Do you use the Internet to search for information, particularly medical and health related information? Are you ever tempted to self-diagnose or even self-medicate because of something you have read on the Internet? This can be a very dangerous practice. Self-diagnosis based on information from the Internet and self-medicating with medications purchased on the Internet can lead to dire consequences.
In addition to these organizational websites, we now have personal blogs, “chat” rooms, Facebook, Twitter, Tik Tok, YouTube and other sites where individuals can post their questions, responses to questions, their experiences, comments and opinions. The amount of electronic information available is overwhelming, frequently contradictory and very often wrong. How does one navigate through this jungle of information and filter out items that are not credible, up to date, scientifically accurate and appropriate?
To help determine the reliability of information you find on the web, ask yourself the following questions:
While the Internet can often be a valuable tool to gather information, no resource is better than your doctor. Because everyone is different and unique, personalized health care from your doctor who knows you best cannot compare with general information you get off the Internet.
The Internet cannot have a confidential discussion with you and formulate an individual approach to your healthcare plan that is personally tailored to your unique needs – but your doctor can.
Even after gathering reliable information from the Internet, ALWAYS discuss your health issues with your healthcare professional. It is important for you to receive up-to-date and scientifically sound information and advice from a professional who is trained to assess your individual needs, who knows your medical history, any other medical conditions you may have, and what medications you are taking. All of these factors are very important as each can have an impact on the other.;
While information gathering is often encouraged, self-diagnosis and self-medication are NOT recommended. The scientific and health related information available on the Osteoporosis Canada website in e-communications is checked for medical accuracy by Osteoporosis Canada staff and our Scientific Advisory Council.
Credit: COPN, the Canadian Osteoporosis Patient Network is the patient arm of Osteoporosis Canada, a national network of people living with osteoporosis.
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