In a world where all the information you could ever need is at your fingertips, it is easy to quickly feel like an expert in just about any subject. When it comes to your health, however, it is still best to leave the diagnoses to the professionals. Since the launch of sites like WebMD, doctors have found themselves frustrated with self-diagnosed patients, while patients themselves have sometimes failed to seek appropriate care because of online symptom-checking tools and other resources that facilitate at-home diagnoses.
Using the web as a tool to find more information about a physician-delivered diagnosis can be very helpful to your care, but researching conditions and making a diagnosis yourself is a whole different story. Keep reading to get a closer look at the risks you might be taking if you rely on a DIY approach to your healthcare.
What’s the Harm in a Self-Diagnosis?
Perhaps the biggest problem with a self-diagnosis made from internet research is the fact that one symptom may be related to a handful of wildly different conditions. Without an actual medical background, it can be tough to distinguish whether a stomach ache is caused by simple indigestion or appendicitis. As a result, you end up with the following problems, which could have serious consequences for your health.
• Under- and over-estimating illness severity – “Cyberchondriac” is a common term in the medical community for individuals who gravely overestimate the severity of their symptoms. Most cyberchondriacs are actually sensible individuals, who simply get swept up in the often critical diagnoses Google might render for fairly common symptoms. Alternatively, you might underestimate a condition and tackle symptoms with home-remedies when you actually need the care of a doctor.
• Inaccurate follow-up care – When you visit the doctor with a diagnosis already in mind, you might have a negative influence on the accuracy of your medical care. One issue that may arise in making a self-diagnosis is psychosomatic symptoms that arise because you already think you have a given condition.
How Can You Seek More Personalized Care?
While it is clear that self-diagnoses can be harmful for a number of reasons, you may still have difficulty getting in to see your primary physician for more personalized, accurate care on short notice. Telemedicine provides an alternative that will allow you access to a physician from the comfort of home while avoiding the high costs of visiting urgent care facilities. With the services of MeMD, you can steer clear of self-diagnosis dangers and be certain that you are getting the care you need when you need it from licensed medical providers – and not Dr. Google!