Do You Use the Internet to Self-Diagnose Illnesses? (1 in 4 Get It Wrong)

Living 2012/04/22 22:22:35
Add Photos & Videos
We admit it. Sometimes we too turn to Dr. Google to try to self-diagnose illnesses. It’s quick, free, and often far less embarrassing than going to the doctor. But according to a recent study, we may be doing ourselves more harm than good.

A British study, which focused on females, found that individuals facing unexplained health problems were twice at likely to consult the Internet than go straight to the doctor. Unfortunately, it is difficult to get an accurate diagnosis by typing symptoms into a search engine. (Anyone who has spent some time on WebMD will know what we’re talking about.)

According to the study, one in four misdiagnosed themselves entirely. One in ten women endured unpleasant side effects as a result of their misdiagnosis. A fifth had at some time wrongly suspected that they had a serious disease. While for many others, symptoms that seemed relatively harmless were left untreated and developed into something more serious.

On a certain level, it seems fairly obvious that we should put our trust in real health care professionals instead of the Internet. However, things like long wait times for appointments, rising health care costs, and negative experiences with doctors, often make Dr. Google far more appealing. Another huge barrier is sheer embarrassment.

Three quarters of those polled said that there are some health issues they do not feel comfortable discussing with friends or family. Half of the women admitted that they always try to deal with embarrassing medical problems on their own before seeking help from others. Over a quarter said they dread talking to doctors about such problems.

What about you SodaHeads? Do you use the Internet to self-diagnose illnesses?

Read More: http://theweek.com/article/index/226999/dangerous-...

Add a comment above

Top Opinion

Sort By
  • Most Raves
  • Least Raves
  • Oldest
  • Newest

  • Jeh 2012/04/23 05:10:32
    No, never.
    I don't belief everything I read on the internet, but I generally listen to somebody that has a rectal thermometer sticking out of their lab coat (so long as the credentials on the wall aren't from Liberty University).
  • mae 2012/04/23 05:01:49
    Yes, sometimes.
    Usually, to look up medication side effects, and recommended lab work schedules.
  • doctorwho_guru.†=♡ 2012/04/23 04:54:33
    Yes, always.
  • Taylor 2012/04/23 04:25:46
    No, never.
    No, I have used them once or twice, and I seem to get ridiculous results. It’s better off to go to the doctor if you are worried.

    Web MD Brain cancer comic
  • BIG BAD JOHN R. 2012/04/23 03:52:50
    No, never.
    Ok, I've got enough medical problems without trying to add to them.
    What I do do is I will look up my meds and see what side effect they have so I know what to look for if something happens.
  • Tank BIG BAD... 2012/04/23 11:45:11
    Don't your doctors tell you that? They should.. I've been on alsorts of meds that looking up wouldn't help me with - for example, I've been on a few different anti epileptic medications, and I'm not epileptic, they just happened to have had side effects that could've helped with my symptoms. So looking them up would've only been.. Confusing, and not at all helpful.
  • bricklyn Tank 2012/04/23 11:58:44
    Doctors do tell you side affects, however there are and can be dozens of side affects that are not listed in ever book. You can and should research your own medical health and keep on top of your own illness management. Ultimately you are the only one responsible for yourself.
  • Tank bricklyn 2012/04/23 16:25:10 (edited)
    I do, I said that in another post, I just don't self diagnose based on what I've read on the internet.
  • BIG BAD... Tank 2012/04/23 16:18:59
    Yea, but with some of this new synthetic meds they can have some rather nasty side effects and since I have had three heart attacks, I don't react well and I have learned to look out for myself.
  • Tank BIG BAD... 2012/04/23 16:27:25
    Oh ok, far enough.
  • BIG BAD... Tank 2012/05/01 16:40:59
    Thank You very much
  • fdherhe 2012/04/23 03:52:31
  • BIG BAD... fdherhe 2012/04/23 03:55:09
    What does your answer have anything to do with the question?
  • Raging Tea 2012/04/23 03:44:35
    Yes, sometimes.
    Raging Tea
    I don't have insurance how can I go see a doctor for every problem I have. Lucky for me my mother is a nurse so I can ask her but for some things you need expensive tests so without insurace theres no need to go to a doctor
  • CREW grand 2012/04/23 03:33:27
    Yes, sometimes.
    CREW grand
    1 in 4 doctors probably get it wrong too.

