Does Dr. Wikipedia make House Calls? Today, it seems about anybody with access to a laptop or an iPod Touch can attempt to diagnose his own medical problems in the time it takes to access 911. You can look up your pain symptoms online at Wikipedia, Google your nearest pharmacy, or order over-the-counter medication at drugstore.com.
Indeed, we are privileged to have immediate access to such a bountiful source of information. However, there is a flip side to that. Spend enough time reading about lung cancer, brain tumors or Alzheimer’s; you might one day become convinced that you, yourself, suffer the exact symptoms described on WebMD. In fact, may physicians report receiving an unusually high number of visits from patients who mistakenly believe they suffer from certain life-threatening illnesses.
Below are the 10 most common illnesses from which many people often erroneously believe they suffer, as reported by Dr. Sharon Orrange on Daily Strength:
1) Brain tumor: Some chronic headache sufferers have anxiety about brain tumors. They believe constant head pain, vision problems, dizziness or numbness, must signal a brain tumor. While some of the symptoms associated with migraine with aura are similar to those of a brain tumor, the chances that your headaches result from a brain tumor are very rare.
2) Kidney disorder: Many individuals who suffer from lower back pain become concerned that they have kidney problems, or possibly a tumor in that region. Pain alone does not signify a dysfunctional kidney, say most doctors. Unless painful urination is a factor, your back pain is probably due to sore muscles.
3) Stroke: Numbness in the arms or legs can be an indication of stroke, though that is just one symptom of many. Additionally, the numbness associated with stroke symptoms occurs on only one side of the body, an important distinction. Still, if you suspect you have suffered a stroke, and then call 911.
4) Lymphoma: While not every bump under the skin’s surface indicates skin cancer, it is crucial to see a doctor if lymphoma is suspected. If you are concerned over a bump that you have had for months or years, then you most likely do not have lymphoma, which generally advances quickly.
5) Gut parasites: If you have traveled to a foreign country in the past few years, then you might become anxious about developing a parasite in your gut, especially if you suffer from diarrhea, indigestion or heartburn. The chances of having a tapeworm in your digestive system are rare. If stomach upset continues for months, then you might suffer from a gastrointestinal disorder, which can be determined by visiting a physician who specializes in gastroenterology.
6) Alzheimer’s disease: Brain fog, short-term memory loss or forgetfullness could suggest symptoms such as fibromyalgia, vitamin B12 deficiency, depression, or chronic fatigue. If you are under middle age, then the chances that you suffer from any sort of dementia similar to Alzheimer’s are exceptionally rare.
7) Shingles: Shingles is a painful, itchy rash that can take weeks to heal. If you have ever had Chicken Pox, then you might develop shingles in later life. One distinguishing trait of shingles is that it occurs only on one side of the body, usually in the upper region, but never on both sides at the same time.
8) Colon cancer: The appearance of bright red blood after a stool movement is usually a symptom of hemorrhoids. In any case, only a doctor’s visit can rule out colon cancer.
9) Lung cancer: If you have had a bad cold or infection, then you’re likely to have a persistent cough that could take weeks to disappear. That does not necessarily mean you have pneumonia, and the chances of having lung cancer are even more remote. Nevertheless, keep your doctor informed about any health concerns you might have.
10) Herniated disc: Hernias are more common among men than they are in women. The symptoms of hernias are pain or tenderness in the lower abdomen or groins and heartburn.Visit your doctor for a checkup if you feel lasting pain in that region.
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