Written by Home Doctor Toowoomba Team

We’ve all done it. A mystery rash, a headache or an usual pain in the middle of the night or on the weekend when our regular doctor is closed and we turn to Doctor Google.

Health fund giant, Bupa, did the research and found half of us self-diagnose online and 70% of us regularly research our medications using the internet.

But how accurate is the information? And isn’t it better to call a doctor to your door and get a professional diagnosis?

According to Bupa research if you type in “pins and needles” into Google, the search engine results could diagnose you with anything from a completely reversible vitamin B12 deficiency, to sciatica, or worse, multiple sclerosis.

Enter “stomach cramps” into Google and up pops indigestion, appendicitis, as well as heart disease and angina. Try “rash” and the results range from dermatitis, psoriasis, and eczema right through to the potentially life threatening meningitis.

“Dr Googling” is so common there is now a dedicated term to describe patients who develop paranoia because of what they’ve found – Cyberchondria.

While it can frustrate doctors, we at House Call Doctor are realists. We know that with 80 percent of us having access to the internet, “on-line self-diagnosis” is a fact of life.

Dr Anton Fick of House Call Doctor says House Call Doctor is committed to giving people an outstanding after-hours service where they get a professional diagnosis.

“Instead of calling up a search engine, call up the House Call Doctor website or ring our call centre 13 55 66 and have a real doctor diagnose your condition and avoid an online search making you extra sick with unnecessary worry,” Dr Fick said.