• Curious about veganism or vegetarianism? Why not ask us a question? (You don't have to sign up, or be vegan or vegetarian!)

Health Issues Why We Need to Stop Googling Health Symptoms

shyvas

Deity
Forum Moderator
And it’s true. We’ve all typed in flu symptoms only to have the internet suggest that it’s anything from pregnancy to ebola. :rolleyes:Which, unsurprisingly,
leaves you feeling anxious, upset and confused.
But that worrying can actually become a real problem, with Psychology Today suggesting that there’s a link between
Googling your symptoms and the kind of hypochondria that falls under the umbrella of an anxiety disorder and depression.

 

silva

Addicted Poster
Location
Ohio, U.S.A
I google symptoms for things to ask my doctor. I've had far too many things either dismissed, or treated as something needing drastic diagnosis.
I was referred to bone specialists, sent for cat or mri scans, as well as fitted for a hard ankle boot. I stood up with the boot on and screamed as my ankle is twisted and juts outward when my foot is flat. They never even gave that a thought. I had to ask about my vitamin D levels, which doctors had told me "should be just fine if you're getting sun, and you take D2". Well it was at 11, and bringing up and maintaining with super high levels fixed everything.
Other thing is all the breathing tests and asthma drugs. I researched diet and found so much I could do with just nutrition every doctor had dismissed. "You can't cure breathing problems with food". :rolleyes: :mad:. Bull. Shit.
Then there's when I mentioned I seem to swallow wrong a lot when eating juicy foods, like biting into an apple. She totally dismissed that since I said I could swallow just fine, but when I looked at my chart online she wrote-dysphagia! :hmm:
I've tried several doctors since my wonderful one I had in my twenties retired early. Every one I know complains about their doctors, so no referrals.

I do hate to see people ask online what things could mean, but they DO need to ask for possible questions. I feel medical care needs a lot of self direction
 

shyvas

Deity
Forum Moderator
I google symptoms for things to ask my doctor. I've had far too many things either dismissed, or treated as something needing drastic diagnosis.

I've tried several doctors since my wonderful one I had in my twenties retired early. Every one I know complains about their doctors, so no referrals.

I do hate to see people ask online what things could mean, but they DO need to ask for possible questions. I feel medical care needs a lot of self direction
It's one thing to google various symptoms before going to see one's GP and using Google as a substitute for a doctor. Many people who have
anxiety/stress related disorders simply increase their stress levels by googling their symptoms. Medical science is complex and each and every specialist will have their own approach and theory on how to treat a patient.

Some doctors are far more experienced and better at their jobs than others. After all they are just human beings.

I don't know how the very complex US health care system works compared to over here. Can you ask to change a doctor is you're not
pleased with the care you receive ? Over here we can easily change our GP and also request a 2 nd opinion including that in a medical emergency centre.
I've also had my fair share of doctors that have overlooked symptoms and have not referred me to a specialist when needed. Since last year, I have switched to a GP who seems to be committed in giving high quality care and doesn't hesitate to refer me to a specialist when required.

I also agree that it's not always a good idea to ask for opinions on medical matters on line. The vast majority of people have no medical background and knowledge.
It takes multiple years to go through medical school and then receive training in either a university hospital or other set up before
a doctor will have a senior status. So thinking that Google is the answer to sorting out one's symptoms/illness is under minding medical science.:oops:

However, if a patient wants more knowledge and a better understand of symptoms/illness, It always better to view a government run site such as NHS in the UK. This site gives out handy information and helps patients understand possible treatment and alternatives.

A few months ago(late evening ) I had sudden and severe pain in my abdomen and was debating on whether calling the emergency helpline, going to A&E or calling a GP. So, instead I googled up my symptoms and the answer was that I should not go to A&E.

The following day, the pain had subsided but I decided to see a GP (mine was away) and she dismissed it as being acid reflux. The following day, I saw my own GP who referred me to a cardiologist and a gastroenterologist. The former said that if the same symptoms occur that I should immediately to to A&E as it could well be a heart attack. The latter said that I required to have a endoscopy and all the tests came back negative. So, nobody every knew why I had such severe pain.
The response from Google was incorrect and happily the outcome wasn't a disaster. All three doctors said that I should not have googled my symptoms.:rolleyes:

Ask a doctor whether it's a good idea to Google one's symptoms and the response is certainly, no.
 

KLS52

“SnarkMaster”
Doctors hate it when you use google. They don’t even want you to join support groups. But I find the support groups helpful. You learn a lot as not everyone’s experience is the same.
I always go into my doctors telling them “google said”...”I’m here so you can tell me otherwise”...and then we laugh. They know I’m nuts, lol.

