Doctors debunk 12 myths about sunscreen, sunburns, and tanning

Following is a transcript of the video.

Michelle Henry: “Getting a base tan will protect you from a sunburn later on.”

You know, a tan is temporary, but your skin never forgets.

“I’m covered — I applied sunscreen on my face, arms, and legs.”

Jeremy Brauer: You’re not covered.

“Getting sunburned once is harmless.”

All it takes is one blistering sunburn. One.

Hi, my name is Jeremy Brauer. I am a board-certified dermatologist and a fellowship-trained Mohs surgeon. I have a new practice in Westchester, New York, called Spectrum Skin and Laser as well as practicing in Manhattan for about a decade.

Henry: Hi, I’m Dr. Michelle Henry. I’m a board-certified dermatologist and skin-cancer surgeon. I have a practice called Skin & Aesthetic Surgery of Manhattan. I specialize in high-risk skin cancers, lasers, aesthetics, and general dermatology, and today we’ll be debunking myths about sun care.

“A higher SPF is always better.”

Brauer: So, that, I would have to say, is a myth. SPF is great when we think about UVB, or ultraviolet B, rays, but we also have to worry about our ultraviolet A rays, which also cause sun damage and skin cancer. So in that regard, you’re looking more for a broad-spectrum, UVA/UVB-protective sunscreen. The other part of this that makes it a myth is higher is not always better. Yes, 30 is better than 15, 50 is better than 30, but at some point, roughly around 50, you’re already at 98% blocking of your UVB rays.

Henry: And SPF 100 only takes you 1% more, to 99%, and is that really significant? Likely not. What’s most important to me is that you’re wearing 50 when you’re outdoors, but you also want to make sure you’re wearing sunglasses, utilizing shade structures, you’re wearing a hat, you’re paying attention to your skin.

Brauer: “You can have a ‘healthy tan.'”

Henry: Absolutely not. So, this is complete fake news. We know that UV light is a known carcinogen, so there really is zero safe dose of UV light.

Brauer: I would agree. Healthy and tan do not go together, by definition. When your skin is tanned, it’s damaged. And when you have damaged skin, you increase your risk of skin cancer. We know that approximately 90% of all skin cancers are directly related to exposure to ultraviolet A and B rays, and guess what? Those are what causes a skin to tan.

Henry: Exactly. You know, a tan is essentially just your skin’s stress response. So your skin is distressed when it’s tan. If you want tan skin, A, understand that your skin is OK and beautiful the way it is. But if you for the summer want to look a little bit tanner and you want to do that in a safe way, there are many companies that provide very safe sunless tanning creams, lotions, and sprays that can give you the look that you want but also keep you safe. And that is my singular recommendation for being tan.

“Getting a base tan will protect you from a sunburn later on.”

The tanning salons will tell you that if you get a base tan before you go out into the sun, it’s going to protect you. So, a base tan probably gives you about an SPF of 3. So if you burn in 20 minutes, now you’re going to burn in 60 minutes. That’s nothing. It doesn’t really help you significantly. But what it has done is increase your risk for skin cancer, increase your risk for accelerated aging. And, you know, a tan is temporary, but your skin never forgets. So what I tell my patients is that skin cancer is like the straw that broke the camel’s back. You never know when you’re getting that one last exposure that is now going to tip your skin cells over into being cancerous. So there really is zero safe level of UV.

Brauer: “You can’t get sunburned in the shade.”

Henry: Incorrect. So, you can absolutely get sunburned in the shade.

Brauer: Are you skiing? Are you at the beach? Is there sand? Are you sitting right next to an aluminum garbage can?

Henry: No matter where you are, the sun can reflect off of the concrete, the sand, the snow especially. With snow, about 80% of the sun’s rays actually reflect. So you’re actually still at risk and still quite vulnerable, even if you’re under a shade structure.

“You only need sunscreen if you’re going outside.”

Brauer: That is definitely a myth. We know for sure that whether you’re indoors sitting by a window or if you’re in a car driving, you are going to get exposure to ultraviolet light. Primarily it’s ultraviolet A, but as we’ve been talking about, ultraviolet A is just as dangerous as ultraviolet B. And even then, while these windows do protect you against most of ultraviolet B, it’s not all of ultraviolet B.

Henry: Curtains aren’t perfect, because, you know, clouds aren’t even perfect, right? So UVA makes its way completely through the clouds. So curtains alone won’t do it. You know, sunscreen alone won’t do it. It is a comprehensive plan to keep your skin safe.

“I’m covered — I applied sunscreen on my face, arms, and legs.”

Brauer: You’re not covered. We also think about arms, but what about the backs of your hands? And if you’re outside wearing flip-flops or open-toed shoes, sandals, the tops of your feet as well need to be protected with sunscreen.

Henry: The lips. That’s an area that’s really high risk for skin cancer, and as skin-cancer surgeons, we know that’s one of the areas where skin cancers can metastasize. Another area: the part. When men lose their protective covering on the scalp, you want to make sure that you’re protecting those areas. The chest, behind the legs, underneath the chin. I treat skin cancers underneath the chin all the time. So even if you’re just out on a patio having lunch with a friend, that light is getting reflected. So don’t forget underneath the chin as well.

Brauer: “Getting sunburned once is harmless.”

Henry: No. This is absolutely incorrect.

Brauer: All it takes is one blistering sunburn in your lifetime to increase your risk of skin cancer. One. Henry:

Henry: Those young formative years, not only are they psychologically important, but they’re clinically important to keeping you safe. We know that five sunburns before the age of 18 can double your risk for melanoma. So it’s really important that you’re protecting your skin early.

Brauer: I would say the best way to stay away from us is actually coming to see us.

Henry: Oh, yes, I like it!

Brauer: Everyone, as you said, everyone is incurring sun damage. Everyone should have a skin check by a board-certified dermatologist. And the idea is not just for the dermatologist to take a look at your skin, but also have a conversation with you about what your skin looks like and how you can prevent future sun damage, prevent development of skin cancer, what sunscreens might be appropriate for you.

Henry: Once you’ve had one skin cancer, you’re at an increased risk of having another one in the next year. And so it’s just, once you’ve accumulated that damage, you continue to have them, and you continue to have them. And so it’s really important that you take every sun exposure seriously, because you never know when you’re near your tipping point.

Brauer: And so, yes, what has happened has happened, but it doesn’t mean that it’s too late, and we absolutely can do things for you to help minimize the risk of development of skin cancer in the future.

Henry: “The sun is strongest when it’s hottest.”

Brauer: This is not necessarily true. The heat that you feel over the course of the day is actually cumulative, so for most of us, we actually feel the hottest a little later in the day, usually about 3 o’clock. So if you’re out at 10, 11 o’clock and you don’t feel it’s all that hot outside, guess what? That’s when the UV is actually strongest. There are certain times of the day where the sun is at the highest in the sky. And at that period of time, we believe that the ultraviolet light that we’ve talked about, UVA/UVB, is at its strongest and most damaging. In general, we talk about 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. It can vary slightly, maybe 11 to 4, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that’s when it’s hottest during the day.

Henry: A little trick that I often use is the shadow trick. If your shadow is shorter than you, the sun is higher in the sky. If your shadow is a little bit longer or taller than you, so in the late morning or the late afternoon, then the sun is likely not at its peak.

Brauer: The other thing to think about is on a cool day, on a cloudy day, even on a winter day high up in the mountains, when you’re skiing, you’re getting ultraviolet damage occurring.

“People with darker skin don’t need sunscreen.”

Henry: So, everyone needs sunscreen. It does not matter your skin type. So we know that melanin is protective, but melanin is not perfect. So even the deepest, darkest skin ranges from an SPF, let’s say, 4 to SPF 13. And what do we recommend? SPF 30 and above. So even dark skin is not 100% protective. We know that we see skin cancers in darker skin types. What’s also important is that in darker skin types there’s often a lower index of suspicion, so we find them later. And because of this, the outcomes can be quite worse. So in darker skin types, we see that the five-year survival for melanoma is about 65%. In lighter skin types, it’s about 90%. And part of that is because of that lower index of suspicion. The thing about skin of color is that redness looks different, sun damage looks different, but it’s still there. Skin cancers look different. So some of the most common skin cancers, like basal cell skin cancers, which we classically describe as a pearly pink papule, in a darker-skin patient might look brown. It might, instead, it’s a pearly brown papule. And so, you know, it’s not that it doesn’t happen. It’s about being trained in a way to read those changes, because they’re there, they’re present, and it’s critical to find them.

Brauer: “All sunscreen works the same.”

Henry: Fortunately, they do not, because variety is really important, because different skin types have different needs. And so the two broad categories of sunscreens are your physical sunscreens and then your chemical sunscreens. So, chemical sunscreens work by bonding with your skin, and they convert UV light to heat. Physical sunscreens lay on top of the skin, and they reflect UV light.

Brauer: When we’re talking about physical sunscreens or physical blockers, those are the mineral sunscreens. In general, we think of titanium dioxide and zinc oxide as the two prominent ingredients found in those sunscreens.

Henry: If someone has really sensitive skin, they may not want to use a chemical sunscreen, not only because of the chemicals, but because of that release of heat.

Brauer: In the news, very recently, there’s a lot of talk about contaminants, such as benzene, as well as the concern about whether or not, yes, are we getting that SPF protection? Are we getting that sun protection that the label is claiming that we do? We definitely need stronger regulation by the FDA. We need more consistency and standardization in the industry, but that being said, applying your sunscreen and using your sunscreen as directed is definitely better than not using it at all.

Henry: Absolutely. The best sunscreen for you is a sunscreen that you will use. It’s a wonderful thing that we have different variations. Creams for those who may have drier skin and enjoy that feeling of a richer cream. Lotions for those who don’t. Gels for those who may have oilier, acne-prone skin. Powders for those who want to reapply on their makeup. Sprays for those who are looking to catch their kids running away on the beach.

Brauer: But don’t inhale.

Henry: But don’t inhale. But don’t inhale.

Brauer: The important point to make is there is no waterproof sunscreen. So while it’s great that if you feel like you’re either going swimming or you’re going to be sweating or very active, you want to use a water-resistant sunscreen, I think it’s just as important that you realize once you get out of that pool or once you’re ready to towel off after a lot of sweating, you reapply.

“You don’t need sunscreen if your makeup has SPF.”

Henry: No. And this is a common question I get in the office. Frankly, we don’t apply our foundation the same way that we apply our sunscreen. Our sunscreen is a much more even application. If you’re applying, let’s say, eye shadow with SPF, most of us aren’t applying a thick sheet of eye shadow over our eyelid, and so there are going to be areas of vulnerability.

Brauer: And as we’ve spoken about before, it’s not just about that SPF number. You want to make sure that it’s UVA protective too. And that’s going to be found in your sunscreen, most likely not in your moisturizer. For physical blockers, I usually tell people that will go on last. But the chemical sunscreens, you maybe want to put that on prior to any other makeup that you’ll be using.

Henry: A big problem that happens is that we’ve become these mad scientists and these chemists that we’re not. And so when you start mixing formulations and you don’t understand how to formulate, frankly what you’re doing is you’re diluting your sunscreen. And so if you’re mixing your SPF with your moisturizer, now you have less protection. And we don’t even know how these formulations work together. Maybe it’s less than half. It’s just far too risky.

“You won’t get enough vitamin D if you use sunscreen.”

There are more than enough ways to get vitamin D that don’t cause skin cancer. So, I recommend supplementation, or, you know, dairy products also have vitamin D. So there are many ways you can get adequate vitamin D that’s not a carcinogen.

Brauer: And if what Michelle said is not enough, sunscreen, sunblock is not perfect. So you’re still getting sun exposure even when you apply sun protection perfectly. So it’s not as though you’re completely blocking the sun and you’re not making any vitamin D. You are making vitamin D. You do not need much sunlight to make vitamin D. So, if I had to say three things to leave you with, start young, reapply — it’s not just about that first application first thing in the morning — and it’s not just about sunscreen. We’ve talked about all the other things that are involved in a comprehensive plan for skin care and sun protection.

Henry: We’re excited about going outdoors. Our beaches are going to be busy. We want to make sure that while we’re having fun, we’re still being responsible. So sunscreen to me is an evergreen topic. We should talk about it year-round, but it’s particularly important right now.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Yoga experts debunk 12 yoga myths

  • Two yoga teachers debunk 12 myths about yoga. They explain ways pregnant people can safely practice.
  • They also debunk the idea that yoga is a religion and isn’t a way to convert people to Hinduism.
  • They even mention how you don’t have to be flexible to do yoga. It’s something everyone can do.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Following is a transcript of the video.

Tejal Patel: “You shouldn’t do yoga if you’re pregnant.”

Jesal Parikh: Ugh. Really?

Parikh: “Yoga is a religion.”

Parikh: Ooh, this is a controversial one.

