Seeking health advice online or looking at a symptom checker for women isn’t always a bad thing. I mean, I am happy you are here reading my blog 🙂 But that being said, there are important things to keep in mind when checking with “Dr. Google”:
For any number of reasons, people are reluctant to go to their doctor unless they develop symptoms that are impossible to ignore. Regardless of whether it is down to the risk of lost time or money, or because of the current pandemic situation, we all know someone – and some of us are that someone – who will say “I’m fine”, maybe take an aspirin, and go about their day.
This in itself isn’t great news. If you have symptoms that are not going away, are worsening, or which keep coming back, then a doctor’s appointment is eventually going to be a necessity. But the news can be even worse due to our tendency to look for alternative sources of medical advice, a tendency which leads us all too often into the waiting room of Dr. Google.
While the popular search engine is incredibly useful – including in some medical situations – it is not somewhere you should be looking for in-depth advice and diagnosis.
Your Symptoms May Lead You Down the Wrong Path
If you carry out a search for the symptoms of cancer – pretty much any kind of cancer – you’ll see a list that almost certainly includes “fatigue”. There will also, often, be reference made to either a pain or a malady affecting the area in question.
There are other symptoms listed, too, but the page you have been reading will likely mention that not every patient will have every symptom. So if you are more tired than usual and you are experiencing pain or nausea, your mind can be halfway to diagnosing a serious illness, particularly if you are of an anxious nature.
Many Symptoms are Very Widely Experienced
Considering the above, try to remember the last time you were in pain. It won’t have been a very pleasant feeling, and it will have placed quite a toll on you. You may have felt somewhat drained as a result; it’s a normal response.
That’s the thing – most people will be tired when they aren’t feeling great – but seeing symptoms on a list like that can cause your mind to take a leap. If you’re experiencing pain or unwellness, it’s certainly worth checking with a qualified online GP and getting professional advice. They’ll ask the right questions and get to the core of things.
The Facts of Online Medical Searches are that:
- Online symptom checkers for women may vary widely in their credibility.
- There’s a difference between health information accessible to actual healthcare providers and the online information available to the public, especially online.
- Your healthcare provider can help put online information into context.
- Too much information that may not even be accurate can lead to health anxiety.
Read More >>> Recommended Medical Tests for Women
That Doesn’t Mean Dr Google is Useless in Healthcare
We shouldn’t leave the impression that search engines are the bad guys when it comes to your health. They certainly have their part to play in keeping you well, it’s just that they’re a blunt tool – they’ll give you excellent advice in terms of what foods are good for you if you have an intolerance, for example.
Read Next >>> Symptoms You Should Never Ignore
Search engines, and the websites they take you to, don’t know your medical history and they aren’t designed to take the right information to diagnose you or prescribe a treatment. In some cases, searching your symptoms using a symptom checker for women can actually cause more harm than it’s ever going to cure, so keep that in mind before turning to Dr. Google.