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Do You Google Your Symptoms?

You see a rash on your baby’s tummy. You have a funny pain in your head. Your cough won’t go away. What do you do? Book an appointment with your GP? Nope, you turn to a much more unreliable source Dr Google. Or should I say unreliable?

We are all guilty of it now and then. Its quick and easy and can provide some reassurance but sometimes it can scare the crap out of us and convince us we have every illness under the sun. There are of course reputable sites such as the NHS website but there are a tonne of forums where so called “experts” sit and this is where the danger lies; these people are not qualified and are not experts. There is a lot of misinformation and scaremongering.

I am sooooo bad for Googling. It has got to point that I have to stop myself from doing it now. I suffer a bit from health anxiety now and then, which I must write about at some point, as it is very common. Google is not my friend when I am having a bad spell.

One of the longest times I spent online was when I was trying to get pregnant with the gremlin. With your first pregnancy you have no clue what pregnancy symptoms you may have. Every little niggle you wonder, am I pregnant? Is this it? I spent so long on pregnancy forums and various sites looking for answers. Ultimately, I wasted a lot of time and the only real symptom I had was bloating! I didn’t actually know I was pregnant in the end and I had a negative test so went out for a few drinks. Complete waste of time and effort. When I actually did the test it was a week after my period was due and I didn’t even feel a bit nauseous or tired!!

It can be false reassurance too. I had a pigment change on my skin after having Piglet and Dr Google told me not to worry and I would have left it and did leave it for a while. However, a niggling part of me decided to go and I was referred to a dermatologist, into the cancer clinic, which felt scary. Luckily it was fine and just linked to pregnancy but it’s being monitored so I’m glad I went to the GP.

Ultimately if you have any health worries you need to call your GP but there are more reliable services that you can use online such as the Online Doctor Lloyds Pharmacy where you can be assessed by a UK Registered Doctor and be assigned treatment if clinically recommended.

It’s hard not to fret and pick up your phone to Google but if you are a bit of a worrier sometimes, it’s best to stay away and stick to reliable sources and health professional.

Easier said than done? True. But I am definitely working on it.

Disclosure – this is a collaborative post.



  1. March 27, 2017 / 8:13 am

    Of course I do!!! But you’re completely right, it’s not a good source and it would be easy to decide a headache is actually a brain tumour as you tend to read the worst case scenario!! Thanks for joining us for #marvmondays x

  2. Laura Beresford
    March 27, 2017 / 9:23 am

    Addicted to googling symptoms! Matthew seemed to lose a lot of hair the last time I washed it: cue panic reading of terrible things it could be. Then this week it was normal again. #marvmondays

  3. March 27, 2017 / 9:43 am

    No because before you know it you’re convinced that you have a new, rare combination of Ebola and Plague when all you have is a cold. (Not that I’ve done this. Not me!)

  4. March 27, 2017 / 10:06 am

    I do! It’s such a daft idea and I don’t know why I do it! I have tried to refrain from doing it since having Josh though xx #marvmondays

  5. March 27, 2017 / 11:28 am

    So true. An ex colleague used to say in his strongest Geordie accent “divint google ya symptoms… 4 clicks and ya deed’ it’s just too tempting to do it though! Great online resource that I didn’t know was available in the Lloyds link so thanks for the tip.

  6. Donna
    March 27, 2017 / 2:03 pm

    I google everything. More worrying, I’ve noticed my Doctor googles most things too!! #marvmondays

  7. March 27, 2017 / 9:10 pm

    I sometimes do yes and I really should know better. I do correct spellings of medical terminology quite alot though ha! #marvmondays

  8. March 29, 2017 / 6:50 am

    Ha ha reading this I am just about to Google LM’s symptoms as she is under the weather today! You definitely have to take the results with a pinch of salt otherwise we’d probably all believe we were dying! Xx

  9. March 29, 2017 / 8:32 am

    I’m terrible for Googling health things. Luckily, I think I am usually sensible and don’t jump to conclusions, but sometimes it can’t be helped! #bestandworst

  10. March 29, 2017 / 11:39 am

    oh god I try so hard not to but I always end up googling symptoms and always always regret it!



