Check your health…
With rising medical costs, it stands to reason that more people are looking to self-diagnose their illnesses as much as possible before heading to a doctor or hospital. This can be a great option for minor things and to put your mind at ease when it is thinking the worst case scenario. The danger, however, is not having all the information necessary and thus not seeking medical care when it is hazardous to not do so. With the following ten websites relating to health and disease diagnosis, the impetus is going to be on you to weigh the information you read to determine whether you can safely diagnose your symptoms or whether a professional is needed. Also, be careful not to fall into the trap of reading a symptom you don’t have and then convincing yourself you do have it. These sites can easily turn one into a hypochondriac if you aren’t careful. They are very valuable just the same as long as you use some common sense along with them. They are listed in order of their Alexa traffic count rating.
1. Yahoo! Health: http://health.yahoo.net/
Global Alexa Rating: 4
Yahoo! Health is one of the most comprehensive sites out there with information on health topics, information on healthy living, information on drugs and treatments, videos and a symptom checker. You can even use the site to locate a doctor when your research indicates that it is necessary to do so. The most common topics and symptoms are offered in the pull-down menus but you can search for literally anything you need information about. The website has tons of articles, blogs and top news stories so you can keep on top of any health topics that interest you. Using this site to be an informed patient will save you a ton of frustration at the doctor’s office because you will know the key questions to ask and be able to make an informed decision about your health care. You can also subscribe to their Daily Health Alerts and receive articles containing just those with the keywords you desire. Overall a great site for improving your health through tips and advice and for trying to determine what your symptoms mean. Also useful for advice on managing an illness or disease you have already been diagnosed with.
2. MedlinePlus: http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/
Global Alexa Rating: 326
MedlinePlus is the National Institutes of Health’s website. It is produced by the National Library of Medicine and provides information about diseases, conditions and wellness issues in simple, easy-to-understand language. They offer reliable, up-to-date information completely for free. You can use it to learn about the latest treatments, look up information on a drug or supplement, find out the meanings of medical words, or view medical videos and illustrations. There are also links to the latest medical research and information about clinical trials. The site is organized into Health Topics, Drugs & Supplements and Videos & Cool Tools. You can also sign up for email updates so you can get the latest information on the topics that matter to you most.
3. WebMD: http://www.webmd.com/
Global Alexa Rating: 341
WebMD is one of the most well-known organizations available. They provide credible information, supportive communities and in-depth reference material about health subjects that matter to you. The website is organized into 5 main sections: Health A-Z, Drugs & Supplements, Living Healthy, Family & Pregnancy and News & Experts. Readers can also subscribe to one of 4 newsletters: Your Health Insurance Guide, WebMD Daily, Women’s and Men’s Health. Additionally, you can select various topics of interest and sign up for sponsor offers to receive free offers, coupons and medial insights from WebMD’s sponsors. Some helpful tools on the site are a physician locator, pharmacy locator, insurance calculation and glossary and a symptom checker. They also have information on the health care reform. You can also sign up for a WebMD account and do things such as track your way to weight loss success, manage your family’s vaccinations, access their digital magazine, choose from 50+ health and wellness newsletters and join in community conversations on the site. It is not difficult to see why this website has become so popular.
4. MedicineNet: http://www.medicinenet.com
Global Alexa Rating: 1,584
MedicineNet has a few extra features you won’t find on most other health websites. First of all they have a pet health section in addition to all the information to help with you and your family’s well being. They also have over 110 quizzes that are both entertaining and informative. You can use these to test your knowledge on a variety of health and medical topics. Their image collection is a very helpful aspect as it gives you a visual about various conditions that can be more helpful than just reading about the symptoms. For example, being able to see what psoriasis looks like can be a helpful tool in determining if that is what you are experiencing. They also have a number of slideshow presentations which can be the preferred way to learn about topics such as thyroid conditions and type 2 diabetes. The website has plenty of information as well and you can sign up for their newsletter to keep informed.
