Is there even any point in having doctors anymore? We can just find out what’s wrong with us on Google, right? Well, not exactly. It’s incredibly important to get checked out by a professional if you have a health problem that is bothering you. But it also pays to be informed so that you know the right questions to ask your doctor, and maybe just to abate some general curiosity you might have about your very own body.
These days it’s far easier than ever before to access information about health, thanks to the internet. But there are websites and websites. It’s one thing to get your info from a world-renowned university-hospital website, and quite another to trust the opinion of “Trevor from Yahoo Answers”.
So here are some great, reputable websites to check out if you’ve got general health questions. But make sure you see your family doctor for anything that concerns you.
This Australian organisation is independent, not-for-profit and evidence-based. They seek to ensure that patients and professionals have independent information about medicines and as such they’ve been behind campaigns such as “Common sense for the common cold”, advising people to get rest and fluids instead of antibiotics. This is a great source of impartial information about prescribed or over-the-counter medications. They also have a free app.
Sponsored by the State Government of Victoria, this website gives great advice about lots of general health complaints. It also has general health information, including healthy family recipes and information on safety around the house. There is also a free app.
Anyone who lives in Australia and has a small child needs to be aware of this fantastic government service. You can call 1800 022 222 at any time, 24 hours a day, and talk to a nurse or doctor. It’s so good for those times at 2am when you’re not sure if you need to take your child to hospital or you can wait until morning, to just get sound, calm advice from a health professional. The website is also excellent for good quality information on a range of topics.
On the topic of young children, this is a great resource for quality information on common childhood illnesses. There are fact sheets sorted in alphabetical order and searchable, on everything from preventing household accidents to getting help for various maladies.
Another go-to website for me is the UK’s NHS website. It provides clear, trustworthy information on a range of searchable topics. It also has lots of information on topical issues, such as online health scams or whether fitness trackers help with weight loss.
This American hospital has been ranked the number one hospital in America by US News and World Report and was the only hospital in its country to receive five stars from The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. It’s widely regarded as the gold-standard for health care and knowledge in the US and it has a website with excellent information on various issues, including a symptom checker.