Staying Informed About Health Issues
It’s safe to say you’ve probably heard some old wives’ tales about health from your grandma. While some of these stories may be funny and far-fetched, others can seem pretty believable, which is why it’s essential to know the difference between the myths and facts.
Whether you were scared as a kid that the gum you swallowed would sit in your stomach for seven years (not true), or you feared catching a cold after going outside without a jacket (also not true), we debunked the following health myths to help you lead a longer, healthier life!
Flu Myths to Avoid
While the flu virus can be caught any time of year, typically, fall and winter are the most active months. Here are some myths to avoid so you can stay protected and prevent the flu.
Myth #1 - Getting the Flu Shot Will Cause You to Get the Flu
One of the biggest misconceptions about the flu is that getting the flu vaccine will cause flu illness. This is untrue because the flu shot is made in the following two ways:
- The flu virus is inactivated - this means that the flu virus has been killed and is not infectious.
- A single gene is taken from a flu virus - this is not the full-blown virus.
Having either of the above types of flu shots will cause your immune system to respond without causing an infection. There is also another type of synthetic flu vaccine known as recombinant influenza vaccines. While it may seem unsafe for anyone to get a synthetic vaccine, according to the CDC, this vaccine is safe and approved by the FDA.
While the flu vaccine does not cause you to get the flu, some people may experience the following side effects or mild reactions:
- Low-grade fever
- Muscle aches
- Soreness in the injection area
Myth #2 - It’s Better to Get the Flu Than the Flu Shot
Foregoing the flu shot should not be taken lightly. The flu is a severe disease that can harm your health — and it’s especially dangerous to children and elderly adults as well as anyone who may have serious medical conditions such as asthma, heart disease, or diabetes. Getting the flu shot is a safe way to avoid getting the flu and associated complications that could come with this disease.
Myth #3 - Getting the Flu Shot Once Will Protect You Forever
No. The CDC recommends that anyone over six months of age should get the flu shot yearly. An individual’s immune protection from the flu shot can diminish over time, so having a yearly flu vaccine is necessary to stay protected from the flu.
Common Joint Replacement Fears
Undergoing joint replacement may be one of the best options to get back a better quality of life. If you are considering joint replacement, you may have heard some things that are not entirely true. Not understanding the facts about joint replacement surgery and believing these common myths could deter you from having a necessary joint replacement. Here are some myths you should know about.
Myth #1 - I’m Too Young For Joint Replacement Surgery
There is no age that is either too young or too old for joint replacement surgery. The decision to have joint replacement surgery depends on how much your joint pain is hindering you from doing daily activities or hobbies that you enjoy.
When anti-inflammatory or over-the-counter medications do not help, the problem could persist and get worse over time. After speaking to your orthopedist about your joint health, you can make an informed decision on the best way to handle your joint issue. When fully recovered from joint replacement surgery, you may experience pain relief almost immediately.
Myth #2 -It Takes Weeks After Surgery to Recover
While each patient can heal differently, most can go home in as little as one or two days. After joint replacement surgery, your doctor will tailor a recovery plan that is best for you. Typically, physical therapy will be necessary after surgery and can continue for the next few weeks or months.
Following up with your doctor and keeping open communication with your physical therapist about the progress of your recovery is key to making necessary adjustments as needed to your recovery plan.
Myth #3 - Joint Replacement Only Lasts a Few Years
These days, joint replacement implants are made with more durable materials that can last up to 30 years. If you’re worried about how long your joint replacement will last, talk to your orthopedist to address all of your concerns.
Top Misbeliefs About Heart Health
Keeping your heart healthy is an essential part of longevity. Here are some common myths you should know about:
Myth #1 - Heart Disease Only Affects Older People
While it’s true that the risk of developing heart disease increases with age, how you take care of yourself now can make all the difference. Plaque can start to build starting as early as childhood and adolescence, which leads to clogged arteries. No matter what age, those who are obese or have type 2 diabetes are at risk of cardiovascular disease as well.
Myth #2 - Never Exercise After Having a Heart Attack
Physical activity is key to keeping your heart healthy, and it’s no different even after having a heart attack. Your doctor will guide you on what exercises and activities you can do and how long you should exercise.
Myth #3 - I Don’t Have to Worry About Cholesterol Until I’m Middle-Aged
According to the American Heart Association, everyone should have their cholesterol checked every five years starting at age 20. It may be necessary to have a cholesterol check earlier if you have a family history of heart disease. Children with a family history may be prone to high cholesterol, putting them at risk of heart disease as an adult.
Common Misconceptions About Incontinence
Women have many unique health issues, and urinary incontinence can be a big concern. Understanding the facts can put a woman’s health at risk. Here are some common myths about women’s therapy for urinary incontinence and bladder issues.
Myth #1 - Incontinence Only Affects Older Women
Incontinence can happen at any age. There are many ways a woman can experience incontinence, and the following could play a role:
Myth #2 - Drinking Less Helps to Stops the Bladder From Leaking
Staying hydrated is key to keeping bladder irritation at bay. When you drink less, urine becomes more concentrated, and bladder irritation can make the bladder problem worse.
Myth #3 - Urinary Incontinence is Permanent
There are many women’s therapies that can help symptoms of bladder incontinence subside. With an evaluation and treatment plan, many women and older adults can find relief from this inconvenient ailment.
Contact Kirby Medical Center
At Kirby Medical Center, our doctors undergo extensive training so you can get the valuable treatment you deserve. From the flu vaccine to joint replacement, our goal is to help you get the best care possible. From our oncology clinic to women’s therapy, we have many health services available to you and your family.