Googling Your Symptoms Online? Stop Right Now—here’s Why

Posted October 27, 2021 by in Health + Fitness

Googling your symptoms online is tempting. After all, you’d like to know what’s wrong with you. If something about your body changes, it can be scary. 

But is Googling your symptoms really a good idea? Well, according to many experts, the answer is “no.” While Google now provides a wealth of information, there’s a certain lack of discernment. Ultimately, the conclusion about what you have depends solely on your interpretation, not that of an experienced medical professional. 

In this post, we take a look at some of the reasons why you shouldn’t Google your symptoms online. If you need urgent care for whatever reason, go and visit your doctor:

Reason 1: You’ll Fuel Your Own Health Anxiety

Health anxiety is a real phenomenon and it can grip people at any time. You could read something online that vaguely sounds like what you’re experiencing and then assume that it must be true. 

This can then make you panic and wonder how your life is going to change now that you have a serious condition.

Take a step back from the keyboard. Don’t jump to any conclusions about what condition you might have, no matter how much your symptoms seem to match up. 

Reason 2: You Might Misdiagnose Your Illness

Misdiagnosis is a major risk when you try to figure out what disease you have from search results. You might buy the wrong type of medication or incorrectly assume that you have a serious disease when you don’t. 

Again, it is always better to go to professionals. They have tools, techniques and experience that they can use to accurately diagnose what might be affecting you and offer a helpful treatment plan. 

Reason 3: Not All Advice Is Good Advice

While the information relating to health available via the internet is much better today than it was in the past, there is still some incorrect advice out there. If you read something that sounds convincing and follow what it says you should do to the letter, you may wind up hurting yourself. 

Reason 4: Doctors Have Years Of College Education Behind Them

As a patient, you don’t have much experience of medical matters until you start feeling sick. Doctors, on the other hand, have years of active practice behind them, in which time, they’ve seen and helped many patients get better. 

Reason 5: You Might Delay Getting The Help You Need

When you get sick, you should ideally receive the medications and treatments you need immediately. However, if you misdiagnose what’s wrong with you by relying on the internet, you could delay getting potentially life-saving treatment. 

Remember, people who Google their symptoms sometimes conclude that they have less serious diseases than they do. Always go to the doctor before assuming that you have any particular condition. 

Reason 6: Most Health Articles Online Aren’t Written By Doctors

If you think that most health articles online are written by doctors, think again. Most are thrashed out by copy bloggers who may have many other projects on a given day.

*Photos by Windows on Unsplash