Finding Credible Health Information
There is a lot of health information available on the internet these days. From personal blogs and online magazines to government websites and beyond, advice about your health is available at every click.
Much of this health information can be useful, especially when you have a condition like hidradenitis suppurativa (HS). The symptoms are not always easy to explain to others, and it can take a long time to get diagnosed.
However, when getting health info online, it is important to know who the writers are and where they get their information. This can ensure you get the best, most up-to-date, and most credible information. If you have a trusted healthcare provider, you can also talk to them about where to find credible health information.
Why do I have to be careful about where I find health info?
It is great that there is so much information available online, as this can arm you with knowledge. However, this information can come from anyone without any personal knowledge of HS or any medical knowledge at all.
It is common for people to want to share what worked for them. If you found something that really helped your HS, you would probably want to share it with others, too! But it is important to remember that everyone’s body and health history are different. What works for someone might not work for you, and it could actually make your condition worse.
Tips for finding reliable information
- The author’s name should be easy to find. See if you can find out information about the author. Are they a healthcare professional? Do they have experience in this field? If so, the information can probably be trusted.
- Check if the article lists sources. Where did the author find their information? The sources listed should also be from trusted websites or organizations.
- Ask yourself if the article is trying to sell something. Is the author selling you a product? If so, you should keep in mind that the information may not be based on science.
- The information should come from health research done by many experts. Research is how healthcare professionals learn about certain health topics.
- Just because the website or organization sounds credible does not mean that it is. A lot of organizations have names that seem trustworthy. Do not trust just the name.
If you are unsure about information that you have found online, ask your healthcare professional for advice. Bring a printed copy or show them on your phone at your next appointment for advice.
Where to look
In general, it is best to look for information from large health organizations or government websites, like the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Some examples of websites that have good, credible health information are:
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