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Have You Ever Attempted to Diagnose Yourself or Someone Else Using the Internet?

If so, you are among a growing number of U.S. adults who have.

Have you ever wondered what is wrong with you medically and turned to the Internet for the answer? According to a CBS News report, 35 percent of U.S. adults have used the Internet to self-diagnose a medical condition or knew of someone else who had.

These latest findings were revealed in a Pew Research Center's Internet & American Life Project that was published Jan. 15. It also revealed that 81 percent of U.S. adults used the Internet, and 59 percent of the adult population looked up health information online, but 39 percent of the searches were for someone else. Women were more likely to search the Internet for a health-related issue pertaining to them as were younger people and white adults. Less than half, however, said a doctor confirmed the diagnosis, 35 percent did not seek a professional opinion and 18 percent said a professional disputed the online findings pertaining to their condition. 

Have you ever used the Internet to research a medical condition for yourself or somebody else?

Sharon Swanepoel January 16, 2013 at 03:00 PM
I cannot tell a lie, I'm in the 35 percent - for myself and somebody else.
Kristi Reed (Editor) January 16, 2013 at 03:30 PM
I have done it lots of times and often successfully I might add. There are some very good resources on the web and with copays, premiums and deductibles continuing to increase, I imagine more people will try self-diagnosis in the future.
Rebecca McCarthy (Editor) January 16, 2013 at 04:09 PM
My husband did this and wound up in the ER, convinced he had had a heart attack. The ER doc told him it's very common for people to panic when they think they are suffering from this or that disease. I have since blocked WebMD from our computer, not wanting to pay any more bills for heart checkups. But we have used it successfully with our children....
Michelle Couch January 16, 2013 at 04:15 PM
Guilty as charged!
Tammy Osier January 17, 2013 at 11:24 AM
@ Rebecca - lol. men won't admit it, but they are worse than us when it come to that sort of thing. They're definately worse patients - ask any wife or nurse that's had to put up with them when they're sick- lol. I don't necessarily "diagnose", but I do check for symptoms to see if It might be something to be concerned about and whether I should go to the Dr. I have to admit, I go on webmd quite often just ot browse. it's so interesting!
Racer X January 17, 2013 at 01:31 PM
Oh we admit it. I concede, as always, that women are the fairer sex. I have noticed, through the loss of my father and from observing friends with medical troubles, that very often doctors have no idea what they are doing. Looking on the internet and using common sense have steered many a patient in the right direction when their own doctor drops the ball. My buddy's wife fell and broke her wrist. The "specialist" she went see said she would require $30,000 in reconstructive surgery. She went for a second opinion to a GP, who set it in a cast and fixed her right up. 60 days later, she has full use of her wrist and has had no negative effects. Never forget, everyone is a salesman.
Maureen Ruiz January 17, 2013 at 04:23 PM
I drive my doctor crazy, she really gets upset and almost insulted when I self diagnose. As an old librarian I feel I can find the information I need, plus I use lots of herbs and viatmins and can read up on side effects. Using the internet is smart and keeps you informed. She once prescribed an inhaler for me that made my blood pressure skyrocket. I told her about it and asked for a different brand. I read later on line that the side effect of the brand she had given me was a dangerous hike in blood pressure in certain patients. I should have checked out the side effects when it was prescribed to me. Read as much as you can, be informed!
Robbi McCaig January 18, 2013 at 02:22 PM
One simply must stay involved and be an active participant in one's own health. My husbands' doc kept running lab tests because his calcium was really high. That translated into office visit and lab charges every 3 months. Google it up and chances are it is due to a parathyroid problem. I set him up with a specialist who then removed a parathyroid tumor. "Chronic" problems =billing bonanzas for docs .
Good Grief Y'all January 18, 2013 at 06:55 PM
Yes. Be informed, research, but use good judgment. Sometimes you can find a home or OTC remedy. Go to the doctor if you have a serious condition or think you may. If your doctor doesn't listen to you, keep looking. WebMD is not a good tool for hypochondriacs, though ;)
Elizabeth January 18, 2013 at 11:51 PM
I've read WebMD on a whim many a times, but still sought our medical provider.

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