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Medical advice

sollyn23l2
sollyn23l2 Posts: 1,298 Member
I find myself wondering more and more about the amount of medical advice I see getting pushed around on these boards. It's one thing if someone asks about what may be helpful for someone with a certain condition... but I see so many comments anymore telling people "oh, you're type II diabetic? Oh, you have high blood pressure? Oh, you have ___? You need to eat THIS way". The problem is, we don't really know these individuals. We don't really know what they're individual issues are, even if we think we do. And, there's any number of ways to eat that can benefit or cause problems for your health. Furthermore, I've even seen a situation where an individual dug through another poster's discussion history, saw that several years ago the individual had made a post referring to the fact that, at least at that time, they had diabetes... and actually commented on their new post.... several years later... "BuT ThE PoStEr IsN'T TeLlInG EvERyBoDY ThEy HaVe DiABeTeS.... DoES ThAt CHaNgE YoUr Guy's ReCoMmEnDaTiOnS. Frankly, I find things like this inappropriate.
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Replies

  • evileyefirefly
    evileyefirefly Posts: 104 Member
    Completely agree. I also think actual medical advice from a forum is a bad idea. I like to share what has worked for me and things I've noticed personally, but in the end its all opinions. The nature of weight loss varies so much from person to person as well it makes it very difficult to do anything other than share what worked for you.
  • neanderthin
    neanderthin Posts: 9,558 Member
    I've never taken any persons advice or recommendations on these forums to mean actual medical advise, that you get from your PCP or specialist. Just my opinion though, others will disagree.
  • sollyn23l2
    sollyn23l2 Posts: 1,298 Member
    edited October 19
    I've never taken any persons advice or recommendations on these forums to mean actual medical advise, that you get from your PCP or specialist. Just my opinion though, others will disagree.

    Agreed. I just think too many people like to play doctor and tell people this diet or that will cure/treat their condition or make their condition worse, rather than just offering a helpful suggestion.
  • chris_in_cal
    chris_in_cal Posts: 1,809 Member
    sollyn23l2 wrote: »
    Frankly, I find things like this inappropriate.

    That is your prerogative. On a privately owned web forum, the owner can make community guidelines, which they can selectively enforce/or not. Some states or countries can create laws that they attempt to enforce/or not. You can control what you write.

    What others write on the internet is functionally not possible to control.

    Upon reading something on the internet that we find inappropriate, figuring out how we can let that go, is a good place to start. It's not easy.
  • sollyn23l2
    sollyn23l2 Posts: 1,298 Member
    sollyn23l2 wrote: »
    Frankly, I find things like this inappropriate.

    That is your prerogative. On a privately owned web forum, the owner can make community guidelines, which they can selectively enforce/or not. Some states or countries can create laws that they attempt to enforce/or not. You can control what you write.

    What others write on the internet is functionally not possible to control.

    Upon reading something on the internet that we find inappropriate, figuring out how we can let that go, is a good place to start. It's not easy.

    Am I controlling it? No, I'm saying in my opinion, it's inappropriate behavior. You may not think so. That's ok. You don't have yo agree with it. That's why it's an opinion.
  • sollyn23l2
    sollyn23l2 Posts: 1,298 Member
    sollyn23l2 wrote: »
    I've never taken any persons advice or recommendations on these forums to mean actual medical advise, that you get from your PCP or specialist. Just my opinion though, others will disagree.

    Agreed. I just think too many people like to play doctor and tell people this diet or that will cure/treat their condition or make their condition worse, rather than just offering a helpful suggestion.

    Yeah, I've just not seen that. It might be as simple as these are forums after all, plain and simple, and we're here to offer advice, go into detail about n:1 experiences and make suggestions, while some people can get excited or exert personal biases, it's all rather casual as far as I can tell. If someone is getting worked up over what is said here, it's probably a good sign that a break is in order.

    I wouldn't say I'm worked up. If I was, I'd be considerably more aggressive in how I'm saying it, knowing that it would be some time before they would take it down.
  • sollyn23l2
    sollyn23l2 Posts: 1,298 Member
    AnnPT77 wrote: »
    Do you have any current examples of this?

    I'm asking because I don't really have the same perception that medical advice per se is frequent, though I'm not saying it never happens.

    I do see a fair amount of conversation about health issues, but more like chat than what I'd really characterize as medical advice. I'm thinking of replies like "when I symptom X it turned out to be condition Y, and the treatment was Z" or "when I had condition X my doctor suggested Y" and that sort of thing. For example, I don't consider it medical advice if (say) someone posts that they're T2D and asks for eating advice, and gets replies from other T2D people (or their caretakers). I admit to replying on those kinds of threads when I feel like I have relevant experience.

    There's a certain amount of . . . evangelical? . . . advice from people who think that a particular eating style (or supplement or something) cures pretty much everything. That's so eye-roll-y, I guess I mostly dismiss the possibility that anyone would take it seriously (plus there's usually push-back from other replies).

    I does seem to me that when someone talks about symptoms that are quite unusual, or could be something serious, the "you should discuss it with your doctor" comes out pretty quickly.

    There is some responsibility on the part of people who post questions to keep answers in perspective, though I know that won't universally happen either. Caveat emptor?

    In addition, I think I usually think in terms of the overall cast of a thread, and whether that's sensible. With that bias, I may overlook some examples of what you're concerned about.

