Why You Shouldn’t Check Health Issues Online by John Kang WebMD Contributor
John Kang WebMD contributor and one of the leading lights in the world of oncology who has gained a reputation not only for his ethics and his skill, but also for his passion for technology. Indeed for John Kang Liquidmetal is something that is taking up a lot of his time right now and thanks to his help this could really be a treatment which will help millions of lives. Today however we are not going to focus on the passion for tech which John Kang MC has, but rather his passion for the truth. Something which is a regular frustration for John Kang, despite his work on WebMD, are those who use Doctor Google to diagnose themselves, and here is why.
You Will Die
Human beings have a natural instinct to prepare for the worst and even the most optimistic of people will likely think that they are going to die very soon, after falling down the rabbit-hole of an online diagnosis. Symptoms as simple as a rash or a small brown mark on the skin can instantly become cancer if you look online hard enough, small lumps are tumors and black stool means that your bowel will fall out – nothing to do with that bottle of red wine! Of course the point here is that if you look hard enough you can find any diagnosis that you want and given that we already consider the worst, that is what we end up finding, incorrectly so.
The biggest, and arguably the most dangerous, activity is not only to self-diagnose using the internet, but to then take that information as read and self-treat yourself. This should never, ever be done and if you have a serious health complaint it is always better to go and get a check up from a medical professional who actually knows what they are talking about. Treatments for simple issues like common colds or aches and pains are fine of course, anything more serious however and you must get checked out.
Look at it like this, if you have a health concern and you are waiting for an appointment, looking online is only going to cause you to worry without reason. If you look online and discover that you could have something life-threatening, you would go to see the doctor in any case. That means that looking online is completely irrelevant as the only thing that it will change is the level to which you will panic.
With the exception of a handful of websites, there is no testing or vetting process for the people who are contributing to these websites. That means that the information about your symptom which you are now terribly worried about, could easily have been written by a 12 year old kid who is savvy with the internet.
Unless you have heard it from the doctor’s mouth, don’t check out your symptoms online, it will never end well.