An expert is an expert for a reason! But we often forget this simple fact and try to be the ‘jack of all trades’. With the advent of the internet, online diagnosis has become a prominent practice. Today our first response to any disease or discomfort is digging down the internet to analyse our problem and hunt down herbal remedies to cure it. Though most of the Ayurvedic products are safe and free of harmful chemicals but their response to the body needs a deeper insight. ‘Knowledge is power, but a little knowledge is dangerous’. This is the scenario with our internet surfers !!! Being aware and well versed about the human body is power, but analysing the diseases and prescribing self-medication is dangerous.
A common delusion persisting through generations is that ‘Ayurveda is all about simple herbs treating all diseases’. While this is partially true, the gravity of Ayurveda lies in the fact that this branch of medicine personalizes the treatment based on several aspects of the patient’s life. A headache may be caused by a myriad of reasons ranging from eye problem, migraine, gastric, fever, stress, or brain tumor. The ability to differentiate between these possibilities needs in-depth knowledge and thorough practice in the medical field.
Here are a few common outcomes of self diagnosis:
Getting paranoid about diseases that do not exist.
Many a times, the results of symptom checker scare one to death with its feed of fatal diseases. Often the symptoms entered are general and vague which might indicate ‘n’ number of conditions that only a doctor is equipped to further investigate and decide the prognosis. A pain in the throat may not be due to throat cancer or a headache may not indicate brain tumor; but the mere thought of these diseases make the patient more anxious and stressed which casts its adverse effects deteriorating his or her health.
Lack of proficiency often leads to wrong diagnosis and taking the wrong route would just worsen the condition. Something as simple as a zit may turn into severe allergy with the wrong course of treatment. Each individual is unique and so are their bodies. What may have worked for one, may have an adverse effect on the other. Ayurveda works on personalization of different body types and it needs an Ayurvedic expert to decipher the underlying condition.
Ignoring some major symptom
Human body is a complex machine in which a zillion of cells functions together in perfect synchronization to keep the system up. A jolt in this synchronization may lead to a fatal condition often without causing any prominent symptom hinting the severity of the condition. Someone who has a knack for treating people knows the diseases in and out and would be the best person to save your life.
This is the worst among all. The information dumped on the sites may not come from a reliable source and may lead you to false assumptions making life more complicated. Even if the information is correct it may not be complete which is again a threat when it comes to your health.
Though information is a powerful tool and it helps in forming a collaborative approach in the treatment of the patient but relying on this information and skipping the doctor’s visit is a stunt that might lead one’s way to the grave.
A few tips that might be helpful for safe browsing:
Go through the reliable sites to gather information and not medicine.
Digitalization has brought us numerous features like consultation through chat or video calling. Try contacting a good Ayurvedic practitioner before rushing into the Ayurvedic store with a self made list of medicines.
Your neighbour or relatives may be wrong but a doctor will always know the details.
When it comes to health it’s always better to be sure.
Dr. Ravishankar M, Consulting Physician , Girinagar, AyurCentral