Sunday, April 17, 2005

Self-Diagnosis in the 21st Century.

WebMD ( is a website I use frequently. While I think some descriptions are worded to scare patients, it is essentially a useful tool in maintaining one’s health. You can check the symptoms of your ailments to assess what you have and how to cure it. I have used it in so many different occasions that it has become one of the more practical internet resources I use. Whenever I am prescribed a new drug from my doctor, I make a point to research it in order to be more knowledgeable about what I put in my body. I am allergic to anything containing Sulfa, and WebMD helps me identify exactly what that is in order to keep myself from having a reaction. When I had my wisdom teeth removed, WebMD told me the drug content of the pain killer my doctor prescribed me. My little sister has Epilepsy, and WebMD helped me learn exactly what that entails. It told me steps I can take to help my sister in the event of a seizure, and what practices not to do. There is also a message board, so those who suffer from a specific disorder can communicate about symptoms, treatment, and side effects. The internet provides so many informative sources for the public, and WebMD is one of them. My only apprehension is that the wording can make something sound more serious that it really is. My doctor will tell me that the chances of a certain side effect are very slim, but WebMD will make it seem as though it is imminent. However, it is better to be informed and prepared for something than to not know and be ill-equipped to handle a side effect.


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