Healthy Moments Episode

Debunking Medical Myths

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Jul 8, 2013 | Download Audio

Dr. Rodgers points out that majority of ulcers are not caused by stress—an example of one of many medical myths dispelled by new findings in science.


True or false: stress causes the majority of peptic ulcers?

Hi, I’m Dr. Griffin Rodgers, director of the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases at NIH.

The answer is false. The majority of ulcers aren’t caused by stress.

In the past, many people with peptic ulcers were told that stress was the culprit. Research now shows that over 60 percent of peptic ulcers are caused by a bacterial infection that responds to antibiotics.

This once long held belief about stress causing ulcers is one example of a medical myth. Other medical myths include:

  • Feed a cold and starve a fever.
  • Eating turkey makes you sleepy.
  • And, cracking your knuckles causes arthritis.
New findings in science often help us dispel medical myths. Next week, I’ll share tips on finding reliable health information online.

To learn more, follow us on Twitter @HealthyMoments. This is Dr. Griffin Rodgers with the NIH.

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