Have you ever heard something that appeared to be just too good to be true, however, at the same time it was oddly believable? Have you stopped to reconsider advice that you have been given, questioning whether the ‘facts’ really are as truthful as they have been portrayed?
Each and every day Americans across the country are being introduced to a number of common myths about health care, survival and life as a whole, however many of these myths are not only inaccurate but potentially dangerous!
Don’t rely on the experiences of your favorite TV character, or your favorite survival movie to teach you the ins and outs of how to handle a severe situation. Furthermore, don’t take medical advice as fact from anyone but a medical professional! Question what you read, research the information you are provided and take the time to educate yourself on everything and anything. Doing so may just save your life or the life of someone close to you!
Here are 9 common myths that are not only inaccurate, but they may actually cause you harm:
#1 – Don’t Overload on Water
The idea that we need to drink enough water to be healthy has been drilled into our heads, with most of us buying into the ‘8 glass of water every day’ rule. However, contrary to popular belief there is such thing as drinking TOO MUCH water. That’s right, you can actually risk your health by overloading on water. Known as water intoxication, it can cause the cells in your body to swell leading to serious damage. If it impacts the cells in your brain it can cause seizures, coma or even death! So if you are meticulously tracking your water consumption, you might want to take this into consideration!
#2 – Don’t Suck Venom from a Wound with Your Mouth
The idea of being bit by something venomous, like a snake, is incredibly frightening, to say the least, however, with the modern medicine available to us you can rest assured that there is likely an anti-venom easily accessible if you seek medical assistance right away. While the idea of having someone suck the venom from the bite, spitting it elsewhere as they do in the movies may SEEM like a good idea, don’t go running in search of the first person you see… The action of sucking the venom out will actually open the wound back up causing pain. When we are in pain, our heart rate rises which will result in the exact opposite of what you are looking to do. Your increased heart rate will pump the blood throughout the body faster, causing you to absorb even more of the venom into your bloodstream. Skip the time trying to remove the venom yourself and focus on getting to the nearest hospital instead.
#3 – Don’t Rely on Just Any Cactus for Hydration in the Desert
For those that have spent time around desert areas, or planned trips to visit one, the myth that is often shared is that if you are dying of thirst, all you have to do is find a cactus and the fluid that it holds will save you. The problem with this theory is that most cacti are actually poisonous! Sure, you may be introducing a fluid into your body, but unless you know which cactus are safe to drink from you may be making yourself sick, causing you to throw up the liquid you have ingested, along with other hydration within the body, leaving you more dehydrated than you were, to begin with. Unless you know what you are doing, don’t go drinking from just any cactus you come across.
#4 – Avoid the Newest Trend – ‘Raw Water’
Alright, we have seen some pretty crazy trends roll through so it’s no surprise that this one is missing the mark like many that have come before it, BUT…. In case you haven’t heard, you can now purchase bottles of ‘raw water’ at approximately $37 per bottle. Arguing that they are sparing you from the chemicals used to treat water, the manufacturers are feeding off the push to move into a more natural way of living, however, experts are saying that this isn’t the place to cut back on modern science. Our ability to filter, sterilize and treat the water that we are drinking helps to prevent a whole lost of microbes from entering our bodies, saving us from infections and diseases. Drinking ‘raw water’ is a gamble with your health that isn’t worth taking.
#5 – Don’t Pee on a Jellyfish Sting
An incredibly popular myth that has been featured in a number of different television shows and Hollywood blockbusters, we have been led to believe that peeing on a jellyfish sting will reduce the burning feeling and clean the sting to avoid further complications. Experts warn, however, that there actually is no evidence that this will do anything except embarrass you and those that are with you. In fact, if you have a lot of sodium in your urine, it may actually make it worse! The only real cure will come from seeing a medical professional.
#6 – Avoid Placing Someone with Hypothermia in a Hot Tub
It may seem to make sense if someone is suffering from hypothermia you need to warm them up as soon as possible right? Wrong! If someone is suffering from a severe case of hypothermia and they are warmed up too quickly, this can cause serious health complications including sending their body into shock or causing an abnormal heartbeat. Instead, the person needs to be slowly warmed up under the careful attention of a medical professional. If someone you know is suffering from hypothermia, seek medical attention immediately.
#7 – Don’t Drink Your Own Urine
Ok, this one may sound disturbing, disgusting and like it’s merely common sense, however, the idea of drinking your own urine during survival situations has come up in many books, movies, and television shows. Experts warn against this, suggesting you leave the idea to the movies and stories. Why? First, contrary to popular belief urine isn’t sterile. This means that by drinking it you are introducing a whole host of bacteria into the early stages of your digestive tract where they are not supposed to be, making yourself sick. Secondly, drinking urine doesn’t actually prevent dehydration. Instead, experts say it can actually speed up the process, completely counterproductive.
#8 – Don’t Try to Cauterize A Wound at Home
Another favorite from the world of Hollywood, how many movies have we watched that feature the hero, injured and bleeding out, cauterizing their own wound in the field ultimately saving their life. Ok, I cave, this one does actually work as far as stopping the bleeding by creating a clot. However, it’s not quite that easy you consider your overall odds to walk away healthy and happy. Self cauterization opens the wound up to the possibility of infection, and not just a little one! When you weigh the pros and cons, you are better off waiting to see a doctor unless, of course, you are knocking on heaven’s door!
#9 – Avoid Taking Dietary Supplements (There Are a Few Exceptions)
As a society, we are always on the search for the quickest, easiest and foolproof way of reaching any goal, and our nutrition is no exception. This need for instant results has fueled the dietary supplement industry, leading us to believe that we can improve our health and counteract any negative impact that our dietary choices create through taking a simple pill. Viewing these pills as a ‘one size fits all’ solution, we overlook the fact that they can actually have a significant impact on our body, and not always in a good way. In fact, approximately 23,000 emergency hospital visits each year in the United States can be attributed to the negative effects of taking supplements. On top of the risks, experts are saying that they are largely ineffective, as our bodies aren’t prepared to absorb the nutrients at this level, in this form. Unless they have been prescribed by medical or nutritional professional, don’t waste your time or money. If you are looking to boost a specific vitamin, do so through food sources.