Where are you getting your healthcare information?
Like most of us, you’re probably spending at least a couple hours a week searching Google for some sort of health-related information. Whether you’re trying to lose weight, lower your cholesterol or find what the symptoms are for Lyme disease, the majority of the population turns to online sources for health information.
But what are the best website for finding reliable health information online? You are wise not to believe everything you read, especially when it comes to your health and medical information on the web. To help you sort through the online clutter and locate reliable, trustworthy medical information, here are a few tips to follow, along with some top-rated sites you can always turn to with confidence.
Generally, health and medical information websites sponsored by the U.S. government, not-for-profit health or medical organizations, and university medical centers are the most reliable resources online. While sites supported by for-profit companies, such as pharmaceutical manufacturers or insurance companies who may be trying to sell you something, are usually not the best option for dependable information.
To find out who is really sponsoring a site and where the information is coming from, click on the “About Us” tab on the site’s home page. “About Us” can sometimes be hidden at the bottom of the page so be sure to check there as well.
Top Health Sites
While there are dozens of fantastic websites that provide reliable, trustworthy, unbiased health information, here are two of the best all-purpose sites that are easy to use:
Medlineplus.gov is sponsored by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and managed by the U.S. National Library of Medicine, Medline Plus provides information on more than 900 diseases and conditions in their “Health Topics” section, and links to other trusted resources.
It also provides a directory of hospitals, clinics and healthcare providers, a medical encyclopedia and medical dictionary, tutorials on common conditions, tests and treatments, extensive information on prescription drugs, supplements and herbs, and links to thousands of clinical trials. It even offers a senior-specific health site (nihseniorhealth.gov) that makes age-related health information easier for you.
MayoClinic.com is owned by the Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, this site is produced by more than 3,300 physicians, scientists and researchers from Mayo Clinic, and provides in-depth, easy-to-understand information on hundreds of diseases and conditions, drugs and supplements, tests and procedures. It also offers a nifty “Symptom Checker” tool and “First-Aid Guide” for fast answers to all types of health conditions, along with medical blogs, expert answers, videos and links to additional resources.
Disease Specific Sites
There are dozens of other sites dedicated to specific diseases and conditions. Some of the top-rated sites are American Cancer Society (cancer.org), American Heart Association (americanheart.org) and American Diabetes Association (diabetes.org).
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