What Things Dr Google Don’t Want Health Blogger To Know: – Can you imagine life without search engines? If you are 30 or older, you probably remember a moment before you could connect virtually any question on Google, Bing or Yahoo and get dozens of answers in seconds.
Now, however, Internet searches are rooted in our lives. For medical concerns, it is natural to seek quick answers from Dr. Google. You may want to better understand your health status or investigate a treatment that your doctor has recommended. You can also look for causes of a set of symptoms and end up stressed by the answers that arise.
Most of us do it, if not for ourselves, for someone we care about. We search Google for symptoms and self-diagnosis before deciding whether or not to see a doctor. In fact, few reports that 72 percent of Internet users search for health-related information online.
Think about it: how many times have you arrived for an appointment with the doctor prepared with a list of possible reasons for your medical condition? But there is a big problem with this kind of practice. Not all results are credible, which can complicate things by causing panic for no real reason.
While the Internet is ideal for several types of research, replacing a professional diagnosis is not one of them. However, when we are in the old exam room, there is not always a place for the Internet.
Many clinics block video streaming sites and do not allow traditional email exchange between doctors and patients. It is difficult to “send” patient information discussed during the visit.
In fact, medical care remains cautious with doctors and patients who communicate when they are not in the exam room. Most insurers will not reimburse or pay for electronic communication between patients and their doctors.
Therefore, doctors are often forced to take it to the office to provide experience. New data can help change this paradigm. The reality is that many of us are using the internet as a tool for health care.
For at least 1/3 of adults, the Internet is a diagnostic tool. Numerous studies find that what parents learn in the exam room with doctors is not preserved. That’s where Dr. Google comes in.
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Like any other pediatrician, parents want to know as much as possible about the health of their children. Internet is another tool. People strongly believe that the future job description for primary care documents will include filtering and offering excellent online sites for parents to read, search and ask questions about their children’s health. The point is that many people are using Dr. Google before the visit.
Questions that most People ask on Google about Health
Is Googling symptoms a bad idea?
Why you shouldn’t Google your symptoms?
Can Googling cause anxiety?
What is a Cyberchondria?
What you should never Google?
Why is Google bad?
Do hypochondriacs have real symptoms?
Can your mind create symptoms?
How do I stop worrying about my health?
Is hypochondria a mental disorder?
Why is WebMD bad?
Is hypochondria a form of OCD?
How do I stop hypochondria and anxiety?
Can hypochondria kill you?
How common is health anxiety?
What does health anxiety feel like?
What is the best treatment for health anxiety?
How do you deal with a hypochondriac?
Do a barrel roll now?
Is Google spying on us?
Is Google bad for privacy?
Is Google banned in China?
Is Google a number?
What is Google’s problem?
Is Google evil wired?
What’s it like working for Google?
What does the Google do?
What is the most googled thing?
How long does Google keep your search history?
What is the most searched thing on Google ever?
Are Google searches monitored?
Do people use Bing?
What I can search on Google?
What did we do before Google?
Can the government see what you search?
What happens when you clear your browsing history?
How do I permanently delete Google activity?
Does the government monitor your Internet activity?
Does Google block illegal images?
Does the FBI monitor the Internet?
How do I read Google Trends?
What is the most searched thing on YouTube?
How do you find information?
Do you remember life before the Internet?
When did the Google search engine start?
When did Askjeeves start?
How do I delete all traces of Internet history?
How do you look at your history on Google Chrome?
How do I look at my history on Google Chrome?
Does the government watch you through your phone?
How long do Internet providers keep history?
The pros of doing your own research
Strengthening the advice of your doctor
The Internet is rapidly becoming a valuable health resource. A study conducted in the United Kingdom in 2007 conducted in-depth interviews with a small group of people with chronic diseases (such as diabetes and heart disease) on how the online research of patient affected their relationship with doctor.
The survey found that, in general, the Internet was seen as a complementary tool to facilitate conversations with your doctor, but not as a replacement for your doctor’s experience and personalized advice.
The information you find on the Internet can also confirm and expand the information provided by your healthcare professional. This is especially useful when your query may have a time limit or when the amount of information is difficult to assimilate at once. In this case, you may want to request reliable recommendations from the website, so you can read more.
If you have done your own research, be sure to talk with your healthcare professional. They should not feel threatened and will want to answer any questions you have. Remember, they have gone through years of study, so they will want to share their experience with you.
