Do you self-diagnose online?

L.A. Times 2013/01/17 18:00:00
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If you turn to Google before turning to a doctor when you're feeling icky, you're not alone. Last year, 1 in 3 Americans typed their symptoms into search engines and medical websites before seeing their physician, according to a Pew Research Center study released this week.

And with the flu epidemic making its way steadily west, now seems like a good time to talk about the best way to search for health information online. Searching for medical advice online can never replace a visit to a living, breathing doctor, but there are ways to help you weed through the online clutter and get reliable information. Medical experts say you can't trust any single site to always have the best or most up-to-date information on any condition, but some sites are more likely to be helpful than others.

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  • MARIDOTS 2013/01/17 23:11:02
    I'm a nurse and I think that if you can't go to your doctor with at least a partial diagnosis they aren't going to take time to figure out whats wrong with you. I did a lot of research and went to my doc and told her I thought I had breast cancer, she examined me and said she thought I had an abscess... I took her 10 day course of antibiotics and 6 months later had a mastectomy for the breast cancer I told her I had. Its that way most of the time now. JMHO of course.

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  • Dima 2013/02/08 02:50:02
    to reach a complete Dx. you have to see a doctor
    the online Dx. programs may give some correct Dxs, but necessarily to be right , there are many complain things need physical examination which unbelievable to be guessed at such programs
    not to be mentioned is some conditions people may harm themselves bu following incorrect ttt.
  • Cal 2013/01/21 17:45:58
  • Bonita Colley 2013/01/20 20:53:58
    Bonita Colley
    I believe in natural healthcare! No to Big Pharma and Corrupt Western Medicine!
  • hat man Bonita ... 2013/02/04 22:00:57
    hat man
    What is natural healthcare?
  • Bonita ... hat man 2013/02/04 22:03:36
    Bonita Colley
    Eating properly, using herbs, vitamins, and other natural healing remedies, along with exercise. Staying away from Big Pharma and Medical Doctors who only want to shove the latest and greatest Big Pharma!
  • hat man Bonita ... 2013/02/04 22:05:55
    hat man
    But all drugs are natural. They still come form nature. They aren't from an alternate universe.
  • Bonita ... hat man 2013/02/04 22:10:25
    Bonita Colley
    That is bull! I just love when I hear things like this.... Let's talk about all the pollutants in pills, vaccines, etc. just have to read the reaction list on just one prescribed med. Just like when I had a smart ass doctor tell me that all pain is nerve pain. Well duh the nerves are the conductors for pain signals but there are different types of pain! When you use a whole plant then all elements work together in helping the body.
  • hat man Bonita ... 2013/02/04 22:15:36 (edited)
  • Bonita ... hat man 2013/02/05 02:13:42
    Bonita Colley
    When you extract plant using chemical process you are robbing the proper breakdown of the properties. Consuming the plant or essential oils through non chemical ways then you get NATURAL. When you add other agents you are corrupting the properties which then causes more complications in the human body! All parts of the plant help the active agent! You just don't mess with Creative Design!
  • hat man Bonita ... 2013/02/05 13:10:43 (edited)
    hat man
    What is creative design? Plants have not evolved to cure human ailment. Only the active agent helps, the rest is useless, how is the cytoplasm going to help? How is the starch going to help? How are the enzymes going to help? etc.
    Let me give you a definition of the natural world: Nature, in the broadest sense, is equivalent to the natural world, physical world, or material world.
  • JustMe 2013/01/19 16:49:22
    not always, but at times i have
  • sjb 2013/01/19 06:34:52
    Sometimes, unless I am certain it is something serious.
  • Sakura Uchiha 2013/01/18 23:19:26
    Sakura Uchiha
    thats for a doc
  • rereblue 2013/01/18 23:05:25
    I go to my doctor.
  • Anonymous 2013/01/18 21:41:13
    Doctors and physicians spend years learning about these things for a REASON. If these internet diagnosis actually worked, don't you think they'd be out of a job by now?
  • Tina 2013/01/18 20:57:11
    My throat is sore, let me see what I have... I have a brain tumor.
  • Janice Watson 2013/01/18 20:43:21
    Janice Watson
    Only minor things. Anything serious or unknown needs to be evaluate by a doctor.
  • kick2head 2013/01/18 19:20:42
    The problem arises though in the fact that many illnesses share similar symptoms. Take a headache for instance, it could be causes by something as benign as a little stress, wrong eyeglass prescription, etc, or something as serious as a brain tumor. Some of the sites have too many diagnosis that fall in the middle of the spectrum or show the worse case scenario, which can cause lead to anxiety.