I do understand the point you are trying to make, though, and I agree with you. Twice in the last month I googled two medical procedures that I was scheduled for. Both times I had worked myself up into a frenzy fearing the worst possible scenario because of what google said. But because of my general anxiety, I feel like I need to know the worst case scenario, especially if it’s something I’m not being sedated for, because I hate surprises.
Luckily, I got through both procedures just fine. We’re they uncomfortable, slightly painful? Sure. We’re they unbearable and torturous the way I had imagined they were going to be? Thankfully not. I could do both again almost stress free (other than waiting for results of course).
Did I learn my lesson? Hell no lol. I will never not google. But again, I acknowledge and agree with what you are trying to convey.
One positive thing about the support groups, when one person told her horrible experience with the thyroid biopsy, mainly because she had no numbing agent other than ice, it prompted me to call ahead of time and ask several important questions. One, were they going to use a numbing agent because no way was I going to let them stick 9 needles in my neck with just ice used beforehand, and two, if they did use lidocaine would it contain epinephrine as I am sensitive to that due to my arrhythmia. So I was able to be put somewhat at ease.
 

KLS52

“SnarkMaster”
That’s crazy about the pain you had and so glad it turned out ok. Having lost a very dear friend at a young age, due to a twisted bowel and then subsequently sepsis, I say better to err on the side of caution next time. I tend to always feel embarrassed in the event it turns out to be nothing so I do tend to wait on medical issues. But that’s likely to change as I’m getting older and starting to fall apart more lol.
 

shyvas

Deity
Forum Moderator
Doctors hate it when you use google. They don’t even want you to join support groups. But I find the support groups helpful. You learn a lot as not everyone’s experience is the same.
I always go into my doctors telling them “google said”...”I’m here so you can tell me otherwise”...and then we laugh. They know I’m nuts, lol.

I do understand the point you are trying to make, though, and I agree with you. Twice in the last month I googled two medical procedures that I was scheduled for. Both times I had worked myself up into a frenzy fearing the worst possible scenario because of what google said. But because of my general anxiety, I feel like I need to know the worst case scenario, especially if it’s something I’m not being sedated for, because I hate surprises.
Luckily, I got through both procedures just fine. We’re they uncomfortable, slightly painful? Sure. We’re they unbearable and torturous the way I had imagined they were going to be? Thankfully not. I could do both again almost stress free (other than waiting for results of course).
Did I learn my lesson? Hell no lol. I will never not google. But again, I acknowledge and agree with what you are trying to convey.
I also think that support groups can be helpful for giving tips and sharing one's experience. I learned some useful information on a migraine support group. Having read quite a few posts, I must say that that it is such a complexe illness that it's mind boggling.

Each procedure, medical facility and doctor may use a different protocol and equipment. When I have an MRI at the hospital in town, they have
a slightly different approach and protocol to the private hospital that is nearer to my place. Apparently they are equipped with the latest generation machine and you have to remove all your make up and clothes. This is all new to me because when I had my last one, I kept my clothes and make up on.
Some doctors will perform endoscopies without anaesthesia in certain countries. Over here it's virtually always performed when the patient is under.

Too much Googling can create too much stress. ;)
 

KLS52

“SnarkMaster”
I would NEVER have an endoscopy while still awake. That is insane to me! But I know it is done.
I just had this procedure on Tuesday. I was freaking out beforehand (partly due to my googling the procedure). My concern was that I would gag when the tube went through my nose and down towards my throat. The doctor was assuring me it would not happen and even showed me a model of the inside of the nose/throat. He showed me where the gag reflex was and said he doesn’t go past that. Guess what...I gagged like crazy. But it wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. I got through it because it was very quick and he was so nice and patient. I had told him about how bad my anxiety issues are. He was very understanding.
  • Fiberoptic laryngoscopy (nasolaryngoscopy) uses a small flexible telescope. The scope is passed through your nose and into your throat. This is the most common way that the voice box is examined. You are awake for the procedure. Numbing medicine will be sprayed in your nose. This procedure typically takes less than 1 minute.
 

shyvas

Deity
Forum Moderator
I would NEVER have an endoscopy while still awake. That is insane to me! But I know it is done.
I just had this procedure on Tuesday. I was freaking out beforehand (partly due to my googling the procedure). My concern was that I would gag when the tube went through my nose and down towards my throat. The doctor was assuring me it would not happen and even showed me a model of the inside of the nose/throat. He showed me where the gag reflex was and said he doesn’t go past that. Guess what...I gagged like crazy. But it wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. I got through it because it was very quick and he was so nice and patient. I had told him about how bad my anxiety issues are. He was very understanding.
  • Fiberoptic laryngoscopy (nasolaryngoscopy) uses a small flexible telescope. The scope is passed through your nose and into your throat. This is the most common way that the voice box is examined. You are awake for the procedure. Numbing medicine will be sprayed in your nose. This procedure typically takes less than 1 minute.
Same here. I think that I'd die of a heart attack if I saw that camera near my mouth. :D

Hey, KL I wonder it's just you and me on this thread ? o_O:rolleyes::D🤣
 

Tom

Addicted Poster
Location
Upstate New York
Same here. I think that I'd die of a heart attack if I saw that camera near my mouth. :D

Hey, KL I wonder it's just you and me on this thread ? o_O:rolleyes::D🤣
TA-DAAAAAA!