Patel: “You have to be flexible to do yoga.”

Patel: Eh. Can we just, like, rip that up, throw it away, and never remember that was ever said, ever again?

Patel: My name is Tejal Patel. My pronouns are she, her, and hers. I am a yoga teacher, I’m a community organizer, and I’m a podcaster. I started learning about yoga my whole life, and I’ve been teaching for about seven or eight years.

Parikh: Hi, my name is Jesal Parikh. My pronouns are she, her, and hers, and I’m a yoga teacher, a podcaster, and an industry disruptor. I’ve been doing yoga since I was a kid, but I started teaching about 10 years ago.

Patel: Yoga is an ancient living tradition, and it’s also a spiritual practice.

Parikh: But it’s become a fitness program and a fad.

Patel: We’re trying to change that by dispelling some myths about what people think is yoga and what yoga really is.

Parikh: “Yoga is just exercise.”

This is the biggest myth of them all, I think, for sure. This is the change that’s come with time and translation over to the Western hemisphere. It’s definitely not just an exercise, it’s a spiritual practice with ancient traditions. It’s an eight-limb path.

Patel: Yoga can include breath work. It can include learning how to meditate. It can include being better towards yourself, being better towards others. There’s so many things that yoga practice can teach us that calling it “just exercise” is a huge disservice to the actual practice, the culture it came from, and to you as a person practicing yoga.

Parikh: “This pose is Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward-Facing Dog).”

Patel: So, many people know this pose translated to be Downward-Facing Dog Pose, but you can also translate this pose to be Mountain Pose. You can explore so many different lineages in yoga. And when you do that, you’ll find that different poses or poses that look the same have different names depending on the lineage. And that’s kind of the beauty of yoga.

Patel: “You should try to keep your back straight.”

Parikh: I see this cue given all the time in Seated Forward Fold, so Paschimottanasana. I see it given in Uttanasana, Standing Forward Fold. I also sometimes hear it in Downward-Facing Dog as well. Unless you have an acute back injury that prevents you from rounding your back, I would say try it both ways. Try it with a straight spine and a rounded back, because both skills are valuable. The straight spine is often equated to the hip hinge, which a lot of people don’t necessarily understand how to do in their body. It allows you to use some of your inner core muscles to stabilize, and that’s a good thing, but it’s also a really good thing to learn how to use flexion in your spine and also start to load that over time so that when you do bend over to pick up your groceries and your back is rounded, you don’t throw out your back. The only unsafe movement or alignment for your body is the one you’re not prepared for.

Patel: “Your shin should be parallel to the mat in Kapotasana (Pigeon Pose).”

You can take this pose in any variation, in any way that feels OK for you. When I cue this pose, I offer as many props as possible, and you know what? You don’t have to lay forward in this pose. You don’t have to turn, you don’t have to backbend. You can do what feels right to you.

Parikh: What is this pose supposed to accomplish? For some people, that might mean finding some flexibility in their hips, and for others, it’s more of a spiritual, deeper practice, in which case it doesn’t really matter what the pose looks like.

Parikh: “You should twist as far as you can in Parivrtta Utkatasana (Revolved Chair Pose).”

You’re not gonna reach nirvana just by twisting as far as you can. This pose, in the way that it’s cued, going into the twist as much as you can is definitely not going to be appropriate for people who are experiencing SI joint pain or for pregnant women, but for everyone else, it’s OK. It’s just a matter of, you know, what’s their history with their spine?

Patel: This is a really complex pose. Asking someone to do a more complex pose that has a lot of different actions to it, for the hips, for the spine, stabilizing in the legs, you’re going to want to know what those students are working with. And generally in flow classes, you don’t get all that information before you start. So what I would say to teachers is to be cautious about how you cue this pose, give all the options you can, give everyone the out if they need it, and also create some space for people to come in and out of this shape if they need it.

“When your legs are straight (in a pose), your knees should be locked.”

Parikh: You can lock your knees. It’s more muscularly engaging to not lock your knees and to keep them a little bit bent, but for those people who lack strength, maybe, in a pose and need to rely a little bit more on their joint position, locking the knees can really make the pose a little bit easier for them.

Patel: I hear this cue given a lot when people are being asked to forward fold. And I would say in that pose in particular, definitely micro bend or just go ahead and really bend your knees.

Parikh: It’s just a better idea to start with bent knee and then see how it feels if you want to move towards a straighter leg.

“You should keep your knees stacked over your ankles.”

Parikh: Ah! I loathe this cue so much! It’s one that’s given for “safety reasons,” which, there’s a really backward logic to this.

Patel: I find it puts people back into the mindset of doing something perfectly or poorly, with nothing in between, and when, really, everything in between is where you want to be, in the exploration of it. Some poses you hear this cue used a little bit too often, in my opinion, are any of the standing poses, like Warrior II, Side Angle Pose, revolved variations of any of those poses. I think we can definitely move into more exploration within these poses and in more mobility and more testing things out, because that’s what we do in real life anyway. Like, when we walk up the stairs, we’re not conscious of keeping our knee stacked over the ankle, are we?

Parikh: Yeah, and if we look at pictures of other yoga masters doing this pose, their knee goes way past the ankle, so I don’t know where this cue came from or why, but it’s just wiggled its way into the yoga industry.

Patel: “You shouldn’t do yoga if you’re pregnant.”

Parikh: There’s a whole genre called prenatal yoga filled with great low-impact asana, poses, that you can do if you’re pregnant.

Patel: I think this myth might be around because in certain elements of a yoga practice, you can hold your breath for some of the breath work, or pranayama, practices, and in prenatal, it’s kind of advised not to hold your breath.

Parikh: So, poses to avoid might be deep spinal twists, laying flat on your back, inversions, any breath retention that is vigorous or too aggressive.

Patel: Poses that might feel really nice could be Cat and Cow, in the way that your spine can move. It could be a wide-legged forward fold. Also supporting yourself with a wall, supporting yourself with props in poses, squatting, because that helps you prepare for labor and delivery. Also being in Tabletop and just circling and swaying your hips. Loud breathing, exhalations and sighs. You can, if you want to, ask someone in the medical field whether starting a yoga practice during your pregnancy is a good idea. Maybe some things you haven’t tried before in your yoga practice you might not want to implement while you’re pregnant.

Patel: “You have to be flexible to do yoga.” Eh. Can we just, like, rip that up, throw it away, never remember that?

Parikh: This myth comes from the idea that yoga is just a bunch of poses and that it’s just a fitness practice, when the reality is you can do yoga every day without doing a single pose ever.

Patel: It’s also assuming that you did some prep work to start your yoga practice. Yoga is the entry point. And I think it just prevents people from thinking that yoga is for them, when the reality is yoga is for everybody. You can start at any point, at any age, and you can keep going, no matter what your flexibility level is.

Patel: “Sukhasana, aka The Easy Pose, is easy.”

Parikh: Definitely not an easy pose, definitely misnamed pose, I think in many people’s opinions.

Patel: People use their bodies really differently. They might be sitting on the floor to eat, they might be squatting to sweep, and, culturally, we just don’t do that as much. So I recommend a lot of support and a lot of preparation before attempting this pose.

Parikh: “The more advanced the pose, the better it is for you.”

Patel: You might see on Instagram, all over the place, “handstand yogis,” quote, unquote. All they’re doing is very strong, muscularly focused posturing. If that’s your cup of tea, great. But it doesn’t make you a more advanced yogi. Sorry to burst the bubble on that.

Parikh: The most advanced yoga pose is sitting quietly and meditating. So if you can manage to block out your thoughts and focus inward and just breathe and sit without anything going through your mind, that, I think, is like, all hail to you if you can do that.

Parikh: “Yoga is a religion.” Ooh, this is a controversial one, with lots of opinions out there. Yoga itself is not a religion, but it is a spiritual practice.

Patel: Everyone wants to know if yoga is Hindu or not. And the answer is yes and no.

Parikh: Hinduism and yoga are both rooted in the Vedas. And so the relationship between the two is that they both have a Vedic lineage.

Patel: And, yes, modern-day Hinduism includes yoga, but modern-day Hinduism is also very different from Vedic Hinduism. It has evolved. And so has yoga. Yoga exists both within Hinduism and outside of it. Basically, it’s both Hindu and non-Hindu.

Parikh: So if you’re not choosing to be Hindu, you can still respect the culture from where this comes from, which is the Vedic culture, which is the Indian culture.

Patel: Just because you’re chanting “om” or sitting in a cross-legged seated position, that doesn’t make you Hindu. I think to be a good yoga teacher, there has to be relationship building with the community that you’re giving the yoga practices to. And I also think to be a good yoga teacher, you have to remember that yoga is a rich cultural tradition and a spiritual practice. Learning about the practices that come from South Asia can look like taking classes with teachers who are South Asian. It can look like starting to diversify your yoga bookshelf by seeking out authors that have South Asian heritage or backgrounds. It could start to look like thinking about the music you might play. If you play music as a teacher in your yoga classes, can you start to diversify your playlist? We have a lot of options, and we’d love for you to take us up on the workshop to learn more.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Gastroenterologists debunk 12 myths about indigestion and gut health

Following is a transcript of the video.

Austin Chiang: “Your stomach shrinks if you eat less.” Is that true?

Fola May: Myth!

May: “Jumping or exercising after eating will give you an appendicitis.”

Chiang: What? I have never heard of this. I’m tossing that one out.

Chiang: Ooh. So, “You need to wait 30 minutes to swim after eating.”

May: I caught myself almost saying it to my own children the other day, and then broke out into laughter, because it’s an absolute myth.

Chiang: Hi, I’m Austin Chiang. I’m an assistant professor of medicine at Jefferson Health in Philadelphia, and I’ve been practicing as a gastroenterologist since 2017.

May: My name is Fola May. I’m an assistant professor of medicine at UCLA Health. I’m a general gastroenterologist and have been practicing gastroenterology for the last six years. I love this field because it allows us to optimize people’s digestive health, and we get to prevent important cancers like colorectal cancer.

Chiang: And today we’ll be debunking myths about indigestion.

Chiang: “It takes years to digest gum.”

May: This is an absolute myth. And I remember this as a child, hearing that it takes seven years to digest your gum. The reality is that everything you eat, going in one end, is going to come out the other. The slight truth of the myth is that gum is insoluble. So we don’t have the enzymes to break down gum like we do other foods. But it doesn’t stay in your stomach for seven years. Just like everything else you eat, it gets emptied from the stomach usually within 30 and 90 minutes, and it comes out in your stool.

Chiang: “Smelly farts always means something is wrong.” I don’t know, Fola. Is there such a thing as a good-smelling fart?

May: I get this one a lot from my patients. So, everyone thinks that if your farts smell really bad, then there must be something wrong with the digestive tract. And it’s not true! Some of the most healthy foods that we eat, like fiber, broccoli, asparagus, cause the smelliest farts. I will say, though, that it is important to pay attention to whether there are other symptoms, particularly people who have lactose intolerance, which means that they don’t have the enzymes to digest milk products. And if you’ve noticed smelly farts over and over again after eating milk products or after having products like gluten frequently, then it’s probably worth looking into whether you have a food intolerance or a food allergy. The other symptoms to keep an eye out for are severe abdominal pain with your smelly farts, loose stools or diarrhea, fevers. This can indicate an abdominal infection.

Chiang: “You should be pooping every day.”

May: So, this is another unfortunate misconception that human beings have. It can be normal to have a bowel movement up to three times a day, and there are actually people who are normal who have bowel movements every three days, and anywhere in there in between can be normal. What I typically will tell my patients is that the most concerning thing is if you are having infrequent stools that are causing constipation-like symptoms. Straining a lot when they’re on the toilet bowl, have developed blood in their stools when they have a bowel movement. And that’s generally when we would prescribe a medication to help you have more frequent, yet gentle bowel movements.

Chiang: The reason why it’s important to sometimes get this checked out by a professional is because there are a lot of different causes for infrequent stools and constipations.

May: And then there’s the other end of the spectrum. Some people have what we call inflammatory bowel diseases. These are conditions that cause frequent stools but also blood in the stools, severe abdominal pain, and bloating, weight loss, fatigue, other manifestations throughout the body. And that’s concerning. So I usually like to tell people that it’s not the number of the bowel movements you’re having, it’s whether or not there are any of these concerning symptoms.

May: Myth or fact? “Only spicy foods cause ulcers.”

Chiang: If this were true, I’d be very sad, because I love spicy food and I eat spicy food all the time. Spicy food does not cause ulcers, but that doesn’t mean that spicy food doesn’t cause pain. What does cause ulcers can be a bacteria called H. pylori that can live under the surface of the lining of the stomach. And this can cause ulcers, as well as certain medications, like NSAIDs, which are basically those over-the-counter pain medications like Motrin, Advil. We want to be careful when we’re taking medications like that.

