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Advice from Dr. Internet

Posted November 04, 2017 12:00 AM by M-ReeD
Pathfinder Tags: Health Internet

At the age of twelve, I had developed a rash on my arm. Not a big deal really…until I peered into my middle-school health textbook and found pictures of lepers. Convinced I was in the early stages of leprosy (a leap that, let’s face it, made little sense), I broke the news to my family.

Fast forward some years later and the internet has handily replaced my middle-school health textbook, helping me to self-diagnose 24/7 if need be.

And it seems I am not the only one that uses the internet to self-diagnose according to a recent Pew Research Center study revealing that six out of 10 Americans admitted to seeking medical diagnostics from online sources in 2013.

Inspired by that finding, researchers set out to determine the quality of the health information available online. The first part of the study included researchers conducting a keyword search of phrases such as “seasonal influenza” on the video-sharing platform YouTube. Researchers looked at the top videos recommended in the search results and analyzed those videos for both content and specific features.

From there, the research team created a scoring system designed to measure the quality of the information these videos imparted based on guidelines from the CDC. The system awarded points based on the video’s source and other characteristics of the video and deducted points if the team felt that the videos offered misleading health information.

Overall, while researchers felt there was value to the information, they also felt that most of it was lacking in thoroughness.

"This study confirmed that most YouTube videos on seasonal influenza are provided by professional societies and health-care providers, with over half of the videos attempting to educate patients," says Dr. Lakshmi Kallur, lead researcher and resident physician in the Department of Internal Medicine at East Tennessee State University's Quillen College of Medicine. "These videos, although containing accurate information, did not fulfill our criteria as far as educating patients thoroughly."

Do you use the internet to self-diagnose?

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#1

Re: Advice from Dr. Internet

11/04/2017 12:16 AM

You can consult a Doctor on-line, there's no need to self diagnose...

https://www.healthtap.com/consults/prime?referrer=ppc&pubcode=GA&gclid=Cj0KCQjwp_DPBRCZARIsAGOZYBRQU-BzyjgsPNBaMXUVNr_3CXnKroFcdY1aG33CqoCwR9gp_P3qK40aAnUcEALw_wcB

..or you can check your symptoms on-line from a reputable source....

https://www.mayoclinic.org/symptom-checker/select-symptom/itt-20009075

Yes you can find bad information anywhere if you look for it....but why would you?

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#2
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Re: Advice from Dr. Internet

11/04/2017 8:22 AM

For the past 25 years, I've always looked online,... or medical books what ever was available at the time before I go to the doctor...

i never wanted to be a hypochondriac I guess. Now, I still do only before it pays to be informed and actually interact with the doctor with the fleeing moment he does have with you.

Our company does have an opportunity for online doctors... but I rather have a face to face for the they can actually see your total body reactions something you can't get from a screen shoot from a camera cam.

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#3
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Re: Advice from Dr. Internet

11/05/2017 12:19 AM

Surely there is a charge from the online doctor. Those people don't do things for free. I don't think I could trust an online one. I came close to dying a year and a half ago. The first 3 doctors only made it worse. Finally I went to a hospital and got help. Since then I have been doing a lot of research and writing a health document. I have consulted over 20 medical books and numerous websites. The Mayo Clinic symptom checker may be good, but in general, the Mayo Clinic and Harvard Medical School web sites have advice that is obsolete and not geared to natural healing. There are other sites I trust a lot more. I like to look at a least 4 sites before writing my summary of a condition or supplement.

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#4

Re: Advice from Dr. Internet

11/06/2017 3:08 AM

The amazing thing about the human body is that it's designed to fix itself in most situations, given rest and proper food and water. So many apparent 'cures' 'work' because the body fixes itself.

Now if we're crazy enough to carry an extra 100 pounds, smoke, drink too much, exercise little, it's no wonder the machine struggles to function as designed.

I had to smile when a friend was 'insulted' by the doctor - "no wonder you have problems with your legs, your 4 stones too heavy"

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Re: Advice from Dr. Internet

11/06/2017 3:41 PM

The amazing thing about the human body is that it's designed to fix itself in most situations,

And sometimes death, is the only fix...

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Re: Advice from Dr. Internet

11/06/2017 6:58 PM

For my company, it's a $49 co-pay to 'see' an on-line doctor.

Treatment options are one strong point of using the Internet.

