NWPC Blog

Cyberchondria: The Substitute Doctor?

Ever have one of those days when you’re not feeling well and you stop by your favorite health site to check out your symptoms. According to the information on the website, you decide that your symptoms appear to be nothing serious. Days go by and still you’re not feeling up to your old self so you circle back to the internet to see if there is something that you missed.
As a new mother, you may obsess over every little symptom your child is showing and become an excessive internet diagnoser. Symptoms that may or may not exist will cause you to lose sleep and sanity!
If you’re a hypochondriac, that simple cough you have as a result of a cold, could be lung cancer. The recent muscle twitchs could be the initial signs of muscular dystrophy or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Constant worry and cyber research over an imagined illnesses will increase stress levels over something that has not officially been diagnosed. Checking the internet may not be your friend!
Most Americans spend up to 52 hours annually checking out health related information, but only see their primary care physician 3 times a year for a total of 45 min! Why is it important for you to see your doctor over relying on a cyber diagnosis?
Here are a few reason you should call for that appointment today:

  • Deciding nothing is wrong and lack of follow up with your doctor – Many serious life threatening conditions have common symptoms.
  • An internet misdiagnosis could potentially have serious and expensive outcomes – A demand for expensive tests that are needless and unwarranted.
  • Relying on untrustworthy websites – Buying expensive, unscientifically proven remedies to cure illnesses.

It’s always a better idea to visit your primary care physician and ask questions. Their years of training prepared them to look at more than just your symptoms. Sometimes what you don’t say is more powerful than what you do say and your body language speaks volumes. Make that appointment today and be certain that your diagnosis and your doctor’s are the same.