The r/AskReddit board has long been an excellent place to ask questions and solicit answers of all kinds from the almighty hive mind of the internet. And although any kind of question can be and has been asked in this community, given that the world is still experiencing one of the gravest public health emergencies in living memory, the topics of public health and of how to stay healthy have been on the minds of millions.

In this spirit, one Redditor decided to direct an all-important question at all of the medical professionals who visit Reddit. He asked: “Doctors and Medical Professionals of Reddit, what one medical fact do you wish everybody knew?”

Here are some of the great answers to be found on the thread.


1. Mental Illness

Mental illness continues to carry a serious stigma with it in our society. This stigma often results in feelings of shame which leads people suffering from mental conditions to suffer in silence rather than to do and get treatment. So one medical professional simply pointed out that mental illnesses can be just as serious as physical ones.

2. Only Treating Surface Symptoms

When children fall sick with a cold, the flu or any similar viral infection, they tend to get fevers. Parents, understandably seeking to relieve their kids’ discomfort, will often give them Tylenol, ibuprofen or a similar medication to help with their fevers. While these drugs can reduce fevers, they do nothing to treat the underlying cause of the fever, which is probably some kind of bacterial or viral infection.


Unfortunately, too many parents think that their kids are all better just because their fevers have been beaten down. A kid on Tylenol can still spread the germ that made him sick to other people, so it might be best to keep your kids at home for a while if they get sick.

3. Antibiotics

Doctors prescribe all kinds of antibiotics to help people deal with medical issues. However, the regimen exists for a reason and is meant to be followed through to completion. Far too many people stop using antibiotics after they begin feeling better from whatever was ailing them, not realizing that the problem has probably only gone dormant and will only reemerge later if the antibiotics regimen is not completed.


4. Thank You For Not Smoking

Smoking will kill you. Don’t delude yourself into thinking that you can avoid the accumulated effects of prolonged exposure to cigarette smoke. Even if you don’t end up getting lung cancer or emphysema, smoking can still damage your heart and create potentially fatal blood clots.

For the sake of your health, either don’t smoke at all or just kick the habit if you smoke.

5. Exercise

Regular exercise is the closest thing to a panacea known to medical science. It has all kinds of benefits in every conceivable area of health. As one Redactor put it, “If exercise were a pill, it’d be the most prescribed drug in existence.”