Stress typically does not cause ulcers, although it may make existing ulcers worse. There are certain conditions that are called stress ulcers, but this really applies to people who are very, very sick, like, hospitalized sick, and not the typical type of stress that we think of when we’re stressed out.

May: I think that is a common myth though, Austin, right? I mean, you hear people say all the time, “I’m so stressed I’m going to get an ulcer.” When I was younger, I would just listen to that statement. And now I kind of want to interrupt and say, “No, actually, that’s not how it works.”

Chiang: Exactly. But it doesn’t mean that stress doesn’t trigger, like, belly pain, because, you know, stress can certainly exacerbate and worsen those types of symptoms.

May: Absolutely. Absolutely.

Chiang: But yeah, in and of itself, it’s not going to cause an ulcer to just form out of nowhere.

May: Thank goodness, right?

Chiang: Yeah. We’d be seeing a lot more ulcers then.

Chiang: “Your stomach shrinks if you eat less.” Is that true?

May: Myth! This is part of what people think they can do to control their weight. There’s this misconception that if you eat less, your stomach will become smaller and then you won’t need as much food to survive and live your daily life. Unfortunately, it is very false. The size of the adult stomach stays approximately that size your entire life. The stomach is actually a pretty flexible organ, so it does expand when we eat big meals, but then it goes right back to its normal size when the stomach empties itself about 30, 90, 120 minutes later.

Chiang: Naturally, our stomachs won’t shrink, but there are procedures out there where we can actually reduce the volume of the stomach and then help patients lose weight that way. But that requires a procedure.

May: A good analogy is probably a rubber band, right? So a rubber band has a defined size and you can stretch it out if you have a big meal, but it will always go back to that size. And it’s not until you’re really pushing the limits over and over again that it starts to develop those little breaks, get a little bit wobbly and larger, but generally it has its innate size.

May: “Jumping or exercising after eating will give you appendicitis.”

Chiang: What? I have never heard of this. I’m tossing that one out. I have my handy-dandy plushy here. The appendix is this pocket that comes off of the beginning of the colon. Sometimes it can get inflamed or blocked off, and that’s called appendicitis. But exercising or jumping around after eating, no. We would be seeing people dropping like flies at the gym if that were the case.

May: First of all, that thing is really cute. And second of all, I agree completely. Can you imagine all the athletes that would be developing appendicitis?

Chiang: Most of the time it just comes about. There’s nothing that sort of leads up to it, it just suddenly happens.

May: And, luckily, appendicitis is something that’s very treatable.

Chiang: Ooh. So, “You need to wait 30 minutes to swim after eating.”

May: So, this is the hogwash that every parent has told every child. The reality is after you have a large meal, your body does shunt blood flow to your stomach and your digestive organs to help you digest this meal. And I think what’s happened is that people have then feared that because it’s shunting blood away from your arms and your legs and the large muscles that you need to swim, that if you immediately jump into a pool you won’t be able to swim or use your arms and legs to save yourself. But the reality is your body has enough blood flow to supply both your stomach and your digestive organs and your legs and arms. There are some people that will experience some abdominal cramping if they swim immediately after eating a big meal. And that’s just because the digestive muscles are already busy at work and you’re stressing them more by putting them under the exertion of being in a swimming pool. But I don’t think we need to worry about drowning risk here.

May: “Probiotics will fix your gut.”

Chiang: We wouldn’t have jobs if probiotics cured everything about the gut. I think what this statement is trying to get at is that there’s a lot about the gut microbiome, the bacteria that live in our gut, that can potentially impact our health. We simply just don’t know enough about it.

May: There is an actual bacterial environment that lives in your gut. Most of them are not bad bacteria. They’re good, healthy bacteria that you need to have normal bowel movements, to avoid pain and other diseases. But every once in a while, that can get imbalanced. So probiotics became really popular with this concept of resetting your microbiome. But the reality is that the science is so new in this area and there’s really very few conditions where we’ve figured out how to use probiotics the right way.

Chiang: And part of the reason behind this is because there’s very little regulation on probiotics by the FDA, for instance, there’s very little consistency in the formulations. We don’t know what dosage actually works for certain conditions as well. So there’s still a lot that we don’t know about probiotics.

May: I do think that for some people it has an impact, but it’s not a cure-all, and it doesn’t work for everyone.

May: Oh, good one. “‘I got food poisoning from the last thing I ate.'” In reality, it takes hours, right, for your stomach and your small bowel to process each meal. So it’s usually the second-to-last thing you ate. And I think there’s a big misconception about this, because patients will come in and swear that it was the breakfast they ate, and I tend to ask them, “Actually, what’d you have dinner the night before?” Or if they’re saying that they developed their symptoms in the evening, it’s, “What did you have at breakfast?” Because that might be the culprit. How bad is that word, by the way? “Food poisoning”?

Chiang: I know! Who came up with that? ‘Cause it’s not the food itself that’s causing the poisoning, right? The definition of food poisoning, first of all, is very broad. It can involve different types of bacteria, the toxins that they create, it can involve viruses. The key things are to rest and to try and stay hydrated. You want to start with one or two bland items and small bites of that to see if you tolerate it, and then in a few hours, maybe a few more bites. The last thing you want to reincorporate to your diet after a bad bout of food poisoning are lactose products, because the lactate enzymes that line your intestines are some of the last enzymes to come back and to repopulate. So you’re really not prepared to digest lactose-containing foods for a while.

Chiang: What? “Women don’t need regular colonoscopies”?

May: Is that what it says? I’m going to rip this one up. This one is absolutely a myth!

This is your colon. Unfortunately, a reasonable percentage of us will grow what we call polyps in your colon. They look like pimples, but the dangerous thing is that a small percentage of them, over years and years and years, can develop into colon or rectal cancer. Because unfortunately there’s been this myth that colorectal cancer only occurs in men. It’s important for women to know that colorectal cancer occurs in women as well. It follows just lung and breast cancer in being the most common cancers for women, and unfortunately it’s the third most common cause of cancer-related deaths in women. So all you women out there, get your colonoscopies. Everyone who is average risk for colorectal cancer, meaning that you don’t have a family history and meaning that you don’t have a predisposing condition for colorectal cancer, should start screening at age 45 or 50.

May: “‘I feel really bloated, so it must be IBS.'” To have a diagnosis of irritable bowel syndrome, or IBS, you actually have to meet defined criteria that have to do with your bowel movements and pain. But bloating itself doesn’t necessarily mean that you have irritable bowel syndrome.

Chiang: Bloating is so common. Having some bloating here or there is totally normal. That’s normal fluctuations depending on what we eat. It’s usually related to what we’re putting into our bodies.

May: Fiber, which we know is very helpful and very healthy, can cause increased bloating.

Chiang: There are other conditions that can also cause bloating, including bacterial overgrowth or certain intolerances like lactose intolerance. And, actually, there’s set criteria in how we define what IBS, or irritable bowel syndrome, is, and bloating isn’t technically part of that definition. It more depends on kind of the appearance or the form of the stool, the frequency of the stool, but not necessarily bloating per se.

Chiang: “‘I just know I have a gluten allergy.'” Oh, this is also a very good one, because everybody thinks that they have a gluten allergy, and oftentimes it’s not true. It’s really important to distinguish between celiac disease, which is an autoimmune disease that doesn’t allow you to digest gluten, from non-celiac gluten sensitivity. And those are the two most common things that people are confusing when they talk about gluten allergy.

So let’s talk about celiac disease first. It impacts the lining of your small bowel, and it makes it impossible for you to tolerate or digest gluten. But to have a formal diagnosis with this autoimmune condition, you need to have testing. The other thing we’ve seen recently, though, is that there are many people that don’t have a positive celiac test but still have some symptoms when they have food with gluten. So we don’t want people to be on a celiac diet unless they really have celiac disease. We want people to get the nutrition that their particular body needs to function and process normally. And unfortunately, we have such a problem in this country with inappropriate diets that people are putting themselves at harm.

Chiang: When you’re hearing bold health claims online, double-, triple-check, reach out to your doctors to ask whether or not what you’re reading is true, if there’s any science behind it. Look at the science yourself. Just keep asking questions. And we’re always happy to answer those questions and help out in whichever way we can.

May: The way that I think about it, everyone wants to be able to eat comfortably and to be able to poop. We give people that power to enjoy their food, to feel comfortable without abdominal symptoms, and to go on enjoying their life.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Dermatologists debunk 12 acne myths

  • Dermatologists Dr. Elyse Love and Dr. Joshua Zeichner debunk 12 myths about acne.
  • Myths like greasy food causes breakouts, drinking waterclears skin, and facemapping will fix it.
  • They also talk about all the places on your body that could be affected by acne.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Following is a transcript of the video.

Dr. Elyse Love: “You can’t pop your own pimple.”

Dr. Josh Zeichner: I want you to pop your pimples thinking that you have a hot date in a half an hour.

“Acne breakouts only happen on your face.”

Love: Not true.

“Face mapping can identify the cause of your acne.”

Zeichner: This is not like reading your palm.

Love: Hello, everyone. My name is Dr. Love. I’m a board-certified dermatologist in New York City. I’ve been practicing for about five years, and I specialize in both medical and aesthetic dermatology.

Zeichner: My name is Josh Zeichner. I’m a board-certified dermatologist and an associate professor of dermatology at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City, and I specialize in the treatment of acne, rosacea, and cosmetic dermatology.

Love: And today we will be debunking myths about acne.

“Eating greasy food causes acne.” So, theoretically, if you’re eating very greasy food and then you’re immediately, like, wiping your face with your hands, you can clog your pores. But for most people, if you’re eating your food, you’re washing your hands, you’re having good hygiene, it’s unlikely that the greasiness of the actual food that you’re eating is going to have an effect on your skin.

Zeichner: Instead, it’s the sugary food. We know that foods that have a high glycemic index cause acne breakouts in some people, and it’s thought that raising blood sugar promotes inflammation and drives oil production. So when you go to the restaurant to go buy your milkshake and your burger, it’s not the burger, but rather the bun and the milkshake that are causing the breakouts.

Love: I, in general, tell my patients that by following a general healthy diet, you’re also following a healthy diet for your acne.

“If you drink eight glasses of water a day, you’ll have clear skin.”

Zeichner: Stay well hydrated for your overall health, but it is completely a myth that you need to drink eight glasses of water for hydrated skin, let alone clear skin. There’s no data showing that drinking fewer than eight glasses of water is associated with dry skin or acne breakouts either.

Love: I do think it matters what you eat, what you drink, I think it matters what your exercise routine is, and I think it matters what your topical routine and maybe even your by-mouth routine is, by your dermatologist. All of these things are factors that contribute to our acne, but there’s no kind of magic cure that just drinking water will cure your acne.

Zeichner: The only time I have found that water clears up your acne is when you’re using that water to swallow your prescription acne medication that your dermatologist has given you in the office.

“Acne breakouts only happen on your face.”

Love: Not true. Acne breakouts are definitely more common on the face, but we also know that they can occur on the chest, the shoulder, the back, and that you can even get acne-like breakouts on the scalp.

Zeichner: Acne develops in areas where we have a high concentration of oil glands, also known as sebaceous glands.

Love: The most common reason that I see acne on the body is sweat-related acne. So, for this type of acne, making a habit of changing out of sweaty clothing and maybe even using an acne-fighting bodywash after workouts can really help.

Zeichner: Acne on the body isn’t always actually true acne. I know that everybody talks about “buttne,” or butt acne. Well, guess what? Butt acne usually is not even acne, it’s folliculitis, which is a little infection in the hair follicle. And that happens when your skin barrier is disrupted and bacteria on the skin make its way into the hair follicles. People typically develop red bumps and pus pimples. If you don’t have any big nodules, if you don’t have any blackheads or whiteheads, then you may have folliculitis.

Love: “Face mapping can identify the cause of your acne.”

Zeichner: Everybody loves a good story on the internet saying that, “If you have acne in one particular area, that I can tell you exactly what causes it.” This is not like reading your palm. Unfortunately, there’s no definitive way of mapping the cause of your acne based on where it’s developing. Now, that being said, we know that adult women tend to develop acne along the lower one-third of the face and the jawline. We know that hair-care products are associated with acne breakouts along the hairline, on the upper part of the face, and sometimes if you are using a dirty phone or if you have a chin strap or a face mask, you may be developing acne in areas where those are directly coming in contact with your skin. But other than that, there’s not much science to face mapping.

Love: Acne can be asymmetric. And so I have patients who will have more acne on one side of their face than the other side, and they will drive themselves crazy trying to figure out what specifically is causing the acne, and it’s just how we’re made.

Zeichner: Think of your face as having thousands of pipes connecting your oil glands to the surface of the skin. In patients who have acne, all of those pipes are somewhat clogged. The problem is we can’t predict which one will become clogged enough to form a full pimple. So when we treat acne, we really want to address the entire area that tends to break out to get rid of pimples that we have and to prevent new pimples from popping up.

