Googling Your Symptoms Will Make You Sick

woman holding her head and looking at a computer

Be honest: How many times have you turned to Google to get to the bottom of some random, perhaps very minor, physical ailment -- a funny red bump on your toe or a weird ringing in one ear or a stinging pain in your left elbow -- and ended up staring at your laptop in horror while mentally drawing up a will?

Yeah, that's what I figured ... been there myself quite a few times. Don't worry, we're not alone. But we're not necessarily doing ourselves any good, either.

According to a recent study, women are more likely to consult the internet than their actual doctor when they're not feeling well -- and the internet is more likely than their actual doctor to give them a false diagnosis (at which point they feel worse).

Ladies, ladies, ladies. What's our problem? Why don't we just go to the doctor?!

Oh. Yeah, I don't have any time, either. And that's true, if I didn't have health insurance there's no way I'd be able to afford it.

More from The Stir: How to Make Sure Your Next Doctor's Visit Isn't a Total Bust

But no matter how legit our excuses, we really should go to the doctor, apparently, because we're not just freaking ourselves out by doing our own medical research: By wasting all that time worrying about potential exotic diseases and incurable forms of terminal terror we probably don't have, we're actually missing more common (less dramatic) problems we probably do have!

Talk about cutting off your nose to spite your face!

Oh my god, DON'T Google "cutting off your nose." Please, promise me. My kids and I are still emotionally scarred from the time we did a Google Image search for "goiter." (I didn't know they could look THAT bad!)

Anyway.

Go to the doctor!

Have you ever made yourself sick Googling symptoms?


Image ©iStock.com/diego_cervo

illness, doctors

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momav... momavanessa

No. I had really bad pains on my right side of my stomach and I googled it and it said gallstones. Well the next day I went to the ER and it was my gallbladder and I had to stay and have it removed. This was a month after I gave birth too!!

jpfsmom jpfsmom

Last week I had muscle twitch in my calf that went on for days so I googled and the symptoms range from benign (fatigue, lack of magnesium etc) to extreme... MS...needless to say I freaked..

yazzy91 yazzy91

Haha I have done that a couple of times xD and I go freaked out to my husband freaking put and he just rolls his eyes and we go to a Dr. and in the end it's nothing to serious....thank God.

MNGirl18 MNGirl18

I will Google symptoms, but I also call my insurance's nurse line to get their opinion if I need to be seen by a medical professional or not.

femal... femaleMIKE

I have correctly diagnosed myself with pcos, hypothyroidism ans gallstones.

L25 L25

Oh Im the worst at this. I don't have insurance so it's about $75 just to get something checked out, and it's $3000 if I have to go the ER and nothing turns out being wrong ( Yup, thats happened!) So of course I weigh the options of hmm is it serious? maybe it can wait? Lets google it!   I have almost given myself panic attacks googling symptoms, but also on the other hand I have found SO much valuable information for my health that even the doctors Ive seen havent told me, I've had to recommend what they should give me on a few occasions after hours of research and had it actually work when nothing else did! I think you have to be your own advocate in a busy world of quick fixes, for yourself, your kids, etc but theres also such a thing as too much information and when what you're googling is hurting more than it's helping, its time to shut it down and take some deep breaths, and call the doctor.

Jenei Berger

Easier said than done! I spent the last 12 years as a single mom with no insurance. There was NO way I was going to "waste" my money going to the doctor! Thankfully, I have insurance now, and am spending a ridiculous amount of time and effort fixing all the problems brought about from letting other problems go unfixed...oops

tania... taniamorse85

I don't use the Internet for health info at all.  My insurance has a 24 hour nurse line I can call, and I can get an appointment with my doctor within a few days.

Punks... Punkslilncs

If you use your brain while looking you can rule out horrible things. OR  you can jump to conclusions and gather that those migrains are really tumors and you are about to die, for get all the other symptoms, you are done for. The net has helped me with small things and also what to look out for on the bigger things. 

capta... captainjack

I google my symptoms I've had these symptoms for months, I finally went to Dr. 4 weeks ago they told me gallbladder and ruled that out and now again 2 drs after all test prodding and poking say gallbladder again now have to have a hida scan.  I've been out of work for almost 5 weeks and they still don't know what is wrong with me and have gone to like 6 specialist ughh.

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