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And if you have found different information from what your doctor tells you and you are not sure what to think, do not hide it; You will find it worth talking about. There is also no harm in seeking a second opinion of another family doctor or a specialist.
If you have been diagnosed by a health professional, Internet forums, where you can discuss your problems with others, can be extremely useful. This may be especially true for anyone with a rare condition. It can even be a way to find an expert doctor in the field.
For example, in early 2010, Ben Bravery at the age of 28 was diagnosed with bowel cancer. After his diagnosis, he turned to the Internet to obtain information, support and share his experience with others.
A benefit of online support groups, he says, is that they are easy to establish and execute, and are not limited by geography. Often, online support groups are the only ones available in rural as well remote areas.
People often have many questions after a diagnosis, and Internet forums and websites allow people to ask them safely. They can access information that would not otherwise be available to them.
What can you trust?
But how do you know for sure if the information you find is reliable? It is tempting to simply search Google for any health problems you may be experiencing with so much online information about health an illness at your fingertips. But we can’t always rely on online sources and we don’t know exactly who is giving the advice.
Crothers is one of the many experts involved in the recently launched Health share website. This is a health-focused Australian social networking site where members can connect with others who face similar health problems, as well as post questions and status updates, create blogs and search for professionals.
Health share comprises of eight vital focus communities, all with forums monitored by a panel of health experts, survivors, patients and caregivers, covering topics such as diabetes, heart health, menopause, depression, osteoporosis and weight control.
Here are four things that Dr. Google doesn’t want the Health Blogger to know
Anyone can post content online
When you search your symptoms on Google, search engines do everything possible to match results that match the search terms used. But search engines do not take credibility into account. Your search results can open a reputable medical site that provides valuable information.
But you can also see a Wikipedia article, an open forum or someone’s personal blog. These sources may be completely inaccurate and (most likely not) not published by a medical professional with credentials or experience to offer advice on the subject.
Wikipedia is NOT a credible source
Wikipedia is the sixth most popular website for medical information, and that is a scary fact. Anyone can write and edit Wikipedia articles with great abandon if they wish. And even though Wikipedia has established policies and guidelines to improve the publication, it does not require taxpayers to adhere to them.
It does not even require taxpayers to provide their real name, which means there is no responsibility for what is modified or published. All kinds of misinformation are published on Wikipedia, and that is particularly alarming from a medical point of view.
In a recent study, nine out of 10 articles on the most expensive major medical conditions in the United States. Diseases such as coronary artery disease, lung cancer, depression, osteoarthritis, hypertension, diabetes and back pain) were not up to date with the latest research.
Symptoms in Google cause health anxiety
Look for almost any symptom on Google and there will surely be results that suggest surgery or connect the symptom with a form of cancer. Especially for people who are already afraid of health problems, these extreme conclusions can cause serious anxiety. This anxiety occurs so often today that it has a name: cyberchondria. Millions suffer from it according to the British news source.
Cyberchondriacs turn to the Web to feel comfortable with their health problems instead of a health professional. They can become obsessed and the amount of time they spend searching for information on the Web can interfere with their daily lives.
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Because Internet articles cover everything from cases of less serious health problems to more serious ones, these people find it easy to exaggerate their symptoms and convince themselves that their situation is much worse than it really is.
Symptoms on Google cost patients more money
As explained above, symptoms on Google can turn patients into a new type of hypochondriac. Hypochondriacs do not pretend their anxiety and do not seek attention. They are really afraid or anxious about their medical condition, even if their fears are irrational.
This often leads to frequent and sometimes unnecessary trips to the emergency room, urgent care or doctor’s office, and ends up costing patients and the healthcare industry billions of dollars every year in unnecessary medical tests and treatments.
Peace of mind is invaluable, and the best peace of mind you can receive is through professionally managed medical care.
If you have health problems, talk to your doctor; Do not trust the Internet. Exaggerated information about your condition could cause unnecessary anxiety.
If you find information that minimizes your condition, you may not be given the care you need, which could lead to a more serious situation. Find out about your health, but do so by checking with reputable sources, including your doctor’s office and any booklet or pamphlets you provide.
The information you get may be inappropriate:
So how can you determine if the health information you find is correct? Well, above all you can’t.
