Saturday, 3 October 2015

15 Medical Lies Your Mother Told You

15 Medical Lies Your Mother Told You

What’s the first thing you do when you’re sick, even now? Call your mother. As it turns out, your mother had absolutely no idea what she was talking about.

15. Swallowed Gum Stays There For 7 Years (Or Makes A Horse Grow Out Of Your Stomach)

Girl blowing bubble with gum
Girl blowing bubble with gum
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Obviously horses don't grow out of your stomach, but it's a great visual. In all honesty, swallowed chewing gum passes through you just like anything else. It's a little tough to digest and sometimes gets passed whole (Please don't search your poop for Juicy Fruit. Thank you) but still gets passed. Your mom just didn't want you swallowing your gum.

14. Go To Sleep With A Concussion And You Won't Wake Up

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If you somehow made it through childhood without being concussed, congratulations on being fictional. We all had that one time we got our bell rung hard, thought we were in France, threw up, and spent the rest of the day not being allowed to sleep -- as much as we wanted to -- because Mom said we won't wake up and be dead. This is false, and doctors will tell you sleeping it off is a great way to deal with a concussion. You get some rest and your think-bucket can repair itself while you snooze through the pain.

13. Throttle Up On The OJ When You Have A Cold Because Vitamin C Boosts Your Immune System

Oranges and orange juice
Oranges and orange juice
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It's one of those things that seems legit but is complete balderdash. Vitamin C does promote a healthy immune system, but only when you maintain a certain level of it all the time. It's not an emergency thing where you can double down on the stuff and kill disease. For all the good it does you, you may as well take it rectally. Mom pushed OJ on you, but in reality she was pushing a placebo on you. Incidentally, strawberries are a much better source of Vitamin C than oranges. Do with that what you please.

12. Wait 30 Minutes After Eating Before You Swim Or You'll Cramp/Throw Up

Children swimming underwater
Children swimming underwater
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This is a myth. Unless you're about to knock out the 400m freestyle, there's no danger of cramps. You're not going to vomit either. Sports medicine doctors will tell you that you have the green light to swim as soon as you feel like it (again -- unless you're racing or something). Mom told you this not out of concern for your safety but more out of concern for not getting Kool Aid and Fritos in the pool.

11. Chicken Soup Cures Diseases

Chicken soup
Chicken soup
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What's the first thing that happens when you're sick? Mom makes soup. Granted, if you come from a Jewish house this is somewhat of a blessing, since nobody beats Bubbie's chicken soup recipe. Yumminess notwithstanding, there's no real healing property to soup. It's warm, and that has some soothing properties and because of the carbs in it, you get a "comfort food" happiness from it. But it doesn't cure anything other than your desire for Bubbie's chicken soup. By the way, call your grandmother. Worried about you, she gets.

10. Candy Will Make You Hyper And You'll Bounce Off The Walls

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In 1994 the Journal of Abnormal Psychology did a study where they loaded kids up with sugar and gave other kids sugar free stuff and waited for the anarchy to break out. As it turned out, the kids who sugared up ended up less active than the other kids. Granted, this is not a license for kids to start mainlining Now & Laters and snorting Pixie Stix. It's still super bad for your teeth, but it's not Kid Meth like Mom said.

9. Put On A Jacket Or You'll Catch A Cold

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Rain, cold, snow -- none of these things cause colds. No matter what your mother said, the only thing that causes colds is a rhinovirus. Unless you're exposed to that particular contagion, you're not getting sick. People have known this for almost half a century, but it's still carte blanche for your mom to make you come in from the cold. People do get colds and flu in the winter more, but this is because we spend more time indoors during that time, and are in close quarters. Rhinovirus and influenza absolutely love them some close quarters.

