There are times when we want to check certain illness symptoms we or our loved ones are experiencing. We may not be sure if the symptoms warrant further investigation or we might just want to satisfy our curiosity about health and fitness in general.
In this article, let us look at two online guides to check your illness symptoms online, which are extremely easy to use and provide information about probable causes.
Before we proceed, it is necessary to stress that these guides should not be used as a substitute for professional medical advice. It is better that you use these tools as a supplementary resource to get more information, while you may be waiting for your doctor’s appointment, or to learn more about certain illnesses.
Web MD Symptom Checker is an easy to use interactive tool, where you select specific symptoms and it identifies possible causes.
You start by selecting your gender and age, after which you can specify the symptoms in three ways in the left panel:
- You can identify the symptom by zooming in on the affected body part in the interactive map of the human body on the left.
- You can select from a list of 76 possible symptoms organized in an alphabetical list and a common symptoms list.
- You can search for symptoms using the search box.
If applicable, you can select and add more symptoms. Once you identify the symptoms, the Symptom Checker shows you a list of possible conditions that may be the cause of them. You can check more about any possible condition right within the Symptom Checker.
For each condition, Symptom Checker provides you with an overview, a list of all symptoms associated with that condition, and related articles and videos on the WebMD website.
Use this guide to discover the most common causes of the most common symptoms. The Mayo Clinic Symptom Checker takes a different approach to isolating possible conditions than the WebMD version.
You first select between Adult and Child symptoms on the first page. For Adults, there are 28 common symptoms listed. After you choose one kind of symptom, the next page lets you select related factors depending upon the selected symptom:
- Details such as persistent/intermittent, started suddenly/gradually, etc.
- Whether it affects both pairs of hands/legs/etc.
- Details of the pain – duration, pattern, severity, location
- Trigger factors such as injury, repetitive use, stress, change in sleeping pattern, etc.
- Relieving factors such as medication, rest
- Accompanying symptoms associated with the selected symptom
Note that this page is specific and different for each of the 28 symptoms listed in the first page. The questions on this page are similar to what a doctor would ask you after you tell him about a symptom. So the process actually feels similar to an actual diagnosis!
After you make the appropriate selections on this page, the next one gives you possible causes of the symptoms. Here, you can see all associated factors or symptoms related to this condition.
Clicking on the condition takes you to the main page for it on the Mayo Clinic website. Here, you will find a wealth of information and resources such as description, causes, risk factors, tests and diagnosis, treatment and drugs, home and alternative remedies, prevention, etc.
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Did you find these tools useful? Any other online illness guide that you prefer? Tell us in the comments!