Are you googling your way to an anxiety disorder?

No one wants to be sick. Health is wealth is the saying, and it could not be more true. Yes, we are only here for a short time and if our body is physically well (as well as mentally and emotional wellness), then we are able to achieve more with our lives. With the internet and sharing of information, we can grow our knowledge base to expand what we know and how to improve ourselves. However, there is indeed a healthy limit to that knowledge.

A patient wisely said to me yesterday, “I do not want to leave my health knowledge to advertising and marketing”. Astute. What did they mean by that?

There are so many things that can benefit your health. Everyday when you turn on the news, the latest new “fad” is highlighted to extend your life. The most amusing to me recently was the coffee conundrum, where one day the headlines on internet health news sites claimed that a research study demonstrated an increased length of life for those individuals who consume coffee daily. The very next day, an analysis of this study was published by Dr Michael Greger to refute the study and point out the other side of coffee (caffeine high etc), all very true points. As consumers and patients, what do you think? You should be suspicious that one day something is the cure for all things, and the next day it is a detriment! The truth then is probably something in between, speaking to moderation, individuality, and lifestyle.

This all-​or-​nothing thinking that one nutrient/​food/​supplement/​method of treatment is the be-​all-​end-​all for health is evident when people are convinced to spend thousands of dollars on supplements only to realize that while those supplements are beneficial for health in some respects, they won’t really help with their specific condition.

Additionally, trying to determine what your physical symptoms might be before seeking the guidance of health professionals (MDs, NDs, chiropractors, physiotherapists, osteopaths) is a very dangerous thing. A common cold suddenly looks like lymphoma, or general fatigue looks like a thyroid condition!

This is not to say that you cannot take responsibility or interest in your health. However, if you are a person who is a bit more of a worrier or anxious by nature, it might not be the greatest idea for you to google your health condition and then start taking x, y, z supplements for that self-​diagnosed health condition. Most likely you will become more anxious about all of the possible health conditions that you could have! Sometimes a little bit of knowledge can be a dangerous thing…

Let’s face it — our attempts to ‘google’ and get knowledge to avoid health pitfalls can also be masked as trying to control.

If this sounds like something you do, step away from the computer! Go outside. It’s a beautiful day!

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