Love: “If you don’t get acne during puberty, you won’t get it as an adult.”

Zeichner: It’s completely a myth that you’re free from acne if you didn’t have it during puberty. Acne most commonly develops during puberty and in adolescence. And for most people, it goes away. But there’s a subset of patients who actually had clear skin as a teenager, and then sometime around the age of 25 or older start to break out. But it may have to do with changes in hormones, diet, or stress. Many adult women who are developing acne actually have dry skin, which complicates the way that we treat the acne.

Love: Sometimes adult acne, particularly that deeper acne, can be resistant to topical therapies. And that’s when we consider by-mouth options. My preference is, there is a hormonally based medication called spironolactone that is highly effective for adult-onset acne, particularly the hormonal driver for the acne.

Zeichner: “Bad hygiene causes acne.”

Love: There’s no data to support that it’s a hygiene problem that’s causing acne. We know that acne is a really complicated medical disorder with a complicated pathophysiology, not at all related to hygiene. But this also can be a damaging myth because I find that a lot of my acne patients, what they try to do is they try to overcleanse their skin, and, essentially, when you start scrubbing your skin and overcleansing your skin, you increase inflammation at the level of the skin. And at the end of the day, acne is an inflammatory condition.

Zeichner: But, for the most part, the people who are most at risk are people who have oily and acne-prone skin to begin with.

“If someone else’s acne treatment works for them, then it’ll work for me.”

Love: Some people with acne have oily skin, some people with acne have dry skin, some people with acne have sensitive skin. Some people cannot remember to use a topical for the life of them. Some people prefer by-mouth medications. And so there are a multitude of different ways to treat acne, and the one that will work is, one, the medications that are designed to treat the type of acne that you have, but also, two, the medications that will actually fit into your life and your lifestyle.

Zeichner: “Masturbation causes acne.”

Love: I have no idea where this comes from. I, I, I, honestly — no is the answer to it. But I would love to know, Dr. Zeichner, do you know where the origin of this is?

Zeichner: Yeah, I’m not really sure.

Love: Is it because of teenagers get acne?

Zeichner: But I actually would think that masturbating might help clear up your acne.

Love: Stress relief.

Zeichner: Right? But there’s no data to show that masturbating will or will not affect your skin at all.

Love: “You can’t pop your own pimple.”

Zeichner: If you pop your pimple the right way, it’s OK with me. But the problem is most people are not doing that.

Love: Patients often try to pop the super-inflamed pimples, which just sometimes don’t want to be drained. And sometimes the best way to treat those is with actually an anti-inflammatory in-office. And so, don’t try it. It may cause more scarring and may cause more trouble.

Zeichner: If you’re going to pop something, it really needs to be blackheads. No. 1, don’t do it at night. That’s when you’re tired and you’re going to bed. I want you to pop your pimples thinking that you have a hot date in a half an hour and your face needs to look good. Because if you think about it that way, you’re not gonna put too much pressure on your skin. You wanna make sure that the skin is clean and your fingers are clean. And you can take two cotton-tip applicators, like Q-tips, and just apply gentle downward and inward pressure around the pimple. And if you’re trying too hard and they’re not coming out, then leave it alone and abort the mission.

Love: “Putting toothpaste on your pimple will make it go away.”

Zeichner: Toothpaste was formulated with a preservative known as triclosan, and this was an ingredient that helped prevent bacterial contamination. And because it has antimicrobial properties, that’s where, or why toothpaste was originally used to treat pimples. But guess what? As it turns out, triclosan led to a lot of allergies in the skin, so it’s been removed from toothpaste. So the reason that toothpaste was being put on the pimples isn’t even there anymore. And it contains harsh ingredients with an alkaline pH, hydrogen peroxide, baking soda. And all of these things will dry out your pimple, but it’s also gonna dry out your skin in general and cause a whole big mess.

Love: But the reality is that toothpaste was not designed to be used on your face, and there are much more effective acne-fighting ingredients that can be used in the same manner. My personal favorite is benzoyl peroxide as a spot treatment to both dry out the acne, decrease the inflammation, and decrease any microbial or bacterial growth.

Zeichner: “Aspirin will help get rid of breakouts.”

Love: We take aspirin all the time to help treat a fever because it has anti-inflammatory properties. It’s actually made up of an ingredient that’s similar to salicylic acid, which is a really commonly used treatment for acne because it helps remove excess oil and dead cells from the surface of the skin to dry out the pimple. Even though they’re cousins, aspirin does not have those same effects in the skin. Instead of using aspirin, I would recommend actually using salicylic acid as a spot treatment or benzoyl peroxide as a spot treatment. And if you’re looking for something natural, then a cool compress is an easy option.

Zeichner: “Acne always goes away on its own.”

Love: About 85% of people between the ages of 7 to 24 will develop acne to the point where we almost consider it something called physiologic. So, for the majority of those people, their acne will resolve with their teenage years. But there is a large number of people where their acne does not self-resolve.

Zeichner: Even acne that goes away within the teenage years can sometimes leave behind scars that can be permanent. I recommend treating your acne when it gets to a point where it bothers you emotionally or physically, because those emotional or physical scars are permanent and stick with you for the rest of your life. So if you’re suffering from breakouts and you’re trying over-the-counter products and they’re not helping, make sure to visit a board-certified dermatologist like myself or Dr. Love, because that’s what we’re here to do, is help treat your pimples.

Love: Josh, I’m never doing a video with you again. You’re, like, a superpro.

Zeichner: Oh, my God. No, you were awesome! This was great.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Physical therapists debunk 11 popular myths about posture and back pain

Following is a transcript of the video.

Dr. Tom Walters: “If you get your back cracked, you’ll always need it cracked.”

Dr. David Song: Oh, man. I hear this all the time.

“Sitting at a desk all day will give you bad posture.”

Walters: We need to get away from the notion that there’s one good or one bad posture.

Song: “Massages will remove knots in your back.” First of all, the misconception is that you have knots there to begin with.

Walters: Hi, my name’s Dr. Tom Walters. I’m a physical therapist based in Santa Barbara, California, and I specialize in the treatment of patients with general orthopedic pain and injuries.

Song: And I am Dr. David Song, and I am a chiropractor based in Toronto, Ontario, and the patients that I mostly see are weightlifters and other people who are experiencing issues with their daily activities.

Walters: And today we’ll be debunking myths about posture and back pain.

Song: Myths people hear growing up. “Good posture means standing or sitting up straight.”

Walters: So, this is a myth that comes up a lot in the clinic. There’s this really ideal, good posture. Tuck your chin in, pull your shoulders back. The current pain science, injury, rehab evidence just doesn’t support that thinking. There isn’t really a bad posture. If you were going to label a posture as bad, maybe it would just be that posture that you’re in for too long.

Song: And you get anyone to do anything for eight hours, and chances are it’s not going to be comfortable by the end of it. So, slouching in itself is not really the problem. It’s why you’re doing it for so long, or not even that – it’s about not doing anything else, really.

Walters: There’s actually some really interesting research where they actually put people in slouching and show that in the low back it actually improved nutrient and fluid delivery. So we just have to keep moving.

“Stretching will give you good posture.”

Song: Oh, man. I don’t think anyone has ever achieved good posture through stretching. By all means, do it. It’s better than just sitting there doing nothing. Posture is not really determined by how tight your muscles are. There are a lot of other aspects that go into posture.

Walters: For sure. Genetics are a part of it. The activities that you’re involved in, especially during development. Your actual skeleton will change depending on what activities you expose it to in your teenage years. Like, one that we talk about a lot are baseball pitchers. You know, if they start at a young age, their actual upper bone, their humerus bone in their arm will actually twist because of the stresses they’re putting on it. We might have mobility-type work or interventions, and stretching could be a part of that. And the only way you can permanently really probably change your posture is to be consciously aware of it all the time and hold that new position. But doing that all the time is probably going to create other problems for you. So just be dynamic.

Song: “A stiff mattress is better for your back.”

Walters: There’s always questions about pillows and mattresses. I mean, you can understand, we spend a lot of time sleeping. A stiff mattress might be great for some people but horrible for other people. The best way you can gauge if something is good for you is if it’s comfortable. This goes with shoes, mattresses, pillows, all those things. So you really have to think of your own body almost as an experiment and test things and see where you’re most comfortable and what’s best for your body.

Myths from the internet. This one should be a real doozy.

Song: “Massages will remove knots in your back.”

First of all, the misconception is that you have knots there to begin with.

Walters: There’s not some balled-up muscle that we can MRI and see. We have a bunch of muscles that are just long and skinny, and if you rub on them like this, they feel like a lump. Don’t worry about it. It’s just a muscle in your body.

Song: So, massages can help to loosen up a tight muscle. It can influence how that muscle feels and how that muscle perceives, you know, digital pressure applied to it. But will it get rid of the knot? Well, I mean, the knot wasn’t there to begin with, so.

Walters: “Body braces will fix your posture.” Dave, I’ll let you go first.

Song: They do have their place. Don’t get me wrong. They can help assist you in a position that you need to hold, much like a crutch would assist you standing up to not weight-bear on that broken foot. And so it can help to deload some of the muscles while you wear it. They can temporarily improve your posture while you’re wearing them, but will you get any permanent changes is a totally different story.

Walters: We need those things sometimes medically to let something heal, but anytime you have something passive holding your body, it means your neuromuscular system isn’t doing it and it doesn’t need to anymore. Those muscles that would have held you back that are now being held by something else will quickly atrophy and decondition. So even if that brace gave you some relief, we might say, OK, yeah, maybe use it temporarily in certain times of the day or activities, but it’s only for short windows. It’s not a permanent solution, because it’s going to create all kinds of other negative physical body side effects.

Song: You want to be able to condition the body up and strengthen it, as opposed to rely on some external influence.

Walters: “MRIs and X-rays can always diagnose your back problem.”

Song: Oh, man. I need to buy myself an MRI, if that’s the case. MRIs and X-rays are often overutilized for diagnosing back problems. A lot of the research shows that a structural issue with MRIs or X-rays and whether or not that person has a disability or pain, that correlation is pretty low. Likewise, you can have someone experiencing a lot of pain, a lot of issues, and then you get an MRI and it’s completely clean. It just looks like a healthy spine.

Walters: When we look at the spine and spine pain, we don’t recommend MRIs until the person’s done, like, a six-week course of rehab. Because they’ve actually found that when people get those images, if there is something there, it can create fear and anxiety. And they’ve actually shown that outcomes in terms of recovery are poorer when somebody sees their MRI.

Song: Often a patient will be like, “Hey, I have this MRI report.” And I’m like, “Hold up. Let me see everything else about you first.” But I don’t want to let that MRI determine everything else about you, because it’s just one aspect about what you’re experiencing.

Myths we hear the most.

“Sitting at a desk all day will give you bad posture.”

Walters: We need to get away from the notion that there’s one good or one bad posture and just really realize that the research doesn’t support that. Really the best thing you can do, from a posture standpoint, is just move often. Change postural positions often.

Song: In the past, they’ve done studies where they got a bunch of people riding this recumbent bicycle while doing their desk work. And it turns out that after eight hours of doing that, their back was killing them, because they’re just doing the same thing for eight hours straight. Whether or not you’re sitting, moving, biking, standing, even the treadmill desk, guess what? You’re walking for eight hours a day, and it might end up hurting your back a little bit.

Walters: Your nervous system is pretty good about knowing when you need to change posture. So you just try to take breaks every 30 minutes, every hour or something, get up and walk around. Just changing those stresses is going to change how your nervous system perceives your physical body. It’s going to change blood flow. It’s going to change nutrient delivery to tissues. And it’s just implementing the right stresses at the right time.

“If you get your back cracked, you’ll always need it cracked.”

Song: Oh, man. This, I hear this all the time. I think the idea that you need to get your back cracked once it’s cracked is rooted in the idea that the cracking itself is shifting your bones into place, and that if you don’t get it cracked again it’ll shift out of place, and then you need to get it cracked back into place. That in itself is kind of untrue. What we know now is that those cracks, what we call are cavitations, is just gas bubbles being released out of the joint. Spinal manipulation is just about introducing movement back into those joints. It’s literally no different than cracking your knuckle and then not needing to crack that knuckle ever again. It’s the same mechanism. All it is, is to open up a small window of time where you can move, like, pain-free or move with a little bit more ease and then reinforce that type of movement on your own. But to sum it all up, no, you don’t have to get your back cracked to infinity and beyond.

“Resting is the best remedy for back pain.”

Walters: The problem is that we see that when people are mobilized or rested for too long, they just decondition and atrophy. And in some cases, it can make the pain system sort of ramp up and be more sensitized if they rest too long.

