These Doctors Shared What They Wish Everyone Knew About Their Bodies
As someone who just hit 30, I feel like I’m learning new things about my body every single day. Unlike my early 20s, my body has suddenly become way needier over the last couple of years, and I was in dire need of health tips. Things hurt that didn’t hurt before, and I can barely function after a night of poor sleep. Some of this could be because I’ve pretty recently had three hard pregnancies back-to-back, it could be because I haven’t really prioritized self-care over the last decade, or it could be the consequences of a pretty demanding job.
Whatever the reason, the last several months have been all about learning health tips and understanding what my body is trying to tell me when certain symptoms pop up. What has been really comforting is realizing that I am totally not alone in not understanding my body. There are a whole lot of people of all ages who just don’t get what their body needs or what it takes to keep themselves in good health.
This popular Reddit thread blew up when doctors began sharing basic health tips, like what they wish their patients knew about their body. From the truth about detoxing to the serious ramifications of failing to exercise, these doctors just want you to get the basics down pat so you can care for your health.
Your 20s Will Catch Up With You
Just because you can stay out all night partying and bounce back the next day with a three-mile run doesn’t mean you should make it a habit.
It’s easy to justify regular partying in your early 20s because it simply doesn’t hit you that hard. For a lot of people, it might feel like their body is handling this lifestyle just fine, but Reddit user manlikerealities assures us that isn’t that case. Instead, this doctor says that lifestyle choices made in your 20s often catch up with you later on in life.
Your Family History Matters
Putting together the puzzle of your health depends on so much more than symptoms you present in the here and now.
Knowing what diseases and disorders have plagued your family members could give your doctor serious insight into what is going on behind the scenes. Most importantly, perhaps, is the role family history can play in preventative care. According to manlikerealities, understanding what might be a risk in the future can help your doctor treat the disease early and avoid medications that might make matters worse.
Mild Conditions Can — And Should — Be Treated
Reddit user manlikerealities believes a lot of patients don’t mention more mild symptoms because they feel they’re unimportant or a bother.
This doctor insists that these common conditions are often easy to treat and should be brought up at appointments, even if they don’t feel all that important. For example, manlikerealities mentions conditions like insomnia, irritable bowel syndrome, and headaches. They may seem like no big deal, but they do negatively affect your quality of life.
Your Vagina Is Self-Cleaning
Women should avoid using soap products internally, as this can negatively affect the pH balance.
According to Reddit user H0use0fpwncakes, there is no need to worry about the cleanliness of the vagina because that part of the body takes care of that itself. While the vulva may need a little cleaning in the shower, leave the vagina well enough alone to avoid screwing with the pH balance the body maintains on its own.
Exercise Isn’t Optional
The need for exercise is true for all bodies, and getting active isn’t something you can opt out of based on how you feel.
No one can sit for several hours a day at their jobs and avoid the negative consequences of their lifestyle. To prevent these consequences, Reddit user CrispyJelly says that everyone needs to treat exercise as mandatory. No skipping it because you’re tired or bored. Take a cue from Nike and just do it!
Your Body Detoxes Without Help
Before you go on a cleanse or an extreme diet, you should know that your body is already capable of doing the important work of detoxing.
Products that claim to flush out harmful toxins are bogus, says Reddit user taRxheel. The truth is that the kidney and the liver are all the body needs to detox, and it does this day in and day out. Before you shell out the cash for a product making detox claims, do your research on how the body handles toxins all by itself.
Serious Disease Is Preventable
Caring for your body can go a long, long way in decreasing your risk of type 2 diabetes.
According to Reddit user kingofneverland, type 2 diabetes is a serious disease that you really shouldn’t mess around with. More importantly, this disease can be prevented with lifestyle choices. If you’re at risk, this doctor suggests make major lifestyle changes, and fast. According to kingofneverland, diabetic nephropathy can affect your eyes, nerves, immune system, and more.
It Might Be Skin Cancer
If you pay attention, the body is good at giving clues when there is something serious going on.
Moles that indicate skin cancer can be pretty easy to spot, according to evgueni72. The key is to take a look at your skin often and watch for asymmetrical moles, moles with irregular borders or irregular colors, and moles that have changed over time. If any of these clues exist, it’s time to get checked for skin cancer.
Skinny Doesn’t Equal Healthy
Don’t assume that the size of your body is an indicator of your health.
According to Reddit user Thornloki256, very few patients understand basic nutrition and the fact that being thin doesn’t mean they’re a healthy person. If this doctor could pass anything on, it would be making sure everyone knows what their body needs to be fed to stay in good health. Diets differ from person to person, too, so diet and health tips that work for one person may not work for another.
You Can Feel Normal And Be Sick
Regular check-ups are important because some health conditions don’t come with obvious symptoms.
It is possible to have higher than normal blood pressure and feel totally normal, according to doctor_d9. High blood pressure comes with serious health risks, like stroke, if it goes untreated. This makes it extra important to monitor your health with yearly visits to the doctor, especially after the age of 35.
You Only Get One Body
This doctor wants readers to understand that self-care is essential to making the most of the life you have.
There is no subtle way to say this: if you treat your body like garbage, there are consequences. Eating vegetables, drinking water, and moving often are non-negotiable ways of caring for the one body you get in this life, according to Reddit user Jones_reagent. While you’re at it, avoid overdoing it with alcohol, nicotine, and other substances.
Your Mental Health Matters
A lot of attention is given to physical health, but neglecting mental health can have major consequences.
According to Reddit user Kofiko, your mental health matters just as much as your physical health. Commenters wholeheartedly agree, sharing their own experiences with suffering from mental health disorders like depression and anxiety and how that affected their well-being. If you can’t make it to a therapist (or are afraid to start), consider easing your way into mental health care with a meditation app or gratitude journal.
Take Care of Your Gums
A dentist chimed in to share the serious consequences of ignoring the health of your gums.
According to TofuDeliveryBoy, serious gum health problems can result in loss of teeth and problems with your jaw bone. That sounds terrifying, so we’re going to side with this dentist and suggest you make sure you’re getting your teeth cleaned at least once a year. And while brushing twice is a day is a good start, you should really, really be flossing on the regular. According to the Mayo Clinic, your oral health is indicative of your overall health, so take care of those chompers.
Your Body Tells The Truth
Whether you’re seeing a doctor for a check-up or seeking emergency medical care, just be honest about what is in your system.
There’s no use lying about the alcohol or drugs you’ve used recently, as a blood test will tell doctors what they need to know. Remember, their goal is to treat you as quickly and efficiently as possible, and this includes knowing if alcohol or drugs could be affecting your health. Plus, some medications can cause serious interactions with alcohol or other substances.
“Normal” Varies Greatly
Before you get freaked that you’re constipated or going too often, this doctor wants to make it clear that normal is a spectrum.
According to HarbingerKing, bowel movement frequency is very different from person to person. Going a few times a day or only going once every few days isn’t a reason to worry. Hold off on seeing a doctor unless you’re experiencing pain with bowel movements, chronic diarrhea or constipation, or bleeding.