The human body is pretty wild. So wild, in fact, that doctors spend literal decades learning about it before they ever get to practice.
Well, recently, Reddit user assassinmice asked doctors on the platform, "What is something you wish everyone knew about their body?" and TBH, their answers blew my mind.
Here are some very helpful kernels of knowledge from just some of those doctors:
1. "Antibiotics are not some magic cure for every pain in your body, and they don't treat the flu or the common cold."
2. "Your mental health is just as important as your physical health."
3. "There is a wide range of 'normal'. Don't be embarrassed by your body. Having said that, if you are concerned about anything, ask your doctor. We have generally heard it all before, and trust me, we have (nearly always) seen it all before."
4. "Type 2 diabetes is more serious than most people realize. It also affects your eyes, nerves, immune system, etc."
5. "You often will feel normal even with high blood pressure, as it's often found incidentally. So don't wait until it's too late: Get checked at least once a year if you're over 35 years old."
6. "Your kidneys and liver cheerfully do all the toxin elimination you'll ever need. Cleanses and other 'detoxifying' products are mostly a waste of money."
7. "How to check for skin cancer. If you see any moles or spots that are asymmetrical (A); have uneven borders (B); are different colors (C); have a large diameter (D); or evolve (E), then get checked!"
8. "Don't do DIY surgery, and don't hold off on telling your doctor about things that are obvious warning signs. Don't be the guy who tried to remove his skin cancer with a knife."
9. "Ejaculating blood is somewhat common and is usually benign, and in most cases it resolves itself on its own within a week. However, peeing blood is a serious medical emergency, and you should immediately go to the ER."
10. "The immune system is an incredibly complex and nuanced organization of cells that communicates readily to destroy anything deemed hostile in the body. It helps explain why vaccines are supposed to work, why allergies come and go, and why transfusions/transplants are hard to successfully pull off."
11. "Please do not use soap or douching products inside your vagina. It has a delicate pH balance, and this is how you get yeast infections. Wash your labia, but do not clean internally."
12. "Some things just don't belong in your rectum."
13. "They only have one body, and their behavior now (drinking, smoking, not taking medicines, etc.) will impact their life quality and expectancy. It sounds logical, but very few patients really realize it."
14. "Your body isn't like a TV remote where you pop out the old batteries and put in some new ones. You can't expect to come into a hospital and walk out feeling 100%. People have some unrealistic expectations about what doctors can do based off TV shows like Grey's Anatomy."
15. "Drink water."
16. "Just because you're skinny doesn't mean you're healthy. The internet has so many fad diets, so people don't know basic nutrition facts."
17. "It would help if more patients knew their family history (though not everyone has this opportunity unfortunately). Prevention is becoming more and more important in medicine, and treating a disease in its early stages is a lot better than catching it late."
18. "Teeth are the most disrespected body part. A healthy set is as important as a healthy heart."
19. "Antioxidants are like gas for your car. You can store up a certain amount of vitamins, but your 'tank' can only hold so much. If you binge and overfill your 'tank,' it doesn't do anything (you excrete it out as waste). You can't expect to go the next several months without 'gas' just because you tried to overload it before."
20. "I wish my patients would know what meds they're on when they come to the hospital. Before going to a doctor that has never seen you before, write down your meds, doses, etc. on a piece of paper."
21. "You need some kind of exercise. It doesn't matter how you feel right now — sitting for 12-16 hours a day will have negative consequences."
So, doctors of the BuzzFeed, what do YOU wish your patients knew? Tell us in the comments below!
Some responses have been edited for length and clarity.