It’s your body: take charge of it! When you go to the doctor, ask as many questions as possible.
In this AskReddit article, doctors share what they wish everyone knew about their bodies.
1. I did not know that!
“Ejaculating blood happens to most people at least once in their lives and in 99% of cases it resolves without taking any action within a week. It doesn’t even warrant a doctor visit.
Peeing blood (for both sexes) is a serious medical emergency and you should immediately go to the ER.
People think it’s the other way around.”
2. Good to know
“This one is more about medication:
Antibiotics only work against bacteria, they are not some kind of wonderpotion that cures anything, and they should not always be given
Please please stick to your prescription the doctor gives you. Even if you already feel better, dont just stop unless the doctor says you can stop. A lot of medication needs to be taken according to the prescription in order for it to be effective, because you build up the dosis to an effective level. Stopping or not sticking to it really decreases effectivity.”
3. Nothing to be embarrassed about
“That there is a wide range of ‘normal’. Don’t be embarrassed by your body. Having said that, if you are concerned about anything, ask your doctor. We have generally heard it all before, and trust me, we have (nearly always) seen it all before. Maybe you have something that has been bothering you for ages, but you were too scared or embarrassed to ask about it … Just ask! It might be ‘nothing’ and you have been stressing about it for no reason. And if not, then you are at least one step closer to getting it fixed. No one can help if they don’t know. There are no stupid questions, so ask away.
I’m always amazed when I have been asked about something that has been bothering a patient for years and years, but they were too embarrassed / scared to bring it up. Most of the time, it is nothing / a completely normal body function / feature. Other times, it is something that should have been discussed right away.
YOU know your body best. So speak up! Don’t wait for the doctor to “ask the right question”.”
4. No narcs
“Tell us what drugs and alcohol you’re on.
We aren’t gonna tell the cops. We aren’t gonna lecture you.
But it might change the anesthesia I give you. Some stuff I give you might kill you. If you drink a 30 pack a day, tell me.”
5. Doesn’t work that way
“Some people seem to think that if you act healthy for a bit, it’ll make up for being a wreck.
There are so many things wrong with this. Just one example – antioxidants are like gas for your car. You can store up a certain amount of vitamins, but your tank can only hold so much. If you binge and overfill your tank, it doesn’t do anything (you excrete it out as waste), and you can’t expect to go the next several months without gas just because you tried to overload it before. You’re going to still need to get gas. Same goes for your fruits and veggies.
Had someone tell me he went vegetarian for a few weeks, which meant he was done for the year. He was dead serious.
Had a patient at risk for heart failure try to insist that if she stayed away from salt entirely for x days/weeks, she should be able to have her fill of McDonald’s fries and ramen.
Had a smoker argue that if he stopped for some time, he should be able to smoke freely for a while. With some digging, “stopping” turned out to mean a couple less cigarettes a day.”
6. Get out there and move!
“You need some kind of exercise. Doesn’t matter how you feel right now, sitting for 12-16 hours a day will have negative consequences.”
“Your kidneys and liver cheerfully do all the toxin elimination you’ll ever need. Cleanses and other “detoxifying” products are bullshit woo and a waste of money. The people who sell them are predators who only care about your money becoming theirs.”
8. Very serious
“Type 2 Diabetes is more serious than most people realize. I work as a doctor in hemodialysis and most of them are due to diabetic nephropathy. It also affects your eyes nerves immune system etc. Simple life changes can help you but noone seems to care. I even lost 9 kg myself because I had a family history of diabetes and to be healthy.”
9. Get it checked out
“How to check for skin cancer. If you see any moles or anything that are:
A – asymmetrical B – border (odd borders, like they’re jagged or something) C – Colour (different colours) D – Diameter (grows) E – Evolve (Well, evolves)
Go get it checked out. It might be skin cancer.”
10. Eat healthy
“How to eat healthy. Just because you’re skinny doesn’t mean you’re healthy. Especially the teenagers who I take care of. Sometimes I will ask them what’s a healthy food your doctor wants you to eat? Rarely do I get a right answer. I feel like the internet has so many fad diets, and family members rarely cook, so families don’t know basic nutrition facts.”
11. Some good tips
“-Antibiotics are not some magic cure for every pain in your body, nor for the flu or common cold.
-Never ever boil breast milk (in my country there is a popular belief that breast milk jaundice in newborns can be treated by boiling one’s breast milk – but by doing this you destroy all the nutrients and it basically becomes as nutritious as water is).
-Do not give honey to children below the age of 1.
-Do not rub your child with rubbing alcohol as to lower his fewer.
-Baby wipes don’t substitute daily baths/showers.
Yes, I am a pediatrician.”
12. Know your meds
“This is going to sound really basic, but i wish my patients would know what meds they are on when they come to the hospital. At least once a day comes somebody in who goes ” yeah i take 8 pills in the morning, 3 in the evening, and 4 at lunch but dont ask me which, youre a doctor, you should know”.
I beg of you, before going to a doctor that has never seen you before, write your meds, dosis and all on a piece of paper.”
13. Still might feel normal
“You often will feel normal even with high blood pressure. It’s often found incidentally. So don’t wait until it gives you symptoms you don’t want to go through.”
14. Very complex
“That the immune system is an incredibly complex and nuanced organization of cells that communicates readily to destroy anything deemed hostile within the body. It helps explain why vaccines are supposed to work, why allergies come and go, and why transfusions/transplants are hard to successfully pull off.”
15. The final word
“You only get one body. The way you treat it has a significantly higher impact in how your health will end up in a decade than what sort of interventions we can give you. You really should treat your body like a temple.”