8. Sitting Too Close To The TV/Reading In The Dark Will Screw Up Your Eyesight

Girl and boy with dog watching television in dark room
Girl and boy with dog watching television in dark room
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It's the great paradox of childhood TV viewing. You have to turn the volume down, but you can't sit too close. Make up your mind, Mom. Truth is neither sitting close to the TV or reading in the dark is particularly bad for you. It's not the best habit to get into, but your eyesight is safe. Your eyes adjust to the dark and you'll still get all the way through 'Goosebumps' with your sniper vision intact. What you should keep an eye on is too much time in front of the TV, which can cause eye strain and headaches -- but no permanent damage.

7. Chocolate Gives You Acne

Teenage girl eating a large bar of chocolate
Teenage girl eating a large bar of chocolate
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Maybe Mom just didn't want you self medicating your awkward middle school days with Milky Way bars, but it didn't give you acne. Acne gave you acne. It's just a part of puberty and some kids get it worse than others because puberty has a sick sense of humor. There is absolutely no correlation whatsoever between chocolate -- or fried food for that matter -- and acne. It's not the healthiest stuff you can eat, but going through puberty should earn you an extra Twix bar now and then.

6. Putting Peroxide On A Cut Or Scrape To Get It To Heal Better

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You scrape your knee, Mom puts peroxide on it, the bubbles come up -- all better. Actually, not all better and your Mom just did more damage than your Rollerblades did. Hydrogen Peroxide tear-asses through your cells like a pack of Mongols and destroys whatever it sees. Those bubbles are your cells releasing the oxygen that the peroxide just ripped out of them. Sure bacteria is dying, but so is everything else. Doctors now say Peroxide slows the healing of cuts, and plain water is a better bet for cleaning the wound out.

5. Shaving Makes Your Hair Grow Back Thicker And Faster

Woman shaving her legs in bathtub
Woman shaving her legs in bathtub
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Mom just wanted to delay the fact that her baby is old enough to shave. The thickness and rate at which your hair grows is determined by stuff under the skin, where shaving has no influence. It might only seem like this is happening because when you start shaving, this is the same time that your face/leg hair decides to get thicker and darker anyway -- because growing up.

4. Cracking Your Knuckles Gives You Arthritis

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Pinterest
It's actually not particularly bad for you, but it's not the healthiest thing you can do for your joints. What it doesn't do is cause arthritis. There's literally over 100 causes of arthritis, and none of them are knuckle cracking. When you crack your knuckles, you're actually popping bubbles of fluid that form in your joints -- which just refill. It's not a great habit to get into, but it's pretty benign in the grand scheme of things. Mom just didn't want you to do it because it's kind of rude to do in mixed company.

3. Carrots Give You Better Eyesight

Close up of carrots
Close up of carrots
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Carrots are really good for you, but don't have any real effect on your eyesight. Mom told you this just to get you to eat something other than french fries and Pop Rocks. While it's a pretty good idea to eat carrots, try to practice moderation. Too many carrots will literally turn your skin orange. This is actually true and you're more than welcome to throw that back in Mom's face. Also, contrary to what Molly Ringwald told you -- they don't encourage breast growth.

2. Feed A Fever, Starve A Cold (Or The Other Way Around)

Mother taking daughters temperature
Mother taking daughters temperature
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You've probably heard people trying to remember which is which, often giving up because it's too hard. In reality it doesn't matter because they're both wrong. Lowering a fever is a tricky thing, and your food intake doesn't have enough of an effect for it to matter. Of course this is different if you're Italian, Jewish, Greek, or Mexican... our moms just feed us for everything. Even if we're not sick...

1. Drinking Coffee Stunts Your Growth

Close up of steaming coffee cup
Close up of steaming coffee cup
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It's pretty obvious why Mom didn't want you drinking coffee. You don't give kids coffee and not expect the wallpaper to get torn down and the couch set on fire. But rather than just telling you that coffee will turn you into the Tazmanian Devil, she made you think you'd never be tall. That's kind of an underhanded trick and you probably would have been happier if she just told you the truth. You'd still want it, though.

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