Not symptoms, but... Yesterday I thought I would be getting an MRI for my knee that started bothering me back in September for no discernible reason. And today, I had my first general checkup in about 6 or 7 years... which s TOO LONG for someone my age, even though I've been feeling fine. The MRI doctor didn't think an MRI was necessary just now, and told me I should just take it easy and "if it hurts, don't do it." fortunately, walking doesn't seem to be much of a problem. And my check-up was OK- but considering my age, I'm going to have a stress test where they observe/monitor my heart during a few minutes of walking on a treadmill at different speeds.

About endoscopy: both my dad and one of my sisters had them while awake. Not Fun. My sister compared the anesthetic spray to WD-40, and as I understand it, my Dad just got up off the table and walked out of the procedure.
 

Poppy

Ankle Biter
I would consider having an endoscopy awake, but I don't have much of a gag reflex and can swallow pills that scare my husband.:p I hope to have my next colonoscopy awake too. I'm sure it's not painful, so why not?

I'm a big googler. I prefer noninvasive treatments over going to the doctor, so Google is my main source of info. I do not have any chronic or serious health issues, though, so I don't feel I'm putting my self at risk at this point in time.
 

silva

Addicted Poster
Location
Ohio, U.S.A
I would consider having an endoscopy awake, but I don't have much of a gag reflex and can swallow pills that scare my husband.:p I hope to have my next colonoscopy awake too. I'm sure it's not painful, so why not?

I'm a big googler. I prefer noninvasive treatments over going to the doctor, so Google is my main source of info. I do not have any chronic or serious health issues, though, so I don't feel I'm putting my self at risk at this point in time.
I had some procedure done with a tube up my nose- something about sinuses, and it was bearable, but scary
I just had a colonoscopy and asked for the least seditive, so I was awake, but just as they said, had amesia about most of it, like I was in and out. I remember looking at the screen when it showed a polyp. Felt nothing. So glad I had it done, I had two polyps, neither cancer, removed and told to have another in 3 years. They can give you more seditive if you need it since you already have the iv in, I can't imagine why you would. My son had to have one and they gave him more and he had a horrid time afterwards, really freaked out!
 

PTree15

Beach bum
Location
Connecticut
I had some procedure done with a tube up my nose- something about sinuses, and it was bearable, but scary
I just had a colonoscopy and asked for the least seditive, so I was awake, but just as they said, had amesia about most of it, like I was in and out. I remember looking at the screen when it showed a polyp. Felt nothing. So glad I had it done, I had two polyps, neither cancer, removed and told to have another in 3 years. They can give you more seditive if you need it since you already have the iv in, I can't imagine why you would. My son had to have one and they gave him more and he had a horrid time afterwards, really freaked out!
So glad you had good results!
 

Katrina

Deity
Location
Canada
Eh... I try to assume it's the least harmful thing. Just last week I saw a black spot in my mouth and freaked out, thinking it was cancer. I googled it a,d found out it was most likely a blood blister and that it would go away within two weeks. Sure enough, it disappeared on its own. Google searching symptoms is only bad for people who assume the worst.
 

Tom

Addicted Poster
Location
Upstate New York
I've had colonoscopy both with and without anesthesia....
When it was with anesthesia, it was conscious sedation. Maybe it's partly because of all the fiber I consume in my diet and my insides are kind of used to... ummmmm... heavy traffic- but it wasn't that different for me. Both times, it basically felt like gas pains. But everybody's different. Even when I had it without sedation, they had to have the I.V. in me just in case, because every now and then, someone's colon starts spasming.

I had the first procedure with sedation, of course- it was interesting! I was kind of nervous, they started the I.V. (Versed and Fentanyl), and suddenly my nervousness disappeared- like they flipped a switch inside me. I think it was mostly the Fentanyl, which has been in the news a lot as a cause of deadly overdoses. I can believe it: when I read the report on the procedure later, it was only a tiny bit of Fentanyl they gave me.

You no anesthesia/light sedation people are rock stars to me.
My main reason for not having anesthesia is so nobody will have to come pick me up afterwards. Besides, if the stuff is that powerful, maybe it's not so safe? I honestly thought I could have gotten home on my own after I had it with conscious sedation- I get around mostly by public transportation and had no trouble walking. I can understand why they wouldn't want anyone driving themselves.
 
Last edited:
Top