These Are Important Things Doctors Wish You Knew

by Elana

Working in the medical field is no small task. From the smallest jobs to the biggest, a quality education is imperative. Doctors especially go through a gruelling, extensive educational process that takes years. While not all doctors are amazing, in general they're respected educational professionals and we need them.

Sadly, not everyone has access to the healthcare they deserve or need. Those who do, may still fumble their healthcare because patients usually do not have the knowledge or awareness that providers do. This begged the question from one Reddit user, "Doctors of Reddit, what is something you wish everyone knew about their body?" The answers were very interesting, to say the least.

via: gfycat

1. Honesty is key, embarrassment is unnecessary.

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”.

2. Healthy habits take time and require consistency.

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.
via: giphy

3. Don't get your blood issues confused.

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.

4. Skin cancer education is super-duper important!

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!
via: giphy

5. Your labia is the face of your vagina.

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.

6. One chance, respect it.

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.
via: tenor

7. The doctor is in.

-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 to lower his fever.
-Baby wipes don’t substitute daily baths/showers.
Yes, I am a pediatrician.

8. Teethy

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 pissed at me when your jaw bone atrophies and your denture doesn’t fit anymore.
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9. Know your stuff, y'all.

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, dosage and all on a piece of paper.

10. Some things sneak up on you, that's why routine check ups are important.

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.
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11. The truth is better than the lie.

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.

12. Seriously, don't forget this or deny it.

Your mental health is just as important as your physical health.
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13. The Detox Scams

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

14. Oh, it doesn't actually work "like that."

Not only that, but you typically have years of slowly declining quality of life rather than just dropping dead instantly.
So many people say “I’d rather just live the lifestyle I want, eat/smoke/drink/abuse substances as I please, and die happy.” Except you won’t. You’ll spend your 50s and 60s on dialysis and waiting for a kidney or liver transplant, going to the doctor every other week and taking a dozen different medications. Don’t even think about going on vacation or watching your grandchildren graduate from high school. The last 10 years of your life are going to be horrible.
Before you ruin your life with smoking or alcohol a bad diet, ask yourself how you feel about dying in a nursing home at 67.
via: giphy

15. Wear the helmet on your death machine.

Motorcycles are fucking awesome but they are also death machines.
Don’t ever get on a fucking motorcycle, but if you do anyway, WEAR A FUCKING HELMET.

16. Solid Advice

I think there are a lot of obvious ones, like how lifestyle choices in your 20s impact your health and quality of life in your 40s.
It would 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, 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.
There are certain common conditions that are underdiagnosed but easily fixed. Even if you have non-specific symptoms, it doesn't hurt to tell your doctor during the next visit. About 5% of US adults have an iron deficiency which can cause loss of concentration and fatigue, and a huge amount are vitamin D deficient. When I am able to complete a systems review (ask screening questions about every different body system) I end up discovering a lot of irritable bowel syndrome, hypothyroidism, insomnia, joint pain, headaches, etc that impact quality of life. But people don't bring it up because they don't want to be a bother, or think the symptoms are too vague. It's not a bother, and often (but not always) these conditions have simple treatments which can really improve how you feel.
via: slate