Does something need to be done in regards to Health Websites

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by shenfrey, Oct 11, 2014.

  1. shenfrey macrumors 68000

    May 23, 2010
    I went into the doctors a week ago because I was up the entire night going to the toilet, constantly urinating. Every 5 minutes I was going to the toilet and since it was on a Saturday, no doctors was open so I rang up NHS direct (medical advisors in the UK) and they said if it doesn't get any better in the morning contact them again and they will book me with an out of hours doctor.

    After staying awake all night the problem didn't go away and before I rang NHS back up I decided to contact Dr Google and needless to say the results were dire, literally. Health websites such as WebMD and NHS were telling me I had cancer, Diabetes and to top it all off I was also having a Stroke. Aren't I an unlucky bugger?

    I decided to ignore this and just contact NHS again and they arranged a doctors appointment within the couple hours. I walked inside and had all the check ups and it turned out to just be a pretty nasty virus that was making the rounds and was causing me to not only frequently urinate, it also made me feel lousy for the next few days. Nothing the doctor could do except prescribe me some medication to limit bladder control.

    Why am I telling you all this? Well once the doctor had finished with diagnosing me, I then joked about how I was glad it wasn't any of the afore mentioned things that the internet was telling me I had. The Doctor then proceeded to rant a little about how the internet has been wasting a lot of the hospitals times because people will feel the slightest unwell, go to Google and and these websites will say if you have 'any of these symptoms' to contact emergency services immediately.

    I couldn't help but agree with him and did find 'Dr Google' to be VERY doom and and gloom and so this is the point to my topic.

    Do you guys think that this is a problem and something does need to be done? I bring this up now because now we have this Ebola crisis which undoubtedly is causing a bunch of hypercondriacs to threat and presumably contact the Doctors when any symptoms such as fever or even a cough occurs.

    Every website I have been on, it doesn't matter if your looking up Cancer, Aids or even Stroke, they all list symptoms are that EXTREMELY common in everyday life, such as a coughing, aching and tiredness, and tell you to contact 999 straight away. Do you guys think this is a problem? Was the Doctor overreacting?
  2. roadbloc macrumors G3


    Aug 24, 2009
    When looking online, I only use the NHS website when looking to self diagnose myself. Misinformation/click bait online is a problem that will probably never be fixed, so the responsibility lies with the user to choose the most appropriate website for their needs.
  3. shenfrey thread starter macrumors 68000

    May 23, 2010
    I think more common sense is more appropriate over any website. Obviously I had an active problem that was causing me to not sleep at night, this was a legitimate reason to go see a Doctor. However if your struggling with a headache, or your sneezing or feeling unwell then wait it out and see if it gets worst rather then going to a website that tells you if your suffering with a headache contact 999 urgently.
  4. Jessica Lares macrumors G3

    Jessica Lares

    Oct 31, 2009
    Near Dallas, Texas, USA
    WebMD needs to completely redo their symptom checker. I think the main problem with it is that it focuses on long term ones, and not at all the short term stuff that will be related to a common diagnosis. Most of its users want to know, "Why have I been coughing all night?" and not "Why have I been coughing for the last month?"

    I live five minutes away from the high school that officer's kid goes to. I also live 20 minutes away from the hospital the other guy was treated at. You'd think people HERE would be worried.
  5. Meister Suspended


    Oct 10, 2013
    That's because the symptoms for extreme illnesses are about the same as mondaine ones.
    The trick is not to go to any doctors and not to google anything health related in the internet.

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4 October 11, 2014