How to approach social media health tips

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GREENVILLE, SC (WSPA) – More than four billion people use social media around the world, and health-related tips and challenges are becoming increasingly popular across various platforms.

As part of our “Ask the Expert” series, in partnership with Bon Secours St. Francis, Taylor Murray of 7 News spoke with a nurse practitioner about the dangers of viral health trends and the best approach to counseling. that do not come from your doctor.

Social media has created a space where people can share anything and everything.

However, when it comes to getting health related tips from your favorite app, don’t be so quick to believe, or even try, the information shared online.

“Social media is not the best way to manage your symptoms or your health issues. “

Ana Endaya / Nurse practitioner, Bon Secours St. Francis

Nurse practitioner Ana Endaya says what works for one person may not work for you.

“It can be very dangerous in a way that is not based on your individual needs and does not take into account your medical history, lab work and medications,” Endaya said.

The bulk of health advice on social media centers around fad diets and exercise trends. Endaya says that too much time spent scrolling through this content can hurt your body image more than it helps you.

“It could pose a lot of mental health risks. You scroll down there and you see someone is doing better than you, looking better than you, and that could cause you a lot of stress, anxiety and depression, ”Endaya said.

If your goal is to get in better shape or lose weight, Endaya says it’s better to talk to your doctor than to listen to a social media influencer.

“It could lead to a lot of emergency room visits, and I’ve seen them, or follow-ups and stories about these things, so it’s very dangerous,” Endaya said.

If you’ve ever tried self-care, at home, from advice found on an app or online, be honest with your healthcare provider so they can provide you with the right treatment.

“You know that some lab work may or may not make sense. It would be helpful if you gave us some information, even if it’s a bit trivial and embarrassing, ”Endaya said.

How available social media is at your fingertips, so are healthcare professionals.

Many doctor’s offices and insurance plans offer convenient virtual tours.

To submit a health topic for our Ask the Expert series, click here.


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