I want to take a brief moment to explain why you should NEVER google your medical questions. Let me clarify.
I am NOT referring to medical questions like ‘how do I get rid of the fungus on my toenail’, or random alternative treatment questions like “which is better, taking liquid iron or chlorophyll to increase my iron level?”
I am referring to when you do a blood test and the results come in online and you haven’t been back to the doctor and your eosinophil levels are elevated and you google high eosinophils and learn that you probably have eosinophilia.
(Which you don’t, BTW).
Google and the internet are wonderful informational tools.
But when you explore medical information for serious conditions that may require you to make serious, and possibly life-changing decisions, Google should NOT be your initial go-to resource. Here’s why:
The Five Main Reasons
1. Medicine is personal and takes into account many individual factors. Google is NOT individual.
2. Unless you are an expert in reading and interpreting medical journal articles, you are reading a summary of an interpretation of a summary of one research study, which is NOT enough info for you to make a decision on.
3. When you have medical stats you want to understand, you are almost always in a vulnerable position, and let’s be real, the overwhelming number of sites out there today want to sell you something. Using your own emotions to freak you out, even if it’s only to click to the next article, will always sell.
4. When you read a piece of information on Google, you are only reading one piece of the puzzle, which will NOT help you understand the entire picture.
5. Much of the information you will read on Google is inaccurate, contradictory, and often, just not true. Don’t fall victim to misinformation when you are already feeling concerned.
So what should you do? And is there is any time when you should use Google for medical issues?
Those are questions for the next post.