The Importance of Trustworthy Health Information
As the Roman writer Pubilius Syrus famously said, “Good health and good sense are two of life’s greatest blessings.” Even though Syrus gave this statement more than two millennia ago, the sentiment rings true today. With such a vast amount of information available today in television, books and the internet, it can be considered more important than ever to evaluate where your health information comes from. The key to evaluation is in the quality of your research.
The Smart Way of Asking Questions
When confronted with an unfamiliar health concern, many people tend to either look up queries on the internet or ask close friends and family members. One of the problems with this approach is that there are many untrustworthy sites on the internet that can harm more than help an individual. Additionally, friends and family may experience similar health conditions but lack the medical education to accurately assist. However, with a skeptical approach, it can be possible to do some research on your own. When you first search for information, think about these questions:
- Does the source have a bias or an agenda? Is it trying to sell a product or health plan? A reputable health source should remain neutral in its presentation of facts. Check the website address to see what type of institution or company has published the material.
- Who wrote the material? Check the author’s credentials for a respectable education or affiliation with a research institution.
- Was the information reviewed and approved by other medical professionals? Peer review is an important stage in the medical world because it indicates that other healthcare researchers have approved the material.
The Value of Consulting a Doctor
Once you have gathered your research together, make an appointment with your primary care physician. By preparing your questions ahead of time and understanding your health concerns, you can confidently ask questions of your doctor. With his or her professional medical experience, your doctor can either answer your inquiries or refer you to a specialist.
The Consequences of Untrustworthy Medical Data
Unreliable health information can cause serious harm to you or your loved ones, sometimes with lasting results. Even if the source has good intentions, people can be harmed by poor research. To try and avoid a costly or painful development with your health condition, remember to place value on your health.
These days, anyone can post information on the internet or write a book. Sometimes these people will not have your best interest at heart. Therefore, it is important to remember to use good sense and consult a healthcare professional to ensure your best health.