Are You a Cyberchondriac? - Valley News Live - KVLY/KXJB - Fargo/Grand Forks

Are You a Cyberchondriac?

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We get most of our information online these days, but what about a medical diagnosis.

Doctors are seeing more of what they call "cyberchondria".  It's known as the unfounded escalation of health concerns based on a self diagnosis -- online.  

If that pounding headache you woke up with today led you first to a web search and then to the conclusion that you must have a brain tumor, you're probably just suffering from cyberchondria.

Doctors say it's not all bad, but sometimes it can add stress and anxiety in a patient -- when it's not warranted.

Dr. Tracie Newman at Sanford Health Pediatrics says more and more parents are searching online before making their child a doctor's appointment.  She says it's great that parents want to be involved, but she's concerned that some online medical sites lack credibility and reliability.  
While technology changes everything, Dr. Newman says it's important that parents keep their doctors in the conversation.  

Dr. Newman says it's also important to bring your child in for an appointment if you are concerned. She says symptoms are only one part of finding a diagnosis. An actual physical exam is needed and most often provides the most important information needed for a diagnosis. 


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