HEALTH - Take what you learn on the Internet with...
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Dec 20, 2012  |  Vote 0    0

HEALTH - Take what you learn on the Internet with a grain of salt, Tao of Wellness

By Jasmine Sufi

“I Googled it”

The web is a vast sea of information, allowing us to access recipes, photos and answers to our most common questions with a touch of the keyboard or a swipe of the screen. With blogs and forums available for everyone to read, and written by absolutely anyone, we have been able to find support and communicate with like-minded people across the globe. 

How many times has a patient come in to my office and said “I’ve got Symptoms A, B and C and I Googled it. Google said that I may have X, Y or Z. I was up all night worrying.”

Having the Internet as our source of medical information can be beneficial in many ways. It educates and empowers us, but often we end up using the Internet in place of professional advise.

While Google is a valuable resource, generating accurate logarithms providing the most relevant sites to your keywords, but keep in mind that not all information on the web is written by a professional.

Continuing along that line even if it was, your health is not textbook and needs to be examined by a medical professional at all times. What we should be doing instead is using the information we read on the web to equip us with the questions we need to ask our doctors. 

I was inspired to write on this topic after I received a couple of frantic emails from patients who had “googled” their symptoms and started to panic.

To help me reinforce my opinion on this, there was another client who had received a prescription from a naturopathic doctor and she was questioning the dosing and decided to trust the web over the professional. 

I advised her to pose those questions to her practitioner as opposed to self-dosing. With so much information that is available on the web and television, the public has the access and means to self prescribe and self diagnose their health concerns.  

While supplements are helpful and part of a healthy lifestyle, we have to be careful on how much we are using, how long we are using them for and what we may be combining them with. 

As they may not be benefiting our health the way we intend them to. These are questions that your health-care provider can help you address.  Ensuring you are not over dosing or combining a dangerous combination of herbs, food, supplements and drugs.  

Here are some resources I would recommend to help you find information on health conditions and drug and supplement use and interactions.

Health

Medical Health websites that allow you to check your symptoms, provides you with trusted information on health conditions. Drug and supplement reviews and much more.

Webmd

Medline Plus

Mayoclinic

Drug and Supplement

Learn about drug and supplement effectiveness and interactions. Use these tools below to find out safe combinations of vitamins, herbs and supplements and potential interactions with prescription drugs.

http://www.doctoroz.com/videos/drug-interaction-checker

http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/drug-information/DrugHerbIndex

Note: This is just a resource your medical doctor and pharmacist will be able to provide you with accurate advise specific to your health.  

Pregnancy

Questions about weather a supplement, food or drug is safe to take while you are pregnant.  Use the website below to search or call the toll free number to contact a nurse practitioner to answer your questions.  

Mother Risk

1-877-439-2744 Motherisk Helpline

416-813-6780 Motherisk Helpline

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Jasmine Sufi co-founded Acutoronto, a women’s health and fertility clinic in 2004. Her experience includes the Wasser Pain Management Centre, St. John’s Rehabilitation Hospital and the Toronto Centre for Acupuncture and teaching experience at the Canada College of Traditional Chinese Medicine and Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine. Jasmine specializes in fertility and pregnancy using acupuncture and Chinese medicine. Email jasmine@acutoronto.com, call 416-486-5222 or visit www.acutoronto.com

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