Do You Research Conditions Before Seeing The Doctors?

@wolfie34 (26789)
United Kingdom
February 15, 2009 9:55am CST
Are you someone who looks up illnesses, conditions and diseases on the internet, encyclopaedia or from medical journals before seeing the doctor? If you have a particular complaint or suspect you might have a certain condition, syndrome or medical problem do you research the condition first before seeing the doctor or afterwards Or do you think that is morbid and would rather be blissfully unaware, or it makes you feel so paranoid that you have a certain condition when really it's something quite minor I am due to go for a biospy next month as the consultant wants to rule out Sjogren's syndrome, I have never heard of it before, I mean who has? So straight away when I got back from seeing the consultant I was on the internet looking it up and straight away I recognized a lot of the telltale signs, dry eyes, dry mouth, always tired to name a few It is also uncurable and most of the research is US based I think being forearmed is forewarned and I am glad I know much more about it, knowledge is power and all that, but some might think I am being too morbid but for me it's a way of understanding what is wrong with my body and why certain things are happening and it could be triggered off by this syndrome At least if I have got it then I can get the correct medication for it and hopefully I can live with it, if not then I have to continue the search So if you have a complaint, or an ache, or your body is doing something different do you rush straight to the research or do you forget about it and tell yourself not to fret and worry it'll only make it worse?
12 people like this
32 responses
@mentalward (14693)
• United States
16 Feb 09
I think it's a bad idea for a hypochondriac to look things up on the internet before seeing a doctor because they'll probably talk themselves into more symptoms than they actually have! For me, I'll look into things before seeing my doctor. I've seen three doctors for one thing and they each told me something different! It's not really complicated, either. I have a "lump" on the palm of my hand. My primary care doctor said it looked like a ganglion cyst. He sent me to a specialist (hand surgeon) who said it was Dupuytrene's disease (or syndrome) and would require surgery down the road. THEN, on a routine visit to my rheumatologist, I had her look at it and she said it didn't look like Dupuytrene's disease at all. She noticed that I've lost quite a bit of muscle mass in that hand, so she's sending me for a nerve conduction study to find out why. She said that "lump" looks like a normal tendon and it looks like a lump because of the loss of muscle mass. So, I still don't know what it is! If the nerve conduction study comes back as normal, then I'll have to believe the surgeon, although he DID say that Dupuytrene's disease typically affects the tendons of the last two fingers, pinky and ring fingers, and mine is affecting my middle finger. I looked everything up, of course, but I'm still confused so it really hasn't helped me at all.
@wolfie34 (26789)
• United Kingdom
16 Feb 09
Sometimes the jargon involved in medical conditions go right over our head, and we need it explained to us and thus the internet is just not able to get us the right answers, having a patient, understanding and caring GP is essential, trouble is they are so rare nowadays!
2 people like this
@mentalward (14693)
• United States
16 Feb 09
Oh, I know how rare they are! Right before we moved here from Maryland, my doctor of 25 years was pulling up stakes and moving to Florida. I wanted to cry! He was THE best doctor I've ever known. He actually still made house calls!!! He's not that old, either... about the same age as I am. (Okay, okay, I'm getting up there. LOL) But, either way, I had to find a new doctor. My new one isn't TOO bad, but he's certainly not my old doctor! At least he referred me to a specialist about my problem because he wasn't 100% sure of what it was. That's something, anyway.
2 people like this
• Canada
15 Feb 09
I do all my research first, before seeing the doctor. Why? Only because I like to understand the terminology and what might actually be going on inside my body/mind. A perfect example of this: I was looking up Bipolar and found there to be two types: Bipolar I and Bipolar II (the latter being the lesser of 2 evils). I felt I fit in perfectly in the Bipolar II category. I visited my doctor who then referred me to a psychiatrist and lo and behold? I have been professionally and carefully diagnosed as Bipolar II. Not that it's a good thing but I, like you, believe in "knowledge is power". Since the diagnosis, I have been taking my prescribed medication and feel new and alive for the most part because I now understand where my boyd and mind fit in. So yes, little brother, looking up illnesses, conditions, diseases, can sometimes be lifesaving too. Today, February 15th, I celebrate my 19-year anniversary of being an insulin-dependent diabetic...another example of telling my doctor that after researching my symptoms, "you, doc, had better check my sugar levels". That being said, the rest is history. I also hope to rule out any conditions, illnesses, diseases but sometimes one cannot do so, therefore knowing and treating/curing are best served with knowlegde.
