IF YOU feel unwell, visit your clinic – do NOT consult Dr Google!

If you are worried about some symptoms you have, don’t surf the internet for a diagnosis on what’s wrong with your health.

Self-diagnosis may cause more harm than good – Pew Research reported that 80% of Internet users search for health-related topics online.

Now that nearly 60% of Mzansi has access to the internet, it seems we are adopting this bad habit of self-diagnosis.

Dr Marion Morkel, Chief Medical Officer at Sanlam, said people are searching for answers online because it’s convenient, fast, free and anonymous. Users have access to medical information 24/7.

“On the other hand, information also suggests that medical professionals confirm 41% of Internet self-diagnosis.”

Dr Sindi Van Zyl, a medical doctor, had a different opinion.

He said fighting the use of the Internet in accessing medical information is a wasted effort.

“Medical professionals need to embrace online searches.

“I find that patients announcing that they have looked up their symptoms online is a great ice-breaker – especially if the problem makes them nervous,” he said.

If you are worried about your health, visit your doctor and get yourself examined.