Better not google your symptoms and their treatment

My two-cents Rx

Benj S. Bangahan, M.D., FPCP, FPCCP

Not bad for a hurriedly done June 19 maiden issue, we agree, but it is normal to reserve a latitude for trivial inconsequential glitches, just in case. Those who sweated it out to beat the deadline have to be tapped on their shoulders for the accomplishment, and for the sweats lost. As Muslims we should feel elated for the first few steps that have shown the direction to the perceived goal. We then must pray that diametric ethos will let us tread our road sans adversarial factors, and pray some more that hopefully  this is far from just being a wishful thinking, In Shā Allāh.


Practically all branches of science and other apps have been made accessible in the internet, and any problem that cannot be self-resolved has been made easy  by a simple click. What one needs is just adeptness in the operation of a device, and with that, the oldies and the young ones relish clicking the google for inquiries on anything they want to know about, but more often on something that would serve as a cut-corner method to avail themselves and make technical processes like a piece of cake. Most of all, the practice saves time, effort and money, and one field in which it is frequently used is medical science — people seek the help of google in regard to their symptoms and, of course, what treatment could solve them, about which google provides the basic info, making one and all instant healers of themselves like there is nothing to watch out for.  Yes, it can be fun, but only when the condition is a run of the mill and with the least in potentialilities to generate regrettable spin-offs. Otherwise, it is otherwise, so a piece of advice must be given for them to be circumspect — the practice must not  be done like it were a quick way of looking for some fun to enjoy. There is really nothing simple, to lay patients, about clinical symptoms and how to address them, and must be referred to people who are trained along the medical field.

To cite a particular symptom –- a headache may be thought of by a person as something not too concerning. He then googles for headache, and true enough he gets all the information that he needs. The different possible etiologies are there, perhaps including even other important data that the person might be ill-prepared to give the necessary correlation to. From the different possible causes outlined in the information, he could possibly pick a simple one on account of his lack of technical adeptness, and we can expect that again he would google for the corresponding treatment, which he would subsequent treat himself with, which would perhaps afford temporary but insignificant relief . However, the headache could also be possibly secondary to a dreadful disease, which he has not taken into consideration simply because he is not oriented about it, and the morbid disease would just simply unleash its harsh behavior, causing the demise of the man.

If right from the start the headache was well diagnosed by someone technically trained to deal with the condition, the man would not have died, In Shā Allāh.

A pain in a big anatomical area like the abdomen can be rather perplexing to give sense to. If a person googles for a symptom of an abdominal pain, a myriad of possible causes could perhaps easily confuse him. It is understandable if he considers a simple cause, something which he is easily able to correlate more comparatively, like  maybe constipation. So he googles for treatment and he buys and takes it, but not only that it does not relieve him, the pain has now become worse and he senses like he is being put to death. Of course, because the pain is due to an acute appendicitis that ruptures.

So, you see, it is all due to the absence of the simple diagnosis or knowing the cause of  a complaint, which follows that the subsequent therapy, based on the diagnosis, is also wrong.

It is therefore advised that we let the chefs do the cooking, the lawyers do court arguing, the engineers do bridge constructing,  and the doctors minding about diseases. That is what they are there for.


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