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The Perils of Self-Diagnosis and How to Avoid It


The internet is the biggest source of information that we have access to these days. Whatever you want to know or learn, it’s a single Google search away. However, this power and knowledge has given rise to self-diagnosis, a trend that can have serious repercussions on your health if you’re not careful.

The internet has vast amounts of healthcare information, but it’s difficult for us to tell the difference between credible sources and misinformation. However, that doesn’t stop us from trying to diagnose our own problems. Whether you're mildly ill or have serious debilitating symptoms, it’s hard to stop yourself from using Google to search for your symptoms and the potential illnesses or diseases you have.

Why self-diagnosis is dangerous

Self-diagnosis is all about checking your symptoms online from different sources to see what issues you could potentially have. While it seems convenient, there are issues that can lead to serious consequences.

Firstly, the internet has a lot of misinformation. It’s not like people are actively trying to misinform and harm you, but it’s important to distinguish between serious information on reputable medical sites and blog posts where people talk about their own experiences. If you’re going to look online for information about your condition and symptoms, you have to make sure that it’s from a credible source

It’s also common for people to sell cures and remedies in their blog posts, especially when it comes to natural options to heal your condition. These products often don’t work or have limited effect, yet they can be extremely expensive, or worse, damaging to your health. If you notice that you’re being sold a product and the entire post is pushing for a product you’ve never heard of, then it’s best to avoid it.

Self-diagnosis also has the effect of straining your relationship with your family doctor. When you arrive at your own conclusions using the internet, it can often create arguments or disagreements with your doctor. This makes it hard to work together with your doctor and you may start avoiding professional expertise as a result.

Lastly, self-diagnosis often leads to people attempting to treat their own conditions. Not only can this exacerbate issues, but it delays professional treatment which could be vital to the recovery process.

How to correctly use the internet for medical information

But with all that said, the internet is still a valuable resource for medical information when used correctly.

For example, articles on unraveling long COVID and inflammatory disorders are helpful to read since they’re based on real data and written by experts. Similarly, any information from reputable online sources can be trusted. This means healthcare organizations, academic institutions, government websites, and medical publications.

It’s also important to cross-reference information, especially when it comes to symptoms and possible conditions. Look at trustworthy medical sites like WebMD, Mayo Clinic, and MedlinePlus.

Regardless of what information you see online, it’s vital that you try to avoid self-diagnosis. It can be a good tool to get a rough idea of what condition you might have, but you should never confirm it with online information online. Always seek professional healthcare assistance and an accurate expert diagnosis.

Why is self-diagnosis dangerous? Health Tips, How can I find safe information on the internet? When is it okay to figure out symptoms by searching online? How can I correctly use the internet for medical information? Technology Safety Tips


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