You cannot deny the power of Google, but when it comes to healthcare, it has both pros and cons.
Internet can be stated as the eighth wonder of the world, where netizens make many rounds of the world every second virtually. While sitting in the comfort of your home, information, gifts, ideas, thoughts, experiences etc. can be shared with the world in just one click. Internet being used for electronic mail, research, downloading-uploading files, discussion groups, interactive games, education and self-improvement, healthcare, friendship and dating, electronic news paper and magazines, job hunting and shopping.
Nowadays when we fall ill, we immediately rush to search the causes and remedies online. Online self-diagnosis is a dangerous practice. If you Google “why do I have pain in my stomach,” you may found several causes of abdominal pain like constipation, IBS, stomach infection, food poisoning and even stomach cancer also. However, stomach pain might just be the result of your eating habits, or it might be simple gas, but if you google your symptoms, you can end up making bad basic choices.
The issue is that the internet could lead you to believe that an appendicitis is an abdominal cramp, a migraine is a brain tumor or an aneurysm, and the common cold is a bacterial infection that must be treated with antibiotics.
In fact, studies show that internet symptom checkers are universally inaccurate i.e., the depth of symptom rabbit hole cannot be found using Google as it would end up confusing you. Even mild symptoms can be considered severe and could spike your anxiety.
Why you should not Google your symptoms excessively:
Searching for your symptoms on Google when you are sick, it would be one of the worst things you could do for yourself. Without the right training, knowledge, and experience It is almost impossible to pinpoint the real cause of your symptoms.
Google-Ing your symptoms can go wrong in either of two ways:
- Overestimate your symptoms and choose the incorrect medication or Course of therapy, or
- Underestimate your symptoms and allow a condition to get worse.
Additionally, there is a risk of experiencing “health anxiety,” a real illness that causes excessive worry about being sick.
Looking up medical symptoms and ailments online can make your life more stressful and unsettling. “Cyberchondria” is the name used for this in the internet era.
Internet research says that people find google more approachable as this avoid their unnecessary visits for minor ailments whereas some people are afraid for the visit and end getting panic.
With a market share of more than 90% among search engines worldwide, Google receives a billion health-related queries daily.
Which Information Can You Trust ?
Refer Only Trusted Websites: Utmost dependable and easy-to-find medical health information is available of government websites, sanctioned websites of health organisations or and news websites (to an extent).
Always consider trusted clinical research and studies if one need to look out for some symptoms.
Always Seek a Health Professional:
It is strongly advised, just visit your physician before doing any online research for any disease. Such online search of ailment on google would confuse and make you feel lost.
Not everyone can be a physician and the information on the internet can make your expert. Instead give yourself with luxury of peace of mind by visiting a health professional.
And if you do not have time to see a doctor in person, try seeing a doctor online through one of several telehealth services. You may also talk to a therapist online if your concerns are more internal or emotional health.
The crux, always trust your doctor and not google.