For me, when I was diagnosed with a benign brain tumor (acoustic neuroma) 17 years ago, I spent about a week full-time on-line researching treatment options and the statistics of the outcomes. I vetoed two ENT specialists who I'd seen where both recommended microsurgical removal and found a doctor at Johns Hopkins (the late Dr. Jeffrey Williams) who was having good success with Fractionated Stereotactic Radiosurgery. I'm glad I did. I have had no re-growth or increase in size of the tumor and the only long term issue was the loss of hearing in that ear, which was already being compromised by the tumor by the time I realized I was having a problem. It's still there, but basically 'dead'.

I had a co-worker with nearly the same size and location of one of these tumors, and he went with the microsurgery. He had awful neurological problems with post-operative issues that were very well documented in the medical literature. (33% chance of significant issues) I tried to tell him but he placed all his faith in the recommendations of the doctor he was seeing. I listened to my doctors' recommendations, but then chose a different approach based upon my own research of medical papers.

I think Internet diagnoses have a place in raising awareness of the patient, but ultimately, a second opinion from a 'disinterested' party is prudent. Some might claim that 'real' doctors are not always disinterested and that is something the patient needs to keep in mind.

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Re: Advice from Dr. Internet

11/07/2017 12:15 PM

Then five minutes after terminus, a new universal cure with 100% success rate is announced. Wow!

I see claims all the time that oxygen deprivation is what allows cancer cells to proliferate. If this is true, why aren't there more centers treating cancer with hyperbaric oxygen? Oxygen too cheap for doctors (and hospitals) to try?

I have no idea, and I do not know if there is any truth to this hypothesis about oxygen therapy.

For myself, I seldom if ever see a doctor any more. If I am in for a check-up for my condition, it is always a PA that sees me, or it could be a nurse practitioner in many cases.

Have so many doctors left practice that we are in a doctor shortage crisis?

Another question: Why is it that sometimes the medical centers even with the most sophisticated equipment and imaging are not able to diagnose a disease, and certainly not able to remedy it, much less cure it?

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Re: Advice from Dr. Internet

11/07/2017 3:26 PM

To get the best Doctors and medical treatment, you have to pay for the best insurance....over $1k per month

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Re: Advice from Dr. Internet

11/07/2017 3:43 PM

The past (2) doctors I had, were Romanian. Both very good.

With the one prior to my current, he was pretty pissed at the healthcare industry,... mainly the hospital where he worked, Aurora Health.

In what I could gather, he was being force into the practice of being part of the profit centers for the hospital...

He doesn't work there anymore and hence, a new doctor, also a Romanian.

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Re: Advice from Dr. Internet

11/07/2017 3:53 PM

That is just foolishness. Insurance does not guarantee that anyone having it will receive health care. They might get to stay in a hospital, for a time. They might even get some sort of diagnosis, but if you are only seeing a hospitalist while in the hospital, your care is going nowhere fast.

More foolishness on the heels of stupidity, IMHO.

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Re: Advice from Dr. Internet

11/07/2017 3:56 PM

Until he too pops his/her cork.

Vlad?

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Re: Advice from Dr. Internet

11/09/2017 3:10 AM

It pays to do your own research, but like all subject areas the effectiveness depends on how sensible you are.
doctors are only "general practitioners" and are not expert in all fields, they make plenty of mistakes, so it pays to be vigilant especially when looking at side effects of medication.
Del

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#13

Re: Advice from Dr. Internet

11/11/2017 4:56 PM

I would never put all my faith in on-line doctors, health advisors, internet guru's or real doctors for that matter. For general knowledge, the internet is fine. It allows you to speak to a real doctor and better understand what he is telling you. Don't forget, the language of the medical professional is foreign to the average layman and that is for a reason; they don't want you to know everything, for if you did, you would not need him. Understanding one's own body and common sense is usually enough to stay healthy. Some people run to a doctor or the emergency room at the sign of cough or sneeze. Ask anyone over 70 who is in good health and they will tell you; stay away from the doctor. Wait a few days and you will feel well again. Hospitals and doctor's offices are the best place to catch a sickness. Stay away and stay healthy. I am 83 and haven't had a cold for at least 2 years. Why? because I stay clear of places where cold germs abound; hospitals, offices, shopping malls, supermarkets, etc.

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Re: Advice from Dr. Internet

11/14/2017 10:39 AM

Washing hands with soap and water never hurts either. If you must be near other humans, or pets, it is best to practice hand washing religiously.

(1) Never pick your nose with dirty fingers.

(2) Don't take medical advice from Larry the Cable Guy.

(3) Don't take self-diagnosis to the extreme that you never seek the help a real professional can offer you when you do not self-heal within a couple of days.

(4) Get your rest. Dress for winter by using layers.

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