Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Searching for Answers in All the Right Places

I don’t know about you, but when I am faced with uncertainty, whether it be with my health, or the weather, or why the heck the Mariners are in a four game losing streak, my first response is to look for information. 

 Usually, this means a call home to Mom or Dad. Or to check with Hubby or trusted friends. Hubby tells me that between he and his brother, they know everything. Unbelievably, there ARE occasions when John and Norb are at a loss too.

 At that point, unless I happen to be sitting in my doctor’s office, I fire up the computer and start searching on the web.

 Isn’t the wealth of information out there amazing? Sometimes I feel like Gomer Pyle scratching his head, hat in hand, saying “well, goooooooollleeeeeey”. Of course, I’m still amazed by cell phones. But I digress..

 When you search on Google for whatever information you are seeking, inevitably at least a gazillion web sites are listed. How do you go through them all?

 I can’t offer too many sources that explain the Mariner’s losing streak, but I do have a list to share. It is my collection of web sites that offer reliable health information.

 “But Julia,” you might say. “Don’t nurses have this information at the ready always in their memory banks?”

 Absolutely not. I don’t, and neither does your health care provider. Medicine has become so complex and specialized that it is impossible for any health care provider to have all the answers to all the questions. I also believe that a patient is a consumer first, and to be a good consumer of health care services, knowledge is power. 

That being said, it is also very important to understand that all information out there on the web is not accurate. ALWAYS check with your doctor before beginning any supplements, over the counter medications, or exercise programs. A quick trip around the web will provide endless opportunities to read quackery. Don't be a victim to unethical websites. 

Here's a few of my favorite sites that provide reliable general information regarding your health: 

The CDC and Medline websites are from the Centers for Disease Control, and National Institutes of Health respectively. All have a wealth of information and can be trusted. See my links sidebar for websites specifically related to Sjogren's Syndrome. 

Happy reading.  

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