I'm used to asking questions on technical sites like stackoverflow. On those forums, it's appreciated if you create the smallest possible example required to recreate your issue. But how does it work when I'm asking a question about my body? If I give you my complete stats and health history, is that the equivalent of dumping all my environment variables and entire code listing?

2 Answers 2


Your question should provide enough detail to properly answer your question, but without getting into extravagantly personalized issues that make the question only about you. Consider the nature of your question as it relates to a broad-interest Q&A site — It should be of general interest to the users on this site.

This is not a medical site. You should not be seeking specific, customized medical advice needing a complete medial history. If you find yourself getting into that level of detail, there's something wrong with the scope of your question.

In those cases, instead of asking specifically what your medical needs are, you should be asking what issues you need to consider and why. Provide as much information as needed to properly answer your question without getting into unnecessary detail.

The best answers are those that teach you "how to fish" rather than giving you specific medical advice for you to follow.

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    I agree, there's a sweet spot between requiring a specific medical history and too general information (my knee hurts!). Hopefully we can set a few good examples that have the right balance.
    – Ivo Flipse
    Mar 14, 2011 at 21:07

If you are asking questions about diet, it really helps to provide some information to quantify what that means. For example, to validate the Calorie requirements, it helps to know weight, gender, height, and body fat percentage if known. Or if the Calorie requirements are known and you are trying to figure out why you feel terrible on it, listing what your current diet is will help give an idea of the macro nutrient balance, etc.

In other words, like Stack Overflow, you need to provide enough pertinent information to check your work and find where the hole is in your implementation.

Unfortunately, diet, exercise and performance are all wrapped up together. If you make the question focused enough, you can limit how much info is needed to come up with the answer.

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