When you’re feeling a bit peaky, it’s only natural to want to find out what’s up doc…and fast!
But putting your faith in the internet for a spot-on diagnosis is the worst thing you can do, according to a new study.
It found that nine in ten Wikipedia entries on common medical conditions were just plain wrong.
The doctor’s behind the study said it’s because the website lets ordinary users create, delete and edit entries – boosting the risk of mistakes big time!
Lead author Robert Hasty warned, “Researchers should not use [Wikipedia] as a primary resource because those articles do not go through the same peer-review process as medical journals.
“The best resource when looking for a diagnosis is to speak with your physician, who can take into account your medical history and other factors to determine the best course of treatment.”
Since its launch in 2001, Wikipedia contains more than 31 million entries in 285 languages, at least 20,000 of which are health-related.
The study backs up surveys showing as many as a quarter of women have misdiagnosed themselves on Google.
A survey of 1,000 women in 2012 found they often wrongly diagnosed themselves as having breast cancer, thrush, diabetes, high blood pressure and asthma.