The internet has been a saving grace with its quick access to information. This has been especially true with health information. The only problem with the internet is that everyone can be a contributor. Meaning that not all information is going to be reliable and accurate. So, how will you know what health information you can trust?
Although a lot of the internet is filled with questionable health information, there are just as many reliable sources. As a rule of thumb, government-sponsored websites usually provide accurate health information. You can reach all the federal websites at once by visiting www.usa.gov. Another great tip to keep in mind is that most well-known organizations and medical schools provide reliable health information.
If there is a website that is offering medical information and you want to know whether or not you can trust it, there are a series of questions you can ask yourself.
- Who hosts the website? Every website is funded through an organization or a single person. Understanding who they are will help you pinpoint the vision and purpose of the organization.
- Who wrote and reviewed the information? Trustworthy information should be accompanied by an author and author bio. You want to make sure that the author and person reviewing them are both knowledgeable on the subject matter.
- When was it written? Although older information is not always useless, you should only be using the most up-to-date information to make decisions regarding your health.
- What is the purpose of the site? Understanding the purpose of the site will allow you to better judge its content. If they are trying to sell a product, their health information may be a little bias.
- Does it offer miracle solutions? You should be wary of a website that promises one remedy to cure many illnesses. Similarly, keep an eye out for dramatic wording and anything that seems too good to be true.
As you are scrolling through social media, there are going to be posts that are sharing some miracle cure, or a celebrity promoting some health product. It is important to keep in mind that social media allows everyone the opportunity to share any information without any proper fact-checking. Your experience with any illness is not going to be the exact same as someone else’s. Similarly, do not try to diagnose yourself based on what you see someone else going through. Use your best judgment when receiving health information from social media.
Ultimately, if you want reliable and accurate health information, you should make an appointment to see your doctor. However, if that is not possible, you can use trusted government health sites, or articles written by licensed medical professionals. Do not leave your health up to chance and make sure you are receiving the best information.
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We hope this information on identifying reliable health information is helpful to you.
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