Navigating the Web of Information

It’s tempting to turn to the Internet every time you or a family member have a health concern. When it comes to your health, you want answers fast to alleviate your worries. Plenty of websites today offer medical information for just about any health problem or symptom you may have.

The important thing to consider is your source. Look for websites sponsored by hospitals, such as Bon Secours, or other medical institutions such as the Centers for Disease Control. Look for government or educational websites that end in .gov or .edu: these are generally considered good sources of information.

Is the website connected with a team of doctors? Or is the website’s goal to sell you a specific supplement or medicine?

Be wary of using someone’s medical history as a basis for your needs. Reading forums about cancer care can be informative to an extent. But what is right for one person may not be right for another. If you need cancer information consider the American Cancer Society.

Don’t forget, nothing beats the advice that a physician can give you after a thorough examination in person.

It’s one thing to use the web to learn about high blood pressure, it’s another to read through some links and decide that you have this condition.

Websites provide information, not a diagnosis.

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