University of Google that is…
By Nurse Mark
I’ve said it before – the internet is a wonderful resource chock full of knowledge and information. It’s also a wild and wooly place full of absolute B.S. (that’s Bad Science folks!) Unfortunately, there are no warning labels on most content to tell you what you are looking at – good or bad, true of false, science or superstition. Because of this, people are often left to “trust their intuition and common sense.” The problem with that, when it comes to anything medical, is that without a lot of education in anatomy and physiology, biology, biochemistry and more, simple “common sense” can often fail us – medicine just isn’t so simple, our bodies are a complicated place.
In spite of this, or perhaps because of it, some people love to send out emails with “common sense” medical advice to all their friends and demand that those friends send them to all their friends. You know the emails – you’ve gotten them. Maybe you even sent them.
Here’s a recent example from one of our regular readers:
Hi Dr. Myatt,
Received this from a friend and just wanted to pass this on to you. Is most of this true??
Read through this email and see how much of it “makes sense”…
Subject: Heart Attacks and Water
How many folks do you know who say they don’t want to drink anything before going to bed because they’ll have to get up during the night?
Heart Attack and Water – I never knew all of this ! Interesting…….
Heart Attack & Water
Something else I didn’t know … I asked my Doctor why do people need to urinate so much at night time.
Answer from my Cardiac Doctor;
Gravity holds water in the lower part of your body when you are upright (legs swell). When you lie down and the lower body (legs and etc) seeks level with the kidneys it is then that the kidneys remove the water because it is easier. This then ties in with the last statement! I knew you need your minimum water to help flush the toxins out of your body, but this was news to me.
Correct time to drink water… Very Important: From A Cardiac Specialist!
Drinking water at a certain time maximizes its effectiveness on the body:
2 glasses of water after waking up – helps activate internal organs
1 glass of water 30 minutes before a meal – helps digestion
1 glass of water before taking a bath – helps lower blood pressure
1 glass of water before going to bed – reduces the risk of stroke or heart attack
Please pass this to the people you care about……
I can also add to this…
My Physician told me that water at bed time will also help prevent night time leg cramps. Your leg muscles are seeking hydration when they cramp and wake you up with a Charlie Horse.
Subject: Mayo Clinic on Aspirin – PASS IT ON
Mayo Clinic Aspirin Dr. Virend Somers, is a cardiologist from the Mayo Clinic, who is lead author of the report in the July 29, 2008 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology. Most heart attacks occur in the day generally between 6 A.M. and noon. Having one during the night, when the heart should be most at rest, means that something unusual happened. Somers and his colleagues have been working for a decade to show that sleep apnea is to blame.
1. If you take an aspirin or a baby aspirin once a day, take it at night. The reason: Aspirin has a 24-hour “half-life”; therefore, if most heart attacks happen in the wee hours of the morning, the Aspirin would be strongest in your system.
2. FYI, Aspirin lasts a really long time in your medicine chest for years, (when it gets old, it smells like vinegar).
Please read on.
Something that we can do to help ourselves nice to know. Bayer is making crystal aspirin to dissolve instantly on the tongue. They work much faster than the tablets. Why keep Aspirin by your bedside?
Heart Attacks –
There are other symptoms of a heart attack, besides the pain on the left arm. One must also be aware of an intense pain on the chin, as well as nausea and lots of sweating; however, these symptoms may also occur less frequently.
Note: There may be NO pain in the chest during a heart attack. The majority of people (about 60%) who had a heart attack during their sleep did not wake up. However, if it occurs, the chest pain may wake you up from your deep sleep. If that happens, immediately dissolve two aspirins in your mouth and swallow them with a bit of water.
Afterwards: – Call 911. – Phone a neighbor or a family member who lives very close by. Say “heart attack!” – Say that you have taken 2 Aspirins. – Take a seat on a chair or sofa near the front door, and wait for their arrival and …DO NOT LIE DOWN!
A Cardiologist has stated that if each person after receiving this e-mail, sends it to 10 people, probably one life could be saved! I have already shared this information. What about you? Do forward this message. It may save lives!
And here is what Dr. Myatt had to say about it all:
This email is a classic example of why I recommend you DO NOT get your medical information from SPAM emails and/or the University of Google!
Here’s the scoop, heavy lifting on the research courtesy of Nurse Mark:
This email has been going since 2004, and growing in complexity and silliness since then. This latest iteration has been circulating since 2011.
Here is the Snopes page on it: http://www.snopes.com/medical/myths/water.asp
Essentially, this is a collection of wives’ tales and urban legends and armchair theories generated by people with very limited command of human anatomy and physiology who have then invoked the name of the “Mighty Mayo Clinic” and an unnamed “cardiologist” in order to try to attach validity to their ramblings.
“2 glasses of water after waking up – helps activate internal organs” – as if internal organs somehow stop working when we sleep?
“1 glass of water 30 minutes before a meal – helps digestion” – no, it hampers digestion by diluting the normal healthy hydrochloric acid content of the stomach.
“1 glass of water before taking a bath – helps lower blood pressure” – this is beyond silly – where is the scientific basis for this?
“1 glass of water before going to bed – reduces the risk of stroke or heart attack” – if this were true, don’t we think that modern medicine would know about it and be shouting it from the rooftops? Again, there is no scientific basis for this statement.
The aspirin / “heart attack” advise is likewise mostly silly, with tiny footholds in reality – like calling 911 if you think you might be experiencing cardiac pain and yes, taking an aspirin if you think you’re having a heart attack.
With regard to the aspirin / Mayo Clinic reference: Mayo Clinic states: “Neither Dr. Somers nor Mayo Clinic contributed to this email, which contains some information that is inaccurate and potentially harmful.” The new release to that can be found here: http://newsblog.mayoclinic.org/2010/02/28/misleading-aspirin-email-virend-somers-mayo-clinic/
Friends and family are some of the worst offenders for passing along junk like this without bothering to find out if it is true before forwarding. Please take stuff like this with a grain of salt.
If there were simple things about timing of water intake that had a profound intake on your health, you would already know about it because you would have heard about it from me!
A some notes by Nurse Mark:
Bayer “Crystal Aspirin” was withdrawn from the market in 2010 and was NEVER recommended for use in the way this email suggests.
Note in the “advice” letter that one sentence claims that “Most heart attacks occur in the day generally between 6 A.M. and noon” and then the letter says “most heart attacks happen in the wee hours of the morning” in reasoning what is the “best” time to take aspirin. So which is it? To me the “wee hours” are those between one and three or four in the morning…
And, my pet peeve: Internet viruses. If every person sends a junk email like this to ten people who then each send to to ten more people who then each send to to ten more people – I’ll let you do the math, but the short course is that this quickly becomes spam and usually picks up viruses and trojans and other malware along the way. Just the sheer volume of this kind of thing make it a form of virus. So, please don’t do it!
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