In fact, studies that analyze the accuracy of Google’s results for the search term “vaccination” reveal that 60% are really against vaccination. (Interestingly, seeking “immunization” is more likely to produce accurate results since people who oppose vaccination do not believe the vaccine induces immunity.)
All this has created a difficult scenario for health professionals and patients alike.
A patient may self-diagnose mild abdominal pain, such as constipation, for example, when he may have gallstones. Or, on the other hand, another patient could incorrectly diagnose his headaches as meningitis. Some doctors are justifiably concerned that patients diagnose and treat themselves, using devices such as a gastric bypass surgery kit that is sold on Amazon.
Or applications to scan moles and determine if they are cancerous. But while some doctors are frustrated by patients’ desire to investigate their conditions online, others resign themselves to the fact that it will happen, so they are prepared to help guide patients to obtain accurate information on the web.
If you find information that makes you suspect, you can always search on Google with the word “skeptic” or “debunk” and you will usually find several blog posts that offer a second opinion.
A large community of scientists and health professionals is lurking in inter-observations and is pleased to apply their experience to debunking suspicious and false medical claims. Science Based Medicine is one of those blogs by several authors, with contributions from pharmacists, cancer specialists, neurologists, doctors and infectious disease researchers.
The important thing to remember about researching health information online is to be skeptical, to be critical and never replace the trained eye and diagnosis of a health professional with experience in the diagnosis of Dr. Google.
The Internet can help you, it can even calm your fears temporarily (or not, as the case may be), but it will never replace your doctor’s experience. Finally, respect your doctor. Do not be fooled into thinking that you know more than them just because you have spent a few hours at the University of Google.
It is not always credible
While the Internet can be a good place to find general information about various symptoms and diseases, remember that not all people who provide medical advice on the web are qualified to do so, even if they present information that seems credible. Medical professionals fear that some people do not question the advice they read online.
It is not a tailored advice
It is always better to consult a doctor or specialist for a personalized diagnosis, since he or she can perform tests to take into account the underlying factors that you may not be aware of (for example, high blood pressure).
Once the diagnosis is confirmed, your doctor can adapt your course of treatment to your needs. If you research on the Internet, regardless of the advice found on several websites, you should never start, stop or make changes to your current medications or supplements without your doctor’s advice.
From a nutritional perspective, online research can sometimes lead to drastic diets or eliminate foods or food groups without a good reason.
The nutritionist of the Healthy Food Guide and director of private practice Mission Nutrition, Claire Turnbull, says that every day she sees people who have decided to eliminate gluten or wheat in the hope that it will be the answer to everything from swelling and tiredness, until you cannot lose weight.
In fact, many of these people do not follow a gluten or wheat free diet, and do not understand the difference between the two. When it comes to swelling and tiredness, there are many other things that can be part of the problem, such as FODMAP, iron deficiency and poor sleep quality, as well as other more serious health problems that may not be resolved if oneself -diagnose. A wheat free diet or a gluten is not necessarily healthier.
General practitioner Dr. Phyllida Cotton Barker believes that the Internet has great potential to provide good information, as long as we can identify which sites you can trust.
One strategy that you think may be helpful is to continue identifying your symptoms, rather than trying to diagnose a general condition. You can find helpful suggestions that will not harm you. You haven’t lost anything apart from time if they don’t work. But if you can’t relieve the symptom, it’s time to visit the doctor!
How to be smart, health blogger:
Find sources you can trust
When looking for health information online, you should pay close attention to the sources of the information you find. In general, you can rely on health information from:
- The government (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Institutes of Health, etc.)
- Health organizations (American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, American Cancer Society, etc.)
These sources generally ask doctors, other medical experts, or any person cited to review the information presented. They also update their pages regularly because they understand that health information is constantly changing, as researchers learn more about diseases and treatments.
For other sites, check the section about to see if they use an editorial board or if an expert reviews the information before publishing it. If you are reading research studies, think about how many subjects the study included and see when and where it was published.
Question sensational information that calls something “miraculous cure” or presumes “immediate results.” And do not trust the advice of companies or bloggers who sell their own products.
If you are using a site that asks you to enter personal health information, consider the potential risks. Like when you share financial information online, verify the privacy and security policies that protect your data and block the access of others without your permission.
However, not everything is negative. Online research can help you better understand your condition or feel more secure in a treatment plan recommended by your doctor.