Song: Rest is very important when it’s needed. Like, if you just sprained your ankle, I’m not going to get you weight-bearing on that same day. But the goal is to eventually get back to what you were doing pre-injury or even better than that. Rest in itself won’t get you there.

Walters: Rest is not rehab. This is why when you have surgery, they don’t let you stay in the hospital and sleep there for multiple nights anymore. You’re pretty much in and out, and you’re starting rehab right away.

Song: And the best way to approach that type of thing is to just slowly level up your body. I think a lot of people go from 0 to 100 way too quickly, way too often.

“Your body needs to be symmetrical.”

Walters: Another doozy. This is one that comes up a lot, especially on social media. The truth of the matter is asymmetry is normal. There’s lots of examples of that in the body. Approximately 90% of people, for example, have a difference in their leg length. We write with one hand, right? Versus the other. We have a dominant leg. One leg’s dominant over the other. Our body adapts to those things. So asymmetry is just a normal part of life.

Song: Oftentimes I think people are really quick to write off that their back pain is because of their scoliosis. That might be an attributing factor, but I would be very cautious to say, 100%, it’s because of the structural thing. It’s really case-by-case dependent.

Walters: “If you feel pain, it always means something is damaged.” Such an important one to clear up here.

Song: Pain is a signal. At its most basic level, your body is saying, “I don’t like that.” But it doesn’t necessarily mean any structure is damaged. Like, the most easy way to think about it is if I just take my hand here and I just pinch it, that hurts. If I look at my skin, nothing’s damaged. This has been a really hot topic in the last 15 years in rehab and in the pain-science research. I think it’s really important for people who are in pain to know that pain does not necessarily equate to tissue damage. Sometimes it does. If you sprain your ankle, that pain is probably associated with tissue damage. But there are so many other cases where there’s not a good correlation between pain and actual tissue damage. This is why we have a biopsychosocial model now. The bio has to do with tissue, but the psychosocial are these other complex elements.

Song: And so this is why it’s really important to address all these other aspects and to understand when you need to collaborate with another healthcare professional in order to increase the outcome of your patient.

Walters: We all are going to experience pain at some point. I mean, if you look at low-back pains, there’s an 80% lifetime prevalence, which means 80% of us are going to have back pain at some point in our life. When people understand pain, they have better outcomes and they’re less likely to have chronic pain conditions develop.

Song: And so it’s really important to know that what matters more than anything else is, like, what is your movement diet looking like? Like, what are you doing on the daily, and how’s that contributing to all the things that you’re feeling?

Read the original article on Business Insider

Dermatologists debunk 13 Botox myths

Following is a transcript of the video.

Rita Linkner: “The Botox chemical is physically addictive.” I think Botox is like getting your hair colored or your nails done. It’s not like you have to, but you’re going to want to.

Jordana Herschthal: “Botox is so simple, anyone can give an injection.” My 2-year-old can push a plunger, but it’s also very easy to mess someone’s face up.

“Botox will make you look emotionless.” Rita, can you tell I’m happy right now?

Linkner: That’s you happy?!

Hi, my name is Dr. Rita Linkner. I am a board-certified dermatologist from New York City. I spend the majority of my day doing injectables and lasers.

Herschthal: Hi, I’m Dr. Jordana Herschthal, and I’m a board-certified dermatologist in Boca Raton, Florida, and I love talking with patients about their aesthetic goals and helping them see the full picture. And we’re here today to debunk myths about Botox.

Myths from social media.

“Botox is toxic to your body.” This is not true, but it’s good to know the history of Botox.

Linkner: Botox gets that name recognition. It was the first neuromodulator that was FDA approved, so it’s a household name, like Kleenex and Xerox. And so today we’re going to be referring to Botox as that umbrella term when we’re discussing all of the neuromodulators that are currently FDA approved.

Herschthal: So, Botox contains a purified protein known as botulinum toxin, which is derived from a bacteria that causes botulism, which is toxic to your body. However, Botox used appropriately in appropriate dosing is very safe and very effective. There are over 3,000 studies proving its efficacy and safety. The other reason it is very safe to use is we know that it stays where we inject it. So it’s not like you’re getting Botox in your forehead and it’s going all over your body. Botox is limited to where it is injected, and it is safely metabolized and excreted by your body in a few months.

Linkner: I always tell patients if Botox was dangerous, I literally wouldn’t have a pulse. I’m someone who puts, like, 100 units of Botox into my face and neck every four and a half months. And I have so for over a decade.

Herschthal: So, there are certain medical conditions that are contraindicated to the use of Botox. So you should have a very thorough discussion with your provider before you receive a Botox treatment.

Linkner: “Botox is permanent.” So, let’s debunk this one. Botox is not permanent. Everybody metabolizes Botox differently.

Herschthal: One of the great things about Botox is if you don’t like the way it looks, it’s completely out of your system in three to six months. But it’s also the worst thing, because if you like the way it looks, you have to do it again.

Linkner: There is a super-Botox that’s out on the horizon, though, that’s looking to get FDA approved later this year. It’s going for FDA approval for 11s in between the eyebrows, and I can tell you confidently that it works and it’s going to have an indication that’s going to be longer than three to five months.

Herschthal: “Some creams and serums work like Botox.” This is absolutely false. Botox works at the muscular level, at specifically the neuromuscular junction, to prevent the muscle from contracting. There is currently no serum, cream, or facial that can penetrate the skin deep enough to exert action at the level of the muscle. And if it were true, it would have to have FDA approval and it would not be available over the counter.

Linkner: I completely agree. I like to tell patients, you’re genetically programmed to move your muscles in a certain way, and over time you get what we call dynamic wrinkles, which are lines associated with muscle movement. And the way Botox works is it builds in resistance so that you can’t overutilize those muscles anymore, you can’t crease them, and it basically helps to smooth everything out.

So, next myth, “Getting Botox is super painful.” I would have to say this one’s false.

Herschthal: The pain of a Botox needle is pretty minimal, but it is similar to if you got, like, a splinter in your finger or perhaps a beesting. Everybody’s experience with pain is different.

Linkner: They’re insulin needles. They’re as small as you can get. And it goes faster than people think, also. Though I think location on the face does make a big difference in terms of sensitivity.

Herschthal: And this relates to how important it is for your provider to really have a deep understanding of anatomy when you’re getting any sort of injectable on your face.

Linkner: I mean, I can do a full face, a full neck of Botox in probably under four minutes. And if people are really averse to needles, you could always topically numb someone to help that pain dissipate.

Herschthal: There are other little tricks, like vibration devices and also ice. And even for patients who are really sensitive, we break out the Pro-Nox, which is half-dose laughing gas, and that always calms patients down immediately and leaves your system within five minutes.

Linkner: “The Botox chemical is physically addictive.” I think Botox is like getting your hair colored or your nails done. This is how I like to explain it to patients who ask me, “If I do this once, do I have to keep doing this for the rest of my life?” It’s not like you have to, but you’re going to want to.

Herschthal: So, I always liken aesthetic treatments like Botox, fillers, and lasers to maintaining any organ in your system. You get your teeth cleaned two to four times a year or whatever it is; you get your aesthetic treatments because you’re always aging. These treatments do not stop the aging process, but these treatments will help you age the way you want to age.

Linkner: Myth experts hear the most.

Herschthal: “Botox is so simple, anyone can give an injection.” On the one hand, giving an injection is very easy. Anyone can push a plunger, my 2-year-old can push a plunger, but it’s also very easy to mess someone’s face up. So it’s really critical that your provider has a deep understanding of anatomy and how these medicines affect anatomy to give you reproducible, great aesthetic outcomes.

Linkner: So, Jordana and I are board-certified dermatologists. It took each of us over a decade to get to the point where we were able to put a syringe in our hands and utilize the medicine in it to create facial aesthetics. Both Jordana and I, still to this day, we take courses religiously where we’re learning from the best international patients and doing dissection courses. And we’re still reading every day to really be the best teachers that we can be for our patients.

Herschthal: “Botox and fillers are the same.” I love this myth, because I probably address it at least once a day. Almost every line on your face can be addressed with filler, but not every line can be addressed with Botox. Botox works at the level of the muscle to relax muscles of contraction. It is preventing and diminishing those static lines, or lines at rest. Fillers, on the other hand, are used to address volume loss that occurs in our face as we age. So, we all have fat compartments all over our face. And as we age, they deflate and descend with time, so we use fillers to restore that lost volume and give a more youthful shape to the face.

Linkner: “Botox injections need a lot of recovery time.”

Herschthal: The only issue with Botox is if you get a bruise, but there really isn’t downtime. There’s about an hour after the procedure where you will see little bumps under the skin, and that’s the solution of the Botox that was placed under the skin.

Linkner: You are taking a needle and putting it into your skin, so you just want to make sure that you’re not doing anything to really thin your blood, which would increase the chances of getting a bruise. So ideally not drinking alcohol the night before or even caffeine the morning of really helps. If you have really high tendency towards bruising, it’s nice to take oral arnica.

Herschthal: I can always tell when I’m injecting a patient. I call it the booze ooze. It’s like this slow ooze after you inject, and I know that they’ve had a glass of wine or a martini the night before.

Linkner: My only rule that I have for my patients when Botox goes in is no exercising for six hours.

Herschthal: My only rule is don’t touch the Botox, because I don’t want you spreading it to a different area in the forehead or the glabella area, because you could get into trouble with dropping somebody’s lid. So, the muscles that keep the brow elevated will drop, and then the patient will appear to have a heavier lid. Again, these are not permanent side effects, but they are undesirable side effects.

“Botox accumulates in the body.” I wish that was true, but unfortunately it does not.

Linkner: Every week that your Botox is in, it incrementally decreases. It’s not like it just turns off overnight. I will tell you, in this pandemic, I’m noticing people are exercising more, and that’s making their Botox metabolize a little bit faster. So I get that question a lot. You know, “How do we make my Botox last longer?” And it is dose dependent. So if you put more in, it might not look so natural for those first few weeks, but it should get you to last a couple of weeks longer than when you were using a lower dose.

Herschthal: Myths from pop culture. “Botox will make you look emotionless.” I’m hearing the hate, but I’m not seeing the hate. Rita, can you tell I’m happy right now?

Linkner: That’s you happy?!

Herschthal: So, I think “emotionless” is a little bit of a strong word to describe the effects of Botox. If you have an open conversation with your provider about what your desires are for your Botox treatment, you can easily get a treatment that is more natural looking where you still preserve some movement in the upper face.

Linkner: It’s been exactly eight days since Jordana put my Botox in. It hasn’t peaked out yet, but it’s starting to get tighter on me every single day. Do I love how it looks? I mean, I do. Do I love how my children can’t tell what I’m thinking? I love that. So you really have to figure out where you want to run on that spectrum.

Herschthal: “Botox is only used cosmetically.” So, Botox was actually first FDA approved in 1989. And that was for the use of two medical disorders of the eye, which is called strabismus and blepharospasm. It wasn’t actually until 2002 that Botox got its first FDA approval for cosmetic indication.

Linkner: Well, thank goodness those oculoplastic surgeons were trying to treat these overexercising eye muscles, because that’s when they saw that the 11s in between the eyebrows were disappearing. So it’s because of strabismus that all of us don’t have lines on our face anymore.

Herschthal: So, Botox has actually been around for over 30 years, and it has over 27 indications, most of which are medical.

Linkner: A very common use is for oversweating. So in the underarms, hands, and feet are places, because Botox does attack that little muscle on every sweat gland that helps you to sweat. It can turn that off so that you can decrease sweating. I’ve also used it medically for migraines. The list of FDA indications for medical Botox is so long.

“Only older women get Botox.” Ugh! No, that’s so false. I was 27 the first time that I put Botox into my crow’s-feet. And I will tell you, it’s something that I do religiously and have done every four and a half months for the past decade.

Herschthal: So, I like to say that Botox is not gender nor is it age specific. There’s also a huge increase in male patients coming in, specifically for their crow’s-feet. People are wanting to look their best, feel their best. So Botox is not age and it is not gender specific.

Linkner: “Botox works right away.”

Fiona: [sighs] It’s the Botox. I can’t show emotion for another hour and a half.

Linkner: So, truthfully, Botox can take, it takes a couple of days to kick in. So let’s say your Botox goes in Friday; you’re not going to start to really feel those results into Sunday, into Monday. It takes a full two weeks to peak out. And at that two-week period, incrementally every single week you’ll gain a little bit of movement back. Everybody metabolizes this stuff differently.

Herschthal: I think we look natural. I think we’re doing a good job of looking natural.

Linkner: We have code words with each other. So if, like, Jordana tells me the code word, then I know I’ve gone to over the line.

Herschthal: Yeah, we’ve gone over the edge.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Healthcare Experts Debunk 11 CBD Myths

  • Integrative cannabis physician June Chin and biomedical researcher Chanda Macias debunk CBD myths.

