“Health is wealth” so the saying goes, and that clichéd old saying is true in more ways than one. In fact, health is so important that the ancient Chinese correlated it with the number “0”, with every other positive aspect of a person’s life–wealth, prestige, family, and so on–being assigned the number “1”. According to this metaphor, adding a “zero” to every instance of “one” increases its value exponentially. Without the “zero” however, the value of all those other assets are fairly insignificant.

It can be extremely challenging to find reliable and up-to-date health-oriented resources on the Internet. An alarming number of sites provide information that is out-of-date and incomplete at best, and at worse, willfully inaccurate and just downright erroneous. Given the extreme important of health, you simply cannot rely on just any source of information on the Internet without looking into the veracity of the information provided.

You should especially be on the lookout against sites that provide health and medical information without the benefit of legitimate medical information provided by a licensed doctor or health professional. Unfortunately, such sites are common all over the Internet, where there is insufficient control or regulation of the information that could be provided by just about anyone. Relying on outdated and/or erroneous health and medical information on the Internet can be disastrous, and if they involve serious health concerns, it may even be fatal.

So how do you wade through all the disinformation out there and find a source of health related information you can rely on? Here are some suggestions.

• Frequent only reputable health sites
• Look into the legitimacy of the sites in question
• Steer clear of sites that propose unverified products and procedures
• Manage your expectations
• Consult with your doctor

A number of websites have proven their worth to the health and medical community. If you have to rely on an online source for health and medical information, it would be best to stick to sites that have a proven track record of providing reliable advice.

For sites that you aren’t sure about, it is essential to look into their backgrounds thoroughly, and to determine whether or not the advice they provide is backed by solid health and medical knowledge. The presence of accredited medical professionals on board is always a good sign, and they may be an indicator of the legitimacy of a particular site.

Some sites provide information on supposed ‘health’ products and procedures that have not been approved by a credible medical authority. These sites should be avoided for the risk that they pose to those unaware of proper medical procedure and legitimate medications.

In all cases, health information sites should not take the place of medical advice and/or treatment. The information provided by these sites should only be used for reference, and they should not be relied on for a cure or even continuing treatment.

Any information that you obtain from an online source should first be verified by your doctor. Even if the information provided by the site in question seems legitimate, running it by your doctor is absolutely essential in order for you to get the proper health and medical advice that you need.

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