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3 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Self-Diagnose

Thanks to the internet, we now have 24/7 access to a near-endless amount of information. Some of that information, however, can be unreliable or misleading, especially when it comes to health matters.

When you have an ache, pain, or another issue causing concern, how tempted are you to hop on your computer and Google your symptoms? It’s not the worse thing you can do, but before you know it, you may end up down a virtual rabbit-hole of self-diagnosis, which can cause a lot more harm than good.

Here are three reasons why you shouldn’t rely on the internet for a diagnosis: 

1. Information You Find May Be Inaccurate

According to a 2012 study published in the Journal of Pediatrics, fewer than 44% of top-ranking websites in Google search results contained information that was inconsistent with professional medical recommendations. While this study looked only at information related to infant sleep safety, the lesson can be applied to any area of medicine. In other words, health information you find on the internet isn’t necessarily reliable. 

Even if you only look at only reputable websites and resources, the information you find may not be applicable to your specific situation. 

2. Many Conditions Have Similar or Overlapping Symptoms

Many health conditions have common symptoms like fatigue, pain, and weakness. Since vastly different health conditions can present in the same way, it’s usually not possible to make an accurate diagnosis based on symptoms alone.

When you try to diagnose your health concerns based on your symptoms, you may come to a false conclusion, and in turn decide not to see a doctor, or attempt to “treat” a condition you don’t actually have.

3. Self-Diagnosis Can Lead to Unnecessary Anxiety

It’s easy to focus on the negative or worst-case scenarios when you try to asses your health based on information you find online. As a result, you may be creating stress and anxiety for yourself, believing that your health is a lot worse than it is.

Here’s the bottom line: If you’re concerned about an unusual ache or pain, call a doctor for professional guidance. Only a doctor can provide you with an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan. 

Don’t Make Guesses – Make an Appointment 

Are you ready for an accurate diagnosis? We encourage you to contact us. At Center for Pain Management in Indianapolis, we use state-of-the-art diagnostic procedures to accurately assess your health, and we’ll work with you on a customized treatment plan. Don’t waste time Googling – call us now to schedule an appointment: (317) 706-7246.

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