  11. March 29, 2017 / 2:22 pm

    I do occasionally. My sister is hardcore about it. It’s hard not to though =) Thanks again for hosting! #bestandworst

  12. March 29, 2017 / 4:48 pm

    Ahh! I am terrible for Googling symptoms….I know I shouldn’t. I just can’t help myself….I am always diagnosing myself with killer illnesses. A trip to the doctors usually puts my mind at rest.

  13. March 29, 2017 / 5:33 pm

    I can be terrible for it too, it’s just hard not to when the internet is right there. I usually do look at as that’s what my GP said to look at for something I had and to refer to when it came back and read more info on it than he had time to explain. It’s written by GPs – he even text me the link! The lloyds pharmacy sounds good though! #bestandworst

  14. March 29, 2017 / 5:53 pm

    I always go to Dr Google, but I am also quite good at picking out the positives rather than dwelling on the fact that most Dr Google diagnosis end in death or dysentery. There are far too many people in doctors surgeries and even A&E that could have gone to their local pharmacist first. Good for you for raising awareness. #bestandworst

  15. March 29, 2017 / 6:00 pm

    Hi, I think we are guilty ofusing Google for this rightly or wrongly. The NHS websites can be very helpful. I shall check out the Llyods pharmacy out as it sounds very helpful. Thanks for sharing #bestandworst

  16. Sadie
    March 29, 2017 / 7:46 pm

    I Google all the time…I try to kid myself that I’m just doing it out of curiosity and my own clinical training will give me a more grounded perspective, but I have worried about cancer a shameful amount of times thanks to the internet! I restrict myself to NHS websites these days…


  17. Jaki
    March 29, 2017 / 8:01 pm

    I can remember when I was little, Mum and Dad had a Readers Digest Health Encyclopedia. She always told me never to go near it because, in her words, ‘you’ll think you’re dying!’. Of course, when I was older I did look at it, and I totally got what she meant. That was just one book – Google is so much worse, but still, I can’t help myelf. I’m guilty of Googling symptoms so often. It’s ridiculous. #bestandworst

  18. Nige
    March 29, 2017 / 8:42 pm

    I’m so guilty of this especially when the girls were babies he just makes me think the worst I hate Google for this reason fab post thanks for hosting #bestandworst

  19. March 29, 2017 / 8:56 pm

    YES! I google everything. For myself and for my kids. It is not a good idea at times. But on the other hand, it has been very helpful in many situations.

  20. ohmummymia
    March 29, 2017 / 9:20 pm

    guilty of that! the funniest part? actually I know that I should go to doctor and some people writing really stupid things but anyway i’ making me frightened sometimes:D

  21. Briony
    March 30, 2017 / 3:17 pm

    I do Google my symptoms but I’m quite a sensible person so know what to take seriously and what not to. I’ll never forget going home one day when I was still at my parents and finding my sister sobbing at the giant desk top that would take ages to boot up and the internet even longer on our dodgy dial up connection because she was determined she had heart failure based on her searches. I actually had to take her to our GP in order to calm her down, turns out she had heartburn!! #bestandworst

  22. Alana - Burnished Chaos
    March 30, 2017 / 5:52 pm

    Ha ha, I am soooo bad for this. At the same time though I always follow my gut and if I’m really worried I’ll book an appointment x

  23. March 30, 2017 / 6:57 pm

    I do it all the time, every single day probably. and it has contributed to my anxiety massively. When you google you can be guaranteed of one thing only – the worst case scenario! I’m trying really hard not to do it, it’s so tempting though! #bestandworst

  24. March 31, 2017 / 11:32 am

    I don’t do it anymore unless it’s to refresh my memory on practical advice.

  25. March 31, 2017 / 6:26 pm

    When my girls have been ill I will only read what the NHS website has to offer if I go online. #bestandworst

  26. March 31, 2017 / 10:33 pm

    I was terrible for this when my eldest was young, all those unknowns about a few spots, or is that cough getting worse. I have now started to trust my instincts more these days but it is so easy to just Google away. #marvmondays

  27. April 2, 2017 / 10:28 pm

    I’m guilty too. It’s just too easy. #bestandworst

  28. April 5, 2017 / 11:03 am

    I know Googling things is the worst thing to do but it’s just so easy! #bestandworst

  29. April 6, 2017 / 7:53 pm

    I think good ol’ Doc Google has had us all calling the undertaker every now and again! What price curiosity! Great post! I am so guilty, and my Mrs., she is worse. She actually gets what she reads! Oy vey. #BestandWorst xoxo