  • Gracie - Proud Conservative 2012/04/23 03:32:25
    Yes, sometimes.
    Gracie - Proud Conservative
    Funny because I've just done it this week. I have a doctor's appointment Tuesday but I already know what's wrong with me because I researched it on the internet! LOL!
  • Rebecca 2012/04/23 03:31:34
    No, never.
    I do use the internet to research illnesses though.
  • Tank Rebecca 2012/04/23 11:46:39
  • diane RN 2012/04/23 03:11:49
    Yes, always.
    diane RN
    Doctors even have software that they plug in the symptoms and it gives them a list of potential diagnoses.
  • Erin 2012/04/23 03:04:32
    Yes, sometimes.
    Gyes! To see wat kina mole it was on my go-nonos-but joo know wat?? It turning out to be a teek ! (she bite me an no letting go) tick
  • animelover123 2012/04/23 03:02:39
    Yes, sometimes.
    I only see what I got, like a cold or the flu or if I have some other sickness. If really bad illnesses pop up I get my ass up and go to the doctor
  • Ken 2012/04/23 02:18:53
    Yes, sometimes.
    but always knowing I am going to a doctor.
  • Flowers 2012/04/23 02:18:32
    Yes, sometimes.
    I have a HUGE deductible. If I can use my medical knowledge to figure out whether I need to see a doctor or not, I'm going to. If people who know nothing about medical terminology try and take medical advice online, they are going to misinterpret the info. Read up on all words that you don't understand; it doesn't take much time and you will be educating yourself.
  • Rhi-ot. 2012/04/23 02:08:03
    Yes, sometimes.
    Only when it comes to my period (Why is it so early, why's it so late kinda stuff)
  • addie 2012/04/23 02:04:54
    No, never.
    just to confirm a diagnosis or get more detail.
  • Gregaj7 2012/04/23 01:43:57
    Yes, sometimes.
    I do get multiple opinions from folk I trust.
  • Aquaduck 2012/04/23 01:41:59
    Yes, always.
    Not even gonna deny it, I'm guilty all the way!
  • jacob crim 2012/04/23 01:36:49
    Yes, sometimes.
    jacob crim
    Now if I had something serious going on like blood in my urine I would never self diagnose that. But for topical issues, like I have brutal dry scalp so I did some research and found out that if you mix raw honey with coconut oil, put it on your head for an hour it works wonders...and it does!
  • Flowers jacob crim 2012/04/23 02:19:15
    wow! I'm going to try that
  • YeahISaidIt 2012/04/23 01:34:52
    Yes, sometimes.
    Not anymore. The MayoClinic was overdramatic about everything saying I would die or something every time. I hurt myself one time, won't say where and how but they basically said online I would either get cancer or die. Was a small tear.
  • runningintriangles 2012/04/23 01:32:36
  • Rebecca running... 2012/04/23 03:35:22
    Why straight to the ER? That's why the ED's are so backed up. People using them as their primary doctor.
  • running... Rebecca 2012/04/24 14:37:45
    Because if it's something major, it's probably something urgent...in fact, the only time I have done that it certainly wasn't something that could have waited (acute appendicitis comes on out of nowhere, and needs to be dealt with rather quickly). If it isn't, I'll wait until I see my GP for my annual.

    Also, you'll notice I don't live in the same country as you. -_-''
  • Rebecca running... 2012/04/24 17:42:52
    Sorry, didn't realize you're in Canada. Whole different healthcare system. Down here the ED gets way too many non-emergent customers. Mainly because not many doctors will accept Public Aid patients any more. They like to be paid for their hard work and Public assistance pays very little and their overhead is high.
  • Jenna ☮♡ッ 2012/04/23 01:22:12
    Yes, always.
    Jenna ☮♡ッ
    Yeah usually. I know it's bad but I really don't like going to the doctors. :(
  • Onew Sangtae 2012/04/23 01:19:40
    Yes, sometimes.
    Onew Sangtae
    Not to necessarily diagnose myself but I check out to see possibilities before I can see a doctor.
  • cookie monster 2012/04/23 01:16:51
    Yes, sometimes.
    cookie monster
    I tired to once and diagnosed myself with a lot of diseases, including cancer. Let's hope it's not true!
  • Just me ♥ 2012/04/23 01:02:15
    Yes, sometimes.
    Just me ♥
    But Im a nurse so I know the terminology to use when Im using a symptom checker, so I feel as though I have the upper hand and I diagnose myself correctly about 80-90% of the time.
  • CAPISCE 2012/04/23 00:58:24
    Yes, sometimes.
    Same info will cost you a $100.00 office visit from the greedy bastards with the white masks
  • MiinaNiemi03 2012/04/23 00:54:30
    No, never.
    I don't need to. I will be a doctor in about 10 more months, so I'm basically my own reference. If I am unsure I get a second opinion from doctors I know.

See Votes by State

The map above displays the winning answer by region.


2016/02/14 04:01:42

Hot Questions on SodaHead
More Hot Questions

More Community More Originals