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You Should Never Base Medical Decisions on Internet Articles

Updated on November 1, 2012

Why It is so Important to Avoid Self-Diagnosis

There are mountains of medical advice on the Internet. Some of it is excellent, some is mediocre, and some is downright dangerous. You should always consult your doctor, dentist, or other medical professional before deciding on or discontinuing a course of treatment. This also applies to medications and natural supplements.

(c) Copyright Kathy Steinemann

Many medical websites, advice forums, and answer communities offer information on topics ranging from natural remedies ... to prescription medications ... to surgical procedures.

No matter how professional the source or competent the advice, it cannot replace a medical examination, appropriate tests, and evaluation. A physician is trained to evaluate all your symptoms, including those that might not seem important to you.

A doctor or dentist may evaluate things such as:

• Family history
• Personal medical history
• Records from other doctors
• Blood pressure, pulse, and respiration
• Temperature
• Heart, lung, and abdominal sounds
• Lymph nodes
• Ears, nose, throat, and eyes
• Skin and fingernails
• Muscle strength
• Reflexes
• Balance
• Mental demeanor
• Blood, urine, and stool
• Prostate and penis
• Breasts and pelvis
• Bad breath
• Changes in the tongue and gums
• Bone density

No matter how careful you might be at reporting your symptoms, it is obvious from the above list that you do not have access to the evaluation and testing procedures of a qualified health care provider. Things that might seem inconsequential to you could indicate problems that your physician is trained to detect.

Therefore, view online information in a skeptical manner. Never trust a single source, and never use what you read as a substitute for proper medical advice from a medical professional.

This also applies to natural remedies and treatments. They all have potential side effects and may interact with or change the function of other medications.

Whenever you try something you read in an article or book, realize that you are doing so at your own risk. This also applies to television shows and online videos.

I, like many other authors, give advice online and in my books. This is based on my own experience and what I believe to be solid research. However, you should never allow my advice to replace proper medical diagnosis, guidance, and treatment. If you use any of the ideas or tips I provide, it is at your own discretion, responsibility, and risk.

I make no guarantees, representations, or warranties, either express or implied, and assume no responsibility or liability for any actions you might take based on what I write.

Good health!

Kathy Steinemann

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