Health information

How trustworthy is the internet for health information?

By November 15, 2017 No Comments
Internet research

If you’ve ever feverishly Googled your health symptoms for a diagnosis, you’re not alone. In a 2016 study in Australia, three out of five people admitted they sometimes or always research health conditions on the internet to avoid seeing a health professional. And that number rose to almost four in five people when the respondents were between the ages of 18 and 34. Don’t trust the internet for health information – get Wello, instead.

Google can always provide you with an overwhelming array of health diagnoses. But it’s important to remember that not all of that information will be accurate, reliable or even appropriate for you.

For a start, the same symptoms can be linked with a huge array of different conditions. Google “fatigue and headache” for instance, and you’ll discover you could have anything from a brain tumour to hay fever.  The internet can give you a whole lot of possibilities, ranging from the harmless to the terrifying. But it takes years of medical training and experience, along with proper testing, to actually diagnose someone.

Another problem with relying on the internet for health information is that it’s full of the most extreme scenarios, at both ends of the medical spectrum. There are the disease horror stories, which are guaranteed to whip you into a panic if you have similar symptoms.  Then there are the miraculous tales of recovery, which suggest it’s possible to beat serious illnesses without medical intervention.

At Wello, we always look at how a holistic approach can complement evidence-based medicine.  As Dr. Shari Flowers says in her blog “Warning: Stop Googling Your Symptoms Before heading to the Doctor”: “Save yourself and your doctor some time and anxiety by resisting the urge to self-diagnose online”.

At Wello, we always encourage you to stay informed and in charge of your health. And, we aim to support you through consultations with our Wello Nurse Practitioners, who have the training, experience and tools to properly assess your symptoms.  They look at your symptoms in the context of your lifestyle and unique medical history. They can arm you with the right information, answer your questions in detail, and advise on any medicines, tests or treatments you might need.

Stop Googling and talk to us today!
Book a video or phone consultation or home visit with one of Wello’s warm and professional nurse practitioners.  Just send an email to hello@wello.ca. Non-members can also phone us at (403) 648-2150 to make your appointment. For members, we are available 24/7 at (403) 648-2120.

For the latest updates on Wello’s Nurse Practitioner service, you can also follow us on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.