Finding Credible Health Information
There is a lot of health information available on the internet these days. From personal blogs to 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 an autoimmune condition like psoriasis. Psoriasis symptoms are not always easy to identify, and it can take so long to get diagnosed.
But, when getting health info online, it is important to know who the writers are and where they got their information. This can ensure you get the best, most up-to-date, and credible information. You can also talk to a trusted healthcare provider about where to find credible health information.
It is great that there is so much information available online. This can arm you with knowledge. But the information can come from anyone, even those without any personal knowledge of psoriasis – 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 psoriasis, you would probably want to share it with others, too! But it is important to remember that each person's body and health history are different. What works for someone might not work for you, and 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 to see whether 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 scientifically accurate.
- 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 doesn't 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 doctor for advice. Bring a printed copy or show them your research on your phone at your next appointment.
Where to look
In general, it is best to look for information from large health organizations or government websites. Some examples of websites that have good, credible health information are:
- Medline Plus
- The Centers for Disease Control
- The National Institutes of Health (the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases is the part of the NIH that studies autoimmune diseases like psoriasis)
- National Psoriasis Foundation
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