  • They debunk the idea that CBD gets you high, and that CBD is addictive.

  • They also dive into how not all CBD products are the same and how to check the quality of products.

  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

June Chin: “CBD gets you high.”

Chanda Macias: CBD doesn’t make us feel high. In fact, it can reduce the effects of feeling intoxicated.

“CBD is a scam.”

Chin: It’s been used as a marketing tool. So, we really have to be able to weed it out. [laughing]

Macias: No pun intended.

My name is Dr. Chanda Macias. I am the CEO of Ilera Holistic Healthcare. I’ve been working in the cannabis industry since 2011.

Chin: And I’m Dr. June Chin. I’ve been an integrative cannabis physician for over 15 years. I treat both children and adults. And today we will be debunking myths about CBD.

Chin: “CBD gets you high.”

Macias: A lot of people think that CBD gets you high. CBD doesn’t make us feel high, but it definitely makes us feel less anxious and more relaxed. So when people say they use it to fall asleep, I can understand why they feel that way.

Chin: CBD can be extracted from the cannabis plant, but it doesn’t have the same ability to create a high, or a state of euphoria, like marijuana or THC.

Macias: In fact, it can reduce the effects of feeling intoxicated.

Chin: “CBD works the same for everyone.”

Macias: CBD does not work the same for everyone. Everybody has a different system, physiologically. When we think about patients using CBD and considering things of, what’s the right dosage? You have to really consider how heavy you are, your tolerance levels, have you ever used it before? If you haven’t used it, how long your cell receptors will react to the presence of CBD. These are all the things we have to take in account.

Chin: And if you think about prescription medications or even supplements, that’s not the same reaction for everyone either. So CBD is going to be very, very different for each individual. Depending on our metabolism, our body’s own enzymes, some patients will find that it works right away. Some patients will find that it takes a few hours.

Macias: I think that when people use CBD over the counter they get a little confused, and their confusion might be because the product might be full-spectrum, the product might be an isolate, or even broad-spectrum. You’ll have some patients that are very, very sensitive about introducing their bodies to THC, period. Because during accumulative use of THC, you could have a positive drug test from an over-the-counter product. You always, when taking any new supplement or cannabinoid medicine, you have to be careful. And it’s nice to be able to talk to your doctor, or your pharmacist, or even the dispensary retail workers to see if there is any possible interaction.

“CBD doesn’t have side effects.”

Chin: So, CBD does have side effects. For some patients, it doesn’t intoxicate you, but it can be really relaxing and almost produce an uplifting effect. A small amount of patients will find that CBD makes them very sleepy. CBD does improve your REM sleep. Patients that take CBD find that they get a much more restorative night’s sleep, because THC can disrupt REM sleep, so patients will take THC to fall asleep faster, but if they concentrate on more CBD-dominant doses they might find much more restorative sleep. Sometimes patients will find that when they’re taking CBD they do have stomach upset. You know, that might change their bowels a little bit, but it’s usually due to the carrier oil that accompanies the CBD.

Macias: “CBD and marijuana are the same thing.”

Chin: CBD and marijuana are not the same thing. CBD, also called cannabidiol, and THC, tetrahydrocannabinol, are the most common cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant. THC and CBD are both in marijuana and hemp. Marijuana contains much more THC, while hemp has a lot of CBD.

Macias: The main difference is I think preventative care versus active treatment using cannabis. And if I have a patient that is facing more pain, not preventative care, then definitely THC helps with that more than a CBD.

Chin: Absolutely. CBD provides that foundational anti-inflammatory component, so you’re getting to the root cause of the problem, especially with chronic pain. And THC is also very valuable, because it can help with acute muscle spasms, acute pain, nausea, appetite increase. So I think that the THC and the CBD work synergistically together, and we can’t stress that enough.

“CBD is illegal.”

Macias: So, I need to debunk the myth that CBD is illegal. In 2018, the farm bill passed the usage of hemp, where we extract CBD from. So the isolate and other cannabinoids extracted strictly from the hemp plant is perfectly legal today. So, what’s interesting about legal CBD is that the percentage of THC present has to be lower than 0.3% to remain legal and to be sold over the counter.

Chin: All in all, hemp and CBD oil are considered federally legal in all 50 states.

Macias: “All CBD products are safe.” I have to debunk that myth, because we know that CBD products are allowable on the regulated market, but they’re also available on the illicit market, which are not products that are required to have testing and the identification of their different ingredients.

Chin: The problem with CBD is that it’s not FDA regulated. So really anyone can come out with a product and put it on the internet to sell. CBD eye drops have not been tested. CBD aerosolized nebulizers have not been tested, or the nasal spray have not been tested. So it really is on the onus of the consumer and the patient to make sure that it is effective and reliable and third-party tested. It’s as simple as checking the label, looking for what’s called a COA, certificate of analysis, because that COA will tell you the quality of the CBD source. It will list all of the information that is key on telling you potency. Is there any bacteria or fungus? Or are there any solvents or heavy metals or pesticides that have been tested on the label? You want to make sure that that lab has been accredited, so it’s tested by an accredited lab. So unfortunately there’s a lot of homework that consumers and patients have to do to make sure that that CBD product is as good as what it says it does.

Macias: When you purchase CBD, make sure you purchase it from a credible resource. Like, if you’re in a pharmacy and they have it on their shelves, usually there was some type of vetting of the product, versus a gas station, you know, there might be a compromise in the quality of the product. “All CBD is the same.” I debunk that myth. All CBD is not the same. The molecular structure of CBD is the same, but quality control could definitely be different.

Chin: And it also depends on the formulation. Some of my patients that use CBD for anxiety or for panic attacks, and sometimes before that panic attack comes on, before you start spiraling, you need something to work within 30 seconds. And that’s when you would use an inhaled version of CBD, such as the vape cartridge or a flower. And some of my patients have terrible pain, spasm, and inflammation, and they need something that’ll work throughout the day. They can’t leave work or take a break to go outside and use something that’s inhaled, so they need something that’s long-lasting. And that’s when they would use a capsule or a tincture.

“CBD fixes everything.”

CBD is not a miracle pill, it is not the silver bullet, it is not a miracle elixir to all things, it cannot cure everything that moves.

Macias: I have to agree completely. CBD has its known benefits, and we embrace those, but if I lose my car keys, CBD’s not gonna find them for me. When you think about CBD, you definitely need to keep it within its realm. And I think that it definitely can lead the pathway to integrative health benefits, but I think common sense needs to come into play when we use CBD.

Chin: I don’t think CBD and cannabis cures Parkinson’s, but for my Parkinson’s patients, it decreases the tremors, it decreases the muscle spasm and pain, it increases appetite and gives my Parkinson’s patients better quality of life. So I think it’s a piece of the puzzle.

“CBD is addictive.”

CBD is not addictive, but I can see why social media says that CBD is addictive, because CBD is derived from the cannabis plant. And many a people associate it with marijuana and assumes that there’s a potential for addiction. On the contrary, the World Health Organization concluded that CBD is nonaddictive with no withdrawal symptoms. And I can say that as a clinician, patients that I treat that take CBD are not dependent on CBD.

Macias: Matter of fact, I’ve seen patients that have been battling addiction has actually used CBD to help them in their recovery.

Chin: Yes, because CBD and THC can help offset some of those withdrawal symptoms, and it can decrease pain, decreases that inflammation, that nausea feeling, perhaps when you’re weaning off medication. So I often use CBD and cannabis to help patients wean off opiates, benzos, and even sleep aids.

Macias: “CBD cures cancer.”

Chin: I always debunk that myth, but cannabis medicine can help you get through chemotherapy and radiation that much better. And if it helps you with your mood, if it helps you sleep better, if it decreases some of your pain and inflammation and revs up your appetite, or maybe it gives you a little bit of energy during the day so you can take a walk, all of these things will help your body fight the cancer that much better.

Macias: There are so many wonderful benefits of cannabis, and specifically CBD, in helping the symptoms of cancer, but we can’t say with 100% surety it reduces the densities in different tumor sizes without that research element being conducted properly.

Chin: So, to say directly “cannabis cures cancer” is a myth, but cannabis can help you fight the cancer.

Macias: “CBD is a scam.” I have to debunk this myth. CBD does have its inherent anti-inflammatory benefits. It has pain-relief benefits, especially for preventive care, insomnia, and anxiety. Patients use it for a lot of these reasons, and it has helped and changed thousands of lives.

Chin: I can see why social media would label CBD as a scam, because over the past couple of years, CBD’s been everywhere and it’s been touted as this miracle elixir. If you look at Epidiolex, which is an FDA-approved, plant-derived CBD medicine for seizures. But then you look at the beverage industry, like Budweiser developing CBD-infused beer. Or your neighborhood cafĂ©. You can add a shot of CBD to your morning latte. And then you look at the beauty industry and CBD lipstick, or Sephora has CBD mascara for thicker and longer lashes. There are some CBD creams and balms and lotions that work well, but you have to look at if they have another added ingredient. Maybe it’s the menthol that’s in the product or the arnica that’s supplementing it and creating a decreased sense of inflammation and relief for your muscles and ligaments. It’s been used as a marketing tool. So, we really have to be able to weed it out. [laughing]

Macias: No pun intended.

Chin: “CBD won’t affect other medications.” That is not true. CBD may interact with certain medications and certain natural supplements. And if you take it in extremely large doses, it can actually elevate your liver enzymes. So, seizure medications, if you’re on blood thinners. Certain patients will find that if they take cannabis, elderly patients, that there could be a fall precaution. Maybe they’re taking too much THC and they’re a little bit dizzy or groggy.

Macias: And I think that’s why it’s so important that patients work where physicians, specifically those that are educated in the endocannabinoid system, so that they can help them on that path to wellness.

Chin: When patients come to see me asking about CBD or cannabis for their health or wellness, I take it into full context of their medical history. So I look at labs, I look at their medical history, I do a full physical exam to make sure that CBD and cannabis is something that they could integrate into their health and wellness. Now, the problem is you can’t always find a physician that is knowledgeable about cannabinoid medicine. Actually, it’s very, very rare. So what’s wonderful with Dr. Macias and her dispensaries is that regulated medical dispensaries tap into a knowledge base of physicians, plant scientists, cultivators, and researchers.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Veterinarians debunk some of the biggest myths about cats

Following is a transcript of the video.

Carly Fox: “Pregnant women can’t live with cats.” This is a huge myth. Please don’t get rid of your cat if you are pregnant. “When cats purr, it means they’re happy.” This is definitely a myth.

Ann Hohenhaus: “Cats think their owner is their mother.”

Fox: Obviously your cat doesn’t think that you’re its mother. I’m Dr. Carly Fox. I’m an emergency and critical-care veterinarian at the Animal Medical Center in New York City.

Hohenhaus: And I’m Dr. Ann Hohenhaus, also at the Animal Medical Center, but I’m an internal medicine and oncology specialist.

Fox: Today we’re going to debunk some cat myths.

Myth #1

Fox: “Cats love milk.” I mean, I think this is sort of an image that has been put forth throughout our childhood, like, in storybooks and in movies and on TV, but unfortunately, cats, as they get older, actually are lactose intolerant. So their bodies actually can’t even digest milk. As kittens, they have an enzyme called lactase, which helps them break down milk, because they are supposed to be drinking their mother’s milk.

But as they get older, that enzyme, which is usually very present, goes away. And then they’re unable to digest milk. So if you feed milk to an older cat, or really any cat after they’ve been weaned from their mother, they really can’t digest it. Even though they seem like they’re really enjoying themselves, it actually can cause gastrointestinal upset.

Hohenhaus: You can go to the pet store, though, and buy cat milk. [laughs] And the cat milk has two things that make it special for cats. One is it’s lactose-free, just like the lactose-free milk you can buy in the grocery store. But it also has extra taurine added to it. And cats require taurine in their diet. So it’s just an extra source of that amino acid special for cats.

Fox: I mean, who knew?

Myth #2

Hohenhaus: “Cats are nocturnal.” How can you be nocturnal when you sleep 23 hours a day? [laughs] The typical cat sleeps 23 hours a day. They wake up long enough to kill some prey, eat that prey, and then go back to sleep until the next time they’re hungry.

Fox: They’re actually crepuscular animals.

Hohenhaus: They’re what?

Fox: Crepuscular. That means that they’re active during dusk and dawn, which goes back to what you just said about them hunting. So, that’s how lions hunt. They hunt in the dusk or the dawn, where they can, you know, see prey better, hunt, and kill, and our domestic cats actually evolved from that. So they’re actually supposed to be most active in the morning and in the evening, but not necessarily in the middle of the night. Though some cats obviously are.

Hohenhaus: Well, and they are most active in the morning. Ask any cat owner. At 4 o’clock in the morning, that cat’s walking on your head and running over the bed, trying to get you up, because they don’t have to hunt for breakfast. They just have to get you up.

