Health mis-diagnosis

Posted in: Wellbeing Last updated: 29 Jun 2012

We asked people in Britain about how they deal with sickness and feeling unwell.  Surprisingly, we seem to be a nation of worriers.

Health worries

More than 30 per cent  of people polled convince themselves they are seriously ill when feeling under the weather, and 61 per cent turn to the World Wide Web for medical information when feeling unwell.

In fact, just over half of those we polled admit they consult the internet as a first port of call when feeling ill, prior to visiting a doctor. Forty six per cent of people are worried about getting a terminal illness, and many convince themselves that everyday symptoms are indicative of serious ill health.

10 commonly mis-diagnosed health concerns

 Actual complaint  Fear of  
Tummy upset  Food poisoning   43%
Common cold  Flu   38%
Headache  Migraine   35%
Lower abdominal pain  Appendicitis   28%
Stiff joints  Arthritis   28%
Indigestion  Heart attack   19%
Hung over  Food poisoning/something eaten   18%
Migraine  Brain tumour  16%
Shortness of breath  Lung disease  15%
Lower back ache  Kidney disease  16%

While the internet can be a great information resource, it is always best to see a doctor when ill.  A medical professional can put your mind at rest, check out all the symptoms and tell you what the matter really is.

Healthy attitude

Survey respondents admitted to having felt embarrassed when they realised their symptoms were not connected to anything serious. And 11 per cent have been advised by a doctor that they were slightly over-reacting.

It is important to keep things in proportion.  Not least because over worrying, and high stress levels can have a negative impact on our health.

Take action to stay as healthy as you can with a nutritious diet and regular exercise. And bear in mind that research on the internet is not a substitute for consulting a health professional.

Note: Whilst we take care to ensure Hub content is accurate at the time of publication, individual circumstances can differ so please don’t rely on it when making financial decisions. OneFamily do not provide advice so it may be worth speaking to an independent financial advisor about your own circumstances.