T Nation

Medical Advice on the Boards


I would like some feedback on the following.

On a regular basis people post on these boards asking for Medical Diagnosis and or Advice.

I am not only alarmed and amazed at this in and of itself but in that other members often offer Diagnosis and advice.

This is extremely fool Hearty in my opinion because not only are these people in alot of cases wasting valuable time when they could be seeking competant medical attention. But their is no way in hell a proper diagnosis can be given over the internet without seeing the patient, and most certainly not by another member sitting at their computer.

I am not reffering to those that state along the lines of I suffered a dislocated shoulder does anyone have experiance with this and how long were you out of commision? This type of thing is fine for sharing experiances.

But I have seen people post with Kidney problems, symptomology leaning toward abcesses, Head injuries, Discharges from the genitals, severe swelling and bruising etc. etc.

It is absolutely frightening that some one would seek advice on this or any other board it is even more frightening that self described experts answer with anything other than what are you wasting time for get to a doctor now.

Listen if you have concerns about your health get to the ER or the Doctor.

If you did something stupid like screw your self up using roids tell your freakin doctor what you did don't hide anything he can't treat what he doesn't know and by the time he finds out you may be in serious trouble! A Doctor may chastise you for being an idiot if that, they are dedicated and committed to treating you to allow no further harm to come to you, shelve the embarassment its your life.

I am not a doctor never claimed to be but I do have an extensive medical background and I assure you time is immportant I also assure you people do unfortunately listen to dumb advise and make their situation worse.

If I get any indifferance to this post let me just say this, if you argument is that if somebody is dumb enough to ask for advice and take what they get on here then so be it. Let me just say there is a good chance that person has somebody in their life that cares for them and wants them to be whole, so do it for their loved ones and just tell them to see a doctor.

If you argue that this may be the only place they can turn or are comfortable with then tell them to go see a doctor if they turn to this place for answers this is the one they should be getting.

I hope anyone coming here with medical concerns in the future understands that time is of the essance and that they seek proper treatment from a competant medical professional and I wish them well.


I've said this same thing before. For a while, you had people trying to diagnose major skeletal imbalances based on how someone stood in a crappy picture of them posing. "Do I have a concussion?" Gee, don't you think if it is important enough to ask about it may just be more than important enough to actually have someone take a look at it?


I agree that no one should be using the internet for diagnosis. However, if You already know the issue and are doing everything the doctor has told you to do then I see no harm in asking questions that may be helpful in finding more information or maybe another idea for supplementing the course of action the doctor has prscribed. There are many sites designed for the specific help of giving more ideas on how to deal with certain illnesses or conditions(once diagnosed), while this is def not one of those, the people on this board may have valuable information or at the very least a new idea. Again I wholeheardedly agree it is completely moronic to go on an internet board or WebMd and try to diagnose yourself or have someone else do it. After you have seen a doctor and exhaustedly gone through the medical ranks and system then I don't think it is a bad idea to go on the interent and ask "I thought I would try this is there any information out there supporting this I can look into and maybe ask My doc about."



Well Prof, if the person holds a shoe for reference, the picture is not only as good as a DEXA scan for predicting body-comp, but also is better than x-ray or MRI for picking up skeletal imbalances.

Also, give the guy a break, if he has a concussion, he may not be thinking clearly:) Although a baseball bat to the zygomatic bone or maxilla really isn't that big a deal, right? LOL!


The concussion question got to me. Head injuries aren't exactly something to play around with, especially if the room is still spinning hours later.


i completely agree with everything you all are saying. However the fact is, some people find going to their doctor or anyone else to be uncomfortable. they may be doing themselves harm by waiting, but they are nervous about seeing their doctor or whoever-obviously this isnt a good thing, but luckily i have noticed that others frequently will tell them to go get a check-up. i hope people continue to ask questions to gain more knowledge, but if it is something serious... then get to a doctor


My point exactly its one thing asking for others experiances with rehabing a torn rotator cuff but people get on here and say shit like.

I gotta knife sticking out of my back do you think it'll be safe to remove myself?

I have bloody pus leaking from my injection site do you thing if I move up to 2 grams of Vitamin C it will clear up?

