Surfing for Medical Advise

April 17, 2017 - 10:17am

Many people today are choosing to take their health into their own hands. Why shouldn’t we ask the questions needed to get the best information? Sometimes asking the extra questions from your medical professional can avert tragedy such can I take this herbal supplement with my regular medication? Knowing what information is trustworthy vs. what is an out right lie is important. Today with the click of a button, we have access to a world of information over the internet.

No doubt the internet has empowered us to seek out more information on anything in mere seconds but it is a vast collection of information that is unregulated, believing everything you read may not be the best prescription. Certainly the information gathered may help you to understand more fully a specific medical condition or link with others who share the same condition, it can provide false facts.

Don’t believe everything that you read but do take the information you’ve gathered and discuss it with your pharmacist or family physician. The connections made with others can be incredibly helpful especially for rare conditions where mutual support is often several provinces away or a specialist in another part of the world is doing something cutting edge. However just like watching the stock market go up and down during the day can add more stress than its worth, those overly anxious about their health can be more distressed.

 

Consider these tips if using the internet for your medical information:

1. The Internet should not be your only single source for medical information.

2. Avoid search engines as commercial sites are high on the priority list and you’re likely to find solutions that really aren’t your best defense.

3. Link to web sites via established and reputable organizations such as government agencies, non-government agencies or registered charities.

E.g.: if searching for solutions to diet and exercise for heart health an example might be to visit the Heart and Stroke Foundation web site vs. searching for “heart health” in a search engine.

4. Determine whether the site is Canadian, American or another country. Sometimes procedures, medications and treatments will vary from country to country

5. When in doubt be skeptical, caution is always your best advice.

6. Discuss your finding with your family physician. He or she should be open to explaining the process for you.

For more information visit these reliable web sites:

* www.hon.ch = The Health on Net Foundation * www.ncahf.org = The National Council Against Health Fraud * www.quackwatch.org = Quackwatch * www.hc-sc.gc.ca = Health Canada’s Web Site

Health Tip: Spring is upon us and that means a general house cleaning is always in order. Check your medicine cabinet or kitchen cupboard for outdated medications such as cough syrups, nasal sprays or any unused over the counter medications. You may also have unused prescriptions sitting in these locations. Gather everything that is unused or expired and bring it to your Pharmacy. Your pharmacist will ensure safe disposal of all unused products.

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