Monday, August 18, 2008

medical myths

there was an article in the british medical journal last year about certain medical myths. i am a little jealous because i could have written the article and had my name all over google and pubmed if i had thought of the idea but i didn't. isn't that the way with most things in life? anyway, it proclaims "sometimes even doctors are duped." if that's the case, i would say find another doctor as most of the ones listed were fairly basic old wives' tales (not to say doctors aren't duped or wrong a LOT of times because they are). the problem in medicine and in life is that we don't view things with a critical eye and believe anything people tell us, even if they're a physician. anyway, the article is an interesting read. check it out here.

ha ha, this came up because of a comment on my #1 fan's blog about how maybe sitting too close to the computer all these years made her eyes bad. apparently her optometrist told her this. well, hate to break the news but this is a myth. dim light or sitting too close to the tv or other objects does not make your vision bad.

another myth i want to demythologize (i made that up) is the ol' "sugar rush" that people, particularly parents, talk about. sugar does not make you hyper! i remember reading a long time ago that kids make other kids hyper, not sugar. in other words, when kids are at parties with other crazy and rowdy kids, it's the environment that makes them hyper, not the fact they got in a few cupcakes. john stossel even had a mini-study on 20/20 recently where they gave kids junk food which was actually low in sugar but the parents thought they were high-sugar snacks. of course they all had the impression that the kids were more hyper than usual. then they gave the kids healthy food but loaded with sugar and the parents thought they were calmer than usual. of course the parents were surprised when they were let in on the experiment. hmmm, i wonder if they got informed consent from the parents for the study?

anyway, this makes sense physiologically, too. okay, if you're completely comatose and hypoglycemic, i can see how giving sugar in that instance would increase your energy level. however, excess sugar stimulates insulin which is not a hormone known for revving up the body.