Articles on Medical myths

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Tight underwear may increase scrotal temperature but there’s no evidence to show it reduces fertility. AAP

Monday’s medical myth: wearing tight undies will make you infertile

Most men have a preference for boxers or briefs, but which are better when it comes to fertility? Many things can affect a man’s ability to make or transport sperm, including sexually transmitted infections…
The links between coffee and better health aren’t strong enough to recommend another cup. Flickr/doug8888

Monday’s medical myth: coffee is a health drink

Many Australians begin their day with a cup of coffee. It’s widely viewed as a tonic with revitalising properties – each cup making us feel better. But this isn’t the same as being good for our health…
Case closed: the MMR vaccine has no relationship with autism.

Monday’s medical myth: the MMR vaccine causes autism

Few medical myths have spread as feverishly and contributed to so much preventable illness than the theory that the triple measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccine might be linked to autism. The tale…
It’s even possible to get relief from symptoms when knowingly taking a placebo. Flickr/JLA Kliche

Monday’s medical myth: the placebo effect only works on the gullible

If you took a pill that had been prescribed to treat your illness and it alleviated your symptoms, that means the medicine worked – right? What if you took a complementary medicine from a health food store…
Over time, smokers gain as much weight as the rest of the population. Flickr/Difei Li

Monday’s medical myth: smoking helps control your weight

One of the few positives put forward by smokers to justify their habit is that it helps keep their weight in check. And while smoking may be harmful to their health, so is obesity. So how does this claim…
Water alone won’t kill germs – it’s the soap that counts. Flickr/CafeMama

Monday’s medical myth: you have to wash with hot water to kill bugs

Despite decades of medical breakthroughs and growing health budgets, the simple act of washing our hands remains one of the most important things we can do to protect ourselves from disease. The principle…
High intake of antioxidants won’t slow the ageing process and may increase your risk of some cancers. Dan Machold

Monday’s medical myth: a diet high in antioxidants slows the aging process

As Australians’ life expectancy nudges past 80 years, it’s no surprise that we’re searching for ways to add youthfulness and vitality to our later years. It’s a nice idea that a good dose of blueberries…
Teething doesn’t cause fever but a high temperature shouldn’t be ignored.

Monday’s medical myth: infant teething causes fevers

Any parent can tell you that infant teething makes for a trying time. Restless nights, feeding problems and irritability can all be part and parcel when an intant’s baby teeth erupt through their gums…
There aren’t any miracle cures but there are a number of treatments that can reduce its severity. Flickr/Algo

Monday’s medical myth: osteoarthritis can be ‘cured’

Switch on daytime television on any given day and you’d be forgiven for thinking there was a cure for the debilitating and dreaded condition, osteoarthritis. Unfortunately, there’s not. And that’s not…
Minimise bed rest and take short walks around the house if you’ve got low back pain.

Monday’s medical myth: bed rest is best for back pain

Severe low back pain is a common and dreaded problem that rivals only hay fever, asthma, hypertension and dermatitis as Australia’s leading cause of long-term illness. The instinctive response to severe…
While it may make you unpopular, cracking your knuckles won’t cause arthritis. Flickr/orijinal

Monday’s medical myth: cracking your knuckles causes arthritis

For some it’s a morning ritual – cracking your knuckles before beginning the day. For others, it’s a way to pass time while pondering a thought or reading something particularly interesting online. But…
Hookahs are actually more dangerous because users are likely to puff more frequently.

Monday’s medical myth: hookahs are less harmful than cigarettes

After decades of successful anti-tobacco campaigns, we’re all familiar with the risks of smoking. But how do the health harms of cigarettes compare with those of other smoking devices? The hookah, also…
It’s wise to rug up outdoors but it won’t stop you getting a cold. Flickr/foshydog

Monday’s medical myth: you can catch a cold by getting cold

Colds are more common in the cold winter months. But does the weather have anything to do with why we get sick? These days, we use other terms such as “virus” or “the flu” to describe our sniffles because…
Light or “lite” can refer to the colour, weight or kilojoule content of a product. Flickr/Trusty pics

Monday’s medical myth: light or ‘lite’ food is healthy

How much can you believe about claims made on food packaging? For any mention of the word “light” or “lite”, feel free to add your own definition – that will have about as much credibility as any claim…
There’s no evidence to prove it works, but does that matter? Flickr/Akane86

Monday’s medical myth: chicken soup cures the common cold

Of all the homemade winter cure-alls, chicken soup is the best known and most loved. In fact the term “chicken soup” has become idiomatic for all things restorative; benefiting every possible problem from…

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