Everyday millions of people flock to the internet searching for medical information. They need information on drugs, diseases, illnesses, cures, and treatments. Some people even use an online symptom-checker in order to self-diagnose an ache, a pain, or a multitude of symptoms that will sometimes result with a serious, deadly disease as one of the possibilities: cancer; leukemia; the flesh eating virus; gangrene; malaria.
If you’re reading this, I’m happy that you have submitted a search for where to find RELIABLE medical information on the internet. There is a lot of false information on the internet pertaining to medically-related issues, and this is something that can result with unnecessary worry and even pose dangerous consequences.
This is the reason why healthcare providers usually ask their patients to PLEASE not look on the internet about your medical diagnoses, your medications, alternative treatments, etc. So, while you may be one of the people who have been asked not to do this, at least you are trying to go about it in the right way. Being informed is a good thing, but being misinformed is not.
As an article-writer, I know first-hand how easy it is to publish on the internet. There are also thousands of online forums and discussions where people come together to discuss medically-related problems and solutions. Realize that, and with limited exceptions, most of these people have no medical experience or limited medical experience, and even those who claim to be nurses or doctors might not be nurses or doctors. Very few websites verify credentials.
If I wanted to, I’m sure I could find an article on the internet that claims a side effect of Tylenol is a decreasing bust-line or the sudden appearance of cellulite. Although that may seem ridiculous to you, some people are bound to believe it.
So, just where can you find reliable information on the internet?
It is sometimes difficult to understand medical jargon, but there are a few websites that explain medical issues in layman’s terms.
The Mayo Clinic is one of the places to find medical information on the internet.
You can go directly to the homepage (link above) or you are able to do a Google search and enter the information in the Mayo Clinic search engine that appears after entering "Mayo Clinic" in the search box.
With easy-to-understand explanations on every topic from diseases and mental illnesses to pregnancy and nutritional health, a person with absolutely no medical background should be able to easily comprehend everything that the Mayo Clinic’s website offers.
There is even an online symptom-checker (although I still do not recommend that people self-diagnose), and this website should be considered completely reliable.
When researching diseases and medical conditions on the Mayo Clinic’s website, a specific medical condition will include what, exactly, the condition is, what the possible causes are, what the symptoms are, risk factors, complications, tests required to diagnose the condition, what the treatments are—including any home treatments that could help—and any preventive measures that can be taken.
Another website is NIH (National Institutes of Health). NIH is a division of the United States Department of Health and Human Services, composed of 27 institutes and centers. You can find a wealth of medical information on the NIH website, including clinical trials, and you can also order free medical publications on everything from herbs to mental illnesses to vaccines.
The website can also direct people to low-cost medical care, 800 numbers for more information, free vaccine locations, etc.
MedlinePlus, on the NIH website, will walk you through, in layman’s terms, every medical condition and illness just like the Mayo Clinic’s website. But, as I indicated above, NIH has additional resources for people who need to seek treatment and/or help and also provides free publications via mail and/or free downloads.
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) is another great website to utilize for medical information for anything from outbreaks, recalls, vaccines and immunizations, diseases and conditions, free vaccine information, side effects of drugs, recommended vaccines for travel, etc.
You are also able to locate your state-specific CDC. Sometimes this comes in extremely handy if there is a current outbreak of a medical condition, for example, the whooping cough outbreak in California. You will always be able to find accurate and reliable information on any food recalls in your area, to include the manufacturers and lot numbers of the foods recalled.
These three websites, alone, should be able to satisfy your need for information on almost all of your medical questions. They all contain extensive information. The best thing about these websites is that they are reliable and accurate and up to date.
If these websites don’t answer your questions, you shouldn’t stray to any .com websites, as this is where you will run into misinformation. Even .org websites can’t be considered reliable all the time, so it is best to contact a medical provider for any further information that you may require.