Digestive Disease Myths Slideshow: Common Misconceptions

Reviewed by Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD on Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Common misconceptions about digestive diseases can be dangerous
if they keep a person from correctly preventing or treating an illness.

3-D drawing of the human body with digestive system.

Myth # 1 Ulcers: Spicy food and stress cause stomach ulcers.

Spicy Indian curry dishes.

Myth # 2 Heartburn: Smoking a cigarette helps relieve heartburn.

Woman smoking with eyes closed.

Myth # 3 Celiac Disease: Celiac disease is a rare childhood disease.

Little girl laying in hospital bed.

Myth # 4 Bowel Regularity: Bowel regularity means a bowel movement every day.

Toilet with an hourglass timer on it.

Myth # 5 Constipation: Habitual use of enemas to treat constipation is harmless.

A US-style combination douche and enema bag syringe.

Myth # 6 Diverticulosis: Diverticulosis is an uncommon and serious problem.

Diagram showing a ruptured diverticulum that has become infected, causing the condition referred to as diverticulitis.

Myth # 7 Inflammatory Bowel Disease (Ulcerative Colitis and Crohn's Disease): Inflammatory bowel disease is caused by psychological problems.

Woman crying, worried and stressed psychologically.

Myth # 8 Cirrhosis: Cirrhosis is only caused by alcoholism.

Man has had too much alcohol to drink at a bar.

Myth # 9 Ostomy Surgery: After ostomy surgery, men become impotent and
women have impaired sexual function and are unable to become pregnant.

Couple having issues in bed.

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