You can find support groups of other people who have similar diagnoses, and online information can generate questions to ask during your next appointment. The way a patient looks, sounds or acts can tell a doctor a lot about what is happening with the health and the potential diagnosis of the patient.
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Also, from the patient’s perspective, “it is important that you feel that your doctor is trying to establish a connection with you, that you feel that it is not another gadget and that you have time to explain your concerns and fears. Your doctor offers you that personal touch, understanding ear, decades of experience and intuition not available through Dr. Google.
Do not search using diagnostic terms
When Google searches for your symptoms, it is better to search using a basic keyword such as “headache”, rather than adding diagnostic terms such as “headache and brain tumor.”
Searching Google for the worst case scenario (or any specific scenario, for that matter) can skew search results and offer you many sites that can confirm unfounded fears (which will leave you in a panic) or even minimize the severity of symptoms. (which causes you to delay the visit to the doctor if necessary).
A guide for doctors about medical myths, exaggerated claims and bad advice. In this way, your search results will offer a full range of possibilities, allowing you to filter the results that do not apply to you and focus on those that could.
Don’t be too colloquial
Type “abdominal pain” instead of “stomach pain” and you are more likely to draw medical sites, according to Google Search Help. And it is the medical sites that will provide the most useful information.
Don’t be swayed by dazzling sites
You cannot judge a site by its appearance. A beautiful page layout and flashy videos and graphics do not indicate that the information you are about to read is accurate.
Sites that end with .com and .net, even when completely focused on health, are usually commercial sites, backed by advertising. That does not mean that these sites are necessarily wrong, but they may be biased.
When you search a commercial health site, see if it quotes correctly and links to original sources for your information, such as recent studies. Reputable health sites do.
Sites that end in .edu denote an academic institution and those that end in .gov are government sites (such as cdc.gov); both are accredited sources. In general, websites affiliated with academic, medical or governmental centers tend to be purely informative and not so biased.
They may not be as attractive as commercial sites, but there is reliable information there. Sites ending in .org can be a mix. While they are often run by nonprofit organizations, anyone can register a .org domain these days without submitting any documentation or proof that they are a nonprofit organization.
Some .orgs are backed by reliable professional medical academies (such as familydoctor.org, created by the American Academy of Family Physicians, which incidentally has a built-in symptom checker). People should not sell them short. They can take advantage of them, even if it is a professional site.
Be careful with the links that appear at the top and bottom of the Google search results pages; These are sponsored listings and are labeled as such.
Don’t guess your original symptom
If you experience a particular symptom and see that it is often accompanied by other symptoms, do not fall for the nocebo effect, the opposite of the placebo effect: expect to feel worse, and then do it.
In a recent article in the International Journal of Cardiology, countries where people regularly search Google for side effects of statins are more likely to show higher levels of statin intolerance. Bottom line? What we read online unconsciously can leave a greater impression than we think.
Don’t stop searching too soon
Your search for medical information should not end in a single link. For example, if the first search results for “jaw pain” help you realize that your pain can be a dental problem, that could justify another search on the website of the American Dental Association (ada.org) to get more specific information.
Also, even if you find a site that seems to provide a reasonable explanation of your symptoms, it is worth reading several reputable sites to provide you with a balance of information.
Don’t overlook how sites source their information
When your got the article that seems to describe your symptoms during the search, keep track of the original source and read it yourself, especially when it comes to breaking health studies.
Many scientific articles are written in an accessible way for patients, and not only for medical professionals. With some basic terms of study to your credit, an article in an academic journal can provide clues for future research.
Print the study and it can be a useful starting point for an upcoming discussion with your doctor. A good way to obtain relevant scientific articles is through Google Scholar.
Do not assume that a journal article is correct
A peer-reviewed academic article may be a good primary source on a particular topic, but your findings may not necessarily be relevant to you or even more relevant. First, check the year the article was published; If it was written ten years ago, it could be outdated information.
Consider the sample size of the study, if it is small, the findings may not be as relevant, and whether it was a long or short term study. Also note if the research was conducted on human or animal subjects.
Is it a large-scale randomized controlled study (the gold standard) or a review study that summarizes many previous research? If the results are “preliminary,” they could lead you the wrong way.
You should also ensure that the article comes from a magazine reviewed by reputable experts and that your doctor can help you be a filter.
