30 Basic Things Doctors Wish You Realized About Your Own Body 

30 Basic Things Doctors Wish You Realized About Your Own Body 

Here are some facts about your body from Ask Reddit you should probably know.

1. Ear wax is normal. You shouldn’t try to remove it. People cause all sorts of problems with Q-tips and (god forbid) ear candles. They don’t work and can cause you harm. If you genuinely need wax removed, go to a professional.

2. Women, 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. The vagina is self-cleaning just like your eyeballs. Do you wash your eyeballs? No. Do you wash your face? Yes.

3. Over the Counter Detoxes are bullshit. You have multiple organs that can detox perfectly fine if you take care of them.

4. Holy shit, this needs to be a PSA, kids stop getting those magnet piercings on your mouth, every week a dozen idiots come in swallowing them, once in a blue moon we have to take them to theatre, open them up and fish them out.

The issue is if they don’t come out by you shitting them, there’s a risk they make a hole in your bowel (fistula) and it becomes an emergency.

That’s why we’d rather fish them out before we have to cut out bits of your bowel.

5. You should not keep a full bladder or let your bladder stay over-distended for long periods of time. When the bladder stretches it can damage the musculature of the bladder and lead to voiding dysfunction in the future.
So when you are on a long road trip, remember to have a bathroom stop in mind before you drink that large energy drink… or at least have an empty container handy.

6. Ejaculating blood happens to most people at least once in their lives and in 99% of cases it resolves without taking any action within a week. It doesn’t even warrant a doctor visit.

Peeing blood (for both sexes) is a serious medical emergency and you should immediately go to the ER.

People think it’s the other way around.

7. I’m an ENT. Please bring ear plugs to loud concerts and shows. Please don’t listen to music on your earbuds/headphones too loud. Your hearing doesn’t regenerate and you put yourself at a higher risk of developing tinnitus (ringing in your ears) and hyperacusis (sensitivity to sound).

8. Take care of your feet. If you can’t feel your feet, check your feet regularly to make sure they’re clean, dry, and haven’t started developing any sores. Even small sores and go straight to the bone. If the infection goes to the bone, chances are we are going to cut your foot off. I have helped prep about half a dozen people just this week for foot amputations.

9. Fixing your posture can help headaches and low back pain.

10. Daily exercise is wonderful for your health, but if you are only active for one hour a day and then sedentary for the rest of it, you put yourself at increased health risk. So get up from your desk once an hour for 5-10 min and go for a walk or do squats.

11. My ex-girlfriend is a gynecologist and she always hated how many regular women misunderstood how the vagina is self-cleaning (which it is, inside) and absolutely refused to wash down there (not inside, but refused to clean the vulva and general outside crotch area).

12. All I can say is YOU DON’T NEED ANTIBIOTICS FOR LITERALLY EVERYTHING. The amount of people I hear who have the flu and get pissed doctors won’t give them antibiotics is insane. The increasing resistance scares me and its gonna make my job a nightmare.

13. Brush your teeth 2x a day for 2 minutes. Just doing that simple thing will save you thousands of dollars in the future, avoiding the need to fix or replace decaying teeth.

14. If you’re going for something where an injection or a blood sample is going to be involved, make sure you’re well hydrated (unless given instructions not to be) and keep yourself warm – it makes it a lot easier to find a vein.

It’s also a good idea to keep a current list of your medications with you, that’s often a good resource to have available. Include your dosages as well as the name of the medication.

15. It gets worse when you worry too much. The only three rules for health we need to focus on are: Don’t smoke, exercise and don’t worry.

16. In terms of saving human lives, hand washing is the most important medical advance of the last 200 years.

In the era of multi drug resistant bacteria, soap and warm water still work.

17. It’s shocking how many people don’t know the anatomy of women. The urethra is where your pee comes from. It is also where bacteria can enter and cause a UTI. No a UTI is not a STD. And it isn’t in your vagina. It’s in your urinary tract. Yes you need to go see a doctor because that infection can travel all the way up to your kidneys and eventually into your bloodstream and you will end up septic. Also a yeast infection is not the same thing. Often you get them after a dose of antibiotics that caused an overgrowth of yeast in the vagina. And husbands/boyfriends, familiarize yourself so you can be understanding. She is not gross. She could have some anatomical problems and chronic UTIs. It can happen to you too. You just got blessed with a urethra that has a longer distance from the entrance to the bladder. So most men don’t get them as easily.

18. Nothing is too embarrassing to see your doctor about.

If you’ve been ejaculating blood, it could be an early symptom of prostate cancer.

If you’ve been peeing blood, it could be an early sign of bladder cancer.

