Saturday, May 10, 2014

Signs and symptoms

If you spend too much time online looking through the signs and symptoms of many different conditions, you may begin to worry that something is wrong with you. This is a strange phenomenon, and I know that when I write a lot of medical articles, I begin to feel things that I know are not there. Just the other day I did a series of articles on the signs and symptoms of acid reflux, and I felt like there was stomach acid sitting in my throat the entire time. Things even began to taste funny to me. This all went away after the articles were written and submitted, proving that it was just the power of suggestion.

My mother was a nurse while she was still working, and she often thought she had one condition or another. It came from dealing with some many different signs and symptoms of different disease and conditions. Though she was very intelligent, it did not take much for her mind to convince her that something was wrong. She passed this on to me. Whenever I was not feeling well, she would make me list the signs and symptoms that I was experiencing, and she would then go down a list of things that could be wrong with me. There was never anything serious going on of course, but she was always worried none-the-less.

I would think that this is even more common now that the Internet is more popular. There are some people who have too much time on their hands, and they do nothing but look up signs and symptoms online. This would be very apparent by the numbers of page views these types of articles seem to get, at least in my experience. I wouldn’t say that everyone is paranoid, but there is a certain amount of hysteria that comes from having too much access to information that might scare people.

If you know that your signs and symptoms are not in your head, and that something might really be wrong, you can look things up online. However, you should use caution about believing everything that you read. You should take what you find, print it out, and talk it over with your doctor. If they assure you that you are fine, you should rest easy. If you are not happy with the diagnosis, you can always get a second opinion, of course, but don’t let the hundreds of articles about signs and symptoms that you find online scare you when there is really nothing to worry about.

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