We live in an empowering time where access to information is at our fingertips. We can research and learn almost anything we want or need to learn. While knowledge is power, we must know when to reach out to an expert—for example, when we have a medical or health concern. Although it is fast and easy to access, you must not forget that Google is not your doctor.
Symptoms Are Not Test Results
First up, there are many common symptoms (like a headache, lethargy, or digestive troubles) that could be related to multiple health concerns. While you might feel like you are narrowing down your options via Google, most symptoms require lab results to verify exactly what is going on.
Hypochondria Is On The Rise
A growing frustration many physicians face is a rise in self-diagnosed hypochondria. Patients aren’t just walking in with symptoms, or to request a general physical—but they are walking in with a diagnosis. Even when their physician wants to run standard test results patients who have self-diagnosed themselves view their Google search results as fact, often leading to undue stress, worry, and costly tests and scans to prove that their Googling was wrong.
There are without a doubt times when Googling health and wellness related topics can be empowering but Google must never replace your physician.