Medical professionals of Reddit were asked: "What's the worst piece of advice your patients have gotten from Dr. Google?" These are some of the best answers.
1/23 I had a patient rub garlic and onions into an infected abscess and soaked it in undiluted bleach several times a day. He couldn't understand why it was getting worse and where his chemical burn came from.
2/23 A patient came into Urgent Care with the worst ear infection I had ever seen. She read that human breast milk could cure her ear pain, and had been expressing her own and dripping it in, making the infection 10 times worse. Her ear canal was swollen almost shut.
3/23 Drinking sugar water with salt "to make Gatorade" would help with "electrolytes" that would help his high blood pressure.
4/23 Had a patient who changed from drinking 12 Dr. Peppers per day to four liters of apple juice per day to get better control of his diabetes. He did not get better control of his diabetes.
5/23 I'm a pharmacist, and I used to work in a large retail pharmacy. An older couple came in to pick up a prescription for tamoxifen, which blocks the ability of estrogen to stimulate breast cancer cell growth. As I'm ringing them up, they ask which aisle can they find vitamin C in. I ask them some further questions which reveals that they read online that vitamin C could treat and prevent cancer, and they wanted an additional remedy so that the wife would not have to take her medication and would never get breast cancer again. It was kind of sad, actually.
6/23 That putting collard greens in her vagina was a good/natural way to induce an abortion.
7/23 A couple had just had a baby. Discussing contraception in postnatal period. They said they had been using the pill. They said they had been very compliant and they couldn't figure out how they'd gotten pregnant the first time. Guy pipes up and says "Yeah I take it one day and she takes it the next day".
Total cluelessness. I suppose in their defence there's a certain logic to it.
8/23 I had a 20 year old girl come to the ER because she thought she was having a stroke. She smelled smoke and looked it up online somewhere and decided it must be a stroke. I asked her a bit more about it and she actually SAW smoke too (i.e. she was NEAR A FIRE!).
9/23 When I had my ileostomy bag (like a colostomy but for your small intestine -- and by had, it was reversed in 2012 and my intestines are complete now, minus ~3 feet) there was a blockage. A blockage is extremely painful as nothing can get out and you bloat very fast. You also vomit, you feel unbelievable stomach pains -- it's like a trapped fart.
The stoma is a tiny hole. I had a blockage and I was really upset and wanted to go to the ER. My older sister is a nurse and had been visiting us at the time. My mom said the Internet says to stick your finger in the stoma and just pull it out. We stared at her, horrified.
No. No one was putting any f*cking fingers into a hole in my abdomen. INTO MY INTESTINES.
My sister took me to the hospital herself. They gave me some drugs and I went under. They removed it. Turns out no one told me I couldn't have vegetables and fruits. I had carrots and strawberries the night before. They didn't go over very well. My mom is kind of a bada** for wanting to do that for me -- but holy sh*t no Mom.
10/23 Vet here. Treat your reptiles for mites by dousing them in olive oil. All you're gonna get from that is an oily iguana. With mites.
11/23 Herbal supplements cure Parkinson's. All that Mercola horsesh*t. Guy lived as a human statue for ten years, communicating only by blinking. I came in, took one look, and dragged his a** to a neurologist. One month on the appropriate meds, he started walking, talking, and living semi-independently.
It still pisses me off mightily. His mother, who was his sidekick and biggest supporter and instigator of this lunacy, felt he was betraying his spirit soul mindthoughtfulness. She died of cancer after trying to treat it with herbs. Su-f*cking-prise.
12/23 When you first get out of school you have to put many hours in, specifically at health clinics. You have no ideal how dumb people are. One guy said he saw online that taking a knife to his goiter and draining it and cleaning it would be a good ideal.
13/23 I had a patient with aggressive prostate cancer come in and tell me he hadn't been following up because he was drinking grape juice with baking soda, and that it was slowing the cancer growth. I told him in fact it was not, and the cancer was spreading. He said he disagreed, and would continue with the juice.
14/23 Cinnamon to treat diabetes. Patient came in telling my attending that she was pretty sure it worked because she checked her blood glucose and it was high, she took the 1000 mg of cinnamon pill, and a little later her glucose went down.
Now, if you check your blood glucose, the next step is to correct with insulin. So we asked if she just took the cinnamon by itself or with the insulin. She says with the insulin. ... Then don't you think maybe, just maybe, it was the insulin that lowered your glucose levels?
But nope, cinnamon must have done the trick. It's all natural with good ingredients!
15/23 Girl who tried to cure a yeast infection with tampons soaked in yoghurt and fruit juice. Not even cranberry. She insisted on lecturing me about the health benefits of shoving orange juice in an infected cooch.
16/23 Not a dentist myself, but I work the lab at an office and occasionally assist when I have free time. There was one lady who went on a tirade about only allowing "natural" products in her body and strictly no "chemicals", and how fluoride is scientifically proven to be toxic (I mean, it is toxic, but doses and all that, even water can be f*cking toxic), but then after trying explain and reason with her, she brought up her IQ and told the dentist she was smarter than him and that he didn't know what he was talking about. She got the red pen on her chart.
17/23 Not a doctor, but a vet assistant. PLEASE do NOT give your dog an enema at home. Especially not by using a turkey baster. It WILL end badly for your dog.
18/23 Parents not getting their kids vaccinated. I just can't get my head around it, at all! One of my colleagues (who is a pediatrician) finally said enough is enough and any parents that wouldn't vaccinate their child would be discharged from the practice and would be given other physicians information because this particular physician would tell the parents "I will not play a part in putting a potentially very sick child in an environment where they may hurt many more children." I gotta say, I found that really OG...
19/23 I work at a veterinary clinic and this woman said that she read online that if she fed her dog only raw carrots for a few days that it would scrape any parasites out of the dog's intestines. She brought in a fecal sample for testing and it was 90% carrot.
20/23 Woman with atherosclerosis who'd been eating multiple bars of dark chocolate a day because it was "good for the heart".
21/23 A two week old infant was admitted to my hospital with severe jaundice, which at birth is normal. The mother, though, hadn't been breastfeeding the child because she read on the internet that breastfeeding is bad for babies. She decided the next best thing to do would be to feed the child a mixture of cornstarch and water because formula was "too expensive".
Baby lived, magically. People, though. Man.
22/23 Treating breast cancer with herbs and sweet potatoes. Did not work, by the way.
23/23 Suppose the worst was a man with dementia and was told that he had to spend 5000 for a prayer to cure him. They did it twice to him, because he forgot he gave the first time.
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