Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Hot Water Bottles Work!!

When I was a child, my mother would have me lie down with a hot water bottle to ease a stomach ache.Years later, I did the same for my children...

I don't get many stomach aches these days - but recently I've been trying to lower my blood sugar levels using Metformin, a medicine commonly prescribed for type 2 diabetes. One of the common side effects of this medication is stomach cramps - and I've had stomach discomfort most days. One day that was particularly painful, I finally grabbed a hot water bottle and lay down for a nap with it on my stomach. The pain immediately went away!

Was this simply a placebo? I wondered, and turned to Google...

Apparently not! Science has proven that applying heat to pain does work.

According to an online Guardian article, "if heat of more than 40C (104F) is applied to the skin near where internal pain is felt, it switches on heat receptors at the site of injury. These in turn block the body's ability to detect pain." 

It's interesting to realize that our parents and grandparents did have medical knowledge back in the day. But it's always interesting to discover the "how's'" and "why's" of what they simply knew to be true.

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