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Self-Diagnosis Roulette



The next time you have a headache…

Or indigestion…

Or even muscle cramps or twitching…

Go online and “Google” any of those terms and see what you come up with.

I’m willing to bet you’ll be terrified by the results.

For headache you’ll see anything from brain tumor to bleeding in the brain to meningitis and encephalitis.

Indigestion will lead you to gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), peptic ulcer disease, cancer, or even abnormality of the pancreas or bile ducts.

And muscle cramps or twitching will run the gamut from Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease to ALS (also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease).

Your search will also give you the more common reasons for any of these symptoms. Many people latch on to the more dramatic reasons and begin living like every day is their last. Others will downplay symptoms, assume that they have something simple to treat and go to the corner drug store and buy whatever over the counter remedy “seems” to treat their symptoms.

Either of these reactions could be courting disaster. Especially if you have a condition that can lead to peripheral neuropathy. Delaying treatment can lead to severe lifelong damage that will destroy your quality of life.

Expecting the Worst

If you fall into the “I know I’m dying” category, you will probably begin doctor shopping. Going from specialist to specialist looking for someone to confirm the worst. Even beyond the physical damage the stress of this process can do to your body, your emotional well-being is destroyed.

You live day to day expecting the worst with the specter of the Grim Reaper hanging over your shoulder. That is no way to live.

The first thing you need to do see your Physician.

If you actually do have a serious condition, the earlier you start this process, the better off you’ll be.

The other end of the spectrum is the patient who does their own research, opts for the condition easily treatable with over the counter meds, and puts off seeing a specialist until their symptoms are much worse.

Let’s take the muscle twitching or cramping symptom as an example. Yes, this could be caused by overworking the muscle or even a nutrient deficiency. Either of those are easy to fix.

But what if it’s something more serious?

If the condition lasts longer than a few days, you need to see your Physician! Failing to treat the underlying cause quickly can lead to lasting nerve damage, muscle degeneration, and ultimately, even amputation of the affected limb.


Cyberchondria vs. Informed Caution [1]

Before you think we’re advocating running to the doctor every time you have a hang nail, that is definitely not the case. We’re not advocating the spread of Cyberchondria (i.e., the rising epidemic of online diagnosis and treatment), just asking that you approach any medical condition with informed caution.

An informed and educated patient is a gift for any physician. Informed patients are much more likely to participate in their own care and keep their physician apprised of any changes in their condition. That’s a win for both sides.

Instead of using the internet as a tool to diagnose (or, in many cases, misdiagnose) your own conditions, choose to use it as a means of educating yourself enough to provide your health care provider with all the information he needs to accurately and quickly diagnose your illness.

You’ll be making your life, and ours, much easier.


Need real Help? To schedule, contact us by TEXT 781-659-7989 or using the secure chat feature here on our site!

[1] https://www.webmd.com/balance/features/internet-makes-hypochondria-worse


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