If you’ve been pooping blood, it could be an early sign of colon cancer.

If you have a skin ulcer or lesion that isn’t healing, it could be a developing skin cancer.

Small amounts of intense exercise are just as beneficial as larger amounts of moderate exercise. You don’t need an hour a day or whatever to make a positive change to your lifestyle, even 15 minutes is worth the extra effort.

If you smoke, quitting will be the single best thing you can possibly do for your health in your entire life.

Exercise is as effective for treating depression as medication. That being said, depression involves changes in your brain chemistry which can be reversed or mitigated by taking the right medications. You need both for an optimal recovery.

Treat your body with the same care as your most prized possession – because it is your most prized possession. You can’t enjoy any of the things that money can buy if you are suffering or in pain. Anything else in life is replaceable, your body and health are not.

19. Smoking is the absolute worst thing you can do for your body. It is a risk factor for almost every preventable disease, including heart disease and heart attacks, strokes, almost every type of cancer, diabetes, COPD, kidney disease, macular degeneration (blindness), and so much more. I know quitting smoking is hard, but please give it a try, for your body’s sake!

20. Alcohol is really really bad for you. I understand that ritualistic consumption of the poison has been part of almost every society for thousands of years, but that absolutley does not change just how terrible it is for your body.

You may think, “I binge drink all the time and I’m fine! I come from a long line of heavy drinkers! It’s just some booze, I’ve never gotten sick from it!” But BOY HOWDY do you not realize what it does to your body.

By binge drinking, you run the risk of developing:

Stomach bleeds.

Intestinal bleeds.

Pancreatitis (both acute and chronic).

Liver disease and/or liver failure.


Heart failure.




Lung failure.

The list goes on… Every time you have more than a few drinks in a night, you are essentially juggling hand grenades hoping that they don’t go off. There is just no reason to do that to your body. Having 4 drinks spread out over a few hours can be JUST as fun as having 10 drinks in the same time span, AND you’re not putting yourself at risk for massive organ failure and making yourself look like an idiot.

21. That chest compressions aren’t like gently kneading dough as per TV.

Needs to be 2–2.5 inches deep, about 6cm. Count them- it’s significant and forceful. 100 per minute is the speed of the beat of “Staying Alive”.

Push fast, push hard. If you aren’t getting tired after a minute you probably aren’t pushing hard enough. Frequent rotation of personnel is important, but try not to skip a single beat (we count 3-2-1-change).

22. GET SLEEP! Most psychosis happens because someone haven’t had slept or haven’t had good sleep for extended periods of time. Some people just need 20 straight hours of sleep and then they never end up in a psychiatric hospital ever again.

AND DON’T JUST RANDOMLY STOP YOUR MEDICATION BECAUSE YOU FEEL BETTER. You feel better because you have consistent amount of whatever is leveled in your body now. And now that your body is hitting equilibrium everything is going great, so KEEP DOING WHAT YOU’RE DOING. I’ve seen people go on and off their medications for years and it really starts to mess up your body if you do that for too long.

23. The frequency of bowel movements can range from every 3 days to 3 times per day and be considered normal. Having 3 soft stools per day does not mean you have chronic diarrhea.

24. We aren’t going to call the cops if you’re on drugs, we need to know so we don’t give you medication that when mixed with said drugs will kill you.

Example: If you’re high on heroin (a depressant) and you’re flipping out, we can’t give you Ativan or Benadryl because it can literally stop your breathing and/or heart.

25. Injuries accumulate. I cannot stress this enough. Little kids have no business lifting heavy weights or getting pushed so hard in sports by some of these ‘coaches’ who seem to have little knowledge of physiology or don’t care about the long term impact of the regiments. Stuff like this really changes people’s lives

26. High blood pressure doesn’t have symptoms majority of the time. It’s called the silent killer and causes a plethora of other illnesses.

27. I’m a dentist and if you don’t take care of your gums your teeth will fall out of your head and you’ll get pissed at me when your jaw bone atrophies and your denture doesn’t fit anymore.

28. Never ever boil breast milk (in my country there is a popular belief that breast milk jaundice in newborns can be treated by boiling one’s breast milk – but by doing this you destroy all the nutrients and it basically becomes as nutritious as water is).

29. You need some kind of exercise. Doesn’t matter how you feel right now, sitting for 12-16 hours a day will have negative consequences.

30. Don’t do DIY surgery or hold off on reporting things that are obvious warning signs. Don’t be the guy who tried to remove his skin cancer with a knife. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

About the author

January Nelson

January Nelson

January Nelson is a writer, editor, and dreamer. She writes about astrology, games, love, relationships, and entertainment. January graduated with an English and Literature degree from Columbia University.