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The risk of seeking remedy on Internet


Daily Dose by Bikram Vohra

Health Medicine doctor patientMost of us are compu-Doctors. We feel so good when we are unwell. To compound this felony we have, thanks to the Net become experts. I turned into a compudoc about three years ago and am now convinced that I have the symptoms of at least 37 ailments of the exotic kind. Three out of five of the symptoms of being bitten by a stonefish are confirmed even though I have not swum in the sea since 2002. I also believe that I have the perfect first signs of Parkinsons (I couldn’t remember a classmate’s name from 1968, now that is a symptom) and acute to chronic arthritis is a given, I can feel it in my bones. I went to the search engine and checked out 130 sites and they all agree with the feeling in my bones. In fact, doctors these days are so far behind in their knowledge that you and I are the experts. I went to see my doctor the other day. You know how it used to be. You shut up and listen and he says hmmmm, hmmm, and then scribbles some medicine. No way, brother, I have done my homework, I am all googled up. I went to a hospital the other day. Doctor said, so what is the problem. I told him. I said, the uric acid is normal so is the creatinin factor and there is no sign of any albumen that I can see and he said, well we can do a blood test and I said, no need, I know what’s wrong with me.

That’s the problem. Doctors all over the world are being beaten into second place by search engine medicine. All of us are armed with half knowledge and we are all hurtling along doing two things. Either medicating ourselves with cowardice in the hope that if we take enough capsules the problem will vanish. Either that or we are secretly swallowing pill regimens and broad spectrum drugs with no idea how they are affecting us. Like pilots who knock back a fistful of beta blockers before their medicals to show normal blood pressure, we are dangerously close to second guessing professionals. I quote a doctor sick of treating patients treating themselves.

“Have you ever noticed that right from popular magazine editors to your domestic servant thinks that he or she is a medical authority? If you have a fever, cold, cough, constipation or indigestion, your friends or even total strangers volunteer advice on medicines to take like expert physicians. Almost everyone you meet has an excellent remedy for whatever ails you. In short, this is self-medication. May be most of the times nothing untoward happens on following such advice, but it can be dangerous.

We are a crazy pill-popping generation. It is rightly said that the desire to take medicines, is one feature that distinguishes man from animals. Recent advances in drug research have provided many synthetic medicines for the treatment of disease, leading to a drug explosion. Today over 7000 drugs and drug combinations are available and no wonder we get sick.