How to Find the Best Sources of Health Information
These days, it can be argued that there is more information available to more people than ever before. With so many websites, television programs, and even friends proclaiming their knowledgeability, how can you answer the question of what a reliable source of health information looks like? To separate fact from fiction and help with solving your health issues, here are a few tips for finding the best guidance regarding your health.
- Make a Doctor’s Appointment
Seeking out professional care is considered a good first step in approaching any health question. Regardless of the scale of pain or type of symptom, a doctor can answer your questions much better and more personally than a website. Your doctor can also refer you to a specialist for further treatment if necessary. Some people are afraid of visiting the doctor’s office, but a quick check-up or exam can relieve fear or catch a symptom before it progresses to something worse. Pick up a few health brochures at the doctor’s office as well, for future reference.
- Call a Telephone Helpline
If the doctor’s office is too far away or your health concern is urgent, call a helpline. The website www.health.gov has a full list of toll-free phone numbers for a variety of health-related topics; the site is operated by the Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, a branch of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
- Visit a Trustworthy Website
It can be difficult to know which websites are genuinely helpful and which websites promote treatments or products according to unreliable agendas. Some websites can even give information that is outdated and dangerous to unwitting readers. A good place to start is websites run by the government, which often take trustworthy information from medical journals and disperse it to the general public. Websites run by support organizations for certain conditions can provide useful advice, too.
- Ignore Social Media
A social media post, no matter how convincingly it is written, is not the same as professional medical advice tailored to your specific experience. People can say whatever they like on social media, even if it is untrue or harmful. Even if the person making the social media post works in the medical industry, it is much safer to trust your healthcare with a trained health professional.
Though health concerns can sometimes be alarming and personal, rest assured that it is possible to sift through all the information swirling in the world. With a calm attitude and a little research, you can find many reliable sources of health facts to help you and your loved ones.