medicalYou don’t have to suffer from clinical health anxiety to get a little overwhelmed when visiting a medical website. Suddenly, just a headache and a stuffed up nose is as serious as the plague, since many diseases includes lists of innocuous symptoms that less serious conditions also cause.

If you’re in medical school, especially if you’re going back for your masters, you probably know not to rely too heavily on Internet-based symptom checkers, but everyone knows they can be addictive. For your own sanity and health, learn to distinguish when medical websites are good resources and when it’s best to seek outside medical attention.

When It’s Okay to Diagnose Yourself:

Before the Internet existed, people diagnosed themselves with minor ailments, such as colds, light strains of the flu and minor rashes, without meeting with a doctor. You can continue to use medical websites to diagnose yourself with minor medical issues, the types you would treat yourself for with over-the-counter medications.However, if symptoms last for more than a week or worsen, seek medical attention.
If you search the medical website too often, though, you may panic over minor symptoms showing up on the list of signs for more serious conditions. Headaches may be a symptom of some brain tumors, but they can also simply be common headaches. It doesn’t do you any good to overreact, but it doesn’t hurt to make an appointment with your doctor if you’re truly concerned and symptoms last a long time or are recurrent. When it comes to your health, it’s best to leave the difficult diagnoses to your doctor; your job is simply to pay attention to your body for anything that’s new, uncomfortable or painful.

When You’re Researching:

Whether you’re a medical student or you’ve just been told that a certain disease or condition runs in your family, medical websites can prove useful when you need fast access to medical information. They’re typically formatted with easy-to-digest information people outside of the medical profession can understand. Medical websites can act as starting points to your research, or as sources for quick consultations.

When You Need Tips for Treatment:

After a medical professional has given you a diagnosis, she may suggest a series of treatments for managing your condition. Access medical websites for further suggestions on how to treat and live with your condition. Nevertheless, consult with a medical professional before you incorporate any treatments that require taking medications, even if they’re homeopathic, as they may interact with what your doctor already prescribed for you.

When to Seek Medical Consultation :

Don’t bother visiting medical websites for diagnoses beyond minor medical issues. Reading a list of symptoms is not enough to make you an expert, and there are many tests doctors perform and questions they ask before they can give a diagnosis. Don’t believe that two minutes of reading about a medical issue qualifies you to diagnose yourself. If you’ve learned that a condition runs in your family, use the medical website to learn more, but tell your doctor as soon as possible so he can add it to your file and test you for it as necessary.

People With Hypochondria:

If you’re likely to get overly panicked looking online, don’t consult medical websites at all. If you suffer from the condition health anxiety, colloquially known as hypochondria, visiting medical websites can actually make your anxiety worse, as you’re predisposed to believe the worst possible about your symptoms. When your anxiety levels rise, so do many physical symptoms. For example, you might experience stomach pain purely due to your anxiety from reading about a form of cancer that lists stomach pain among its symptoms, which makes you more likely to believe that you do have this cancer. Your therapist and doctor are the best sources for alleviating your medical anxieties, as are the relaxation techniques they recommend you follow.
Science Daily reported on a study that found 80 percent of Americans visit medical websites for information. If you’re going to visit medical websites, though, you must learn to use them correctly. Although these websites might inspire you to visit your doctor, never are medical websites a stand-in for actual medical advice. If you suffer from anxiety, it’s best to direct all questions to medical professionals and avoid these websites altogether.

Ramnivas KushvahaAuthor:
Ramnivas Kushvaha
About Author
hold an engineering degree in chemical but his area of interest is blogging. Ramnivas authors the site personal-fitness.org where he writes about health and fitness related topics

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Posted on: 26.02.2015 05:58

Great article, Thanks for your great information, the content is quiet interesting. I will be waiting for your next post.

 

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