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Five Medical Misconceptions Explained

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With the vast amounts of information currently online, it's almost impossible not to come across some false information. There are a lot of medical myths and misconceptions that falsely guide people in their health habits and activities. Here are five medical misconceptions as told and explained by Tim Newman. 1. Waking a sleepwalker is dangerous Sleepwalking is surprisingly common, affecting 1-15 percent of the general population. Many people believe that waking a sleepwalker will cause a heart attack or put them in a coma. However, according to the National Sleep Foundation, it's actually dangerous not to wake a sleepwalker. Though it might confuse them, waking the sleepwalker up will prevent them from falling down stairs, smashing a glass or getting in their car and taking a drive. Guiding the sleepwalker back to best is probably the best option, but if needed, there is no harm in waking them. 2. Eating before swimming, cramps, and drowning When you were a little kid, you probably remember your mother forbidding you to go into the water shutterstock_58267282directly after you ate lunch. This was a common rule, from both parents and pools, so you would avoid getting serious cramps and drowning. However, according to Dr. Roshini Rajapaksa, a gastroenterologist at the New York University School of Medicine, said that only minor cramps might occur if you swim too soon after you eat and only if one was to swim incredibly strenuously. Drowning because of a food-related cramp is highly unlikely. 3. Blue blood Take a look at the veins on your wrist. What color are they? Most likely blue. Since our veins, which carry blood throughout the body, are blue, we assume our blood is the same color. We've always been told that blood only turns red as soon as it touches the air because it becomes oxygenated. This is untrue. When it is deoxygenated, it is a deeper shade of red than when it touches the air. There are a number of factors that cause veins to look blue: the way light travels though the skin, blood's oxygenation state affects the way light is absorbed, the depth and diameter of the blood vessel and the way in which humans perceive color. But the reality is that blood is alway red. 4. How many tastes can you taste? Taste2 If you've ever seen the classic "tongue map," you probably think different types of taste -- sweet, sour, bitter and salty -- are tasted on different parts of the tongue.  However, we taste different flavors on taste buds scattered all across the tongue. It's true that certain areas of the tongue are more sensitive to certain flavors, but overall, the entire tongue can taste the same flavors. There is also a fifth taste along with the popular sweet, sour, bitter and salty. It's called Umami, and it's a savory, meaty taste. 5. Sugar and hyperactivity in kids  There is no scientific evidence that sugar gives kids more energy.
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