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It's gotta be exhausting, being a doctor, and explaining simple things to patients about how their bodies work.

At some point, there's gotta be a line. Like, how could you not know that you've got two nostrils? How did you not know that, no, you cannot digest a wooden chopstick?

People need to take more initiative to educate themselves on their own bodies.


u/assassinmice asked:

Doctors of Reddit, what is something that you wish everyone knew about their body?

Here were some of the answers.

Your Own Medical History

Giphy

If you could keep track of the assorted parts you've had removed or added, that'd be very helpful. I'm not saying you need to know whether your fundoplication was a Nissen or a Dor, but if you're complaining about belly pain it would be nice to know that the last time you had belly pain they took out your gallbladder/appendix/sigmoid colon. And if you've ever had something implanted, and they gave you a little card? That's not warrantee information, that tells us if you're going to explode if you go in an MRI. Bring it. Otherwise it will be googled.

emperri

Bring It On Up

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".

frangipani_c

Overload

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.

bhappyyyy

It Ain't Prohibition

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.

CopyX

It's Worse Than You Think

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 necropathy. It also affects your eyes nerves immune system etc. Simple life changes can help you but no one seems to care. I even lost 9 kg myself because I had a family history of diabetes and to be healthy.

kingofneverland

How To Spot Skin Cancer

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.

evgueni72

Changing Out The Batteries

Many simpler diseases in the body can be compared to a car. When you don't get regular checkups and take regular care, it's not like you'll notice something bad happening right away. Just like how you won't notice a missed oil change a couple thousand miles later. But diseases like diabetes, high blood pressure, alcohol dependence, etc, they all sneak up on you. Just like how eventually, that engine won't run as smooth.

The second thing is that your body isn't like a TV remote, where you pop out the old batteries and put in some new ones. You can't expect to come into a hospital and walk out feeling 100%. People have some unrealistic expectations of what doctors can do, and there is research which demonstrates how TV shows provide the public with these false beliefs(I'm a Grey's fan also, but it's not real medicine).

The first line treatment for most of our common diseases is...wait for it... lifestyle modification. It's not drugs. It's not surgery. 50% of newly diagnosed type 2 diabetics do not require anything more than diet and exercise. Cessation of smoking is the second best thing you can do for your health, and every little amount you decrease smoking has a profound impact. Again, you won't see it now, but you'll see it down the road (like the oil change). And if you do need meds (like how most will eventually need meds for their blood pressure), don't play around with it. Take it every day. Hypertension is called the silent killer. You can't really feel your blood pressure. But it's slowly damaging every artery and every organ in your body.

And that comes down to the last point. Exercising is the key to a better life. If you put in the work, there is no upper limit. That's not an exaggeration, but the findings of a landmark paper that made news everywhere last October.Not exercising is worse than smoking, diabetes, or coronary artery disease. . It is the single best thing you can do for a healthier life.

Your health is a shared responsibility, and we're here to help. This may not be the flashiest Reddit comment. But this one may actually save your life.

z3roTO60

For The Children

-Where the orifice each gender urinates through really is.

-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.

SuspiciousLemur

We Ain't Lizards, Love

I'm a vet, but I'm sure some doctors will have come across this too: Amputated limbs do not grow back. I've had far too many people asking how long it will take for their pet's amputated limb to grow back, so I'm assuming a few doctors out there will have had patients asking the same of their own missing limbs.

rubypiplily

A Psychotic Break

Giphy

I'm not a doctor, but as someone that works with those who may be in a psychotic break. GET SLEEP! Most psychosis happens because someone haven't had slept or haven't had good sleep for extended periods of time. Some people just need 20 straight hours of sleep and then they never end up in a psychiatric hospital ever again.

AND DON'T JUST RANDOMLY STOP YOUR MEDICATION BECAUSE YOU FEEL BETTER. You feel better because you have consistent amount of whatever is leveled in your body now. And now that your body is hitting equilibrium everything is going great, so KEEP DOING WHAT YOU'RE DOING. I've seen people go on and off their medications for years and it really starts to mess up your body if you do that for too long.

langdonsnare

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