wise enough to ignore that one, there are endless myths that get circulated and repeated as truth. As we get older, the myths change, but our willingness to believe what we hear without question might not. So in that spirit, we’ve collected some of the most common medical-related myths...busted!
1. The ‘uninsured’ make up the majority of ER visits.
Myth. According to CDC data, Medicare beneficiaries are the most likely to visit the ER. And, with Affordable Care Act coming into effect, there might an initial influx of ER visits.
2. Going outside with wet hair will give you a cold.
Myth. It stems from the saying ‘catch your death of cold’ which originated in the days when people would stay home rather than venture out in bad weather, and typically caught diseases from living in close quarters will horrendous sanitation. The best defense against busting a cold isn’t a towel and a blow dryer; it’s hand sanitizer, proper hygiene and common sense.
3. If you’re not sure if it’s an emergency...just go to the ER and be safe rather than sorry.
Myth. Experts estimate that over 50% of all ER visits don’t really warrant a trip to the ER, and could be treated at the Minute Clinic, Urgent Care, or regular doctor’s office at a much lower cost. Additionally, there are nurses whom you can call or chat online and discuss your symptoms. The Internet isn’t always the most reliable source, but consider the reputability of the website and go from there.
4. You notice a mole that wasn’t there before, so you should make an appointment to get it checked out immediately.
Fact. Early detection can be lifesaving, especially if that mole is skin cancer, or melanoma. Melanoma can spread quickly to major organs, so don’t put off getting something like that checked out ASAP.
5. It’s faster to go to the ER than it is to go somewhere else.
Myth. Oh, what a myth. The average wait time is four hours to see a doctor. Average wait time to see a doctor at urgent care centers? Twenty minutes.
6. If you’re constipated, eating a ton of fiber is the way to go.
Myth. Overdosing on fiber can actually aggravate constipation. Fiber isn’t digestible, so while it might seem like it should, you know, push some things out down there, it actually more often than not just causes bloating and gas. Stick to laxatives to relieve constipation.
Which medical myths have you been shocked to discover aren’t fact?