Do not skip the “About us” section.
Some sites have an agenda, so be sure to read about who is behind the advice you are reading by clicking “About us.” If there is no page that explains who is crediting the site information, it is not a good sign. Go one step further and Google the organization to make sure it is an impartial source.
Some sites may be fully funded by a pharmaceutical company or an organization that benefits from the sale of herbal remedies. If the site is promoting a remedy and you see that there is a sponsor for that entity behind the site, then there are reasons to doubt the purity of the information.
Don’t trust only basic Google
In addition to Google Scholar, use Google Advanced Search, which provides high-caliber search refinement techniques; This can be especially useful for finding the original source of scientific studies.
With advanced search, you can search within the sites (and, therefore, concentrate on the sites that may be most useful, such as the .gov and .edu sites), and also refine your search by date, so you can get most recent and, therefore, relevant articles.
Feel free to ask doctors to share your favorite health sites
Doctors know that many of their patients are searching Google for their diagnoses online, and some are calling their colleagues to help in the process.
It’s a new world, we must guide families to reliable and valuable voices and then help confirm or redirect the results of your online learning. Then, the next time you go to your doctor’s office for a checkup, ask him where he suggests that patients seek medical information.
Don’t let Dr. Google have the final word
Never make medical decisions based solely on what you have read on the Internet, and definitely not on a site that suggests that you buy something to feel better.
Print the items you consider relevant, or even those that interest you, and discuss them with your doctor. It is one of the many ways to make your doctor visits more productive. If you were worried enough to look for your symptom online, then you should follow it and consult a doctor.
Keep a breadcrumb path as best you can.
When we are online, we forget where we are going and, often, we do not know who we are listening to. The confusion comes when families do not remember where they have been collecting information and when they are confused with myths, personal anecdotes and stories that lead them astray.
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Everything on the Internet is clearly not the best for us as parents. One solution: print things or check specific links with your doctor when you go to see them so they can search for information online together.
Seek the advice of experts (psychologists, doctors, researchers).
As parents and patients, we don’t make all of our health decisions using science, but when we have the opportunity to use solid data to direct decisions, we want the right sources. Your doctor can help you examine the online voices with which you tune. Ask your pediatrician or doctor where they trust the most.
Search for sites affiliated with academic medical centers or health care institutions.
Often, these sites examine and analyze the content with their expert researchers and clinicians. Just avoid sites loaded with advertising, since you can learn that the content of those sites can sometimes be edited to meet the requirements of tone, reach or opinion of advertisers.
The last thing that doctors should do is close the online searches of the patients. It is a new world; Doctors must join their patients online, as almost half of many groups are using Dr. Google to diagnose. Doctor must guide families towards reliable and valuable voices and then help confirm or redirect the results of their online learning..
Your diagnoses also use the search engine for diagnosis
It is not surprising to see that 80% of online diagnosers used a search engine (Google, Bing, etc.) first when looking for a diagnosis. We are impatient and busy: search engines provide quick answers, no wonder we all start there!
Even in the exam room with patients, doctors will often start with a search engine. They think that the complexity and trick of taking good care of patients is the next step, what comes next, AFTER online diagnosticians examine the search engine results, which site they click on next and they probably have lasting effects on the quality of the information they find.
That’s where doctors should be useful, they should help our patients know where to go for quality advice, based on research and data-backed advice.
Parents learn a lot about their children online
Most parents learn about the health of their children outside the pediatrician’s office. It is more common for a parents to look for things online when something new, such as a lump in a baby’s head or a new rash, worries. On the contrary, in acute care visits for things like cough, ear infection or colds, parents rarely report that they have been online.
How to find credible health information in cyberspace
Anyone can publish anything on the Internet, so it is up to you to evaluate what you are reading. Ask yourself these questions:
Who is behind the site? Is it a commercial company, a personal homepage, an independent body, a government agency or an academic institution? Check the “About us” section. Reputable websites will clearly indicate the qualifications or experience of the authors so you can evaluate their experience.
Websites cost money to manage and keep them updated, so think about why the information is provided. Is it to sell something? Can the patient verify information from other accredited sources? Why would the patient use this site as a credible source of information?
Reputable websites that provide health information will specify the date that information was prepared or last reviewed. As, medical advice may change over time. As a general rule, if health information is more than two years old, look for something more current to verify or replace what you have found.