Gransnet forums


To wish Dr Google could be struck off

(37 Posts)
Beswitched Tue 21-Jan-20 11:03:24

Like, I'm sure, lots of you manage to frighten myself on a fairly regular basis by googling symptoms or tests that my doctor is sending me for and coming up with allki ds of scary scenarios, misinformation stc

AIBU to think we were better off without this tool available to us and it leads to a lot of unnecessary angst and scaremongering?

Urmstongran Wed 22-Jan-20 15:26:23

A nurse friend told me years ago ‘only look up NHS sites as they are more measured’. I try to stick to that advice but occasionally I don’t. Then I worry. And recheck. Until I feel reassured a bit. Then I think ‘but what if’ and Google again. Until I feel reassured a bit. Rinse & repeat.

Grammaretto Wed 22-Jan-20 14:57:14

We have always been fascinated by our own bodies/health. As MOnica says there were books....
I used the Dictionary of Symptoms, by Joan Gomez until it was in pieces.

I google, with some discretion, and it has served me well. Our family is prone to have weird things which no-one has heard of except Dr G.
Try osteochondroma, branchial cyst
or hyperparathyroidism

dragonfly46 Wed 22-Jan-20 14:38:58

When I got my diagnosis the first site I went on told me that by the time I was reading that it was out of date!
I now do not google but use a couple of Facebook groups where people are going through the same as me and can give instant advice, especially in a practical way.

BlueSky Wed 22-Jan-20 14:24:16

I used to be a victim of Dr Google and before that the medical Encyclopaedia. Now I followed some good advice I was given on here, only Google the NHS site!

harrigran Wed 22-Jan-20 13:29:38

I did not peruse google when I was diagnosed with cancer but I had a friend who would read anything and everything and then tell me.
She did not have the medical knowledge to sift the wheat from the chaff, thankfully I do.

vampirequeen Wed 22-Jan-20 13:28:05

I love Dr Google but you have to be ready to take some of the stuff you find out with a good pinch of salt. I recently saw a gynae specialist and asked if I could just have a hysterectomy because Dr Google suggested that it was simply a case of cutting a little hole, poking around with a glorified crochet hook and hoiking it out. End of gynae problems. I was laughing as I said it. His reply was that he wished more people would be like me and not take Google seriously. It caused him a lot of problems because people believed that they knew what he should do and often told him in no uncertain terms then got upset when he failed to comply. After all an untrained internet search must be more accurate than years of training and decades of experience grin

M0nica Wed 22-Jan-20 13:02:00

Before the internet there were home medical books. with names like the Fireside Doctor . These were just as frightening as Dr Google - and then there were all the people with trivial problems, and not so trivial problems, who didn't consult anything and were always convinced they had cancer so wouldn't see the doctor

My FiL hid symptoms from his GP for several years because he was convinced he had cancer. When he finally came clean and was diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease, he nearly held a party he was so glad he did not have cancer!

Hetty58 Tue 21-Jan-20 16:23:15

Google just makes information readily available. The problem is that many people are not at all selective in finding reliable sources and dismissing unsuitable ones, that's all.

Anyone can post anything on the internet and people will believe it.

wildswan16 Tue 21-Jan-20 16:14:58

Use recommended NHS sites, or sites such as Cancer Research UK. Nobody makes you click on multiple sites and just like retail sites, some are absolute rubbish.

The internet is here to stay. If you are the sort of person who goes up to random people in the street to ask for advice then you get what you are given. The same applies to internet sites.

MrsJamJam Tue 21-Jan-20 15:38:06

When I was diagnosed after an episode of TGA the doctor told me to Google it to find out more. Good advice to put my mind at rest, but beware of American websites which can come up with some wacky ideas. NHS and UK research websites were the best.

timetogo2016 Tue 21-Jan-20 15:36:51

Your spot on Bewitched but I do look for my DH hahahaha.

suziewoozie Tue 21-Jan-20 15:33:46

Agree FF I tend to go there post-diagnosis.

