Three quarters of unwell Brits turn to Dr Google

Three quarters of Brits have treated an ailment or illness after researching their symptoms on the internet, a survey has revealed.

It reveals a trend for the majority of people to now self-diagnose health issues rather than trying to secure an appointment with their local GP.

It also emerged the average adult now believes they can beat two thirds of all bugs, viruses and illnesses without professional medical attention.

And that has lead to most people only actually visiting their doctor twice a year.

The poll also found 75 per cent of people have warded off sickness with a trusty home remedy in the past. 

Three quarters of Brits have treated an ailment or illness after researching their symptoms on the internet, found a survey (stock image)


  • Common cold
  • Sore throat
  • Headache
  • Cough
  • Cold sore
  • Diarrhoea
  • Toothache
  • Warts/verucas
  • Acne
  • Fever
  • Insomnia
  • Haemorrhoids
  • Earache
  • Eczema
  • Conjunctivitis
  • Allergic reaction
  • Arthritis and joint pain
  • Swollen glands
  • Bunion
  • Chest infection

A spokesperson for Future You, which commissioned the study, said: ‘I know a lot of people who would rather soldier on than go and see a doctor for a cough or a cold.

‘And a lot of people with less severe symptoms know that a bit of rest, some healthy food and a good night’s sleep can be enough to let you recover and set you straight again.’

Reluctance to go to GP  

Only one third of keen ‘keyboard doctors’ have ever made their GP aware they have researched their symptoms ahead of their visit.

When illness occurs, two in five of us are reluctant to book an appointment with our GP, preferring to treat the symptoms ourselves or wait for the problem to resolve itself.

The survey, of 2,000 adults, also found 78 per cent are unlikely to bother their GP if they came down with a cold, and a quarter would rather wait for their conjunctivitis to clear up on its own rather than book an appointment.

Two thirds believe they have the means at home to cure themselves of a troubling cough, and 64 per cent are prepared should a sore throat strike.

One in five Brits surveyed by OnePoll wouldn’t deem arthritis or joint pain a serious enough ailment to warrant a visit to the doc, and 66 per cent would avoid the dentist’s chair even if a toothache flared up.

However, chest pain raises particular concerns, with only four per cent confident they could identify the cause of a sore chest, and nine in ten aren’t sure in their abilities to clear up a chest infection without specialist advice.

When it comes to trusty home remedies three in five swear by a hot glass of honey and lemon to beat a croaky throat, and 17 per cent turn to citrus fruit to reduce symptoms when suffering from a fever.

And more than seven in ten are convinced a change to their diet at one time or another in their lives has helped to improve their general health. 

Respondents revealed they are most likely to turn to their mother for recommendations for a home remedy when ill health hits, but one in ten have even been recommended an obscure cure by their doctor.

It was found 41 per cent take pre-emptive health action and add supplements and vitamins to give their diet a boost.