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Understandably, you might be turning to online searches to answer your health questions, but Dr. Sportelli warns, "There is so much information out there, including misinformation... the general population doesn't know what to do with that information, so it just makes them anxious."
He notes if you search any symptom on a search engine, you can find over a hundred possible health issues possibly related to that 1 symptom and Dr. Sportelli says most often the scariest diagnosis on the list will be what people pay most attention to.
While focusing on the negative is a normal human survival tactic, he tells Dr. Ian Smith doctors are trained in the skill of differential diagnosis, which helps them eliminate unlikely health issues, but the average person will not be able to do this.
The Doctors' takeaway: before you attempt to self-diagnose yourself via Google, talk to your healthcare provider about your health concerns this will save you time and plenty of unneeded anxiety.