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Medical Myths

09/30/2008 05:00PM, Published by Super Admin, Categories: In Print

Medical information can be confusing. New data is continually released and is often appealing to the hopeful, the nervous and the health conscious. Style consulted with three local medical professionals and gathered some of the misperceptions they encounter on a regular basis, as well as the information to set the record straight.

Mercy Hospital

1. Antibiotics are a cure for the common cold. Antibiotic drugs only treat bacterial infections, not viral, and 70 percent of the time colds are viral.

2. “Natural” or “herbal” remedies are safe or healthy. These remedies are not subjected to the rigorous FDA tests that prescription and over-the-counter medications are subject to. Furthermore, there are no studies to verify the effectiveness, nor oversight of production.

3. Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) can diagnose any problem you have. It cannot! An MRI is just a different type of internal image – it is by no means the answer to every question.

4. More medicine is better. Bothersome afflictions may cause patients to take more medication than is recommended. High dosages often provide no additional effectiveness but may increase the risk of organ failure.

5. Vaccines cause autism. This has been unproven by several studies, some of which were publicly funded by the governments of Canada and the United Kingdom.

— Family physician Kristine Burke, M.D.

For Medical Myths numbers six through 15, be sure to pick up this month's copy of Style-Folsom El Dorado Hills edition. Click on the "Get Your Copy" link on the bottom of this page for some of our newsstand locations. Or, to order a copy of this issue, please email Gloria Schroeder at gloria@sierrastyle.com, or call her at 916-988-9888 x116.

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