Myth #3

Fox: “Cats hate water.” Can’t say that every cat hates water, but, I mean, in my experience, most cats definitely dislike water, as in they don’t like being bathed in water. You’re definitely not gonna see most cats go for a swim. I’d say most cats don’t love water, but when cats are feeling unkempt, perhaps they do like water.

Myth #4

Hohenhaus: “Cats think their owner is their mother.” [laughs] I think that they just see you as a source of food and comfort and cleanliness and a safe place to live.

Fox: Yeah, obviously your cat doesn’t think that you’re its mother, but they definitely think that you’re its caretaker and they need you, but, you know, another person could probably fill in that job just as easily for your cat, honestly, so I don’t think that cats think that you’re their mother. But some people definitely think that.

Myth #5

Fox: “Pregnant women can’t live with cats.” This is a huge myth. Please don’t get rid of your cat if you are pregnant. Cats can sometimes be infected with a parasite called toxoplasmosis, which can be shed in your cat’s feces. If picked up by a pregnant woman, this parasite can sometimes cause birth defects or miscarriage, and that’s obviously something we would want to avoid.

Cleaning the litter box daily will help with this. You definitely don’t want to leave the litter box to go for more than one day because that can increase infection. If you do need to clean the litter box, you should just wear gloves. So the best thing that you can do is have someone clean the litter box for you, which is also just great. Who wants to clean their litter box? It’s a break for nine months.

Hohenhaus: So, if you’re concerned about your health or your cat’s health during your pregnancy, be sure to bring up the topic with both your veterinarian and your obstetrician.

Myth #6

Hohenhaus: “Cats can see in complete darkness.” Cats have great night vision. They have, like, a mirror in the back of their eye. And you know that from taking photos of your cat because you see that yellow-green reflection in the camera, and that’s this mirror that’s in the back of the cat’s eye that helps to reflect light around to improve their night vision. And that reflector area is called the tapetum.

Fox: Cats really can’t see in complete darkness. They still need a little bit of light in their eye for it to bounce back and forth within the eye off the tapetum, so complete darkness they cannot see in, but a lot of darkness with a little bit of light, they actually can see.

Myth #7

Hohenhaus: “Human food is bad for cats.” We don’t recommend feeding a human diet to cats, because it doesn’t meet their nutritional needs. Cats are obligate carnivores, and it means they need to eat meat. So your diet is not appropriate for cats.

Myth #8

Fox: “Black cats are bad luck.” I mean, this is obviously a huge myth.

Hohenhaus: I think that black cats are bad luck for themselves, because they don’t get adopted from a shelter as readily as a pretty gray cat or a flashy tricolor cat. So the bad luck is actually for the cat, not for you.

Myth #9

Hohenhaus: “Cats don’t love people or babies.” My mother was so worried about this when I was having a baby, because I had these cats. And she said, “Those cats are gonna climb in the crib and suffocate my grandson.” Nothing like that happened. Babies are unpredictable, and they smell different than people, and they make different movements than people, and they have stinky diapers. So I think this actually might partly be true. It’s not that they don’t like babies. It’s that they’re different than the people they’re used to.

Myth #10

Fox: “Cats always land on their feet.” Well, cats do have an excellent righting reflex, meaning that a lot of the times they actually do land on their feet, and that has to do with their anatomy and their vestibular system. However, unfortunately, I’m an emergency doctor, I live in New York City. I see many, many, many cats not land on their feet. Definitely don’t think that your cat will just be fine if it unfortunately falls out of your third-story window or even from your top of your refrigerator.

Hohenhaus: And when they fall, they’ll land on their chin, and they often fracture their wrists, and then if they belly flop, as opposed to land on their feet, they’ll also get air in their lungs or around their lungs because their lungs get a little tear in it and start leaking. So these injuries are severe and life-threatening for cats. So the answer is get screens or don’t open your windows.

Myth #11

Hohenhaus: “Cats and dogs don’t get along.” I don’t have any idea where this would have come from. There are plenty of houses and households in the United States where there are both dogs and cats and they’re perfectly fine. Just like some people don’t get along, sometimes a dog and cat don’t get along, but sometimes you have two dogs and they don’t get along or two cats and they don’t get along. So I think this is more about the personality of your dog and your cat than it is that they can’t get along.

Fox: They’re not gonna be the next YouTube sensation, but I guess they maintain a working relationship.

Hohenhaus: Yeah, yeah, that’s good. A working relationship. We have to work together to be good pets.

Fox: Yeah. Let’s do that.

Myth #12

Fox: “When cats purr, it means they’re happy.” This is definitely a myth, and I can tell you I’ve been scratched by many a purring cat. You know, I think purring is oftentimes associated with pleasure in cats; however, sometimes cats can purr for other reasons, like they’re very nervous, or it’s a warning actually, or they’re hungry, not necessarily that they’re happy.

Myth #13

Fox: “One human year equals seven cat years.” This is definitely, definitely a myth. I think this is something we more associate with dogs, but if you apply it to cats, I think it’s even more of a myth.

Hohenhaus: Well, and if you look at it on the reverse end of the lifespan, a cat can have kittens when it’s 6 months old. 6-month-old cat would be 3.5 years in human age, and clearly no 3.5-year-old children are having babies of their own.

Fox: I hope not.

Hohenhaus: So, it doesn’t work in cats, no.

Fox: Today we debunked some cat myths. There is a little bit of truth to some of these myths that we talked about today, and I think that’s very fitting, since cats are these very particular, special animals that are a bit of, like, a mixed bag, just like these myths.

Hohenhaus: My son’s first words were “meow.” [laughing]

Producer: That’s crazy.

Hohenhaus: He would look at the cat and go “meow.”

Fox: That’s cute, really? [laughing]

EDITOR’S NOTE: This video was originally published in March 2020.

Read the original article on Business Insider

An ophthalmologist and optometrist debunk biggest vision myths

  • Ophthalmologist Rupa Wong and optometrist Jenifer Bossert debunk myths about vision and eye health.
  • They debunk the myth that carrots improve your eyesight and reading in the dark damages your vision.
  • They also discuss the safety of LASIK eye surgery and the best practices for contact use.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

The following is a transcript of the video.

Rupa Wong: “If you cross your eyes, they’ll stay that way.” Man, that’s an oldie but a goodie.

“It’s OK to go swimming or take a shower in contact lenses.”

All right, everybody does it. But they really shouldn’t.

“Styes are contagious.”

Jenifer Bossert: No!

Wong: Not at all.

Bossert: Styes are not contagious.

Wong: And you don’t get them from pools.

Bossert: And you don’t get them from rubbing your eyes.

Wong: Doorknobs.

Bossert: Kissing others. No, you don’t get them from any of those things. Aloha, my name is Dr. Jenifer Bossert. I am the optometrist at the Honolulu Eye Clinic. I’ve been in practice for 30 years, and my specialty is contact lenses.

Wong: And aloha, everyone. I am Dr. Rupa Wong. I am a board-certified ophthalmologist. I’ve been in private practice here in Hawaii for 13 years working alongside this wonderful lady here. I specialize in pediatric ophthalmology and adult strabismus.

Bossert: And today we are here to debunk myths about vision. We’re going to start off with debunking myths that we used to think were true.

“Reading in the dark or while lying down will damage your vision.”

Bossert: No, this is a myth. It does not damage your vision.

Wong: And my oldest son reads in the dark all the time. My mother, obviously knows I’m an ophthalmologist, still comes to my house and tells me, “Your son should not read in the dark.” Not true. Because people need good light to see better, they assumed maybe that when you’re reading in the dark, because it is usually more challenging, maybe they thought that was straining your eyes. People confuse those issues with damaging your eyes.

“Eating carrots will improve your eyesight.”

Wong: I have actually just studied where the origin of this myth came from. It’s really interesting. So, it was basically a campaign during World War II because the British air fighter pilots had this radar technology to be able to detect the German targets. But they didn’t want the Germans to know that they had the radar technology, so they just said that their air pilots were eating a lot of carrots and therefore had good night vision.

Bossert: How fascinating! See? I learned something today. I love it!

Wong: Vitamin A is very important for the metabolism that’s being performed in your retina.

Bossert: A, C, E, magnesium, lutein, omega-3s, those are the common ones that we all consider important for optimum eye health.

Wong: Zinc.

Bossert: Zinc.

Wong: All of these vitamins can help halt the progression of macular degeneration, but in the studies it didn’t demonstrate any more effect for people like us, that don’t have any macular degeneration.

“Wearing someone else’s glasses will ruin your vision.”

Wong: If a child, really younger than 13, is wearing someone else’s glasses, it can ruin their vision if it is completely off. Because if it’s promoting blurry vision, that’s going to inhibit the growth of the connections between the eyes and the brain. So kids under 13, they are in a special period of their vision development called the critical period. So, absolutely, I never, ever recommend that children wear anybody else’s glasses. But for adults, it’s a little bit of a different story.

Bossert: With adults, it isn’t going to harm your eyes, but it can contribute to eye fatigue, eye strain, headaches. So, yes, we always encourage everybody to get their annual checkups, wear their own glasses, and keep them updated.

“Sitting too close to the TV is bad for your eyesight.”

Wong: Typically a parent wants their child to move back from the television, and it’s a total myth.

Bossert: And it doesn’t harm an adult’s eyes, either. So, when I have a parent ask me that in the exam, I encourage them to bring them in so that we can actually check their child and just see if it’s a habit that the child has or whether they actually have an underlying nearsighted process occurring. If they’re sitting too close to the television, then I’m concerned that maybe they’ve been developing nearsightedness. A young child doesn’t know that that’s happening.

Wong: Just because your parents are nearsighted does not mean 100% you’re going to be nearsighted. Several studies have shown that two hours a day of sunlight is helpful at preventing nearsightedness progression. So I always tell my patients to get outdoors, but it’s not so easy in other parts of the country or world.

“If you cross your eyes, they’ll stay that way.”

Wong: Man, that’s an oldie but a goodie, I think.

Bossert: I remember my grandmother telling me. We were out running around, and kids all playing, and my grandmother saying, “Your eyes are going to stay that way!”

Wong: Of course, that is actually my area of specialty, is crossed eyes. That’s what I do surgery for, to fix them. And I can tell you, I’ve never had to operate on anybody who crossed their eyes in intentionally and it got stuck that way. So that’s a complete myth. Some people are born with it. We call that congenital esotropia. Typically, if you’re born with it, you’re born with crossed eyes. Sometimes people develop it because the eye is blind for whatever reason, a separate reason. So if they’re young, then the eye tends to cross in with the blind eye. If they’re older and they sustain some kind of trauma or injury to the eye to cause it to become blind, then the eye wanders out. ‘Cause I’ve seen so many patients that have come from other eye doctors who have been told for years, No. 1, “Your insurance doesn’t cover it.” No. 2, “You’re too old for this surgery.” I’ve operated on a 95-year-old.

“Squinting is bad for your eyes.”

Bossert: We do know that when you squint, you tend to be able to see a little bit better when you’re nearsighted. Something called the pinhole effect. So that could be how that myth got started. A parent might see their child squinting and then think that it was the squinting that actually caused the nearsightedness, but it was the opposite. The nearsightedness caused the squinting.

“You will become dependent on your glasses if you wear them too much.”

Wong: As someone who now has started to need reading glasses, it is really hard to not believe this myth. I, when I take my reading glasses off, I swear I could see the iPhone way better.

Bossert: It’s not that the glasses made your vision worse, it’s just that your brain got used to having good, sharp vision when y ou put them on. So then when you take them off, your brain’s like, “No! I want them back again! I like seeing clearly!”

“You can’t wear your contacts if you have astigmatism.”

Bossert: This is definitely not true. I still hear that in this day and age, despite media campaigns, despite information dissemination. People still believe that if they have astigmatism, they won’t be able to wear contact lenses.

Wong: Or that they’re going to have to be hard contact lenses.

Bossert: Yes. Because 30 years ago, it was true, that really the only way that you could mask that astigmatism was to take a hard lens and put it on the eye. But now, daily disposables, I can correct 2.75 units of astigmatism, which is a lot. And in a reusable contact lens, I can go up to 5.75. I even have a brand-new option that if you are over 40 and need reading glasses, if you have astigmatism, you can even wear a bifocal contact lens that corrects for astigmatism now. But they are more difficult to fit because they interact with the eyelid, the shape of the eye. So sometimes we’ll have to go through two or three lens designs to find the best one for the patient. But it’s pretty rare that we can’t find something in this day and age.

Wong: Now we’re gonna talk about myths we hear all the time.

“Staring at a screen all day will make your eyesight worse.”

