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There are a lot of diseases, disorders, and syndromes out there. Most have a list of common symptoms associated with the problem. Let's say I have a problem with a tingling sensation in my fingers. Searching a popular health database will tell me that I may have Multiple Sclerosis, carpal tunnel,
cancer, hepatitis or a bunch of other things. I may end up missing the true cause of my problem.
However, if a web database let you input symptoms and did an intelligent match on possible causes, you would get better results.
The greatest benefit of such a database would be that people with these problems would be able to input their own symptoms. Many undocumented symptoms could emerge.
Back to my example; if several people with multiple sclerosis get muscle spasms in their face, they would input them to the master database. Muscle spasms are not a documented symptom however. As I am searching for my problem I may just have two symptoms - tingling in my hands and muscle spasms in my face. The database would then give me a high probability for multiple sclerosis.
"Not feeling well? Try our self-help guide for advice" [angel, Jul 11 2002, last modified Oct 04 2004]
Disclamer -- something, mumbomembo, lotsa gomembo. [reensure, Jul 11 2002]
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||With the last doctor I went to, I'd say he'd gotten his degree from here. So in some cases, I do trust my own judgement more, especially since I can feel all kinds of things that I can't rightly describe to him well enough.
||There is no substitute for a doctor, but it helps to have as much knowledge as possible. There are times when doctors do make mistakes, and the best way to control damage is to be informed about what you are getting into. Believe me, I know from experience that two different doctors may see things differently. And I know that online health sites can be challenging to navigate for specific symptoms. Anything to make it easier, I support.
||Alot of people don't realise just how many nasty things are out there and what their symptoms are. I know someone that hadn't done a poo in a week and seen a doc about it...he was diagnosed with IBS. Believing the doctor to be right he then continued for another month until he reluctantly went back due to the insistance of a friend...the doctor then diagnosed bowel cancer.
||I reckon the website will fuel hypochondriacs but it might scare those that need it.
||Similar sites abound, and are generally of much better quality than consumer education sites about other things like homeownership or vehicle purchase. I'd say they are on par with personal finance sites.
||Try reading "3 men in a boat" by
Jerome K. Jerome. One can overdo