    I have found for me, that it is best if I use a flowchart methodology to layout my symptoms and write down the who, what, when, where, and how answers, as my symptoms occur to pinpoint a more probable answer.

    For example:

    Headache->Where: back of the head->What type of pain: dull ache->How long: since yesterday->Any other symptoms: No->Any other environmental changes: Started a difficult project at work.

    Headache is most likely stress related. So I would meditate, drink herbal tea, take more breaks, get more rest, etc.

    If the symptoms changed, for instance in severity, or didn't go away, I would re-evaluate with the new information and decide whether to go to the doctor or not. My doctor and I are good friends and he generally agrees with my diagnosis, there have been a few times when we have had philosophical disagreements when it came to the use of medicine versus homeopathic remedies.
  • sweetie17 2013/01/18 19:03:53
    If i think somethings that wrong that i need to look it up then i need to c my doctor
  • Brittany 2013/01/18 17:43:26
    And apparently I have every mental disorder known to man. Lol
  • rebeccasrevenge 2013/01/18 17:41:01
    And according to what I've read,I have every disease known to mankind
  • P..W 2013/01/18 17:33:51
    ahhh what does that mean?LOL
  • Lucy Krueger 2013/01/18 17:00:27
    Lucy Krueger
    Nope.Barely get sick anyway.Besides, I'd rather go to a doctor who actually knows what he's doing.
  • Horace 2013/01/18 16:45:20
    Why would I? Going to a doctor is free where I live and they are infinitely more qualified than I am.
  • SonofSpermcube 2013/01/18 15:59:29
    Before going to a doctor or instead of going to a doctor?

    How many are self-diagnosing before going to the pet store for their fish-mox?
  • Boudicea 2013/01/18 15:34:13
    it's dangerous to do that!
  • Veronica 2013/01/18 15:28:17
    It is A LOT cheeper
  • Maura :) 2013/01/18 14:36:20
    Maura :)
    I always go to the doctor after just to make sure.
  • Sodahead Founders are Fascists 2013/01/18 14:27:55
    Sodahead Founders are Fascists
    hypochondriacs in the making.
  • Professor Wizard 2013/01/18 14:25:11
    Professor Wizard
    I have... I'll have some symptom, and will look it up to see what I can learn.

    but I ALWAYS go to the Dr to confirm or discover.
  • Kota 2013/01/18 14:22:45
    I get myself thinking I have these crazy rare medical conditions due to WebMD lol
  • Debra Smith 2013/01/18 14:08:52
  • bettyboop 2013/01/18 14:06:06
    At best you have 5 minutes with the doc, and it is a proven fact that well informed patients receive better medical care. Your just as likely to walk out of there and get sicker than you came in thanks to waiting rooms teeming with bacteria and the rate of drug errors/side effects. Have I avoided going to the doctor with every medical problem that ails me? You bet! Often I attempt to heal myself first using herbal remedies and over the counter meds. One example of our fine medical care (NOT), is me going to see a doctor after having been to the ER for a dog bite that required multiple sutures due to the size and depth of the wound, in fact the doc told me it was the worst bite he had ever seen. I was always taught that deep wounds need to heal from the inside out so as not to develop an abscess etc. Nope, this younger doc told me to let my wound scab over and leave open to air. Guess what happened next, multiple repeated visits to the ER, multiple repeated rounds of antibiotics and 3 months of having to drive to a special wound care clinic an hour away because of how badly infected and enlarged my wound had become, not to mention the added pain and depression I experienced. I am not diabetic and have never had trouble healing. Guess what the young doc did when I started to question her orders? She sent me a note telling me she could no longer be my doctor.
  • AN 2013/01/18 11:50:37
    i usually check out my symptoms & turns it's cancer!
  • Autty 2013/01/18 11:28:48
    Only when I need to slee.
  • mblack 2013/01/18 11:21:36
    Hell yes. Plus my girl friend is a RN.
  • hermit57 2013/01/18 10:29:19
    But I love to use WebMD to get an idea of what my symptoms could indicate. I use common sense and don't jump to conclusions about exotic diseases. So when I go to see my Doctor, I at least have some proper questions to ask him. If you sound informed about your body, and ask intelligent questions, a doctor is more likely to pay attention. I also use medical sites to better understand my diagnoses and medications.
  • Nick Perry 2013/01/18 08:57:57
    Nick Perry
    Wouldn't it be a bit big headed of me to think i know better than a pro? yes doctors and anything related to med is over priced but thats how you avoid your own stupidity
  • rustyshackelford 2013/01/18 08:16:54
  • GeminiWolf 2013/01/18 06:17:17

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