Health mistakes smart people make

Health News

You may think you know it all when it comes to your body, but there are plenty of health mistakes even the smartest people make. Here are the top six, according to WebMD.

Mistake No. 1 -- Trying to lose weight with diet drinks

Health experts say low-calorie drinks like diet sodas and juices can lead to overeating when people use the calories they saved to eat a cheeseburger or cookie. There's also evidence that artificial sweeteners may make you want to eat more sweets.

Mistake No. 2 -- Not seeking a second opinion on a major diagnosis

A second doctor could mention alternatives your first doctor didn't think of, or even correct a dangerous misdiagnosis.

Mistake No. 3 -- Quitting antidepressants cold turkey

You may think you're feeling good again, but flushing those antidepressants down the drain can lead to severe withdrawal symptoms such as insomnia, nausea, a flu-like illness and a return of your depression.

Mistake No. 4 -- Not going back for a follow-up

Up to 50 percent of women don't go back to the doctor following abnormal PAP smear results, significantly raising their risk for cervical cancer and other diseases. Be sure to check in with your doctor right away following unusual test results.

Mistake No. 5 -- Popping extra acetaminophen

Many people think more is better when it comes to pain relief, but experts say exceeding the recommended acetaminophen dosage can lead to liver damage or even failure and kills about 100 people each year.

Mistake No. 6 -- Getting too drunk

Sure, a drink a day is considered a good thing these days. But tossing back your week's quota in a weekend just once a month triples your risk for heart disease, especially among women, according to Dr. Suzanne Thomas of the Medical University of South Carolina's Charleston Alcohol Research Center.

To read more about the health mistakes smart people make, visit http://www.webmd.com/women/features/six-health-mistakes.