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6 Things You Must Never Do While Googling Health Symptoms!

By Chandana Rao

What is the first thing most of us do when we are feeling sick or suspect that we may be suffering from an ailment? We seek the help of Google, right?

Yes, today, in the age of the Internet, Google is our best friend and saviour and that is a fact none of us can deny.

 Do Not Do This While Googling Symptoms!

Right from getting all sorts of information available under the sun, the Internet also helps us with our work, daily activities like ordering food, looking up places to go to and so on.

Now, most of us would already know that if we want any information regarding diseases, symptoms or even treatments, all we have to do is go to Google!

The second we type in the keywords on Google, it pulls up a number of pages with information about the diseases we are looking for and even related information.

Right from tips on how to ensure that you actually have that disease to tips on natural remedies, we have an abundance of information.

However, there are certain things we must never do while Googling about health symptoms, as they may have a negative impact. Have a look at them, here.

1. Check For Authenticity
2. Do Not Believe Everything You Read
3. Don't Fall For The 'Nocebo' Effect
4. Always Read The 'About Us' Section
5. Do Not Follow Tips If You Have Previous Health Conditions
6. Do Not Panic

1. Check For Authenticity

As we know, even if we type in one tiny symptom of a disease, a number of possible health conditions which that symptom is a part of come up on Google. In addition, there are a number of unauthenticated sites on the Internet which could give you false information about the symptoms and diseases you are looking to learn more about.

So, it is always best to make sure you check for the authenticity of these sites. Even better, do go to a medical professional to get your symptoms checked.

2. Do Not Believe Everything You Read

We can all agree on the fact that Google has an exodus of information when it comes to following certain remedies; not every tip given out there must be believed. There are a number of "click-bait" type of health information out there which promise to help cure your diseases within days, with just simple home remedies.

However, many times, these remedies may not work at all or even worse, they could cause negative side effects!

3. Don't Fall For The 'Nocebo' Effect

When people are googling health symptoms, they often come across other suggested symptoms related to their disorder which they may not have, but start to experience psychologically, just because they read it on Google! This is called the 'nocebo' effect.

For example, if you are googling flu symptoms and you read that nausea is also a flu symptom, you may start to feel nauseous, even though you did not have that symptom earlier. This habit can only make your condition worse!

4. Always Read The 'About Us' Section

Whenever you are referring to a website on Google for health information or tips on treating a particular disease, ensure that you go to the 'About Us' section on their website to check if the health website has been around for a long time and has authentic sources from where they get their information.

This enables you to trust their website more with regards to the information you are seeking.

5. Do Not Follow Tips If You Have Previous Health Conditions

Most information given on health websites today are quite generic and are designed to treat particular conditions. So, if you have a previous or an existing health condition, then it is only safe to follow the health tips from Google, after consulting your doctor.

For example, some home remedies for low BP suggest consuming glucose water at times; however, if you are diabetic, glucose water may not be good for you!

6. Do Not Panic

More often than not, people read about symptoms of the disease that they think that they have on Google and start to panic, when Google suggests that their symptoms could be related to certain dangerous diseases. It is where people feel like a small headache could be a symptom of a brain tumour, as Google gives them a lot of suggestions.

So, when that happens, people start to over-think and go into a panic mode, which could also give them anxiety attacks! So, it is best to just go check with your doctor before jumping to conclusions.

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    Read more about: google health tips
    Story first published: Monday, June 25, 2018, 17:31 [IST]
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