I’VE really enjoyed writing the myth-buster stuff each month as I’ve always felt that knowledge is power. One of my most important roles as a GP is to give my patients the information they need to make the right decisions for themselves so I think it’s really useful to know when something that people come to believe about their health is untrue, be it an old wives’ tale or something more topical. So here’s my myth-buster special! DETOX January will see the papers and your social media pages crammed with miracle products to “cleanse you from the inside” after festive fun. This is all so much nonsense! The Good News is that your liver and kidneys have been doing that since you were born and don’t need any more help than a balanced diet, no ciggies, staying active and care with alcohol. Simples! YOU MUST DRINK AT LEAST 3 LITRES OF WATER A DAY Another one for your kidneys this! Your body has an ingenious way of telling you when you need to top-up with fluids – it’s called thirst. Drink when you’re thirsty. Drink a bit more when you exercise and you’ll be fine. VACCINES GIVE YOU AUTISM/MERCURY POISONING/FLU These are just three of the accusations leveled at vaccines regularly by a growing group of people known as “anti-vaxxers”. The truth is that to gain approval for use in patients, vaccines undergo enormous amounts of rigorous testing and research. There has never been a single credible trial to support any of the bile regularly spouted on the internet about these lifesaving treatments. Ever known anyone who died of smallpox or diphtheria? No? I thought not. Please get your child vaccinated. Chat to any doctor or nurse in the NHS if you have concerns. We can’t ALL be wrong! EATING BREAD CRUSTS MAKES YOU HAIR CURLY I really wish this was true but alas no. DUCT TAPE (GAFFA TAPE) IS GOOD FOR WARTS YES!!!! It actually is! Place a small square of this cheap adhesive tape onto a wart or verucca and change it every 6 days. Before long a chemical in the glue kicks your immune system into gear to kill the wart virus. This has been shown to work as well as freezing or using acid on warts. LASTLY… Please don’t think I’m being Dr Grumpy here. Knowing the facts is the best way to make better decisions for you. There are plenty of myths out there that still remain un-busted. However, if something makes you feel good, doesn’t harm anyone and isn’t smoking, excess alcohol or crisps or going on a sunbed – does it really matter if it’s a myth or not? I’m sad to say this will be my last column for Good News Liverpool. I’ve really enjoyed working with the fantastic team on the only paper trying to bring the best out of the worst year on record! I wish the paper all the success in the world for 2017. It’s been fun and I hope readers have found something in it to help improve their health and wellbeing.