5 Crazy Myths About The Human BodyDec 12, 2023
Everyone loves a good myth, especially regarding the human body. The human body is a marvel of nature, a complex and intricate system that amazes scientists and researchers. However, with such complexity and intrigue, it's no wonder that many myths and misconceptions have arisen over the years. However, it's essential to separate fact from fiction for our health and wellness. That's why we've compiled a list of five crazy myths about the human body submitted by our viewers. So let's dive in and get to the truth!
Myth 1: Period Cramps Stopped by Water: Myth or Reality?
Period cramps affect nearly 90% of women during their menstrual cycle. While there is no cure for menstrual cramps, several ways exist to alleviate the discomfort. Drinking water is often suggested as a natural remedy, but what does the research say?
Studies have shown that staying hydrated can help reduce the severity of menstrual cramps. Dehydration can lead to increased inflammation, which can make cramps worse. However, drinking water alone is not enough to alleviate the pain. Over-the-counter pain medication, heat therapy, and exercise have also been shown to effectively reduce menstrual cramps.
According to an American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists survey, only 41% of women reported using over-the-counter pain medication to manage their menstrual cramps. This suggests many women may seek natural remedies, such as drinking water, to alleviate their symptoms.
Contrary to popular belief, period cramps do not magically stop when someone enters the water. Period cramps are caused by the contractions of the smooth muscle in the uterus called the myometrium. These contractions are involuntary and not under conscious control. So, jumping into the water will not make the uterus stop contracting.
The myth may have originated from the fact that some people find relief from period cramps by using a warm compress or heating pad. However, the amount of relief varies from person to person and is not guaranteed. The water temperature varies in different bodies of water, and the uterus will continue to contract regardless of the temperature.
Myth 2: Shaving Makes Your Hair Grow Back Thicker: Truth or Tall Tale?
Hair growth is a complex process that is influenced by several factors, including genetics, hormones, and lifestyle. Shaving is a common hair removal method, but does it really make hair grow back thicker?
In a study published in the National Library of Science, shaving does not alter hair thickness or growth rate. The study found that hair thickness and growth rate are determined by age, sex, and ethnicity and are not affected by shaving.
In fact, shaving can have the opposite effect of making hair appear thinner. When hair is shaved, it is cut at an angle, making it appear thicker and darker. However, the hair returns to its natural thickness and growth rate as it grows back.
The thickness and distribution of hair are primarily determined by genetics and hormones, not by shaving. Only the hair shaft is removed when the hair is shaved, leaving the hair root intact. Shaving does not increase the diameter of the hair follicle or the number of hair follicles in a given area.
Some people may feel their hair grows thicker after shaving, likely because the new hair growth has a blunt tip, making it feel coarser. As the hair grows longer, it becomes more flexible and feels softer.
Myth 3: Hemorrhoids from Sitting on Cold Surfaces: Fact or Fiction?
A common condition that affects millions of people worldwide is hemorrhoids. While several factors can contribute to hemorrhoids, sitting on a cold surface is not one of them.
Dr. Hudson-Peacock's study reveals that no evidence supports the idea that sitting on a cold surface can cause hemorrhoids. Hemorrhoids are typically caused by increased pressure on the veins in the anal area, which can be caused by constipation, pregnancy, and obesity.
While sitting on a cold surface may be uncomfortable, it poses no serious health risks. However, it is important to practice good hygiene to avoid bacterial infections and other complications.
Hemorrhoids are dilated, stretched, or bulging veins in the anus, similar to varicose veins. Risk factors for developing hemorrhoids include straining during bowel movements, sitting for prolonged periods, pregnancy, and aging. The temperature of the surface being sat on does not play a role in developing hemorrhoids.
Instead of worrying about the temperature of the surface, it is more beneficial to focus on maintaining a high-fiber diet, not straining during bowel movements, and taking breaks to walk around if sitting for long periods.
Myth 4: Tampons Lost in the Abdominal Cavity: A Real Concern or Just a Scare?
The fear of losing a tampon in the abdominal cavity is a common concern for many women. While this is a rare occurrence, it is important to understand the risks and take steps to prevent them from happening.
According to WebMD, retained tampons are a rare but serious complication that can lead to bacterial infections and toxic shock syndrome. The study found that forgotten tampons were the most common cause of retained tampons and that women who use tampons should be educated on proper insertion and removal techniques.
It is important to always remove a tampon within 8 hours of insertion to prevent the risk of bacterial infections. Women who experience difficulty removing a tampon or have symptoms such as fever or abdominal pain should seek medical attention immediately.
It is physically impossible for a tampon to travel from the vagina into the abdominal cavity. While there is a pathway from the vaginal canal to the abdominal cavity via the cervix, uterus, and fallopian tubes, the size of a tampon would prevent it from passing through these narrow structures.
Tampons can occasionally get stuck in the vaginal canal but cannot travel any further. If a tampon becomes lodged in the vagina, a medical professional can easily and safely remove it.
Myth 5: Catching a Cold from Wet Hair: An Old Wives' Tale or a Scientific Fact?
The belief that going outside with wet hair can cause a cold has been passed down from generation to generation. However, there is little scientific evidence to support this claim.
Colds are caused by viruses transmitted through contact with infected individuals or contaminated surfaces. While being cold and wet can weaken the immune system and make you more susceptible to catching a cold, it does not directly cause a cold.
In the Wall Street Journal, Stephen S. Morse's research finds that colds are most commonly spread through close contact with infected individuals. The study found that people with close contact with someone with a cold were nearly six times more likely to catch a cold themselves.
Catching a cold, or an upper respiratory tract infection, requires exposure to a pathogen, such as a virus. The presence of wet hair or going to bed with wet hair does not make a person more susceptible to catching a cold. Viruses do not selectively infect individuals with wet hair.
The idea that wet hair can lead to cold is likely based on an old wives' tale and has no basis in scientific fact. Instead, exposure to viruses and a weakened immune system are the primary factors contributing to cold development.
To reduce the risk of contracting a cold, it is essential to practice good hygiene. This includes washing your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, covering your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing, and avoiding close contact with anyone infected. It is important to clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces and objects.
It is important to distinguish fiction from reality regarding the human body, as many myths and misconceptions exist. Although some of these may have partial truth, many are false. To ensure one's well-being and accurately comprehend the human body, it is necessary to rely upon scientific evidence rather than these often unfounded tales.
Q1. Can drinking water really help alleviate menstrual cramps?
While drinking water alone is not enough to alleviate menstrual cramps, staying hydrated can help reduce the severity of the pain.
Q2. Does shaving really make hair grow back thicker?
No, shaving does not alter hair thickness or growth rate. Hair thickness and growth rate are determined by genetics, hormones, and other factors.
Q3. Can sit on cold surface cause hemorrhoids?
No, sitting on a cold surface does not cause hemorrhoids. Hemorrhoids are typically caused by increased pressure on the veins in the anal area.
Q4. Can tampons get lost in the abdominal cavity?
While it is rare for a tampon to get lost in the abdominal cavity, it is important to understand the risks and seek medical attention if you experience difficulty removing it.
Q5. Can you catch a cold from going outside with wet hair?
While being cold and wet can weaken the immune system and make you more susceptible to catching a cold, it does not directly cause a cold. Colds are most commonly spread through close contact with infected individuals.