Bossert: Well, the jury’s still a little bit out on this one. Yes, anecdotally, we perceive that people that spend longer hours on a screen are the ones that are more likely to end up nearsighted. But studies don’t prove that. And particularly with COVID, with COVID and homeschooling, online schooling, we’ve seen a huge increase in parents asking us, “Do I need to get my kid blue blockers?” Well, the answer is no. There was a small study that came out and said that, yes, it could help decrease fatigue. But, like any study, we need to take those small studies and turn them into large studies to really truly get facts and figures that hold out for the larger population. So when they redid the study, it came out 50-50. It just really wasn’t proven to be statistically significant.

Wong: And that’s why we always recommend the 20-20-20 rule. People need to take breaks every 20 minutes for 20 seconds where they look at something 20 feet away.

“Only people with bad eyesight need eye exams.”

Wong: That is definitely a myth. There’s all sorts of conditions that still you have.

Bossert: Retinal holes, retinal tears, retinal detachments.

Wong: That’s another thing, where people always think, mistakenly, that they’ve had LASIK and as if LASIK has corrected their eyeballs. And it hasn’t. It’s just made their vision better. But they still have the pathology, the retinal issues, that they still require exams once a year.

Bossert: People think that they’re going to the eye doctor for their vision. Eye doctors would tell you that you’re going to the eye doctor for your eye health. Because if you don’t maintain the eye health, then you’re not going to be able to maintain good eye vision for the 100 years that you’re present on this earth.

“You won’t get glaucoma if you have perfect vision.”

Wong: Glaucoma is something that’s asymptomatic. So you can have perfect 20-20 vision and have the absolute worst end-stage glaucoma. Glaucoma is typically high pressure inside the eye, which causes damage to the optic nerve of the eye.

Bossert: And in the beginning, there are no signs whatsoever. So really the only way that we can detect glaucoma is to come in for your annual eye examination. And there are a series of tests that we do in the examination itself that allow us to screen for glaucoma.

Wong: So, when you catch glaucoma early, then we can start treatments earlier. And we can’t reverse any vision loss or any optic-nerve damage, but we can prevent future damage from happening, or at least slow that progression down. So, we start with eyedrops. We can even do laser treatments, which help with that drainage system and bring the fluid down. And then if we need to, we escalate to glaucoma surgeries.

Bossert: Myths from the internet. Let’s do those next.

“It’s OK to go swimming or take a shower in contact lenses.”

Wong: All right, everybody does it. But they really shouldn’t. You can really develop blinding infections from tap water and from water that’s in hot tubs.

Bossert: ‘Cause no matter what body of water we’re talking about, they all have some bacteria in them, even tap water. Which, that bacteria that bothers our eyes doesn’t bother our stomach, yet you don’t want to have it in the eye. Yes, do we all wash our face and we get water in? We do. But the critical thing is that this particular bug, called pseudomonas, is small enough that it can embed itself in the pores, in the matrix of the contact lens. And then it gets on your eye, and it sits there, and it sits there, and it sits there, for all those hours that you have it on. And that’s when the risk becomes high. ‘Cause then you reach up and you rub, you disturb the top layer of cells on the eye. Now there’s a little window for that bacteria to walk right into the eye. And unfortunately with pseudomonas, we don’t have good treatment modalities. It’s very resistant to the antibiotics that we have available to us.

“Stress causes eye floaters.”

Wong: No.

Bossert: No. Age causes eye floaters.

Wong: And trauma. A floater is just, it’s a vitreous detachment. And I tell my patients the vitreous is like Jell-O. When you get older, it starts to liquefy, and you get pockets, and dries up. And that’s what causes separates from the inner lining, from the retina. And that then floats all around in your field of vision. But it’s actually inside your eye. People think it’s a cockroach, they think it’s an ant. They try to swat it away. It’s not any of those things, but it’s an actual change in the anatomy of your eye. It’s not caused by stress.

“LASIK surgery is not safe.”

Bossert: LASIK surgery is definitely safe. At this point, LASIK surgery’s been around … 35 years now? Yes. If you were to do a Google search that pulled up some of those early results, there were definitely instances where there were cases of blindness. A lot of that was changed by further advancements in the technology, different ways to make the flap. So now, in this day and age, I would say that LASIK surgery is perfectly safe. That said, there is no surgery for any body part that doesn’t come with a risk of complications. Like, any body part. You want the doctor that’s doing the procedure on a weekly basis. You don’t want the doctor that’s doing this once every three or four months.

“Styes are contagious.”

Bossert: No.

Wong: Not at all.

Bossert: Styes are not contagious.

Wong: And you don’t get them from pools, public pools.

Bossert: And you don’t get them from rubbing your eyes.

Wong: Doorknobs.

Bossert: Kissing others. No, you don’t get them from any of those things. Just like some people can have more oily skin or more dry skin.

Wong: I describe it kind of like a pimple.

Bossert: The contents in the oil gland can be different consistencies. So if you tend to have that heavier, thicker oil inside the gland itself, then you can be more prone to getting them.

Wong: And usually what we want to do is heat. A lot of heat is going to help it drain. Pink eye is contagious. What most people think of as pink eye is viral conjunctivitis. Sometimes it can be bacterial conjunctivitis. Viral conjunctivitis is really, really contagious. That you do get from doorknobs and the surface of objects.

Producer: Is it possible to get pink eye if you, like, fart in someone’s face?

Wong: Is that something people think?

Producer: Yeah. Not true.

Wong: Not true. What I hope people take away from this video is that they get their annual eye exams, they don’t equal good vision with eye health, that they take their contact lenses out when they sleep and they shower, and that they follow the 20-20-20 rule.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Fertility experts debunk 19 myths about getting pregnant and fertility

Duke: “Sex position matters.”

Eleswarapu: So, that is a myth.

“IVF guarantees pregnancy.”

Duke: Oh, boy. It’s a tough myth for patients to hear.

Eleswarapu: “Eating pineapple can increase fertility.”

Duke: Oh, that’s a good one. Pineapple by itself, if you have infertility, is unlikely to reverse your infertility.

I’m Dr. Cindy. I am a fertility specialist based in Las Vegas, Nevada. Hello,

Eleswarapu: I’m Dr. Sriram Eleswarapu, and I’m a urologist at UCLA. And today we’ll be debunking myths about infertility.

Duke: “Tight underwear is bad for sperm count.”

Eleswarapu: So, there’ve been a number of studies looking at this issue for many decades, and the inevitable question is boxers versus briefs. In truth, it doesn’t matter a whole lot, and we know that if the testicles are a little bit warmer that they are more at risk of having sperm-count issues or sperm-motility issues, but, in general, it shouldn’t matter too much. Just pick what’s comfortable.

Duke: “Sex position matters.”

Eleswarapu: So, that is a myth. No matter what position you engage in, if you ejaculate, you have the sufficient propulsion of the semen to make it up to the cervix, any way you do it.

Duke: People around the world have actually studied it, and no one position has been proven to be better than another.

Eleswarapu: “IVF guarantees pregnancy.”

Duke: Oh, boy. Yes, that is definitely a myth. And it’s a tough myth for patients to hear. IVF does present the highest chances of pregnancy, absolutely. There are a number of factors that play into IVF success. One of them has to do with the age of the eggs being used. It also has to do with the quality of the sperm and the egg when they come together. It has to do with the embryo that is ultimately formed. It also has to do with the genetics of the embryo. But then, on top of that, it has to do with the womb in which the embryo will be placed, and a number of factors are not yet fully known. So, we know the immune system plays a role. Diet, exercise probably play a role, but we’re still investigating that. Biggest thing to know is it’s not 100%.

Eleswarapu: “Stress causes miscarriages.”

I think we’re starting to get away from the term “miscarriages.” We’re starting to use the term “early pregnancy loss.” Is that right?

Duke: That’s correct. And I think it’s because “miscarriage” also comes with certain connotations where blame is also ascribed, and the truth is, both early pregnancy losses, there’s nothing the individual could have done about it at all. So now we call it early pregnancy loss before the end of the first trimester, versus second- and third-trimester pregnancy loss. We do not believe stress causes loss. Many people around the world across millennia have gotten pregnant and remain pregnant despite tremendous stress. So we know it’s not simply stress. Nowadays, though, we know the No. 1 reason for pregnancy loss is chromosomal differences in the formed embryo. And so that’s called aneuploidy. 67% of first-trimester pregnancy losses are due to chromosomal issues within the embryo itself. Other reasons would be if the thyroid was not functioning well, if vitamin D is low, if there’s a fibroid in the uterus. If you have a uterus and you’ve had two or more pregnancy losses, you should be evaluated. We always expected that it would be the individual with the womb and the eggs to be the one that gets evaluated for a pregnancy loss. Now the tide is shifting, and individuals who contribute the sperm are also being evaluated when there’s a pregnancy loss in the couple. There’s emerging data that things like DNA fragmentation, where the DNA that are normally supposed to be very tightly wrapped up in the sperm are somehow unraveled and might have little breaks in the DNA strands, and those breaks can contribute to the pregnancy loss.

“Freezing your eggs guarantees that you can have kids later.”

Myth. And the myth is in the word “guaranteed.” If you freeze your eggs, you can stop the clock. And so you’re basically freezing the youngest version of yourself at that point. However, there’s no guarantee that eggs even when frozen will thaw and yield a live-born baby. So it’s really a conversation that needs to happen with your specialist based on your age, based on your egg number.

“Sperm quality doesn’t decline with age.”

Eleswarapu: There’s a lot of data now that is showing that individuals with sperm that is older, say in the fifth, sixth, seventh decades of life and beyond, is more at risk of forming embryos that have chromosomal abnormalities. Getting exercise, eating well are things that can improve the general biology of an individual. Certainly if it’s good for the heart and it’s good for the brain, then it’s probably good for the penis and the scrotum and the testicles as well. We talked about egg freezing, but sperm freezing has its role particularly for individuals who may not be in a relationship or may not be thinking of a family at this time but later on down the road they might want to produce a family.

“It’s impossible to get pregnant after 35.”

Duke: It is possible to get pregnant after 35. The truth is, though, that the chance of pregnancy progressively declines as the age of the egg increases. And so you might find greater and greater need for fertility treatments. When you’re born, if you’re someone born with ovaries, you’d have somewhere between 1 million to 2 million eggs in those ovaries, usually. By age 30, 70% of those eggs are gone, and by age 40, 97% of those eggs are gone. At the same time, those eggs are also aging. And so what we see is that the chance of pregnancy declines very quickly, and then for some people it declines even faster. So if you have endometriosis, if you’re someone who’s maybe had surgeries of the ovaries or needed to be on medications, chemotherapy, radiation, all of those things can also further the decline in the egg number. So my recommendation is, if you have ovaries, at age 30, you should at least be asking your doctor to do a check of your egg number, or what’s called your ovarian reserve.

“The best way to get pregnant is to have sex every day.”

Eleswarapu: It comes down to the ovulatory cycles and making sure that you’re sort of timing things and tracking things, particularly if you’re trying to conceive deliberately. We always get this question, and I want to know what your thoughts are. Should the couple be trying to conceive every other day during ovulation, or every day during ovulation? I say every other day. One, we need to give the sperm and semen enough time to sort of reaccumulate so we can get those millions of sperm. The other is sperm actually survive in the female genital tract for up to five days. So once the egg is released from the ovary, think of the fallopian tube as an arm with a catcher’s mitt at the end. The catcher’s mitt captures the egg, pulls it into the arm, and then the egg sits around there for 12 to 20 hours waiting for sperm. And then if you have intercourse anywhere within the next 24 hours, sperm will also get to the egg. So that’s why we say every other day around ovulation. There is this movement now, particularly on the internet, discussing what’s called abstinence from pornography, masturbation, and orgasm, or PMO. It’s also a movement called no NoFap. And those individuals say to have the best reserve of sperm or the best sort of power with erections or orgasm, that they should conserve for days, weeks, months at a time. This stuff is not scientific at all. And, in fact, after a week of storing up, the sperm may not necessarily be healthy.

“Eating pineapple can increase fertility.”

Duke: That’s a good one. Pineapple by itself, if you have infertility, is unlikely to reverse your infertility. We know that pineapples have bromelain inside of them, which is a compound that is known to be a blood thinner to a certain degree, but it’s very, very weak, and you’d have to eat so much pineapple to even have enough bromelain to have a little effect. You should be having a meal balancing protein, complex carbohydrates, and fiber. So getting your usual multivitamins and folate into your diet, because folate is really important for once you’re pregnant. But technically, no, pineapple by itself does not boost fertility. Infertility, while a daunting thought, really there are lots of options available. The first step is actually an evaluation. Fertility and infertility constitute this huge spectrum, and there are many, many ways to get pregnant and many things one can do to help facilitate that. And you don’t have to stay at home feeling embarrassed about it. If you talk to a specialist like myself, like Dr. Eleswarapu, we are experienced with this and know how to treat you or direct you to the right person who can help.

Read the original article on Business Insider