3 people like this
@wolfie34 (26789)
• United Kingdom
15 Feb 09
You've been through so much dear sister, it's hard to contemplate half of what you have had to face, support with a loving family makes a world of difference too and yes I am a great believer in knowledge is power, I also believe, excuse the cliches but it's not what you know it's who you know as well, combine the two and you are on a winning streak, well I know you for starters and I know that I have your loving support and even though we are far apart we are close. I also have the gym which I believe not only fights the depression but fights off other ailments too, I owe a lot to the gym, my friends, therapy and of course my sister xxx
2 people like this
@worldwise1 (14887)
• United States
15 Feb 09
I think you are doing the right thing, wolfie. I have always done my research whenever I'm diagnosed with a new condition or if I exhibit specific symptoms. We are the custodians of our bodies, and no one else can know our bodies as we do, so it just makes sense to do the research when problems crop up. Long before the Internet became available I depended upon medical books to help me answer these questions. I used to drive my doctor mad by self-diagnosing.Still, I remember at least a couple of times when my detective work actually helped him reach a diagnosis faster. So, yes, you should continue to do what you are doing to make sure that you are educated about your condition and medications.
@wolfie34 (26789)
• United Kingdom
15 Feb 09
Sometimes even the doctors can learn something from you, when you go in armed with knowledge they seem to take you more seriously, I was fed up being palmed off and treated like a number and sometimes even a nuisance, it's not their body, it's MINE and I know if there is something up with it and I am fed up with them using my thyroid as the main instigator, I do have an under active thyroid but it's measured and not everything is down to the thyroid and yet it has to be ruled out every time.
1 person likes this
@ellie26 (4140)
• Malaysia
16 Feb 09
Hi wolfie34, well, I usually go to a doctor and get the right diagnosis before I go and do research on the internet. I thought if I were to self/misdiagnosed myself, I would be more stress and paranoid thinking that I have certain conditions. It actually make us more sick than ever. I always think that it is better to get a real doctor to check us first and after the final diagnosis, then go to the internet to give us more information on the particular condition. In that way, we are able to be treated correctly and we are better aware of what going on inside our body with the help of a doctor and also information we get from the internet.
2 people like this
@wolfie34 (26789)
• United Kingdom
16 Feb 09
I also think even sometimes the doctors don't know everything and they can learn too! I have surprised a few doctors in the past with my knowledge, I was diagnozed with a condition that some doctors hadn't a clue about, which is actually worrying if you think about it.
2 people like this
@ellie26 (4140)
• Malaysia
16 Feb 09
Yes, there are doctors who is not up to date with some conditions. That is why I much prefer to go and see a well experienced doctors.
1 person likes this
@mysdianait (65058)
• Italy
15 Feb 09
Hi wolfie and good to see you back again No I don't but I must admit I have been very lucky in my life so far as I have had very few ailments and therefore nothing much to have to research about. Last time was just over four years ago and I couldn't search for that as I was hopitalised at the time. When I got home I did but only haphazardly. As I said those around me and myself are lucky so far. I do hope that your diagnosis, if correct, will not cause you too many unbearable problems in years to come. p.s don't diappear too often
2 people like this
@mysdianait (65058)
• Italy
15 Feb 09
You know I am aware of some of what happened since I've known you. I also know what a different person who are now compared to then. You are positive now and that's the trick! Take care ((((wolfie))))
2 people like this
@youless (104238)
• Guangzhou, China
16 Feb 09
In the past when I was pregnant, I met a bad doctor and she said I had cancer. It really upset me as I was still young. I did cry for it terrible. At that time I also went to see a few doctors in different hospitals. I met a nice doctor and told me it's alright. It was not a cancer. Finally my baby was born and there was nothing wrong with me. So you can see if you meet a terrible doctor, everything will go worse. This is why I don't want to completely trust to a doctor. I need to hear more ideas from different doctors. And besides, I also check the information via the net as well as you mentioned. I am afraid to meet a wrong doctor again.
2 people like this
@wolfie34 (26789)
• United Kingdom
16 Feb 09
I have had my fair share of bad doctors too my friend! Finding one who is understanding, caring and trustworthy is extremely difficult and they are a rare breed indeed!
1 person likes this
@riyasam (16567)
• India
16 Feb 09
nowadays doctors donot tell much (i think its because of lack of time)so many people including me do look upto the internet for more information.i hope the condition that you mentioned is not severe,take care.
