When Doctors Don’t Know the Best Medical Advice

Some of their outdated tips may compromise your care or sabotage your health goals. Here, medical advice you can safely ignore.

By Sharon Liao from Reader's Digest Magazine | June 2013

TrayOld Medical Advice: Take medication at the first sign of a fever. Not only does a rising temperature cause chills and discomfort, but an untamed fever may also lead to scary side effects such as febrile seizures in children. That’s why it’s important, especially for children, to take a fever reducer right away.

New Medical Advice: Take medication only in the case of a high fever. Low-grade fevers are not only safe, but they also help your body battle infection—so you can recover faster. “A higher body temperature stimulates the immune system,” says David Katz, MD, director of the Yale-Griffin Prevention Research Center. It also weakens invading microbes, so they’re easier to fight off. In general, until your fever climbs higher than 101°F (or 102°F for most children older than three months), don’t treat it. Of course, if you’re very uncomfortable, check in with your doctor.

Next: Are eggs actually bad for you? »

Jamie Chung

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