Should You Google Your Health Symptom?
You've got a headache. You Google headache. And you discover you probably have a brain tumor. It's bad. Real bad.
You've got a couple of new freckles. You Google it. And you discover you probably have cancer. Skin cancer. It's bad. Real bad.
You have a backache. You Google it. It doesn't give you a specific cause or diagnosis but one things for sure. It's bad. Real bad.
Is it a good idea to Google a health symptom? Millions of people do (c'mon, admit it...you googled that cramp or that itchy eye). And while it's not the only thing you should do, it's not necessarily a bad idea.
Newsweek is reporting these so-called 'Cyberchondriacs' may actually be better off than those who don't Google.
But you need to pay attention.
There are good reputable sites on the internet, places like the Center for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Institute of health. They're among the most visited on the internet and are a good source of information. And there is great content written or curated by physicians.
But gee (who knew?), there's also a lot of information on that internet that is...ah...less than truthful. Quacks? Yeah.
So basically the article says 2 things.
1) Check out the site you're headed to and make sure it's a reputable site and not 'Uncle Wally's Professional Medical Opinion'. And 2) Googling your health symptom should be only one source you utilize. Don't depend on it. Still, see your medical professional. In other words, make that doctor's appointment.
According to a Pew Research study, four out of five Americans have Googled health-related topics. That's OK. Just don't make it the only thing you do.