Ninety-nine-point-nine percent of the time, self-diagnosis online is incorrect and you will have wasted your time for nothing.
Still, that doesn’t stop people from across the country from Googling their symptoms every time they experience a fraction of a headache.
Is Everyone Sick, or Just Me?
Curious to know what your neighbors are Googling? The Medicare plans review site Medicare Health Plans used Google Trends to find frequently searched medical symptoms by state for the past year. Check out the map below to see if you are the only one worried about passing strangely colored poop (spoiler alert: not if you live in South Carolina or Wisconsin).
Our Health, Googled
The most searched symptoms pointed to respiratory illnesses. Makes sense as many Americans suffer from colds, allergies and flu yearly. In fact, over 155 million flu vaccines were manufactured and administered in the past year.
Stress symptoms were also widely Googled, especially in the Western United States – hello sweaty palms and stomach acid. Guys, try to fit in more yoga.
Meanwhile, Eastern folks experienced “loss of sleep,” and “the sniffles.” Except for Rhode Island and New Jersey, who not only got plenty of sleep, they had “lucid dreams.” Is that even a medical condition? Stress was also a major concern along the Atlantic Seaboard.
What to do Now
While not an ideal way to manage health, Internet research is helpful for pointing to what may be causing your discomfort. But use it to compile questions for a visit with your doctor. Meaning, go to a doctor! Having notes and questions with you will make for a more proactive appointment, especially when you feel like crap.