Dangers of Using Google For Health Symptoms
Have you been guilty of looking up your health symptoms online? If the answer is yes (well, of course you have!), you wouldn’t be alone. In fact, it’s such a common worldwide occurrence that Even Google’s own staff admit that using the search engine to look for symptoms is pretty much a portal into Hell.
And while sometimes Internet searches can lead to the right answers, other times it can lead to anxiety called cyberchondria. The unfounded concern over common symptoms based on online literature and research. Once someone begins self-diagnosing and agonizing over health symptoms, it becomes an issue.
Googling your health symptoms, even with some level of medical understanding, has its concerns.
We know it’s faster to turn to the internet than book an appointment with your doctor. But it’s going to save you a lot of grief if you at least stay away from “Dr. Google” if you ever experience any health symptoms. Instead, consider being seen on your schedule at one of our urgent care clinics. No appointment necessary, and we are open every day of the year (yes – including Christmas and Easter!).
Spending time furiously searching symptoms on your iPhone, then declaring you’ve got X, Y, or Z can be downright dangerous. It can keep you from getting the help you actually need.
Always consider the source
A lot of times, people read a personal story and they say, ‘Hey, that sounds like me. That’s my problem too!’ and they get very worked up, and may even take a course of action that isn’t actually relevant to them.
Look for credentials
Just because someone has a popular blog does not mean they know what they’re talking about, whether they’re dishing about fitness, a particular treatment, or something nutrition-related. Pretty pictures of food do not equal expertise. And don’t just fall for good SEO—the first Google results aren’t necessarily the most accurate.
Restrain yourself from acting on Dr. Google’s advice
It’s one thing to try a vegan diet or a Paleo diet because you’ve read good things about them online. But it’s a very different thing to go out, read information about a health condition, and then try to apply it to yourself.
Take your symptoms to a doctor
Treatment doesn’t come from reading an article (or worrying about an article). That’s what a licensed health practitioner does. In our experience, the majority of the time a patient uses Dr. Google to obtain a diagnosis, the diagnosis is incorrect and requires a different treatment plan then the patient expected. For your health and safety, please allow a licensed practitioner to be the judge.
The focus of Urgent Care Network Omaha clinics is to take care of the issues that aren’t extreme, but do need medical help. We treat minor illnesses like the flu, infections, fevers, nausea, etc. Also minor injuries such as sprains, possible broken bones, lacerations, sports injuries, etc. We also provide occupational health services like work comp care, pre-employment physicals, drug screens, etc. More details are available on our services page.