There are different reasons why you may want to diagnose and treat yourself. Sometimes it may be an embarrassing health problem that you are not comfortable confronting, or perhaps the lack of finances that may prevent you from visiting a professional to find the root cause of the problem. Another reason why you tend to diagnose yourself is because you may fear visiting a doctor, and may fear discovering something that may be more serious than you can imagine.
Whatever the reasons, you must know that diagnosing yourself can do you more harm than good. In some cases, you may be right, but in some, what you may assume is the problem, may actually be something else. This is particularly true of those who resort to the internet for all their health information, as there is a lot of contradictory information that is present online. In any case, if you are looking for information on how to diagnose yourself, here's a very basic way to diagnose minor conditions.
Before you read this method of diagnosing yourself, you must understand that it is not a sure shot way of putting a finger on the problem. Secondly, these methods might work for smaller conditions such as allergy breakouts. It cannot be used to diagnose more serious health conditions.
Understand the Symptoms:
Check for your normal vital signs before you attempt to diagnose yourself with symptoms of the problem you think you may be suffering from. This could take some time. For instance, if you suddenly have an allergy break out, you have to take time to understand the triggers of the symptoms. What is it that is causing an allergy? Is it food, or something you are exposed to? This is going to take a couple of days to understand. This will probably help you come up with an answer to your problem.
Understand Family History:
In some cases, a gene that runs in the family may be the reason why you are facing a particular problem. For instance, a condition such as a back problem may be one that your mother or father's side is prone to. This however, does not mean that the condition cannot be controlled. Though you may be prone to it, you can definitely reduce the intensity with which it affects you.
Diagnosing yourself will take some time. You must diligently maintain a diary and note the changes that are taking place as and when you are trying to treat it. This will help you get to the bottom of the problem.
The Dangers of Diagnosing Yourself
In many cases, what you consider to be a small problem may be a symptom of a bigger problem. For instance, a headache could be a symptom of a condition of the brain, mild pain in the left arm may be the symptom of a heart condition or heart disease, and a rash on the skin may also be a symptom of the development of skin cancer. The point here is not to scare you, but to make you realize the potential dangers of diagnosing yourself, because you may tend to overlook the seriousness of the condition.
When you ignore certain symptoms, or take medication to eliminate them, you are not treating the root cause of the problem; you are just eliminating the problem temporarily. This problem can further go ahead and become severe, and if you don't prevent it, curing it may become difficult. For instance, one of the common symptoms of diabetes is tiredness and exhaustion. When you diagnose yourself, you may assume that the exhaustion is from not getting enough sleep, not eating right, stress, etc.
You will try to correct all of these, but you are not aware of the fact that you 'may' be diabetic. This will cause the condition to worsen, and diabetes has the ability of slowly affecting all other organs of the body such as the eyes, the kidneys, the brain, and several other body parts. Though a lot of websites enable you to diagnose yourself online, it should be avoided for the reasons mentioned here. In fact, online diagnoses can sometimes be misleading in that they may overlook a bigger condition, or may directly point to a bigger condition when the problem may be minor.
In short, there are more dangers of diagnosing yourself than benefits. It is common to overlook smaller signs and assume they will just pass by taking over-the-counter medicine. However, it is best to get professional consultation and ensure that you are getting the right treatment for the condition in question, irrespective of whether it is minor or major.
Disclaimer: This WellnessKeen article is for informative purposes only and does not, in any way, intend to replace the advice of a medical expert.