Researching medical symptoms as a guide, not a diagnosis.

 

We all experience some strange health symptoms at some point in our lives. Such symptoms don't necessarily send us running to the doctor immediately, but may be curious enough to warrant a medical symptoms check on our own, either in a health reference book or on the medical websites.

For example, let's say you've had arthritis for a while. All of a sudden, you get an odd pain in one of the joints in your hand that's different than what you've come to expect.

You notice the appearance of little nodules on that thumb joint which are terribly painful. Here's a case where a medical symptoms help can ease your mind, or prompt you to make a call to your physician.

There are medical websites which feature a flowchart style, medical questions and answers type of online medical symptoms search which are quite informative and interesting. You select 'joint nodules' as your search criteria. The medical symptoms checker leads you through a series of yes or no questions to answer.

Although you may fear this is going to lead to a likely diagnosis of a cancerous tumor, you may well find this is nothing more than a common swelling of tissues in the joints of some arthritis patients. Although the symptom is painful, this type of research can ease your mind. You may well want to have your doctor take a look, just to be sure it's simply another irritating condition that goes with arthritis.

The danger of doing your own medical symptoms lookup lies in how you choose to answer the questions put out by the search program. For example, if you're of a more obsessive nature, you may exaggerate the problem before you ever begin your medical symptoms questions. You assume the nodules are cancerous.

Your search criteria is 'joint tumors'. This puts you in an entirely different starting point in your research. You've made an assumption of cancer.

Cancer is a condition, not a symptom, so your search description may lead you to a question like 'Do you have a family history of cancer?'

Oh, no!

Yes, my grandfather had cancer!

The program is proceeding on the assumption you've made, not a fact. The conclusion of the symptom search program may suggest a dire condition which does not exist. You don't sleep well tonight and tomorrow finds you in the doctor's office for an expensive visit and a recommendation that you buy an over-the-counter pain reliever.

When conducting your medical symptom research, keep in mind that both medical symptoms finder and reference books are designed to serve as a guide, not a diagnosis. When doing your medical questions search, be careful to be objective and stick to factual observation.

Don't insert assumptions based on your own fears. If you feel that your symptoms are truly alarming or potentially serious, rely on your physician to make a diagnosis.

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Filed under: Medical Questions And AnswersMedical Symptoms FinderOnline Medical Symptoms

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