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Image of a laptop displaying symptom-related search showing someone navigating health information online with the overlay of words "Is it OK to Google my Symptoms?"


Chances are, if you’ve been handed off from doctor to doctor, without finding a resolution for your gastroenterological issues, you may be at the end of your patience with standard medical practices. 

After all, you are an individual person with individual symptoms – not just someone who can be placed in a box and given a one-size-fits-all solution. Have you Googled your symptoms looking for answers? Trust me, you are not alone! Everyone does it. 

As a Naturopathic Doctor specializing in chronic gastroenterological issues, patients come to me when they are frustrated and feeling hopeless with the diagnosis they’ve been given. Often the patients I see start discussing their symptoms by saying, “I know I shouldn’t have Googled it, but…” 

Let me reassure you. Googling your symptoms shows that you are engaged in taking an active role in your health care which is one of the foundations of Naturopathic Medicine. Having an interest in and finding autonomy with your healthcare decisions is not a bad thing. 

After you’ve done your search, you might find diagnosis and treatment recommendations can be straightforward and easy to figure out via Google, but what happens when they are not? 

If you’re not sure how to proceed with the information you have, it can be beneficial to discuss your findings and concerns with a knowledgeable provider, like a Naturopathic Doctor, who can help determine which of the many diagnostic possibilities is most likely in your case. 

Googling symptoms often casts a very wide net. You get suggestions from the most benign diagnosis to the worst-case scenario. There are often specific symptoms and simple lab values that a knowledgeable provider can utilize to help determine where you fall on the spectrum. As a Naturopathic Doctor, I can take a more in-depth and integrative approach to really get to the root of your symptoms.

I am a specialist in integrative gastroenterology. Therefore, I can help you obtain a specific diagnosis and personalized treatment plan unique to your case. I can help you sift through the plethora of information you’ve gathered. I can help you decipher your list of treatment recommendations and let you know if they are right for your personal situation. I can recommend supplements, dietary options, and lifestyle changes complementary to your current goals for the most healthy outcome.

If you are googling your symptoms, most likely you have a higher interest in taking healthy steps towards gaining control of your symptoms. You are proactively involved in your health. Instead of shaming yourself for gathering knowledge on the internet about your symptoms, share your concerns and findings with your provider. I like to come alongside my patients and guide them beyond the discovery process into an individualized and successful treatment plan.

Natural medicine can work very well to improve GI health. Please contact Dr. Heather Buckle ND, FABNO if you have questions about integrative solutions for any gastrointestinal issues you may have. If you live in Washington state and would like to learn more about Dr. Buckle’s naturopathic approach to your wellness, please call (206) 643-2239 or CLICK HERE to schedule a consultation.