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Googling Symptoms – What to Ask

  1. Ask, who runs the site? Is it clear?
  2. Ask, who pays for the site? Does that affect its content, or the way its content makes you think?
  3. Ask, does the site have a specific aim? Does this affect its content, or the way its content makes you think?
  4. Ask, where is the information from? Is it referenced? Is it health-specific, or a generic news website or opinion blog? Is it recent?
  5. Ask, who has written the information? Can you trust them?
  6. Ask, can you compare this information with a page from a health site in your country, e.g. an NHS England site? Is it telling you the same thing?
  7. Ask, have you already been advised by a health-care professional to follow-up with your doctor or other professional? If yes, ensure you book this appointment sooner rather than later.
  8. Health information is often generic, to cover a wide range of circumstances, risk factors and eventualities. My risk of having a specific condition is not the same as yours. So, ask about your personal circumstances. This one symptom may mean you have X, but how likely is it for you age, health history (the conditions you and your family have), and other circumstances? Is what you have today a life-threatening emergency?

    If you are unsure, always ask your doctor.

Based on advice provided here.

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