9 Reasons You Shouldn’t Google Your Symptoms

Depending on which region of the UK you live, it can sometimes be difficult to secure an appointment with your Doctor or GP as quickly as you might like, and whilst you’re waiting to be seen it can seem much easier to simply log online and Google your symptoms – after all, Google knows everything and can tell us exactly what the problem is, right?


Let’s face it, you will die. We all will. There’s nothing we can do about it. But we definitely shouldn’t be convincing ourselves that it’s going to come around before it’s due. The majority of us will go on to lead healthy lives well into our seventies, eighties and nineties. Want to know why not to Google your own symptoms? Here’s just a few reasons…


It may not last, give it time

So you’ve been suffering with a specific pain or mystery illness for 10 minutes and you think it might be something serious, so you turn to Google. At least give it a day or two, as chances are it’s temporary and it’s not going to be sticking around. If you’ve still got the ailment after a couple of days, then forget Google, go straight to your doctor or ring 111. If you’re going to use Google, use it to look for remedies on how to make the pain better, not to discover what it may be (but most likely isn’t).

You’ll convince yourself you’re dying

Spotting outside of menstruation – pregnant!

Migraine – brain tumour!

Pain around the back of your hips – kidneys are failing!

Leg cramps – deep vein thrombosis!

All of these also have logical, non-life-threatening reasons for occurring and 9 times out of 10 they will be nothing. Maybe you’ve been messing around with your contraception and your body wants a break, maybe you’ve genuinely just got a headache, maybe you slept funny and maybe, just maybe, you did more exercise than you normally would. See, all perfectly logical explanations, and we didn’t need Google to tell you those.


You’ll end up down A&E, wasting their time

Doctors are nurses are constantly striking – they are already busy enough and there’s just not enough time in the day to get everything done. It’s no surprise they want better money and contracts. And you could help their workload, simply by waiting a few days to see if your ailment continues and booking an appointment with your doctor. Hospitals are for real emergencies. They’re not there to look after you because you’ve got a headache, your mums on holiday or you need someone to look after you.

All common sense goes out of the window

If someone else came to you with the symptoms that you’ve got and asked you what you thought it would be, chances are you’d give a logical explanation and probably tell them to take some pain killers. Unfortunately, all logic tends to go out of the window when it’s you that’s ill and it’s easy to convince yourself of the worst. Give it up. You know it’s nothing serious, don’t let the internet convince you that it’s something bigger and far more serious than it is.

You forget that there IS medication available that can help

Paracetamol and ibuprofen are a godsend for making you better, and these can easily be purchased over the counter, not forgetting relatively cheaply. If something’s wrong, take two tablets (or one, if you’re younger) and see how you get on. With most tablets you can take two every four hours, up to three or four times per day. If you’re still ill after a few days, or you feel that you may be getting worse, contact your doctor and see what they advise.

You’ll have others worried about you

If you’re able to convince yourself that something’s wrong, you’re likely going to be able to convince those closest to you that there’s something wrong with you. Parents are usually the worst at overreacting (OK, mothers are – fathers tend to be more laid back), and partners & friends can get in on it too, assuming you go on about it enough. Once you get others worrying, your worrying will only multiply. If you’re that worried, avoid the internet and speak to your GP over the phone – they may advise an appointment, they may make a home visit, or they may just tell you to get some over the counter meds.

Moral of the story: yes, the internet contains all knowledge known to man, but it isn’t able to differentiate and therefore gives you any and all information that is in anyway linked to what you search for – with 99.9% of it being completely irrelevant to you.

Found in Health Awareness