Medical Myths that can Kill You

Irrational, medical myths have been handed down for centuries, but false information can sometimes have dire consequences.  Here are a few medical myths that can be harmful – even sometimes fatal – if taken to heart.

Good or Bad Health is Genetic
The reason that this belief is so harmful is that it implies there is nothing that an individual can do to foster good health which frankly, is just plain wrong.  The number of diseases that are actually genetic in origin is a very low percentage.  Important lifestyle choices like whether or not to smoke cigarettes, overeat, exercise or ingest alcohol or other drugs can make a huge impact on a person’s health.

Women don't get Heart Disease
Most early research on heart disease targeted men which caused the mistaken belief that it only occurred in the male population.  Women are every bit as prone to heart disease as men and should therefore have a heart check every other year and engage in healthy heart practices like daily cardiovascular exercise and heart healthy nutrition – fruits, vegetables, whole grains, healthy fats and lean proteins.

Peptic Ulcers aren’t Communicable
It is important first to clear up another myth about peptic ulcers – they are not the result of a high stress level.  They are most commonly caused by helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) bacterium which penetrates the lining of the stomach, and they can be transmitted from one person to another.  The most frequent symptom of a peptic ulcer is pain in the area roughly four inches above the navel.  Because peptic ulcers spread through bacterium in saliva, you may want to get an exam before kissing your partner and replace your toothbrush to prevent reinfection.

Education is essential when it comes to good health.  Instead of trying to weed through all of the information out there, find a health care provider you can trust.  Then, if you have a question regarding your health, by all means – ask.  

Sources:
http://healthmad.com/health/dangerous-medical-myths/
http://today.msnbc.msn.com/id/24763360/ns/today-today_health/t/medical-myths-can-kill-you/
http://www.everydayhealth.com/info/v1t00/ulcer-symptoms

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