5. Mercola: http://www.mercola.com/
Global Alexa Rating: 1,787
Dr. Mercola’s mission is to educate and provide simple inexpensive tools to help limit or avoid expensive and potentially dangerous drugs and surgery. A New York Times Best Selling Author, Dr. Mercola was also voted an Ultimate Wellness Game Changer by the Huffington Post, and has been featured in TIME magazine, LA Times, CNN, Fox News, ABC News, and the Today Show. The Mercola website is a tool for improving your health through natural health information and resources. They work to expose corporate, government and mass media hype that diverts you away from what is truly best for your well being. A benefit of this site is that they fund it themselves without support from advertisers or others that could influence them. Any products recommended have been actively researched. The website is organized into Health, Pets and Fitness. The Health section includes articles, videos and food facts. You can subscribe to the site as well.
6. Mayo Clinic: http://www.mayoclinic.org/
Global Alexa Rating: 1,872
The Mayo Clinic has long been known as a predominant place to obtain health care and is highly ranked for quality more often than any other academic medical centre in the US, so it makes sense that they would have a very helpful website as well. Under the Patient Care & Health Info tab you will find information on a healthy lifestyle, symptoms, diseases & conditions, tests & procedures and drugs & supplements. The Research tab can help you find clinical trials and search publications. The symptom checker can be found in the Diseases & Conditions section. First Aid information is also found in that area. The website can also be used to request an appointment at the Mayo Clinic.
7. Everyday Health: http://www.everydayhealth.com/
Global Alexa Rating: 3,090
Everyday Health has a number of tools you can use in your life including apps to achieve goals and free newsletters. They are also found on Facebook and other social media locations. The website is full of columnist articles as well as a Health A-Z section, Drug section, Healthy Living section and Food section. They have a symptom checker and a calorie counter. The Find a Drug section can be helpful for finding out your options when a prescription is needed or for understanding all about a drug your doctor has prescribed. There are ratings and reviews for drugs. The Food section includes what to eat, diet and nutrition, a recipe of the day, healthy recipes and vitamins & supplement information.
8. Emedicine’s Medscape: http://emedicine.medscape.com/
Global Alexa Rating: 3,950
Medscape is WebMD’s website for healthcare professionals. Although it is written for doctors, not patients, it can still prove as a valuable resource. In truth, don’t you want to read what your doctor is reading? You may find much of it written in medical terminology that goes beyond your level of understanding, but that shouldn’t stop you from giving it the effort. Learn about things that sometimes doctors don’t really want to discuss, such as adverse drug events and the top news in the medical community. Find out about clinical trials that perhaps your doctor doesn’t know about or read up on new advances that are being researched. Following and reading on this website just might enable you to stay a step ahead or at least in line with your doctors.
9. Netdoctor: http://www.netdoctor.co.uk/
Global Alexa Rating: 7,756
NetDoctor.co.uk is a collaboration between committed doctors, health care professionals, information specialists and patients who believe that medical practice should be based on quality-assessed information and, wherever possible, on the basis of the principles of evidence-based medicine. Over 250 of the UK’s and Europe’s leading doctors and professionals write, edit and update the contents of NetDoctor.co.uk. In addition to creating written content for the patient these same professionals respond to users’ questions and concerns regarding general health concerns. The website is organized into Conditions & Treatments, Healthy Living, A-Zs, Health Services and Videos. There is also a symptom checker on the site. The site includes conditions, medicines, information on types of examinations and a database of more than 250 support groups throughout the UK. There is also a Forums section.
10. Symptom Find: http://www.symptomfind.com/
Global Alexa Rating: 40,533
Symptom Find is just what its name implies – it is a symptom checker. It does go beyond that, however, as it includes reliable information about diseases and conditions, a comprehensive dictionary of medical terminology, information on nutrition and supplements, and has a helpful and supportive community so you can get connected to others. You can also sign up for their free monthly newsletter. The website is full of informative articles so you can better understand your condition and gain information about improving your health.
There is a wealth of health information at your fingertips with these ten websites that can assist you with understanding your symptoms, improving your health or finding help. Taking the time to understand a diagnosis can be key to getting well or improving your quality of life and coping with the prognosis. If you read something on one site that doesn’t quite make things clear, then move on to another. By having more than one site to rely upon, you should be able to find all the answers you need.