You hear a lot of scary things on the news. It is hard to know what to believe, and sometimes it is even harder to know who to trust for information. So, what do you do when you are concerned about your health or the health of your loved ones?
Many people refer the internet for answers. And that is not always a bad idea. Google is a wealth of information. But it can be dangerous to rely on internet for diagnosis. Self-diagnosis can be risky because it can lead to incorrect treatment or delayed treatment. Only a trained healthcare professional has the knowledge, skills, and experience to provide an accurate diagnosis and an appropriate treatment plan. They can also explain health condition and medical information in a way that is easy to understand, which can help you feel more informed and in control of your health.
What the Internet Can – and Can’t – Tell You About Health?
Before you google your symptoms, take a step back and think about what you are doing. It is always a clever idea to get relevant information, but keep in mind that it is dangerous to solely rely on it.
There are a few reasons for this. Primarily, Google and other search engines are designed to give information (most of the time to increase engagement), need not necessarily the right one. So, you might encounter weblinks that are inaccurate or just completely wrong. Secondly, even if you do find correct information online, it can be difficult to tell whether that information is relevant to you and your specific condition. Self-diagnosis can be dangerous because it can lead to risky health decisions. For example, if you think you have cancer, but it turns out to be something else, you might not get the timely treatment you need and you will be unnecessarily burdening your mind. So, before you do anything, please consult with a doctor or a healthcare professional.
Your situation might be unique:
While it is true that there is a lot of information available online, it is not always accurate or relevant to your specific situation. Additionally, self-diagnosis can cause you to ignore important symptoms. This can be especially dangerous if you have a serious medical condition that requires prompt treatment. For example, if you self-diagnose a minor illness and treat it with over-the-counter medication, you may not realize that your condition has progressed to something more serious that requires medical attention.
There can also be facts online that are misleading because of the context or lack of other details. Everyone’s health is different. Each family has a different medical history, and an individual’s health differs even more. But web searches do not include how a condition or symptom varies for every unique combination of health factors. Most online materials base the data on the average person, and it is more general. It is important to be aware of the potential risks of self-diagnosis, and one of those risks is that symptoms could be related to multiple underlying conditions. It can be difficult for an individual without medical training to accurately diagnose themselves, especially when symptoms could be caused by a variety of different conditions.
Self-diagnosis can be risky because it can lead to incorrect treatment or delayed treatment, and it can also cause unnecessary anxiety and stress. Prolonged stress can have negative effects on both physical and mental health, and it can worsen existing medical conditions. It can also cause people to ignore or downplay the severity of their symptoms.
Not easy to assure quality
It is important to be cautious when seeking information about your health online, as not all sources of information are dependable. Qualified medical personnel do not always review health websites and symptom tracker tools, so it is possible that the information you find on many sites may be incorrect or misleading.
Unnecessary Tests – Costs & Time
Self-diagnosis can lead to unnecessary costs, as people may end up buying and taking medicine (or doing many diagnostics tests) that is not required for their condition. This can be both harmful to their health and creates a financial burden. Self-diagnosis can lead to unnecessary anxiety and stress, and it can also make it more difficult for healthcare professionals to provide the appropriate care. When people self-diagnose and believe that they have a certain condition, they may panic and think they need certain treatments or procedures that are not necessary. This can be both stressful and costly.
Why Multiple Sources of Information Are Needed?
Given how easy it is to search for medical information online, it is tempting to diagnose yourself. You are the expert on your own body, right? Not so fast. While the internet can be a valuable source of information, it is important to get information from multiple sources before making a diagnosis. This is especially true when it comes to serious medical conditions.
One reason for this is that various sources may give conflicting information. What is more, you may not have all the information you need to make a precise diagnosis. For example, you may not remember your full medical history, or you may not be familiar with the terminology used by doctors. Additionally, do not trust any sole source – even reputable websites may not be 100% accurate. Instead, consult multiple sources before making a conclusion or taking any action on potential medical advice.
Seeking a Professional: When to Ask for Help or Second Opinion?
No matter how much research you do online, it can never replace a doctor’s diagnosis. The internet is great for information, but it is only the first step in the process. Sure, it can give you a basic understanding of what might be going on, but this is not enough to make accurate diagnoses.
When should you see a professional? If your symptoms are severe, complicated or have been around for more than a few days or if your symptoms are not getting better and it is affecting your daily life, it is time to consult a doctor.
It can also be helpful to get a second opinion – even if you got an accurate diagnosis from a doctor. Consulting with different medical professionals can provide more insight and help confirm an accurate diagnosis by identifying factors that may have been missed in the original assessment. So do not be scared to ask for help when needed – it is always best to err on the side of caution and make sure you get the most accurate information possible!
How to Find Trustworthy Online Resources?
When it comes to understanding medical information, it is important to find trustworthy resources. When looking for answers online, try to find sources that are from medical authorities, such as hospitals, universities, or specialty societies. Comparing various sources can help you get a better understanding of the issue and may even lead you to more reliable resources.
Tips on Getting a Second (or Third) Opinion:
Verify with your insurance provider to check whether a second opinion is covered and if there are any additional requirements. Ask your current physician to provide you with a copy of your medical history, records, and suggested course of treatment. This saves time for another doctor to analyze the information and prevents the needless diagnostic tests from being repeated. Making a list of your inquiries and worries regarding the disease will save valuable time.
Having a trusted medical practitioner review your symptoms can also help ensure that you are receiving quality medical advice tailored specifically to your situation. Getting a second opinion is an essential step to any diagnosis, and with the power of the internet, you can do that from home.
Teleconsultation, the new world of consultation?
Teleconsultation is the delivery of health-related information via digital technology, such as computers and mobile devices. Remote consultation offers convenience and affordability. Many online medical networks provide access to remote consultation services. It implies that patients can get services at their suitable time. Additionally, it reduces needless travel to a hospital or clinic as well as lengthy wait times. On your smartphone, tablet, or laptop, you can consult qualified, licensed physicians and wellness specialists from the comfort of your home.
Betser (betserlife.com) is a quick and easy platform for accessing doctors remotely for an opinion. From the convenience of your home, Betser offers access to expert opinion from licensed healthcare professionals. You can avail high-quality care with user-friendly technology enabling a rapid, confidential online consultation about any issue. Betser has case managers dedicated to you so that there is a human touch and empathy which technology cannot provide.
The internet can be a suitable place to start when you are looking for information on a particular health issue, but it is important to remember that it is not a substitute for professional medical advice. If you are concerned about your health, the best thing to do is to get an expert opinion from a doctor. They will be able to give you a proper diagnosis and recommendations for treatment. Do not be tempted to self-diagnose using information you have found online – remember, only a qualified medical professional can give you an accurate diagnosis.