September 24, 2019 | Casey Fletcher

Doctors Reveal The Important Things They Wish Everyone Knew About Their Body


You probably already know that diet, exercise, and a good night's rest are key to a healthy life, but that's not all we should be focusing on. According to these doctors, there are plenty of tips and warning signs we often overlook, and not overlooking them could save our lives—or at least make them a little healthier. Did you know that there are often no warning signs of high blood pressure? Or that administering CPR compressions ASAP gives the greatest chance of survival? What about that boiling breast milk takes away all of the nutrients? Do you know how to check for skin cancer? These doctors reveal the very important facts they wish everyone knew about their bodies.

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Don't forget to check the comment section below the article for more interesting stories!

#1 Your Body is a Wonderland

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 and transplants are hard to successfully pull off.

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#2 Write Down Your Meds

I wish my patients would know what meds they are on when they come to the hospital. At least once a day, someone comes in who goes, "Yeah, I take eight pills in the morning, three in the evening, and four at lunch." But they don't tell me what they're taking! I beg of you, before going to a doctor that has never seen you before, write your meds and doses on a piece of paper.

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#3 You Need More Exercise

You need some kind of exercise. It doesn't matter how you feel right now, sitting for 12-16 hours a day will have negative consequences.

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#4 Healing Takes Time

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 unrealistic expectations of what doctors can do, and there is research which demonstrates how TV shows provide the public with these false beliefs.

The first line treatment for most of our common diseases is lifestyle modification. It’s not drugs. It’s not surgery. In fact, 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.

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#5 Be Aware

I'm a pediatrician. Here are a few things:

  • 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 one.
  • Do not rub your child with rubbing alcohol to lower his fever.
  • Baby wipes don't substitute daily baths.

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#6 Silent Blood Pressure

You often will feel normal even with high blood pressure. It's often found incidentally. So don't wait until it gives you symptoms that you don't want to go through.

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#7 Listen to the Dentist

I'm a dentist and if you don't take care of your gums your teeth will fall out of your head. Then, you'll get mad at me when your jaw bone atrophies and your denture doesn't fit anymore.

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#8 Your Body Is Self-Cleaning

Women, please do not use soap or douching products inside your vagina. It has a delicate pH balance and this is how you get yeast infections. Wash your labia, but do not clean internally. The vagina is self-cleaning just like your eyeballs. Do you wash your eyeballs? No. Do you wash your face? Yes.

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#9 Don't Put Things There

Some things just don't belong in your rectum.

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#10 You Only Have One Body

That you only have one body and your behavior now (drinking, smoking, not taking meds) will impact your life quality and expectancy. It sounds logical, but very few patients really realize it...

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#11 Check-In With Your Mental Health

Your mental health is just as important as your physical health.

#12 Do This First

That administering CPR compressions ASAP is one of the greatest indicators of successful outcomes.

#13 Listen To Your Brain

Your brain is an organ like any other; susceptible to disease and malfunction. When things go awry mentally, it is in absolutely no way different to lungs struggling with bronchitis, your skin being overtaken by some weird rash, your kidneys or gall bladder pumping out stones... you get the point, I hope.

If you’ve got a brain then you’ve got mental health to look after too, bottom line. Just because the output is mainly social doesn’t mean the disease disrupting your life isn’t as important. Our brains are awesome but also sometimes misguided in how to preserve our wellbeing.

Tell someone. If they don’t listen, tell the next person. But the best person to talk to is always a mental health professional. If you don’t synch with them, just move on to the next one, no biggie. Your whole body will thank you for it in the long run, my friends.

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#14 Keep Track of Surgeries

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.

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#15 Don't Do DIY

Don’t do DIY surgery or hold off on reporting things that are obvious warning signs. Don’t be the guy who tried to remove his skin cancer with a household object.

#16 Your Body Is A Self-Cleaning Oven

Baby doctor here about to graduate. Unless you have liver or kidney failure, your body detoxes itself really well. Don’t get scammed by those detox teas!

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#17 Listen to Diabetes

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 no one seems to care. I even lost 9 kg myself because I had a family history of diabetes and needed to be healthy.

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#18 This Is Important

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. Urinating 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.

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#19 Be Healthy All of the Time

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.

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#20 Simple

Drink water.

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#21 Know Your History

Lifestyle choices in your 20s impact your health and quality of life in your 40s. It would also help if more patients knew their family history (though not everyone has this opportunity, unfortunately). Prevention is becoming more and more important in medicine, and treating a disease in its early stages is a lot better than catching it late. If you have family members who had ovarian or colon cancer in their 30s, that is very significant for your own risk. The screening and tests we run might change, depending. If you want to start the pill, it's important to know about breast cancer, DVTs, and clotting disorders in the family. If you're a bit overweight and have no metabolic syndrome problems in the family, compared to a bit overweight but both your parents have Type 2 Diabetes and cardiovascular disease, the management priorities change. Asking your family about any recurring diseases or diseases that occurred early (20s, 30s, maybe 40s) can be helpful.

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#22 Beware of Motorcycles

I'm a trauma nurse. Motorcycles are awesome but they are also very, very dangerous. Don't ever get on a motorcycle, but if you do anyway, WEAR A DARN HELMET.

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#23 Treat Your Body Like a Temple

You only get one body. The way you treat it has a significantly higher impact on 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.

