From aches and pains, headaches to nausea. Whatever the ailment, the chances are, you’ve probably done a quick online search to see if you should be worried about your condition, however big or small.
And you wouldn’t be the only one.
‘Cyberchondria’ is an all-new phenomenon that has swept the technological generation, being a cause for the anxiety we get due to excessive online self-diagnosis.
In fact, this form of health anxiety, clearly derived from the term ‘hypochondria’ costs the NHS around £56 million a year.
This is due to worried patients or parents making regular trips to see their GP, with an array of potential illnesses and diseases which they believe they have due to their obsessive web searching.
But of course, ignoring symptoms can have just as much of an impact on your own health and the NHS, and your GP is there to keep you in the know surrounding your health.
But, as we know, the recent pandemic has created even more uncertainty and health worries for the nation. And unfortunately, many patients are still having to rely on self-diagnosis as surgeries run on reduced numbers and many others became fearful of visiting A&E.
In fact, during the first wave, A&E attendance was down by 50%, as many people, even in serious circumstances, were worried about leaving the house in case they contracted the deadly virus.
And as medical professionals continue to be put under huge amounts of pressure, and the pandemic still maintains its hold over the nation, it’s important to do our bit by understanding when exactly we need to make the trip to the doctor, and the urgency of the condition.
Doctors do worry about the issues surrounding self-diagnosis, as in many cases, the patient can be completely incorrect surrounding their ailment, and it can cause unnecessary worry and anxiety.
It’s important that people become aware of their bodies, and understand if aches, pains or illnesses are different from what they normally experience.
But it’s even more important that they don’t rely on the help of search engines to diagnose their condition if they are genuinely concerned about an illness of any kind.
According to clinical professionals, the worst conditions you can self-diagnose are:
- chest pains – of course, the biggest worry with chest pain is a heart attack, but the pain associated with this condition can be very different for each individual. Not only this, chest pain can be a sign of many other issues, even those relating to the lungs, so it’s important that this is checked out immediately.
- sciatica – back and leg pain is a common problem as we age, but a new sensation or heightened discomfort can equate to sciatica or other issues. Some people can also believe their pain is sciatica, and not get treated for other potential, more dangerous, conditions, causing additional pain and possibly even permanent damage.
- sinus infection – the common cold always rears its head during the winter period, and many believe that plenty of rest and keeping warm will do the trick. But, in some cases, an illness that lingers for too long could be a sign of a sinus infection, which left untreated can turn into pneumonia or other deadly conditions.
- chronic fatigue syndrome- with our busy day to day lives, it’s no surprise that we feel tired. But when is this a sign of other serious conditions? Although chronic fatigue syndrome is hard to diagnose, if you’re feeling particularly tired and it’s affecting your daily activities, it may be a cause for concern to speak with your doctor about.
- Depression – similarly to feeling tired, it’s not uncommon, at certain times in our lives, to experience low mood and feelings of depression. Many people believe this is something they must deal with on their own, and don’t look to speak with their doctor due to fear of embarrassment or the stigma attached to mental health conditions. It’s important that if you are really struggling, you should contact your GP and explain the seriousness of how you’re feeling.
And with so many conditions needing medical advice, what other alternatives are there to getting an accurate diagnosis without having to self-diagnose or regularly visit the GP?
Well, as the world has had to adapt to find ways of maintaining social interaction during the pandemic, today there are now new ways of getting a medical diagnosis, all from the comfort of your own home.
Many GP practices in the UK have had to shift to a ‘telephone first’ approach to ensure their patients are looked after, without having to come into close contact with them.
And as examinations and tests that have been postponed can no longer be deferred, this will cause untold pressures on the GP practices and their staff members once again.
So, to help minimise the strain on your local practice, and conveniently speak with a trained medical professional about you or your child’s ailments, why not try Quick Doctors?
Quick Doctors allows you to consult a GP anytime, anywhere via message, call or video chat, where you can book a same-day appointment 24 hours a day, seven days a week. That includes weekends and bank holidays, whereby you wouldn’t be able to visit your own GP surgery out of hours.
All private information is encrypted, and all of our medical professionals are legally and ethically bound to ensure confidentiality and privacy.
Our medical team can visually examine your or your child’s symptoms during your online chat, message or video call giving you the peace of mind without having to move a muscle.
The Quick Doctors app provides at-home consultations for all, with an affordable monthly fee.
This makes it a great option for busy, full-time workers, those at high risk, and for parents wanting to speak with a medical professional about their child’s ailments from the comfort of their own home.
With months of missed appointments and passing off illnesses due to our busy daily lives, why not get on top of you and your family’s health and wellbeing with the help of our team at Quick Doctors.
Download the Quick Doctors app on the Apple App Store or via Google Play.