Outdated, misleading or just wrong suggestions come to us from all over the world: friends, family and the internet. But we “normal” people aren’t the only ones receiving questionable medical input. Doctors and other top health experts have also heard their fair share. So we asked them to reveal the pearls of wisdom they hear most often — and what you should do instead to live your life healthier.
Bad advice: Baking soda and water for urinary tract infection
You will try almost anything to stop or get rid of a UTI quickly. But stirring baking soda in water and absorbing it isn’t a smart move, he says Kiara King, MD, a board-certified obstetrician-gynecologist in Chicago. The theory is that baking soda makes urine more alkaline, which supposedly reduces UTI symptoms and allows the immune system to fight off the bacteria. But that’s not the case – and it can actually be dangerous, because wasting time on phony treatments can give the infection time to spread from the urinary tract to the kidneys. There’s another danger, too: Eating large amounts of baking soda can cause nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, or an electrolyte imbalance.
Best advice for urinary tract infection
Visit your doctor. They can do a urine culture test to determine the exact strain of bacteria present and then decide which antibiotic for the UTI will work best to eliminate it; This helps fight antibiotic resistance, Dr. King explains. To relieve symptoms, try an OTC product that contains pyridiumPain-relieving medicine. To help prevent recurring infections, stay well hydrated, as regular urination helps flush bacteria from the bladder.
Bad advice: You don’t need to put sunscreen under a T-shirt
Dermatologists see right through this common misconception Mona Johara, MD, associate professor of dermatology at Yale University. Everyday tees are not made of fabric with a UV protection factor (UPF), so they allow for it 20% of UV rays reach your skin. If you regularly spend time outside, “that’s more than enough to run into problems,” says Dr. Johara. The skin under it is still susceptible to sunburn, wrinkles and skin cancer.
The best advice for protecting the skin
When you plan to enjoy the sun, wear clothes (tops, panties, hats) that have a UV protection factor of 50 or higher; This skin cancer foundation is one of the most effective ways to protect against UV rays. But applying sunscreen to areas that are left exposed is still a must (there are even better sunscreens for your scalp). Use a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 and reapply every two hours, says Dr. Gohara. Don’t forget the easy-to-skip areas like your lips and eyelids, as well as the tops of your ears and feet.
Bad advice: If you can walk on it, it’s not broken
‘I hear this all the time,’ says orthopedic surgeon. Clifford L. Ging, MDMedical Director of Foot and Ankle Reconstruction Institute at Mercy Medical Center in Baltimore. When patients can still walk [after a foot or ankle injury]Often they don’t seek medical attention and then come after six weeks because it’s still painful and we find a fracture,” says Dr. Ging. Delaying proper treatment of a broken bone can make the recovery process longer and more complicated; when a cast or shoe has taken place At first, waiting for help may mean that you need surgery or metal plates and screws to fix the problem.Improper treatment can also cause the fracture to heal out of alignment, which can lead to problems like arthritis below the line.
Best advice for a foot or ankle injury
No need to immediately undergo urgent care for every loose finger. Unless you’re in extreme pain or something looks visibly deformed, get off your feet as much as possible and follow the RICE protocol for a few days, says Dr. Jing. This means rest, ice (20 minutes at a time, several times a day), compression (using a light ACE dressing), and elevation. But if the pain and swelling persists for more than a week or gets worse, see a doctor who can use an X-ray or MRI to check for fractures.
Bad advice: Go and clean up Your ears with cotton swabs – just don’t dig
Cotton swabs are great for just about everything except for what we all think they’re meant to do: clean earwax. It actually says on the packaging that these should not be used in the ears Hamid Jalilian, MD, Professor of Clinical Otolaryngology at the University of California, Irvine. A twist in your ear may feel good, but it’s a big no for a few reasons. It may injure the fragile ear canal skin or eardrum or push wax deeper, resulting in temporary hearing loss as it builds up in the canal. Besides, our ears need a little bit of wax to help prevent bacteria, water, and other particles from finding their way.
Best ear cleaning tip
Dr. Gillian says ears are self-cleaning, so leave out your earwax. If the excess wax bothers you, ask your doctor if it’s safe to try an over-the-counter wax softening kit or if you’re a candidate for professional removal.
Bad advice: If you take vitamins and supplements, your diet doesn’t matter much
Taking a multivitamin or nutritional supplement isn’t a mistake, but these aren’t magic pills – the quality of your diet is still very important. “These products can help fill nutrient gaps where you may be deficient, and in some cases higher amounts of specific nutrients can help manage certain conditions, but they are not a substitute for a healthy, balanced diet,” Joy Bauer, MS, RDN, Health expert and author Joy Power Super Food! 150 recipes for eternal youth. Also, it can be hard to determine the right dose on your own, and if you’re taking in more than your body can properly absorb, you’ll simply end up throwing it out when you go to the bathroom.
