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Vital Signs: Medical websites

One well known medical website garners 100 million unique visits per month. (NTV News)

Millions upon millions of Americans visit the internet for medical information. It's a past time for some, punching in an ailment and then slipping into freak out mode. Now, doctors are saying that may not be the best way to go.

One well known medical website garners 100 million unique visits per month. It provides good information, but it's probably not meant to be taken on a patient by patient case.

"We'll have patients come in with such and such symptom and they'll get on the internet,” said Dr. Scott Ehresman. “Then they'll come in frightened.”

Like a cancer diagnosis or some rare poisoning, it can really freak people out. Experts like Dr. Ehresman point to well known, trustworthy websites like Mayo Clinic. He says beware of the website looking to scare or fish for clicks.

"There's one, you put in back pain and acute kidney disease or acute kidney failure will come up," he said.

Other experts add beware of putting out your child's ailment on Facebook for folks to weigh in. Dr. Ehresman says it might be best to check in with your health provider for the best advice.

"Come in, see a health care provider,” Dr. Ehresman said. “We went to a lot of school to alleviate anxiety."

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