    I'm not going to give examples, because I don't really want to embarrass anyone. It would also be pointless, because people doing this are convinced they're right, and won't be swayed otherwise. That being said, it's an opinion. Anyone is allowed to disagree. The point was to get at least some people thinking about it.
  • AnnPT77
    AnnPT77 Posts: 30,358 Member
    sollyn23l2 wrote: »
    AnnPT77 wrote: »
    Do you have any current examples of this?

    I'm asking because I don't really have the same perception that medical advice per se is frequent, though I'm not saying it never happens.

    I do see a fair amount of conversation about health issues, but more like chat than what I'd really characterize as medical advice. I'm thinking of replies like "when I symptom X it turned out to be condition Y, and the treatment was Z" or "when I had condition X my doctor suggested Y" and that sort of thing. For example, I don't consider it medical advice if (say) someone posts that they're T2D and asks for eating advice, and gets replies from other T2D people (or their caretakers). I admit to replying on those kinds of threads when I feel like I have relevant experience.

    There's a certain amount of . . . evangelical? . . . advice from people who think that a particular eating style (or supplement or something) cures pretty much everything. That's so eye-roll-y, I guess I mostly dismiss the possibility that anyone would take it seriously (plus there's usually push-back from other replies).

    I does seem to me that when someone talks about symptoms that are quite unusual, or could be something serious, the "you should discuss it with your doctor" comes out pretty quickly.

    There is some responsibility on the part of people who post questions to keep answers in perspective, though I know that won't universally happen either. Caveat emptor?

    In addition, I think I usually think in terms of the overall cast of a thread, and whether that's sensible. With that bias, I may overlook some examples of what you're concerned about.

    I'm not going to give examples, because I don't really want to embarrass anyone. It would also be pointless, because people doing this are convinced they're right, and won't be swayed otherwise. That being said, it's an opinion. Anyone is allowed to disagree. The point was to get at least some people thinking about it.

    I wasn't necessarily looking for a link, a specific paraphrase would serve. But no need to put in that effort.

    At this stage, I guess I'd simply disagree with the idea that people giving medical advice is a frequent problem here. Quite probably we differ in what we'd consider medical advice.

    Most of what I see commonly here is IMO similar - maybe even less inappropriate on average - than what happens IRL conversations over coffee or some such.
  • sollyn23l2
    sollyn23l2 Posts: 1,298 Member
    I disagree, sollyn. But then, I'm on another forum which is very tightly moderated against "medical advice" and that gets silly, too.

    I mean, we are supposed to all be adults here and in control of our own health. So, even if someone told me they were a kidney specialist, I probably still wouldn't take their "nutrition" advice to eat keto...

    There definitely is an element of personal responsibility, 100%. I just struggle to understand the mindset behind it. Yes, they're hoping to help people. But really, are they?
  • chris_in_cal
    chris_in_cal Posts: 1,809 Member
    sollyn23l2 wrote: »
    ... they're hoping to help people. But really, are they?

    This is a fantastic and wide ranging question. At it's core I think the only ethical way is to begin by asking "would you like me to try and help?" It allows the helpee to keep their 100% responsibility.
  • AnnPT77
    AnnPT77 Posts: 30,358 Member
    sollyn23l2 wrote: »
    ... they're hoping to help people. But really, are they?

    This is a fantastic and wide ranging question. At it's core I think the only ethical way is to begin by asking "would you like me to try and help?" It allows the helpee to keep their 100% responsibility.

    If someone posts a question here that involves a medical condition, I think they're implicitly answering that question with "yes". Just my opinion, though, obviously.
  • paperpudding
    paperpudding Posts: 8,703 Member
    sollyn23l2 wrote: »
    ... they're hoping to help people. But really, are they?

    This is a fantastic and wide ranging question. At it's core I think the only ethical way is to begin by asking "would you like me to try and help?" It allows the helpee to keep their 100% responsibility.


    I don't think that is neccesary - if you post a question/ situation on a thread you are inviting responses/ suggestions/ discussion.

    I guess exception being if someone says I'm just venting about xyz.
  • paperpudding
    paperpudding Posts: 8,703 Member
    I think the approach of advice matters.

    You are xyz condition - you must do this thing I say - not good approach

    People with xyz often find abc helpful, I have had success with abc, a suggestion to try is abc, xyz association recommends abc - good approaches
  • sollyn23l2
    sollyn23l2 Posts: 1,298 Member
    I think the approach of advice matters.

    You are xyz condition - you must do this thing I say - not good approach

    People with xyz often find abc helpful, I have had success with abc, a suggestion to try is abc, xyz association recommends abc - good approaches

    Exactly. I think it's about suggestions vs. dogma. Not that I'm saying people shouldn't give potentially helpful ideas, but understanding that it's not necessarily the best or only one.
  • PAV8888
    PAV8888 Posts: 12,773 Member
    The beauty of a forum is that it can bring many eyes and mouths to the table

    Figuring out which ones are offering relevant input and then considering such is still up to the reader.

    Historically moderation of these forums has been relatively active.

    Has it happened that I see a thread drowning in "wrong" or rather "misplaced" advice when I feel the real problem is something else? Sure. Not very often. But sure.

    I can either post my own take or ignore and let go. I've done and do both. Just as with real life conversations 🤷‍♂️