Allegretto Tue 21-Jan-20 15:18:43

The nhs site is great. So is Gransnet when seeking advice and from people with experience of life’s varied health issues.

3dognight Tue 21-Jan-20 15:03:25

Just use the nhs sites, all easy to understand and non dramatic.

FlexibleFriend Tue 21-Jan-20 14:56:52

Well once I knew what I was dealing with I then found health unlocked and lots of other people with the same condition, who helped me find my specialist at St Thomas's and got my Gp to refer me to her. Without the internet I would probably never have got the help I needed, the local so called specialist was useless.

suziewoozie Tue 21-Jan-20 14:38:19

I don’t just use the NHS website. Depending on the specific issue I might use the appropriate NICE guidelines, guidelines from the appropriate Royal College, the website from a reputable relevant organisation eg Diabetes UK, ThyroidUK, BHF etc. The NHS info is not very detailed and does not always include certain up to date alternative treatments that may be available (even if not widely) Its a good starting point

Yehbutnobut Tue 21-Jan-20 14:29:11

No Bewitched most of us (surely?) are not that stupid. Most of us have sufficient intelligence and powers of deduction and reasoning that we can use a useful tool such as the internet effectively.

I have certainly used ‘Dr Google’ to my advantage and saved precious GP time.

Teetime Tue 21-Jan-20 14:21:49

In a way its no different from those Medical Dictionaries that people used to look in after a visit to the doctor or in my mothers case a post GP visit to the Lady in the Pet Shop whose clinical knowledge afr exceeded that of the GP and mine ( a highly qualified nurse).
I would wish that NHS Choices made itself more know so that people if they wanted additional information could look that up.

PernillaVanilla Tue 21-Jan-20 14:02:17

Dr google only finds results to searches. If you only look at reliable sites there should be no problem. A dear old friend of mine became unwell with cancer 3 years ago. It was one of those cancers where there is never much hope, and I didn't want to make him unhappy by discussing the minute detail. ~the information I found on the MacMillan and another Cancer research site was very useful and when I knew there was no hope I was able to be far more supportive as a result.

Marydoll Tue 21-Jan-20 13:57:14

If I hadn't consulted Dr Google before starting new medication, I wouldn't have known about a rare side effect that caused a life threatening allergic reaction, which I had to this medication. The doctors in A&E hadn't heard of the medication, let alone know the the side effects. A bit dramatic I know, but thanks to Dr Google, I'm still here to write this post.
In saying that, common sense should prevail. Elegran, posting wise advice, as usual.

jacq10 Tue 21-Jan-20 13:52:24

I remember many many years ago when the internet was taking off DD telling me never to read any advice given on a condition on-line except from NHS and I have followed this. She said some of the American sites would really lead me astray and worry me to death!! I find the NHS websites very informative and always give good advice on what support is available.

Calendargirl Tue 21-Jan-20 13:47:51

Before the internet, the worried well had to go into the library, sit down with a huge and heavy tome and peruse the information, couldn’t take it home to look at as it was a reference book.
I always hoped no one I knew would come in and glance at whatever ailment I was checking out!

janeainsworth Tue 21-Jan-20 13:27:38

I agree Fkexible.
I think it’s invaluable for finding out more about a condition you’ve already been diagnosed with because GP’s just don’t have the time to have long, detailed conversations with every patient they see.
Knowledge about your condition is empowering and enables you to have a more informed conversation with your GP should the need arise.

FlexibleFriend Tue 21-Jan-20 13:17:32

No when I got my diagnosis of my auto immune condition which I'd never heard of I got masses of information on line and very little from the Dr giving the diagnosis.

Rufus2 Tue 21-Jan-20 13:04:09

were better off without this tool
You might be even better off by not consulting the good Dr., in the first place; but many others must be perfectly capable of judging the value of on-line info by assessing its website source.
Let others judge for themselves; we can easily ask our GP to clarify any doubts! hmm
Btw I always consult my bible "The Hypochondriac's Hand book"; my version was written by two doctors and based on the theme " for every symptom there's a disease"! Written in a light hearted vein, but very sensible. Check it out on Google! grin