It’s natural to assume that a recurring headache could be a sign of something as serious as a brain tumor. However, going online and convincing yourself that it is the cause is a bit farfetched and dangerous.
We’ve all been there where we try to find answers to our health-related queries from Google because it’s easily accessible and much faster than a doctor’s visit. Unfortunately, when you take help from Dr. Google and self-diagnose, you end up doing more harm than good to yourself. You may look up an illness with similar symptoms to yours and immediately start diagnosing yourself with it rather than considering other possibilities. As a result, you expose yourself to additional hazards due to improper medication. If the problem gets worse, you might also end up incurring heavy expenses and endangering your life. So, before becoming a self-proclaimed medical expert and landing yourself in a pool of trouble, take a look at the following dangers of self-diagnosis.
1. Mixing and abusing medication
Many people take self-diagnosis a step further and start treating themselves at home. They may conclude that they suffer from a specific illness and search for medications and home remedies online. Conclusively, they end up taking the medication without the doctor’s approval. Unfortunately, this practice makes them experience side effects. For example, people are always searching for instant weight loss hacks and, as a result, end up taking medication that makes things worse.
On the contrary, if you are reluctant to visit a doctor because it is inconvenient, book an appointment with an online doctor and get personalized healthcare from the comfort of your home. Platforms offering virtual primary healthcare by certified practitioners are much safer and quicker. You do not have to wait for months to see your doctor.
2. Risk of misdiagnoses
It is easy to misinterpret and misunderstand medical terms and what they refer to, especially when you have no prior know-how. And not to sound like a broken record, but this can lead to disastrous results. For instance, linking experiencing shortness of breath and fatigue with anxiety because your favorite health blog said so is undermining the possibility of heart arrhythmia or lung cancer. Consequently, you will delay the treatment you should be getting. Therefore, you must always confirm your research and diagnosis with a doctor.
3. More problems for your doctor
It is a positive move to consider visiting a doctor after reading up a few things from here and there on the internet. However, people who have looked up almost all the scary and life-threatening possibilities of their conditions are sometimes difficult to deal with. It only complicates the doctor’s work. Not only do they have to bring patients up to speed with correct treatment plans, but they also have to calm down confused patients.
Self-diagnosis also undermines the role of doctors and strains the doctor-patient relationship. The situation worsens when patients refuse to respond to the actual diagnosis and treatment that care providers suggest. Therefore, do not make your doctor feel that their knowledge and experience mean nothing in front of random articles from the internet.
4. Giving yourself anxiety
Self-diagnosis also causes unnecessary stress. Most people think that researching their symptoms online will make them feel better, but it has the opposite effect. Instead of finding answers, you end up on a website that likely says your cough is a symptom of lung cancer. The resultant anxiety might worsen minor symptoms you were experiencing. That is why you should refrain from believing what you read on the internet unless it’s from a trusted source.
5. Unnecessary medical expenses
It is highly likely that your self-diagnosis is a misdiagnosis and that whatever treatment you choose is mistreatment. As a result, you will waste your money on medication and tests that you don’t need. In addition, your health insurance provider may not provide reimbursements because of improper documentation. If you already have financial limitations, you will only be worsening them in the long run. In the end, you’ll be left with a dent in your savings and no improvement in your health. So why not spend your money the right way and consult a doctor instead?
There is nothing wrong with being curious about your health. Internet and books are useful sources of information, but you should use them to educate rather than treat yourself. This article went over a few reasons why you shouldn’t self-diagnose. These include additional health risks, stress, unnecessary costs, and a strained relationship with your healthcare provider. It’s great to be informed, but you should use that information to ask your doctor about your conditions and possible treatments. It is better to discuss health issues with a doctor. If you like, you can use numerous authentic online healthcare platforms which provide services from certified and experienced doctors.