Friday, December 14, 2007


The fact that you’re reading this blog shows that you’re finding your way around the Internet and you’re likely interested in health-related topics. Did you know that the most popular searches on search engines are health and medical related topics? So, knowing this, the article Cyberchondriacs shouldn’t be surprising. We’ve always had people who believe they have every disease or injury known to mankind – ask any nursing or medical student how this can happen, but now it’s so much easier with all this information at our fingertips. Is being able to access all this information doing more harm than good?

Obviously, I’m a huge proponent for finding information on the Web. In fact, knowing how and where to search for information on your diagnosis can be a huge comfort and help for many. It allows people to understand what is happening, they can connect with others with similar situations, and it provides information that can be discussed with the doctors or healthcare professionals. I did this myself when I was booked for a root canal earlier this week - I wanted to know what I was getting in to and what the procedure involved. The problem is when people get carried away.

It’s so important not to try to diagnose yourself. It’s easy to go online if you feel pains in your knees or you were dizzy after doing something – it’s just as easy to find yourself with totally incorrect information and learning that you have something fatal – when you don’t. Of course, there is also the reverse. You could have something serious, but if you are at the wrong site, reading the wrong information – you may decide that you don’t need to go see a doctor, to your detriment.

The Internet is a tool, but like all tools, it needs to be used safely and well for it to be an effective tool. Use it wisely – use it with your doctor, not in place of your doctor.

News for Today:

Increase folic acid dose to prevent birth defects, society urges
Lipitor raises risk of brain hemorrhage while reducing overall stroke risk: study
Suicide now 2nd-leading cause of death in B.C. kids
Incontinence will strike one in four adults: report

1 comment:

Crabby McSlacker said...

I have been so guilty of consulting Dr. Google instead of a real doctor!

But Dr. Google is cheap and I don't have to drive anywyere. So what if he's wrong most of the time?