Kristine Burke, MD, Family physician, Folsom, California
Antibiotics are a cure for the common cold. Antibiotic drugs only treat bacterial infections, not viral, and the vast majority of the time colds are viral.
“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.
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.
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.
Vaccines cause autism. This has been disproven by several studies, some of which were publicly funded by the governments of Canada and the United Kingdom, yet this dangerous myth persists.
Ravinder Khaira, MD, Pediatrician, Roseville, California
Infants will eat as much as they need. Quite to the contrary, most infants tend not to eat the full 10% of their birth weight that they need in the first week of life!
A jaundiced baby is a very sick baby. Most newborn infants will become jaundiced during the first week of life. This is physiologically expected and normal.
Children are resilient to head injuries. If a child sustains a head trauma, he may look and act normal right after the injury, but this does not mean that they are not severely injured. Head trauma in children must be closely monitored for 12 – 24 hours.
An infant that does not roll over is abnormal. Rolling over is no longer a developmental milestone. Since the awareness of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), babies are laid on their backs rather than their tummies.
Young children should be treated for hyperactivity. Normal children have lots of energy and do not yet know how to release it – too many are drugged at too early of an age.
Lance Holtry, D.O. , Family Physician, El Dorado Hills, California
Cracking your knuckles causes arthritis. The cracking or popping sound you hear is simply the breaking of the adhesive seal in the joint-and there is no evidence to show that this causes arthritis.
Bed rest is a useful therapy. Studies have repeatedly found that early mobilization is better than bed rest for prevention and treatment of some medical conditions.
Antibiotics should be used to treat acute sinusitis. Patients with severe signs and symptoms of sinusitis lasting longer than 10 days may benefit from antibiotics, while less severe cases may do as well without them.
Drink eight glasses of water per day. There has never been a scientific study to support this. Let your thirst guide your fluid intake unless there is a specific medical reason to do differently. The major exceptions are during exercise or when working out in the heat-drink plenty of water to remain hydrated.
You can get the flu by getting a flu shot. You cannot get the flu from a flu vaccine. Some people who get the vaccine will still get the flu, but they will usually get a milder case than people who are not vaccinated.