Spurious Self-Diagnosis On 'Web MD' Drives Local Hypochondriac Into Mad Tizzy
on 6/7/2006 (0)
SECAUCUS, NJ - 42 year old Secaucus, New Jersey divorcee Myra Stone nearly "drove herself into pathological fits of impending doom" by spuriously attempting to diagnose her own symptoms on the popular U-diagnose-it website WebMD.com.
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Myra clutched a handkerchief and rubbed her forehead uneasily.
"I-I wish I never would have visited that damn site. I typed in my symptoms on their "symptom checker", and all kinds of terrible diagnosis came up. I thought I was going to die! I typed in lower back pain, headaches, lethargy and itching, and it came back with potential cervical cancer, chronic nephritis, hypertensive arteriosclerosis. degenerative neuropathy and psoriasis. I was terrified! I started looking for ways to treat my own symptoms. I was drinking cranberry juice, chewing crushed up aspirin, drinking 8 glasses of water a day and slathering my skin with cortaid. I was so wigged out in so many directions, I didn't know if I felt sick or well. It was very depressing and very self-destructive."
Indeed, "diagnose it yourself" web sites like Web MD, while usefull for a cursory inquiry into any abnormal pathology, are strictly limited in accuracy and should be promptly followed up by a routine, face to face formal physical with a licensed M.D.
Myra eventually sought a more conventional means of medical diagnosis, going to see her family doctor, Dr. Sonjay Gupta, for a series of standardized lab tests. After interpreting the results, Dr. Gupta shrugged "All of these symptoms are strictly in her head. I personally think miss Stone merely needs to get laid more often, if you would to ask me!"/tds/go.php?sid=1" w
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