The perils of googling medical symptoms

Most people have done this against the advice of every medical professional. You start to feel poorly, you wonder what it is, you ask your friends, talk about it with your family and then you turn to Mr Google and start researching your medical symptoms.

The trouble is, Google can provide you with a number of medical conditions relating to your symptoms. Unfortunately the human brain always seems to sway towards the worst case scenario. By the time you have reached page 2 of google you are definitely on deaths door!

Let’s consider the humble headache, if you google a headache it could be caused by any number of reasons including:

  • Tension and stress
  • Cold or flu
  • Drinking too much alcohol
  • Migraine
  • Hormones
  • Sinus problems
  • Sleep apnoea
  • Stroke
  • Meningitis
  • Brain tumour

It is unlikely to be the latter three on the list but once you have checked all the symptoms on line, do you then start to worry about the prognosis and make the humble headache into something life threatening?

What are the better options for you to take?

If you have a private medical insurance policy then you will have access to a 24/7 helpline. You can call them and check your symptoms.

In some cases you have access to remote (telephone or online) private GP appointments where you can discuss your symptoms with a medical professional and obtain a true diagnosis. If they believe it is something serious, you can then be referred to a consultant for further tests.

You can use the NHS 111 service which is available 24/7 either by telephone or online. There is also the option of speaking to a pharmacist or your NHS GP. Obtaining advice from a qualified medical professional is a key aspect of getting the right diagnosis and treatment.  For more information on the NHS 111 service, please follow the link below:

Next time you feel unwell, please don’t turn to google for help. The internet is a wonderful thing but when it comes to all things medical, only a qualified medical professional can provide you with the best advice.

The team at SMP Healthcare would be happy to help you find a private medical insurance policy. Whether you already have cover in place or are completely new to the market, our experienced team are here to assist you and explain exactly what cover is available to you. Private medical insurance does not replace the NHS but it does give you rapid access to medical assistance when you need it most.

Please contact us via:

Telephone:  01245 929129 / 0800 047 0127