With the help of the internet it has made it easier for people to diagnose their own health issues, although that doesn’t make it a substitute to a visit to a real doctor. It can be helpful, however, to get an idea of what might be wrong with you before you head to the hospital or the doctor’s office. You may find it’s just gas, and be able to save yourself a huge medical bill.
By checking out your symptoms online you can also be more knowledgeable when you do talk to your doctor. Obviously you don’t want to walk in the office and tell them what is wrong with you, but you may be able to better describe your symptoms and this can help them come up with a more accurate diagnosis.
Google Your Symptoms
You can find out if other people have suffered the same issues as you or if an expert has written an article about the symptoms you’ve suffered by easily typing in key terms into your preferred search engine. Maybe you’re having “stabbing side pain on the left upper abdomen,” or maybe you have a “headache starting in your right temple only.” What seems like a life ending chest pain could simply be heartburn, although when it comes to certain body pains you don’t want to mess around not going to the doctor.
Visit A Symptom Checker
Sometimes just doing a search in a search engine isn’t going to get you enough information on what might be going on with your body. That’s where using an online symptom checker can come in handy. WebMD and even Everyday Health have easy to use symptom checkers, but some online symptom checkers are more highly recommended than others.
With an online symptom checker you will be able to add extra details about your pain or illness, which can help lead to more possible results. Once you have an idea what could be wrong with you, you can determine your next step, like going to the doctor.
Write down the symptoms you are having, just in case they change or subside, and maybe even return. You may also want to write down some notes from what you found in your online research. This gives you something to look back on as your symptoms change, and it can be a useful guide to take with you if you do decide to go to the doctor. Your notes will help you with your own diagnosis, and can help your doctor as well.
Keep A Journal
If you suffer from pains or unidentified illnesses often you may want to start keeping a health journal. People with food allergies and intolerances can greatly benefit from keeping a journal. And, even if you don’t think your issues are food related, knowing how meals make you feel might still help with your overall diagnosis!