2 people like this
@wolfie34 (26789)
• United Kingdom
16 Feb 09
Yes GPs do tend to rush you out, and to them you are just a number
2 people like this
@Humbug25 (12551)
16 Feb 09
Hey there wolfie34 Long time no see, how are you? I was going to pm you to see how you were but then thought that you were probably busy and didn't have time to even check your PM's!!!! I have missed you and wondered where you are and if you are ok. Are you? Anyway, I have been mis-daiagnosed a couple of times so really I should check things out before seing the doc! I am in the mids now or trying to get some sort of diagnosis for something so some advice on a good website to ask some questions might be of some help if you know of one!!! Hope you are well my friend!
2 people like this
@pumpkinjam (7599)
• United Kingdom
15 Feb 09
If I am really concerned, I would rather look up the information than see a doctor, mainly because my doctors are actually useless and I am far more likely to come to the correct conclusion than they are. I don't feel any need to fret about anything. I look up symptoms and then I look for a natural remedy for them. Only when this doesn't work would I even contemplate going to see a doctor. I find that looking up information myself and knowing what's what is more re-assuring than having a doctor tell me that there is nothing wrong or pumping me with unnecessary tablets.
2 people like this
@wolfie34 (26789)
• United Kingdom
15 Feb 09
Sadly nowadays to a doctor you are just a number and sometimes even an inconvenience, I had to push to get what I wanted and it's my body, I should know better than them anyhow, if you know the diagnosis then you can ask the doctor what you want done, sometimes I have learnt it's having to be assertive and that you won't just go away!
2 people like this
• Philippines
15 Feb 09
Every time I felt something wrong with my body, I always search in the net with the signs and symptoms I felt. I always do that but I'll make sure that if I found that I can't go on with self medication, I will consult a doctor.
2 people like this
@mommaj (22878)
• United States
15 Feb 09
After you go to the doctor I think it is a good idea to research what they tell you. Doctors usually only give general info and don't explain the conditions. I go to the doctor first and let them diagnose or rule out diagnoses before I panic. If you go in there and tell them you have a certain disease, I feel they just go with your diagnosis and don't do a thorough job of examining you.
2 people like this
@wolfie34 (26789)
• United Kingdom
15 Feb 09
Trouble is you are just a number and taking up their time, many just want to rush you in and rush you out again, but if you are armed with what you know then they have to listen or need to be made to listen.
1 person likes this
@elemental69 (1562)
• Ireland
15 Feb 09
I always turn to the internet after visiting the doctor whether it is about me or the kids. A lot has been mentioned by the doctor about running tests for something or other if only to rule certain conditions out. For example my son had to be tested for cystic fibrosis last year. Our doctor is not great for explaining things in proper english. So I turned to the internet. Sometimes it can be frightening when it is explained to you in great detail, but it is better to know what you are coming up against rather than have a doctor frighten the wits out of you when your not expecting it... I have never heard of your complaint before, and I hope you will be okay. I also hope that you will make sure to update us as to how the biopsy goes. Lots of hugs xxelementalxx
@wolfie34 (26789)
• United Kingdom
15 Feb 09
Well they rushed the biopsy through, 18th March which is good in a way but the fact that they've made it urgent does ring the alarm bells my friend, so I needed to find out more. Thanks for caring (as always!) x
1 person likes this
@tyc415 (5706)
• United States
15 Feb 09
I used to look up things all the time but not so much any more. I also, like you, would look up something that I was going to be going to the doctor for that I had no knowledge about so I could learn a few things about it and could have me some questions handy to ask the doctor. I have never heard of Sjogren's syndrome either. I hope everything turns out ok for you.
2 people like this
@wolfie34 (26789)
• United Kingdom
15 Feb 09
I hadn't heard of it either, it's only when you look it up that you realize that a lot of the symptoms you are suffering match the syndrome. Sometimes doctors need to be prompted so that you can get the right care. Thank you my friend, only time will tell, c'est la vie as they say ;0)
1 person likes this
@guybrush (4660)
• Australia
15 Feb 09
I'm afraid I'm very guilty of looking up medical symptoms on the internet ... definitely not a good thing to do, as everything seems to point to something dire. My daughter was told several years ago she suffered from either lupus or Sjogren's syndrome - I remember looking those up and was horrified when I read people's case histories. My daughter is lucky, for the past eight or nine years her symptoms seem to be confined to tiredness and strange rashes which come and go. I hope your biopsy goes well, and you are just a bit run-down at the moment.
