We all do it – type our symptoms into a search engine and gasp in horror as we’re given a grim diagnosis. Before you jump to the worst conclusion, it pays to consider the possible alternatives.
Complaint: Tired all the time
Dr Internet says: CHRONIC FATIGUE
Other possibilities: Stress, insufficient sleep, hormonal imbalances, deficiencies, depression, poor diet and lack of exercise all contribute to tiredness. Some nausea and headache medications can cause you to feel sleepy, too. Chronic fatigue is an extreme condition that can make it near impossible to even get out of bed, so it’s very different to general tiredness. Schedule a visit with your doctor.
Complaint: Difficulty losing weight
Dr Internet says: HYPOTHYROIDISM
Other possibilities: Not eating or exercising properly is the main cause of weight gain. Some medications such as beta-blockers and even migraine treatments can have these side effects, as can lack of sleep. A chat with your GP and a blood test can help with diagnosis.
Complaint: Bloating after eating
Dr Internet says: GLUTEN INTOLERANCE
Other possibilities: A recent study found that 86 per cent of people who diagnosed themselves as being gluten-intolerant actually aren’t. Bloating can be caused by additives, a change in diet, fibre imbalance, or a side effect of medication. Giving up gluten without good reason can result in a fibre, vitamin and mineral deficiency, so get an official diagnosis first.
Complaint: Cold hands
Dr Internet says: RAYNAUD'S DISEASE
Other possibilities: Raynaud’s disease causes extreme cold in hands and feet, a reduction in blood flow, loss of colour and even pain. Many people experience cold hands, due to circulation, medication and the environment. Always check with your GP, but if it isn’t extreme or sudden you usually don’t have to worry.