W24.co.za spoke to Dr Sindi van Zyl about the five things that you should know if you didn’t already.

Myth 1: Cold weather causes colds

Dr Sindi tweeted that being cold doesn’t cause colds and tweeps were shaken. We were all told by our mothers and grandmothers that you can get colds and flu from cold or wet weather, but this isn’t true. According to Dr Sindi, colds are caused by the spread of germs, which are easily spread because of how close we get to each other during cold seasons. “We huddle together and spread the virus via droplets from coughing and sneezing and also touching,” she says.

Myth 2: Anti-depressants are addictive

There is a misconception that anti-depressants are addictive, and this may be mistaken for people’s reliance on them. However, anti-depressants are not addictive, Dr Sindi says. “This one is particularly serious because many people are reluctant to take these meds because of this myth.” In a video interview on Youtube, she explains that anti-depressants help your body make more of the happy hormones that your body is lacking. She advises that people who need antidepressants should take them for a minimum of six months before they consider stopping the treatment.

Myth 3: You can drink apple cider vinegar to delay your period

There is this theory that drinking vinegar can delay or temporarily stop your period. Dr Sindi comments that the issue of delaying periods is a big one. “Doctors get regular requests from patients to do this. We have medication for this so we prefer people to consult their doctor rather than just ingesting vinegar,” she explains. The hormones that are available for this should be prescribed by a doctor at least two weeks before your period.

Myth 4: You can treat vaginal thrush by simply changing your diet

Most people are under the impression that vaginal thrush can be treated by changing your diet and eating certain foods that can balance the pH in your vagina. “Vaginal thrush is a fungal infection that comes about when there is an imbalance in the pH of the vagina,” says the doctor. “Simply changing your diet won’t treat vaginal thrush; it is treated with anti-fungal treatment. We need to make sure we wear cotton panties and that we do not use intimate washes. Sometimes the cause is something else and a doctor can assist.”

Myth 5: You can cure a hangover with more alcohol or coffee

We all have various cures for a hangover, but the most common ones are coffee and simply drinking some more, but this only delays the inevitable. “The best way to cure a hangover is to avoid it in the first place,” Dr Sindi says. “Stick to one type of drink; avoid sugary drinks such as cocktails. Drink one glass of water for each drink you have and drink a lot of water before you sleep.”