Ok I'm being a bit tongue and cheek but I have seen stuff like close to this a month or so some guy was on here saying his girlfriend had a horrendous bloody discharge and it had been going on for a week and if she didn't do something about it he was going to tell her dad who was a doctor the next day.

C'mon please people its one thing being a dumb ass but quite another opening your mouth and confirming it!


My first cycle I got a slighly inflamed injection site. I wanted to play it safe so I went to the doctor pretty quickly. The doctor told me simply to monitor it, and it may require a scan if it got worse(i.e. he didn't know what it was.) He then went on to chew me out as badly as he could with just about every steroid myth/exaggeration you can think of. Roid rage, impotence, heart attack, they don't even work, etc. I had to get up and walk out of the whole thing. Needless to say, this was the last thing I needed given that I was nervous enough about the reaction.

I went home and checked a post I had put up on an AAS board about what I was experiencing. A couple of vets on the board expressed similar problems in the past and gave some simple advice which I immediatly implemented and saw a noticable improvement in the area. I was finally relieved, which was all I wanted in the first place. I wanted to know I was alright and it wasn't going to get worse.

Was the doctor very wrong in acting the way he did? I think so. Does that mean someone else couldn't have the same experience if, in a moment of worry, they are honest with a physician? Nope. Am I gonna think twice about going to the doctor in the future? Yup

So really, what's the harm in bouncing it off a message board for some advice? Obviously one needs enough common sense to know when they are very much in need of medical attention, but for all the stuff in the middle, the stuff that might heal up on it's own, I plan on asking and if anyone feels the need to flame any such future posts, so be it.


Its not even about the flame, its about your life and health localized infections and such can very quickly lead to high temps and systemic infections.

Everyone is free to do as they please but if worrying about a physician who might go off on you because you did something stupid is keeping anyone from going to seek medical help get a grip man up and get over it.

Having a festering abcess in your ass causing you to lose your leg or have a major portion of your hip carved out is alot worse. Even if you temp soars you can quickly lose conciousness and the and the ability to get your self help. Its not debatable its just not smart your choice but not smart.

talking about it afterwards and sharing your experiance is fine.

But look at it this way everytime a boxer goes to the er after a fight at the very least the doc says you know there are other ways to make a living but far better to endure that than have a undiagnosed bleed in your brain take your life.

I agree that just like everything else in life there is always a chance you might luck through it unscathed but I just would hope that people on here would care enough about their lives and health and family theyd swallow their pride and just get checked out.

this post wasn't just about the people asking for diagnosis or advice but also about the irresponsibility of those who give the advice or diagnosis.

The only correct response it has it looked at by a professional.

Take it however you want I posted originally because I actually gave a damn.


I think most people get told to go see a doctor when they ask for advice.

At the same time, if someone says "I stubbed my toe and the nail is turning black, am I gonna die?" I'm sure you'll get lots of replies saying, hey, when that happened to me it fell off.

Your heart is certainly in the right place, but I don't know how you can expect to do anything about this issue other than to encourage people to see a doctor when it is appropriate.

Did you do that on the threads in question which prompted you to post this one?


I honestly try to when I see someone trying to assign some complex disorder when nothing the poster has written indicates it. Otherwise, I generally avoid answering posts that seem to be searching for medical advice that shouldn't be given out without ever taking a look at them. The reason is, not one person here would be ready to accept the blame if a potentially life threatening problem was misdiagnosed.


Well, it surely is nuts. The problem is the non-medical public often do not have a clue what is serious and what is not. NOT A CLUE. And also it seems a lot of people don't want to see a doctor if possible, for these reasons:

  • expense
  • inconvenience / time
  • cost
  • fear it is serious

And would much rather hear someone say "don't worry it is nothing".

Advice on the net has SOME place, that place should be to guide the person to further investigation with a doctor, or other related practitioner.

If a person says "my muscles are sore after working out" and it just seems like DOMS then it should be fine to tell them that is a part of training.

If they have a sore wrist that hurts constantly then maybe it is badly broken or sprained and needs a look at.

If you have not seen the person, in person, then it is damned hard to diagnose.

Furthermore any practitioner would be less willing to even attempt it, due to liability. Not sure what the laws are like in the U.S though, for this kind of thing. And does it vary from state to state? And does it matter on an internet forum - and which state laws are enforced? and are you liable for international laws if the posters are in different countries?

