Can We Trust Dr Google With Our Middle Aged Health Issues?

Ever imagine what a hacker could find out about you if they trawled through the Google searches on your computer?

Google Chrome
Google Chrome (Photo credit: thms.nl)

It’s the stuff of nightmares.

I rely on Google for absolutely everything, from research for my writing and finding the answers to Kurt’s homework, to checking the weather for Christmas Day and product reviews.

But where Google comes in the most handy for me as a diagnosed hypochondriac is as my personal doctor. If I didn’t have Dr Google, it’s safe to say that I’d reach the Medicare threshold by the end of January.

Apparently, more than 50% of adults self-diagnose with Dr Google before seeking reassurance from their GP – and, reassuringly, not all of us get the diagnosis wrong.

However, recently I have begun to suspect that Dr Google may not be too good for my over-anxious mental health.

English: An anxious person

It’s understandable that as we reach middle age, worries about our health are exacerbated as our health begins to deteriorate, our body parts droop and fall off and our brain becomes overloaded far more easily than it did in our youth. And many of these physiological changes can be quite alarming.

But it seems to me that no matter what symptoms I type into Dr Google’s little search box, he will always take me on a journey that typically ends with some grisly terminal disease or cancer.

So I thought I’d share with you some of my favourite medical searches from our family history of Googling the good doctor, and the sort of responses I have come to expect:

  • Why do my calves ache all the time? Have you exercised for the first time this year and did you remember to warm up first? If this does not apply to you, you may be in stage 1 of CALF CANCER?
  • I’m thirsty all the time – what are the symptoms of Diabetes? How much alcohol did you consume last night and is it possible you could be dehydrated? Excessive thirst is indeed one of the main symptoms of Diabetes so if you didn’t get shitfaced last night, get yourself down to your GP, pronto, before you LOSE BOTH LEGS.
  • I get colds all the time – what’s wrong with me? If you’re lucky, you may just need some vitamins or a more balanced diet to help fight those nasty viruses that lurk around at this time of the year. Then again, it could be that your immune system is struggling, which is often a sign of FULL-BLOWN AIDS.
  • My urine has a strange red hue to it – should I be worried? Did you eat beetroot last night, because this can cause your urine to become discolored? Otherwise, it’s probably BLADDER CANCER.
  • I get headaches all the time, especially after working on the computer. Start with getting your eyes tested and if that doesn’t explain your headaches, say your goodbyes because you probably have a BRAIN TUMOUR.
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8 thoughts on “Can We Trust Dr Google With Our Middle Aged Health Issues?

  1. Your posts are always quite funny, however, I suspect you write with a kernel of truth. So, just this once, I am going to take your post slightly seriously for a moment.

    I am an alternative medicine practitioner (acupuncture, herbs, homeopathy.) I make a practice to continually educate myself. Every few months, I pick a new dis-ease subject to research. When I pick a subject, I read everything I can find, both conventional and alternative and then see how I can apply that knowledge in my practice. My current subject is cancer; I have been at it for several months and I am annoyed. I am annoyed because I am coming to the conclusion I just don’t think our “first world” culture, particularly our conventional medicine industry, has a handle on cancer. I really think most everybody may have gone down the wrong rabbit trail. It may not be the dread disease, the “death sentence” that we have been led to believe it is. In fact, I am beginning to think it may not be a disease at all. I am beginning to think it may be only a terrain problem… a problem of certain cells in the body being so overloaded with toxins that they cannot get the nutrition they need to survive and so they are forced to change to a less beneficial (for the whole person) form of metabolism (anaerobic fermentation aka cancer).

    Did you know that if you have cancer, if you don’t die of a physical obstruction caused by the increase of tissue in a place that cannot accommodate that extra tissue (like the brain,) that you usually die of malnutrition (caused by cancer’s 9x greater call on the body’s glucose)??? I didn’t, until I began my current research project. Of course, this is a radical diversion from conventionally accepted thought, and I cannot support the idea in a blog comment. So, I’d like to suggest one book that I think is one reasonable place to start to educate yourself on an alternative view of cancer that might put some of your fears to rest: Never Fear Cancer Again: How to Prevent and Reverse Cancer by Raymond Francis M.Sc. (Available on amazon, and as a kindle book to, so no waiting for shipping if you choose to use a kindle or the free kindle software.)

    I pick that book because while it is obviously aimed at cancer (you can tell from the title 😉 it postulates that *all* disease is caused by the same toxicity or deficiency; and you’re worried about more than just cancer, right? Using my education in alternative philosophies of medicine and healing, I cannot thus far find a fatal argument with the author’s thesis. So there’s a place to start to be proactive and harness your hypochondria to good use. If you apply the authors advice, it won’t hurt you, and perhaps you can preempt any unhappy dis-ease events or emergencies in the future.

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    1. Thanks Christina. I am aware of some alternative methods to combat disease and mental illness because of the research I have done for my son’s ADHD and the changes we have made to his diet etc. So I will definitely take a look at this book.

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  2. As a user of Dr. Google for my second or third opinion, I love the answer I receive about 85% of the time. “The condition may be due to either menopause or aging”. Ugh. However, being a cancer survivor, every odd feeling takes me on a google frenzy to make sure I shouldn’t be checked for a metastasis event, or a recurrence of my primary cancer. And yeah, cancer also comes up as one of the possibilities of whatever I imagine ails me.😐

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  3. Dr Google is my go to but sometimes he reassures me because I look at the associated symptoms which are often grotesque. This makes me worry because surely someone who is vomiting blood or coughing up meaty lumps should be AT the actual hospital not on the Internet 🙂

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