Women are misdiagnosing themselves online

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  • More women are using the Internet to diagnose embarrassing medical problems

    One in four women have taken the wrong medication after turning to the internet instead of seeking expert medical advice.

    According to a survey by women’s health brand Balance Active, half of women diagnose themselves and take medication before consulting a doctor.

    The survey of 1,000 women found one in 10 have suffered unpleasant side effects as a result.

    Headaches, depression and sleep disruptions were among the symptoms most likely to cause women to diagnose themselves and a fifth had suspected a serious disease, the most common false alarm being breast cancer.

    The most popular reason for self-diagnosis was because women didn’t want to make ‘a fuss’, while a third say they can gain answers more quickly online.

    ‘The web gives us a wealth of information that can be useful in reducing our worries until we’re able to gain proper advice from a medical authority,’ says Penny McCormick of Balance Active.

    ‘But the results show how easy it is to make mistakes when diagnosing ourselves.’ Misdiagnosis can be serious, as it may delay treatment for the real problem that needs attention.


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