Common Health Myths Explored - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

Common Health Myths Explored

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Jenn Fred talked to family doctor Dr. Jen Caudle today about medical myths and facts. Here are some of the key talking points.

First, gum doesn't stay in the stomach for 7 years, but Dr. Jen emphasizes that you shouldn't swallow gum. Gum goes through the system just like any other food, but there have been rare cases where kids who have repeatedly swallowed gum have developed digestive disorders.

Second, sweating out toxins is mostly a myth, according to Dr. Jen. Sweat is the body's way to cool off. Sweat might get rid of some toxins, but the main way is through our kidney and liver, says Dr. Jen.

Third, people don't have to have a bowel movement every day. Every person is different. Some people have multiple movements per day, while others have one every other day. The definition of constipation, according to Dr. Jen, is if you don't go at least three times a week. So if your bowel movements are fewer than that, then you might want to visit a doctor.

Fourth, toothpaste does not help a small burn. Dr. Jen advised us to be careful with burns because we don't want them to be infected. Toothpaste could also lead to an additional burn, because most types of toothpaste are abrasive. "See your doctor, make sure you're using the right stuff," said Dr. Jen.

Fifth, drinking cold water does burn more calories. Everything has to work a little extra when you drink cold water, Dr. Jen explains. However, the number of calories burned is negligible, so Dr. Jen recommends exercise as the best way.

Sixth, eating at night does not make you fat. Most people who are eating at night are probably snacking on unhealthy foods. Therefore, the time of the day does not change the fact that a calorie is a calorie, explains Dr. Jen.

Seventh, going to bed with wet hair will not cause a cold. The cold virus is caused by a virus. Things that cause a cold are things that get you exposed to the virus.

Eighth, milk products do not create mucus in the body.

Ninth, stay hydrated when you have a fever. Don't starve a fever. Stay nutritionally appropriate when you have a cold or a fever.

Finally, Dr. Jen recommends washing your hands with soapy water for at least 20 seconds. That's singing happy birthday twice.

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