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The Doctor Is In –
Debunking Health Myths At TPC

We sit down with Dr Choong Kuan Siew of TPC Medical Clinic to debunk, clarify and explain some common misconceptions about health and wellness.

Ever engaged in a juice cleanse to ‘detox’ from a week of binge eating? Staying away from chocolate because you’re worried that it’ll ruin your complexion? While the internet has provided us with access to an unparalleled amount of information, it can also make it difficult to separate fact from fabrication when it comes to knowledge about our wellbeing.

Thankfully, Dr Choong Kuan Siew – family physician at TPC Medical Clinic – was happy to sit down with us to help debunk some of the most common health and wellness myths that we’ve encountered online.

Dr Choong’s journey into medicine first began in 2005, when she enrolled in the University of Malaya. During her housemanship, she discovered her passion for the domain of family medicine, a field which gives her a lot more time to build rapport with my patients, understand them, and address their concerns and needs. Her passion for family medicine was further reinforced when she achieved her post graduate Family Medicine degree at the National University of Singapore.

“I’d say that medical information online is about 50/50 [in terms of usefulness],” she tells us, when we quiz her on the practicality of using Google to self-diagnose. “The internet can be a good platform to educate individuals, but reading something online may make patients overly anxious about their problems.”

If you believe that the cure for a hangover is more alcohol, or always wondered if humans really use only 10% of our brains, grab a seat and read on: The doctor is in.

Being in cold weather gives you a cold

True or False:

False

 

What The Doc Says:

“Common colds are caused by viral infections, while a flu virus will usually lead to symptoms that are more serious: severe headaches, body aches and high fever. Cold weather – and the temperature itself - is not a contributing factor in causing a cold.”

 

 

Vaccines cause autism in children

True or False:

False

 

What The Doc Says:

“You should not stop your child from getting vaccinated because of fears of autism. [This fear] crops up around the MMR vaccine, which is very important for preventing a rare but serious infection.”

Eating too much chocolate will give you acne

True or False:

False

 

What The Doc Says:

“So far, there is no good evidence to show that any particular food like chocolate causes acne. The pathophysiology of pimples may involve many other things like oil production, the pore itself and bacterial infections.”

 

Everyone should drink 8 cups of water a day

True or False:

True

 

What The Doc Says:

“More specifically, you should drink 1.5-2 litres of water a day to keep well-hydrated. Dehydration can have a lot of negative impact on health, such as tiredness, headaches, and bad sleep.”

Drinking more alcohol is a good way to cure a hangover

True or False:

False (sadly)

 

What The Doc Says:

“The liver works by detoxing the system and clearing out the alcohol. By drinking more alcohol, you may actually impair or cause damage to your liver. Instead, you should hydrate by drinking more water.”

 

Juice cleanses are good for your body

True or False:

False

 

What The Doc Says:

“Many people may look at juice cleanses as a quick fix or ‘detox’. It may seem effective for weight loss in the short term, but you’re actually losing water and muscle mass. Once you stop the juice cleanses and return to a normal diet, you’ll regain the weight [you lost during the cleanse]. Juice cleanses can also be high in calories and sugar content.”

Reading/working in bad light can hurt your eyes

True or False:

True

 

What The Doc Says:

“Reading in the dark may cause damage to the cell at the back of your eyes, and may not be very good for your eyesight. Also, using your laptop at night may lead to insomnia, as LCD screens may cause your brain to become more active.”

 

Humans only use 10% of our brains

True or False:

False

 

What The Doc Says:

“Every part of the brain is useful, and we definitely don't use just 10% of it. Different parts of our brains are in charge of different activities: For example, one part of our brain is used for thinking, while another part of our brain is in charge of movement.”

 


 

Feeling a tad under the weather?

TPC Medical Clinic’s opening hours are as follows:

Monday to Friday:
8.30am to 1:00pm,
2:00pm to 5:00pm
Monday and Wednesday:
6.30pm to 9.00pm
Saturday:
9.00am to 12:00pm
Closed on Sunday and Public Holidays

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