Health Claims – Fact or Fiction?
Thursday, November 11, 2021
When it comes to health claims, how do we separate fact from fiction? Realize that what may be a “myth” for some, may be a “fact” for you, and vice versa. Here are some common health myths deciphered.
Myth: Do only one thing.
Don’t believe everything you read online or see on TV regarding health claims. If you have a question about what’s best for you and your health, talk to your healthcare provider to get the most accurate information.
Myth: Stay away from gluten to improve your diet.
Fact: Gluten-free doesn’t necessarily mean it’s healthier. If you have a gluten-related disorder, such as celiac disease or gluten intolerance, you should avoid gluten because it can cause an adverse reaction that can lead to serious health problems.
For the average, healthy individual, going gluten-free is not the key to health. Instead, it’s your overall food choices that can help determine how healthy you are.
Myth: You need to take a daily multivitamin to be healthy.
Fact: For most people, the best way to get the nutrients you need is to eat a healthy diet. We have been told that multivitamins can supply nutrients that aren’t in your diet, but that may not be necessary for everyone. To lower the risk of birth defects, pregnant women should take folic acid. Postmenopausal women and vegetarians may need to supplement their diets with a multivitamin. Talk to your healthcare provider about whether taking a multivitamin is right for you.
Myth: Green Mucus=Infection=You need an antibiotic
Fact: Only a lab test can determine infection. While it’s true that green or yellow mucus can indicate a bacterial infection, it’s not a sure sign, and it certainly doesn’t mean that you should begin taking antibiotics.
If you’re not sure if it’s a common cold or an infection that may require an antibiotic, contact your healthcare provider.
Myth: I don’t want to get a flu shot because it will give me the flu.
Fact: You won’t get the flu from getting a shot. “The commonly used injectable flu vaccines are either inactivated virus or not virus at all,” said Jignesh J. Modi, M.D., fellowship-trained, Genesis Infection Diseases Specialists.
“The commonly used injectable flu vaccines are either inactivated virus or not virus at all”
However, you may get some side effects, such as low-grade fever, headache or muscle aches or soreness, redness, or swelling where the shot was given. These side effects are not actually the flu and typically go away quickly.