It is absolutely normal to worry about health issues. We all do it! We look for news about the next biggest and best thing for our minds and bodies because we want to stay well-informed, and live happy and healthy lives. There are lots of medical myths out there. These can distract us, get in the way of our goals and bog us down with concerns about whether we are doing the ‘right things’. We should all try to remember that enjoying life more and worrying less is one of the absolute best things we can do for our health!
Myths can make us worry or at least wonder about our health, but they are myths for a reason … even doctors don’t have all the answers when it comes to some of this information. When unknowns are present, fear is more easily generated. How we look for, think about, and apply the information we find should not take up all of our time or energy.
This example discusses some myths about health and has what I consider to be fairly reasonable explanations:
Do I think you should believe every word of this article though? Of course not … These types of explanations are not usually exact, and obviously not the same as scientific proof. Luckily, we don’t always need everything explained to that degree! We as doctors will likely fully support you if you don’t want aluminum in your deodorant or if you swear by organic produce. A scientific consensus is not necessary for most personal decisions. If you are not sure about something, or it makes you worry a lot -perhaps try avoiding the item in question. Your doctor will mainly get concerned when this type of avoidance negatively impacts your health.
Here are a few health-related myths I hear frequently and some explanations I give:
Myth #1: Misconception: Breastfeeding comes naturally to new mothers and they should instinctively know how to do it.
Fact: Breastfeeding is rewarding, but it definitely takes work and practice. Most new mothers need coaching and support!
Luckily, there are in-hospital consultants dedicated specifically to help breast-feeding Moms make the best of this excellent nutritious choice for your baby. The nurses can help you with this shortly after your baby is born and there are classes and support groups provided by our partnering birth centers Advent Health Shawnee Mission and the Olathe Birth Place.
Myth #2: It’s OK to have an occasional glass of wine during pregnancy.
Fact: This is false. Even small amounts of alcohol can be dangerous.
There are no safe amounts or types of alcohol during pregnancy at any point. While it is not common to see a negative impact in women who did not know they were pregnant in early stages, it would simply be safer to avoid alcohol if you think you might have a chance of conceiving.
(Read more about Fetal Alcohol Syndrome here:) www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/fasd/documents/sg-advisory-508.pdf
Myth#3: Having your tubes tied (or removed) will make your period heavy.
Fact: Real world answer: This idea is difficult to study due to ever-changing hormones in a woman’s body over her lifetime.
It is very likely, though, that coming off of hormonal birth control is the main culprit here. Hormonal birth control generally lightens the period and reduces cramping. A woman’s period does tend to change as we get older. Weight gain can also increase estrogen levels which can potentially impact the amount of bleeding you have.
Bottom line: If your period is not tolerable after coming off of birth control, it is still perfectly fine to use it after this type of surgery.
If there is a health issue that is concerning you, please ask one of us or your family doctor about it at your next visit. We will do our best to help navigate your fears. We just might be able to dispel some myths and take some of those worries off your plate!