Saturday, October 07, 2006

Medical Fallacies

Seriously. Judging from some of the fallacies I've heard recently from ... well, anonymous acquiantances ( since naming them would probably mean I'd be run over by some vindictive drivers ), some people still have the oddest ideas about modern medicine. That's apart from the odd scientifically unproven myths and legends that they perpetuate about doctors and medical personnel. Superstitions and beliefs are always partly believable and most are probably grounded in some truth, no matter how outlandish they may seem.

Getting caught in the rain and falling ill? Let's not argue about that. In certain temperate countries where the weather can admittedly get really chilly - with the icy winds aiding and abetting, I won't argue about waifish, undernourished stick-thin debutantes catching their death in a brief shower but for a strapping gym-fit guy to get pneumonia from a quick 100-metre dash through the pouring rain in our country is just unheard of! Unless steroids play a part in those pretty muscles but let's not go there.

Heal me!
Giving the wonder drug!

Antibiotics and the common cold? Frequently, patients in the clinics come demanding immediate miracle cures during consultation and being denied their regular antibiotic fixes only makes them awfully cranky. Since I'm frequently an unwilling victim of those nasty colds, I can easily sympathize.

Seriously, a great number of colds are caused by viruses - mainly rhinoviruses and coronaviruses from what I can recall from ye old days of mugging with the dull Microbiology textbook. Therefore, most times antibiotics are not needed - unless there's a serious bacterial co-infection. Just remember antibiotics do not treat viral infections ( can just imagine the naughty viruses sitting at the sidelines giggling and pointing at the ineffectual antibiotics ), and thus are ineffective against the common cold.

Trust me. Antibiotics are not the magical cure-all panacea that they claimed it was decades back when they discovered it ( though that doesn't make it any less amazing! ) - which seems to be what most of the uninitiated are thinking even now. God has blessed us all ( despite Adam's seeming betrayal ) with a kick-ass immune system and it's more than sufficient to tide us over through the minor ailments. Even I with my inherently pathetic immune system don't resort to antibiotics till it gets really awful and I have to be forcibly strapped and pushed into the emergency department in a gurney.

There's more ( like hypertensive patients who go off meds claiming they have been miraculously cured by heaven's will ) but Charming Calvin's ringing the alarm about his blog template and I gotta go.

But hey, tell me, what else have you heard lately?

14 comments:

Anonymous said...

Interesting... Is anyone at your country affected by the haze? Do you have more patients rushing to hospital ?

THE HONOURABLE SHAH said...

i don't think people have thronged to hospitals yet due to the haze. this one isn't awful like the last one we had. but it could be a nightmare for those who fast, like me.

anyway, antibiotics is no miracle cure.

Dave said...

Does rashes developed on body is causes by mosquito/insect bites or due to some other cause??

Rashes comes to me...OMG.

thompsonboy said...

These days, I don't rush to see the doc (no offence) unless I am next to dead. It's more lets see what my imune system can do or walk to the pharmacy and DIY. Worst come to worst, I will always insist on the doc to explain what kind of medication he is giving me.

ec said...

I hate antibiotics. I was forced to consume a big packet of antibiotics after my surgery.... =(

Annie said...

Yes indeed Paul... it's the way of the civilized and busy world. We want quick fixes. We don't have time to be sick you see. The human race has gotten more competitive and our lives are constantly on fast-forward; but our bodies are still the same. It needs nourishment, rest and its own time to fight those common colds. It's a way of our body telling us to slow down, hit the brakes, sleep and take care of that wonderful working machine we tend to take for granted. :D

nyonyapenang said...

i always believe that our body can heal itself, so let the cold run it's course. and drink plenty of water, of course. sometimes when the GP does prescribe antibiotics, i'll question him thoroughly if i could go without it.

Harvey said...

Yeah... I read about how antibiotics is useless against virus infection but my mom is still obstinate enough to believe the stronger the antibiotics, the better it is at curing diseases(though she ackonowledged that having anitibiotics can damage our immune system) The only western medicine that I found to work wonders is the one for runny nose.

pluboy@takashi said...

yes.. i only believe in the small tiny puny tablets thats for runny nose.. the rest are a waste of public funds.. lol..

ikanbilis said...

my Chemistry tuition teacher keeps reminding the student to dispose their old stock of antibiotics =)
i now prefer natural and organic medication. but sometimes medicine are just not enough. i believe with love and extra care, everything would flow smoothly and run like butter!

Maximus Leo said...

A few panadols or aspirins. A cup of hot lemon tea and plenty of sleep. That will do the job! and off course don't forget to excercise and stay away from surfing porn!!

nemesis-on-fire said...

microbiology isn't boring! :P those little buggers look really pretty under the microscope, it's fascinating and scary at the same time :P but yeah, there are really a lot of hypochondriacs out there :) i don't particularly like seeing the doctor, though :P unless he's tall, dark and handsome, of course! ;)

savante said...

Not yet. And I hope not, anon :) Most still staying home like shah says.

Rashes? Unless you have some allergies, dave.

No need to rush to see the doc, thompsonboy!

Having surgery is something else and then you need prophylactic antibiotics, ec.

You put it in the best way, annniieieiee! Moms seem to know best since nyonya said almost the same thing!

Well, harvey sometimes you don't need an atom bomb to kill an ant.

Public funds, pluboy? :)

Well, why would you keep old stock of antibiotics, ikanbilis?

That's what I do too, ian.

Not boring? Surely all the e.coli and pseudomonas must be driving you bored, nemesis :)

Paul

nemesis-on-fire said...

;) it didn't :P it was my major. in the end it was the long stretch of hours spent centrifuging, pipetting, collecting, incubating, etc. etc. in a sterile cell culture lab inhaling 70% ethanol fumes that finally drove me mad! the hours! i had no social life whatsoever :P