The term e-Patient is a new buzzword for those who harness the power of the Internet to research chronic illness or mysterious symptoms. While no substitute for an in-person, face-to-face visit with a medical professional, the Internet proves to be a powerful tool for researching diagnoses, exploring alternative treatments and financial resources, keeping abreast of medical advancements and discoveries, as well as providing much needed emotional support. In a perfect world, chronic illness and mysterious symptoms wouldn’t exist, and the need for medical Internet research would be null. Unfortunately, this need does exist, and is even more paramount for patients whose repeated face-to-face doctor’s visits have failed to yield a definitive diagnosis and/or effective treatment plan. So, if you’re suffering with a chronic illness or mysterious symptoms, how can you tap into the power of the Internet? Let’s explore the top three ways you can utilize the Internet as a healing tool:

· Diagnostic Tools – Online diagnostic tools can be a lifesaver (literally!) when unlocking the clues of mysterious symptoms, and are especially helpful if you discover that you have a symptom outside the realm of other illness categories.

· Blogging – In addition to being therapeutic, writing is also builds confidence. When you capture your thoughts and feelings as written words, you’ll be better prepared for face-to-face discussions with your doctor. A written record of your health journey tracks your progress, and serves as concrete record for reviewing which treatments, doctors, tests, etc. have been successful and which have fallen short.

· Read, Read, Read! – The Internet is chock-full of articles, blogs, and free online medical resources that may provide a clue to solving your medical mystery. If you’ve already received a diagnosis, use online resources to research treatment plans and review what measures you can take to keep your condition from worsening.

While the Internet can be a phenomenal medical resource, there are a few caveats:

· You can’t believe everything that you read on the Internet. Be sure to glean information from credible, reliable resources only.

· Internet research should never be used as a replacement for an in-person, face-to-face doctor’s visit.

When used properly for researching chronic illness and mysterious symptoms, the power of the Internet cannot be overstated. While online research may seem a bit overwhelming at first, learning to master what the Internet has to offer can help you move beyond your illness and regain freedom and control over your life.

Author's Bio: 

This article was written by Verria Kelly, the Good Health Coach. Verria has over 15 years of experience battling mystery symptoms, misdiagnosis and chronic illness. Verria helps those that are frustrated with health challenges take control of their health and regain freedom in their lives. Her web site is a comprehensive resource with free articles and valuable information for those suffering from mystery symptoms, misdiagnosis, chronic illnesses or those that are simply sick and tired of being sick and tired. Visit her web site at http://www.goodhealthcoach.com , or email her at verria.kelly@goodhealthcoach.com