If you find yourself suffering from indigestion or an unexpected stomachache, it can be difficult to resist the urge to type your symptoms into that tempting Google search bar. A new online crash course in digestive health, however, may save you from going down a WebMD rabbit hole.
An online course from Harvard Health explores the different types and causes of gut health issues, including GERD, acid reflux, dyspepsia, ulcers, constipation, IBS, diarrhoea, and bloating. Called "The Sensitive Gut," it will also go over how to diagnose and treat these conditions.
Enrollment costs $30, which covers the pre-recorded lectures, quizzes, and interactive content to help you understand how the digestive system works. The course is broken up into seven sections, but you can go through it entirely at your own pace and convenience.
The instructors — Dr. Lawrence S. Friedman, M.D., and Dr. Mallika Marshall, M.D. — are both on staff at Harvard Medical School.
According to the Harvard Online Learning website, the course "explains in clear, concise, everyday language the most common reasons for abdominal pain and the best ways to get relief."
Of course, this online class is no substitute for going to the doctor with your concerns — you should be doing that anyway. But, it is certainly an interesting and educational alternative to spending endless hours Googling symptoms.
Harvard Health also offers 15 other online courses on topics ranging from back pain to positive psychology to cognitive fitness.
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