So this is the only place these forums + medical advice should have: try to identify the blindingly obvious and if in doubt, advise to see a professional in person.

And possibly a psychologist to address the madness that drove you to a forum for medical advice :slight_smile:

You think a forum is bad, try getting the medical calls at home, from friends and family looking for free treatment. Cheapskates!


God forbid doctors had to go to school for 8+ years and couldn't misdiagnose patients because other people were doing it for them for free. As you can tell I have about as much respect for Dr.'s as I do cops and rightfully so. 3 years ago I had 4 yes 4 specialists not just doctors tell me I didn't have anything wrong with my ass. Finally I went one night to the ER and a doctor finally recognized a para-rectal absess.

He said I was extremely lucky because it was so infected it could've burst internally anytime and easily killed me with a blood infection. Is this a classic case of stereotyping? Absolutely. But I'd accept advice from someone who's been there and done that anyday over someone who read about it in the second year of Med school. This post is garaunteed to piss people off but I could care less. Down with Dr.'s


damn, i actually thought this thread might be about Step 1.


Yeah, fucking assholes are overpaid, too.


I have given medical advice here many times. Unless the signs and symptoms seem very minor, any advice I give is followed by the phrase: Seek professional help!.
I agree, a diagnosis shouldn't be given out over the internet. It is dangerous and ignorant. Many things a doctor can't or won't diagnos in person, without running a series of tests.
What I do try to do though, is explain some possibilities, the what and why it could be, and treatments until a doctor is seen. I'll try to explain why a professional should be seen, the seriousness of the condition, and the dangers of ignoring it. And last, I try to give a few questions that somebody might want to ask thier doctor when they see one.
I have to admit, sometimes I do have a little fun. I am still new at the medical field, so I try to learn as much as I can. Somebody may present a problem, I reply 'this is what I think is going on, this is what I would do, go see a doctor and let me know what happens'.
I hope I am going about this the responsible way and I hope I am giving good advice. I haven't had anybody tell me otherwise, and I am welcome to feedback.


What about people who lack doctors? We have an athletic trainer and a trainer who's in training. In the past three years, I have broken my thumb twice. Both times it was incorrectly diagnosed.

I believe with the way it swelled up like crazy both times, it should have been easy to tell me it was broken. I think if I asked for opinions here, someone might have been able to tell me it is likely broken.

Luckily for me the second time, the trainer told me to go see the doctor -- 4 days after it was broken.

-On another note, we don't have acess to a doctor here, and more importantly, when the doctor comes, you'll likely get a mouthfull from the school if it isn't something serious. So I think there are some people that can be helped by posting.


I don't think anyone is faulting the people asking the questions as much as we are faulting some of the people trying to give a full diagnosis over the internet without making it clear that the person will probably have to see a doctor.


Yeah, except for the one that saved your dumb ass.


Dude, not all doctors are created equal. An unfortunate but true fact. Not all have the same, equal experience. You come out after 8 years and really know bugger all, whatever specialty you go into. You think your GP 5 years out is going to be as good as your GP with 30 years experience? Maybe yes, maybe not - some of the older ones got through when it was easier, haven't kept up. Others have excellent experience.

You have to find one - a general, family doctor - that you like, trust and know does a good job. PERIOD.

It is also true many don't know particularly much about sports medicine. Man, that is another field entirely. Another 4years+ of study.

Those specialists who didn't diagnose you properly, if you were in fact sick, well then they were pathetic. PATHETIC. There is no guarantee you are going to get a good specialist recommended - or even the right kind of specialist. Unless you know the good ones by name and have the money or contacts to get them. That is just the way it is.

What were they specialists in, and what examination of you did they do, and are you sure you actually have the rectal abscess at the time? They should have picked it up.

As for being overpaid, insurance runs upward of $250,000 per year, and hours per week are usually formidable. How would you like to pay $3,000 per week just to do your job, then put in 80+ hours to listen to people complaining about their ass?

But note I agree with your complaints, it just isn't an easy thing to fix with the medical system, even throwing money at it won't train up everybody, perhaps a re-design is in order.

It wouldn't hurt to educate the public as well. Someone posted "I have a knife in my back, should I pull it out?" the answer is NO, does the public know this? Probably not. Does the public know a sore ass should be checked out? Numbness in the legs?