It’s tough to overstate the importance of reliable, accurate medical information. If the current situation has taught us anything, it’s that doctors and medical professionals are invaluable to public health. Unfortunately, misinformation continues to persist, and it’s spread primarily through online channels. As such, it’s possible for someone to stumble across seemingly professional medical advice that is actually quite dubious –– if not just plain wrong. With that in mind, today we’ll outline four practices that health-conscious individuals should try and avoid in order to maintain a healthy lifestyle:

Dubious Health-Related Practices to Avoid

Self-Diagnosis

Thanks to digital resources like WebMD, it’s now fairly easy for people to “play doctor.” After all, lots of websites will list the symptoms associated with common medical issues. And it can be very tempting to assume that you have a certain condition if your symptoms align with it. However, this is a dangerous practice for many reasons. First, it’s very easy to misidentify a medical condition, and second, without the proper treatment for an issue, it could get much worse over time. When in doubt, visit a doctor.

Cure-All Supplements

It may sound obvious to some, but “miracle diet pills” aren’t going to work. Indeed, any over-the-counter supplements or substances that purport to cure a great many conditions are unlikely to deliver on their promises. Be wary of any so-called panacea, and remember that the solution to a complex medical issue isn’t going to fall magically from the sky.

Natural Remedies

It’s understandable why many people are excited by the idea of natural remedies for medical problems. After all, most would probably prefer to avoid rigorous treatments or surgeries. The bad news here is that, sadly, natural remedies rarely work. At best, they may prove largely ineffective –– like using bunion splints to get rid of bunions. At worst, though, they can be actively dangerous. Trying to treat a serious condition like heart disease with garlic is akin to inviting disaster. Note that ignoring even innocuous medical issues could cause them to significantly worsen over time.

Quick-Fixes for Mental Struggles

It is possible to overcome serious mental health problems like anxiety, unbearable stress, or depression. However, meaningful self-growth requires a great deal of time, energy, patience, and –– often –– medical consultation or even prescription medications. The bottom line is that there are no quick-fixes for mental anguish. A self-help book isn’t likely to help you get over the death of a loved one or defeat the fear of commitment. You can evolve and grow to become a better person, but don’t let passing trends or fads distract you from making real progress.

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