Be careful with your internet searches

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The following are reasons why you need to
be careful with your internet searches.

  1. It can lead to the wrong diagnosis – all headaches aren’t brain tumours.
  2. You can’t always trust the advice you find – not all websites are accurate and trustworthy.
  3. The popular websites are not always the better ones – pages appearing at the top of the Google search page is not necessarily the better websites.
  4. You rely less on your gut instincts – sometimes your medical condition is more serious and needs attention.
  5. It’s a substitute for embarrassing problems – medical professionals are skilled professionals, and there should be nothing that they haven’t already seen countless times before.


We aren’t telling you not to use Google. There are plenty of websites that offer excellent advice, and you may find information that may just save your life. However, the internet isn’t a substitute for a real medical professional, so ALWAYS seek help from a professional, instead of relying on advice that may not always be accurate, or specific to your particular health needs.

And just in case you were curious, these were the top 10 health questions internet users asked Dr Google in 2017:

  1. What causes hiccups?
  2. How to stop snoring?
  3. What causes kidney stones?
  4. Why am I so tired?
  5. How long does the flu last?
  6. What is normal blood pressure?
  7. How to lower cholesterol?
  8. What causes high blood pressure?
  9. What is ADHD?
  10. What is lupus?

How to find credible health information in cyberspace
Anyone can publish anything on the internet, so it’s up to you to evaluate what you’re reading. Ask yourself these questions:

Who is behind the site? Is it a commercial enterprise, a personal home page, an independent body, a government body or an academic institution? Check for an ‘About us’ section. Reputable websites will clearly state the qualifications or experience of the authors so you can evaluate their expertise.

Websites cost money to manage and keep up-to-date, so think about why the information is being provided. Is it to sell something? Can I verify the information from other reputable sources? Why would I use this site as a credible source of information?

Over time medical advice can change, so reputable websites providing health information will specify the date when that information was prepared or last reviewed. As a rule of thumb, if the health information is more than two years old, look for something more current to either verify or supersede what you’ve found.

USEFUL WEBSITES: The following websites are useful investigative tools, but they fully understand their own limitations. They can provide information but they cannot diagnose what a set of symptoms means for you.


  • Go online to
  • Click on MY APPOINTMENT on the navigation bar
  • Follow the instructions