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#24 Point

In an emergency situation where you are giving first aid/CPR to someone, instead of stating general instructions to the group of inevitable onlookers like "someone call 911" or "someone get a defibrillator", point! If able, point to someone and say "you call 911" and "you, find a defibrillator".

This prevents the bystander syndrome where people think "someone else will probably do that" and gives clear instructions allowing for a more efficient process where literally seconds could mean life or death.

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#25 Healthy Teeth are Important

Teeth are the most disrespected body part. A healthy set is as important as a healthy heart. Infective Endocarditis is a thing too. My patients also don't seem to realize that healthy and clean teeth make you look much younger than you actually are.

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#26 There Are No Stupid Questions

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.

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#27 Get Sleep and Medicate

GET SLEEP! Most psychosis happens because someone hasn’t slept or hasn't had good sleep for an extended period 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 a consistent amount of whatever is levelled 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.

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#28 Discuss Drinks

Tell us what drugs and alcohol you’re on. We aren’t going to tell the cops. We aren’t going to lecture you. But it might change the anesthesia I give you. Other medications I give you might be dangerous if you don't tell me what you're on. If you drink a 30 pack a day, tell me.

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#29 Kidney = Life

Take care of your kidney. If your renal function is shot, it closes the door on so many options.

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#30 DNACPR

I wish people would know that when I say, "I don't think CPR is in your/your relative's best interests," I am not saying that I am going to withdraw all treatment immediately. CPR is BRUTAL, and it has a much lower success rate (even if done promptly in hospital) than the movies make out. If you are old, or have a lot of medical problems, then the success rate goes down even more.

If I don't want to do CPR on you it's not because I want you to die, it's because I don't want to fracture your ribs, expose your body to a huge group of people you don't know (everyone loves attending a crash call), and repeatedly assault your body for nothing. I want you to pass away with dignity and care if there is no chance of bringing you back. In summary, CPR is great and everyone should learn how to do it, it does save lives. But, if a doctor suggests it should not be performed, please give serious thought to that. We don't suggest a DNACPR for no reason.

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#31 Talk Illegal Substances

I work in an emergency room. We aren't going to call the police if you're on drugs, we need to know so we don't give you medication that when mixed with said drugs, will be extremely dangerous. For example, if you're high on a depressant, we can't give you Ativan or Benadryl because it can literally stop your heart.

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#32 This Is True

Having wet hair in a cold room will not make you sick.

#33 Take Care of Yourself

I'm not an MD, I'm an RN. Here's some real advice: Do not let yourself grow old and obese. I will forgo any talk of high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, diabetes; that's inside stuff and while I'm well educated on it, I want to talk about the outside stuff that will make your life miserable. I'm talking about arthritis, skin breakdown, lack of hygiene, and the depression that goes along with it.

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#34 Don't Just Stop Your Meds

Antibiotics only work against bacteria, they are not some kind of wonder potion that cures anything, and they should not always be given. Also, 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.

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#35 They Know

We know you didn’t “slip and fall” into that cucumber or other phallic object.

#36 Avoid Alcohol

Alcohol is really really bad for you. I understand that ritualistic consumption of the poison has been part of almost every society for thousands of years, but that absolutely does not change just how terrible it is for your body. You may think, "I binge drink all the time and I'm fine! I come from a long line of heavy drinkers! It's just some booze, I've never gotten sick from it!" But BOY do you not realize what it does to your body.

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#37 Male PMS

In males, there is a vestigial remnant of the uterus located in the prostate. It's called the prostatic utricle. It is a duct that leads nowhere. It sometimes has some remote endometrium in it and can produce one drop of blood every 28 days. So yeah, guys can get PMS too. But it's probably better to call it BMS, or bromenstrual syndrome.

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#38 Know Nutrition

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 that 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.

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#39 Be Aware of Blood Pressure

High blood pressure doesn't have symptoms majority of the time. It's called the silent killer and causes a plethora of other illnesses.

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#40 Treat Your Body Like a Car

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 smoothly.

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#41 There's No Cure

There is no "cure for cancer" as it is traditionally thought about. Cancer is a class of MANY very different diseases, each with very specific causes (for example, some molecule that went wrong allowing a cell to multiply out of control). Even within the same type of cancer (like lung cancer), there are many types of lung cancer, such as small cell, large cell, squamous cell, etc. Even within the same subtype of cancer, there can be different molecular mechanisms that caused it, requiring different approaches to treatment. Looking for the "cure for cancer" is like looking for the "cure for disease."

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#42 Injuries Accumulate

Injuries accumulate. I cannot stress this enough. Little kids have no business lifting heavy weights or getting pushed so hard in sports by some of these 'coaches' who seem to have little knowledge of physiology or who don't care about the long-term impact of the regiments. Stuff like this really changes people's lives.

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#43 Check For 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 - Color (different colours); D - Diameter (grows); or E - Evolve (Well, evolves), go get it checked out. It might be skin cancer.

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#44 You Don't Need Detox Teas

Your kidneys and liver cheerfully do all the toxin elimination you’ll ever need. Cleanses and other “detoxifying” products are a waste of money. The people who sell them are predators who only care about your money becoming theirs.

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#45 Care For Yourself

It's okay to seek treatment for your mental health. Don't feel ashamed because you were diagnosed with an illness. Seeking help is a strength, not a weakness.

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