1 person likes this
@guybrush (4660)
• Australia
15 Feb 09
That's very true - once you know your enemy, you can prepare yourself for battle with the right weapons. My daughter was told to have her family as soon as possible if she wanted children, as she may need to take steroid medication at some stage, which would cause problems. She has two lovely little girls, and has not needed the medication yet - so we're hoping she's in some kind of remission and the condition won't worsen. Good luck with yours!
@Lindery (853)
• Latvia
16 Feb 09
I can be lucky to now have extreme illness to be so worried about to search on the internet before a visit to my doctor. I trust my doctor's knowledge and consider my health as unique to define the reason from reading other experiences on the net. I like to check my health and see my own results. So, no - I don't do research before going to the doctor!
@wolfie34 (26789)
• United Kingdom
16 Feb 09
If you have a good relationship with your doctor it does make all the difference and you learn to trust them, sadly this is not the case with me, I have had a bad track record when it comes to doctors and I don't trust them.
1 person likes this
@Grandmaof2 (7602)
• Canada
16 Feb 09
On my computer I was able to find this link, but I expect you already have it? http://www.medicinenet.com/sjogrens_syndrome/article.htm I never used to look up anything on the computer re: health, I do more now but even at that I find too many times they ask for money every time you turn around. I have a couple real good books on natural remedies and I am real impressed with the results. I get so annoyed you go to the doctor and the first thing he asks is what's wrong with you? Well I imagine if I knew I wouldn't line his pockets to tell me. Our health system here leaves a lot to the imagination. Good Luck with your tests and Take Care!!! Hope you're back to work soon.
1 person likes this
@wolfie34 (26789)
• United Kingdom
16 Feb 09
Thank you for the link appreciated, I get annoyed with my doctors when they were forever trying to ram antidepressants down my throat, it's only because they get a bonus for palming them off, which angers me, they don't work for me, I have battled against depression without them and succeeded. I hate taking medication if I don't really need it. So my trust in doctors is wafer thin at the best of time, I am not just a number I am a person and I won't be pushed out of the door easily, I have gone through a multitude of doctors, finding a caring, understanding one is like getting 5 numbers up on the National Lottery, rare as HELL!
@sweetie1026 (1723)
• Philippines
16 Feb 09
I absolutely agree with you, being knowlegable would really be an advantage. Not just in matters concerning our health but in almost everything, in our daily lives. But as of the moment i haven't done any research on matters about illnesses because i am feeling great. But now that you have started a discussion about it, i think i would do some, to enrich my knowledge more. Thank you, my friend and i hope you have a nice day.
@wolfie34 (26789)
• United Kingdom
16 Feb 09
When you are armed with knowledge I think the doctors actually take you more seriously because you won't be fobbed off. Have a nice day too!
@raydene (9874)
• United States
16 Feb 09
Hello Son I'm always researching something And yes I have found meds on line that worked for others with my condition so I ask my doc if I can try them. Some have worked well others not so much. Great biggggggg Hug Sweet Handsome Boy xooxoxxoo
1 person likes this
@wolfie34 (26789)
• United Kingdom
16 Feb 09
Hi ma thanks for the hug, sending you one back in return, a wolfie hug that is and thanks for the flattery xxxx
@Opal26 (17684)
• United States
15 Feb 09
Hey wolfie! I would have done exactly what you did! I would have rushed right to the computer and done a search to find out all I could about the disease! Even though I'd rather not know, I would! I guess knowing and understanding is still better than not knowing and thinking the worst anyway! As scarred as I am to find out bad things, I still need to know what is going on!
1 person likes this
@wolfie34 (26789)
• United Kingdom
16 Feb 09
Some illnesses and conditions, if caught early enough can be dealt with and cured, it's if they are left to go untreated that they can become life threatening and uncurable. I hate being kept in the dark and I wish doctors would be upfront with me, they've hidden too much from me in the past, I guess that is why I find it hard to trust them, hence why I do my own research.
• United States
15 Feb 09
I look things up both before and after I see the Dr. I've been fortunate to have good Dr.'s I trust that they know a whole lot more than I do, but they don't know everything, they don't live in my skin - I know me better than they do. The consequences of them being wrong can be devastating. As I see it I hired them, they work for me during my appointments so they can at least talk with me and be willing to listen about what I've researched and what I might suspect is wrong or prefer for treatment.
1 person likes this
@wolfie34 (26789)
• United Kingdom
15 Feb 09
I think that is the key and you hit the nail on the head, if you get a caring, understanding doctor you have won half the battle! It's finding them in the first place LOL! My history for caring doctors hasn't been good I am afraid so I err on the side of sceptism and cynical when it comes to them dealing with my health