Best advice for a healthy diet
Focus on whole foods, says Bauer: “I talk a lot about fresh vegetables and fruits, whole grains, heart-healthy fats, and lean protein.” These types of nutritious foods contain a range of vitamins, minerals, and other compounds that help your body absorb them and help it do what it’s supposed to do, whether that’s support strong bones and good digestion, strengthen your immune system, and keep it going. Your eyesight is healthy, or it protects the health of your brain or heart. “There are so many wonderful, health-promoting nutrients that are naturally found in foods, and these compounds often work synergistically to confer benefits,” says Bauer. If you need to take a supplement to address a specific deficiency or problem, talk to your doctor or registered dietitian for help finding the right dosage and quality brand.
Bad advice: Lifting weights gives you big muscles, so skip the dumbbells if you don’t want to look lifted
Pumping in some iron won’t make the average person look overly muscular, and that promises Venus Davis, ACE Certified Personal Trainer and USA Weightlifting Coach in Washington, DC. In order to build significantly larger muscles, “one has to lift significantly heavy weight five to six days a week while doing minimal cardio and following a strictly regulated diet,” she says.
Best advice for business
Strength training is actually very important. “Regardless of your fitness goal, strength training of some kind should be included,” says Davis. “It is essential to support movement, flexibility, bone and heart health, and it also reduces the risk of heart disease and diabetes.” Incorporate weight with dumbbells or kettlebells and cardio (any activity that interests you and increases your heart rate!) into each exercise—and don’t forget to add a little core and stretching, too.
Health tips from all the stars to start following today
These wellness tasks from top health experts have stood the test of time – and can help you live a healthy, happy life.
Your bed is only for sleeping. Don’t bring your laptop there, put that cellphone away! This will create an association in your mind between your comfortable bed and sleep. If you can’t fall asleep within 20 minutes after you’ve been tucked in, do something relaxing in very low light in another room, and only go back to bed when you feel sleepy enough to fall asleep.”
“Design your morning routine. It doesn’t take much – 15-30 minutes is ideal. Consider incorporating a brief action from each of these areas: gratitude, reflection, journalism, physical wellness, and mindfulness. Your rituals can be as simple as stretching for a few minutes or focusing on being in the moment while you go about your usual tasks. Don’t overthink: These things should enhance your day, not create more work or more stress.”
–Jodi Ho, Ph.D..Dr.clinical neuropsychologist and author of Stop Self-Sabotage: Six Steps to Unleashing Your True Motives, Harnessing Your Willpower, and Getting Out of Your Own Way
“Don’t be afraid of aging. Try to see aging as a new phase of opportunity and power in your control. Instead of being afraid of the changes you’ll face (from menopause to mammography), have an open conversation with your doctor about what to expect and what options are available that can help you cope and thrive. Not only will this prepare you for what’s to come, but it will also help you feel strong and give you the confidence to accept and own your healthy journey.”
“Singing in the bathroom (or the car!). This may be surprising advice from a dermatologist, but singing is a great form of stress relief, and stress relief is an important key to healthy skin. Stress causes cortisol to rise and can lead to hair loss, worsen acne, accelerate skin aging, and stimulate inflammation that may cause skin problems. It’s easier to tell patients to sing than to just tell them to manage stress.”
—Mona Johara, MD, associate professor of dermatology at Yale University
“Drink more water. Staying hydrated is important for just about everything: energy, mood, digestion, cognition, sleep, physiology, and so much more! Plain old H2O is great, but you can soak up more hydration by finding ways to make drinking fun and delicious. I like to keep flavored sparkling water on hand, and you can also add fresh fruit (like lemon in water), vegetables, or herbs to your water. Or try exploring different types of herbal teas! Try to drink half your weight in ounces of water per day (75 ounces if you weigh 150 pounds).”
—Joy Bauer, MS, RDN, health expert and author of Joy Bauer’s Superfood! 150 recipes for eternal youth
“KEven with annual exams We say yes to blood work. A blood test can detect hormonal imbalances, vitamin and mineral deficiencies, and a host of other things to provide insights that will help you work with your doctor to improve your health and correct problems before they become serious.”
Try an electric toothbrush. It offers benefits that manual does not. These brushes often have timers to help you brush your teeth in the right amount of time, and they are more thorough. You also get a boost from brushing your teeth, as the vibrations inactivate bacteria that may harm gum health or cause infection.”
Leslie Goldman, MPH, is a freelance writer specializing in health, women’s issues, and parenting. She is a regular contributor to Cosmopolitan, Oprah Magazine, Women’s HealthAnd the parents, and more. Follow her on Twitter @lesliegoldman.
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