Health Check: should we aim for daily bowel movements?

This article was original published in The Conversation.

Health Check: should we aim for daily bowel movements?

By Michael Tam

When I was in my teens, I watched the comedy Crazy People, starring Dudley Moore and Daryl Hannah. Moore plays a burnt-out advertising executive who creates (hilarious) “honest” ads. One of the ads is for the fibre supplement Metamucil which claims:

It helps you go to the toilet. If you don’t use it, you’ll get cancer and die.

Don’t worry, constipation doesn’t cause bowel cancer.

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99 & Counting: Medical Myths Debunked

99-Myths-img2My articles published in the Monday Medical Myth series on The Conversation were included in a paperback and e-book publication, “99 & Counting: Medical Myths Debunked”, edited by Helen Sykes & Fron Jackson-Webb.

This series of articles was brainchild of Fron, who engaged with field experts to write on a commonly believed myth, explain where it might have originated, and to debunk it with evidence.

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Monday’s medical myth: yoghurt cures thrush

The following article was published in The Conversation:

Monday’s medical myth: yoghurt cures thrush

By Michael Tam

Vaginal thrush, or “vulvovaginal candidiasis” is a common condition, with around three-quarters of women experiencing an episode in their lifetime.

Many readers may be familiar with the unpleasant symptoms of vaginal thrush – vaginal itching and burning, “cottage cheese” discharge with a yeasty smell, inflammation of the vagina and vulva, and pain while passing urine or having sex. Continue reading

Monday’s medical myth: cranberry juice prevents bladder infections

The following article was published in The Conversation:

Monday’s medical myth: cranberry juice prevents bladder infections

By Michael Tam, University of New South Wales

You might eat them in a sauce alongside your Christmas turkey or drink them juiced, perhaps with a shot of vodka. But the sweet, tart cranberry is also well known as a remedy for preventing urinary tract infections (UTIs). Continue reading