Medical misinformation can endanger your life: Nabaruna Ganguly

Nabaruna Ganguly is an experienced clinical dietician who has been in the field of clinical nutrition and dietetics for over 7 years. She is currently working with D.S Research Centre for Cancer as a dietitian for cancer patients.

What is the best thing you enjoy about treating patients?

Solving their health issue with some dietary remedies or changes as per their convenience gives me joy. It is very rewarding when my patients greet me with a satisfied smile.

When is a patient easy to treat?

It is easy to treat a patient when they are cooperative, ready to understand and accept the changes, provide proper information and be truthful to their healthcare provider.

When is a patient difficult to treat?

When he or she is not providing proper information and neglecting further care and effort needed for their betterment during critical condition, the treatment process becomes difficult.

How helpful is it to the treatment course, if the patient is knowledgeable about the treatment procedure, benefits, risks etc.?

When patients understand properly about disease prognosis, it is helpful. This is because if they understand about their condition and the stage at which they are, it becomes easier to communicate with them about the treatment process and their prognosis. However, in the cases in which the prognosis is not good, the patient knowing the same may hamper the treatment process because they tend to lose hope and stop taking their medicines or the diet advised to them properly.

How can a patient improve their knowledge about the treatment procedure?

There are many well-researched journals available on the internet on some reliable and authentic websites. People can read and gather information from there. But it is best to consult or discuss with healthcare experts about the treatment procedure cause everyone’s clinical condition is absolutely different from another. So, there will be different approaches to the treatment for the same disease or condition which may not be mentioned in journals or known to any layperson.

How medical misinformation act as a problem in the overall treatment procedure?

Medical misinformation is very problematic. Misinformation can not only worsen the condition of patient but also endanger their life. Being a dietitian, I face a lot of patients with many misconceptions about their condition & diet. Many patients come to me with random dietary information they read on the internet or heard from someone saying that it can cure cancer. And if people start acting on these misconceptions, then it can very well become a serious health concern for them.

A few advice that you always give to your patients… 

Health consciousness is good, anxiousness is not. If you face some health-related problem, seek medical attention instead of searching about it on the internet.

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