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Do it yourself medicine -- not necessarily what the doctor ordered? Answered

A news report on CNN describes a teen-ager who, in her high-school science class, diagnosed her own Crohn's disease by catching a granuloma on a microscope slide she was studying.

As a "teachable moment" for good science education, it's great, but I'm not sure having to diagnose one's own disease is really what "do it yourself medicine" is meant to be about!

Discussions

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PKMKiteman

Reply 9 years ago

In the good way? Huh... well, I guess there must be a few of those. I'm personally much more concerned about "google pundits" and the massive potential for hypochondria in the combination of, say, an MSN article on XYZ's disease that makes someone suspect they are ill and a Wikipedia article that convinces them they are ill.

The ability to look up whatever particular ailment you think you have is a dangerous thing, doubly so because I suspect for every one reliable source on the net there are a lots of Yahoo answers of the form

  • Q: I have this funny rash in my armpit what should I do
  • A: OMG you have t3h armpit cancer the only cure is eating dried frog pills and donating money to Scientology
  • A: It's a perfectly natural reaction to the CIA's mind control rays
  • A: Probably an allergic reaction to your clothes, I suggest removing them all and sending me pictures so I can diagnose properly
  • A: buy cheap iPhone here L@@K
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Tool Using AnimalPKM

Reply 9 years ago

I was thinking the same thing, it seems like the internet has done more harm by letting millions of teenagers diagnose themselves with aspergers, to justify their complete lack of social skills and unwillingness to improve them, than it's helped with real medical problems.

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Madrias357Tool Using Animal

Reply 9 years ago

Agreed. The media doesn't help anything either. A pill for this, a drug for that, and all they're teaching people is there's something for everything. Combine that with the internet and the "Search Engine Diagnosing" trick, you now have people either glossing over something that's serious, or people panicking over a little poison ivy.

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Tool Using AnimalMadrias357

Reply 9 years ago

Aye, I've been seeing much too much daytime TV of late, it seems there's a cycle to the commercials Commercial 1. Do you suffer from X? Ask your Doctor about new Y. Commercial 2. Have you been harmed because your Doctor prescribed Y? Call the law firm of.... Commercial 3. Your teenager may be getting high by stealing Y from your medicine cabinet.

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PKMTool Using Animal

Reply 9 years ago

Hehe, very true- I'm sure some of our news media generate articles of the form "(food) may (prevent/cause) (ailment)" like they are mad libs.

Given that you can pretty much sum up a good diet as "lean white meat or alternatives, unrefined carbs, fresh fruit/veg, a little dairy, not too much booze, don't smoke and vitamins are nice, subject to intolerance or conditions like diabetes" I don't see why these things are so widespread.