Navigating online health news, advice and tips can be somewhat confusing and misleading. The sheer amount of online information can also be intimidating. We’ve waded through more than 100 websites, Facebook pages and Twitter streams searching for only the most trusted and reliable authorities on illness, healthy living and lifestyle advice.
Dr. Andrew Weil:
Dr. Weil is a well-known and active advocate for integrative medicine and healthy aging. He educates and promotes natural and healthy lifestyles through the Internet, television, books, text messaging and any other ways he can find. His own education at Harvard and a lifetime of experience help him reach out to anyone who wants to learn how to live and age in the healthiest ways possible.
Dr. Weil’s website is a wonderland of information on these topics, but its most unique feature is the Vitamin Advisor. Using the Vitamin Advisor, you have the option of chatting live with a specialist about your vitamin needs, or if you just wonder what kind of vitamins could help your body you can take the four-step questionnaire and receive a personalized vitamin recommendation. You can then opt to purchase the recommended vitamins or simply learn about the vitamins that match your body’s needs.
RealAge is a joint venture between Drs. Mehmet Oz and Mike Roizen that attempts to educate members of the public about their “real age” based on lifestyle factors. This website is also a resource for “Health A to Z” information as well as articles and news about diet and exercise, nutrition, sleep and stress and more.
What makes RealAge unique is its RealAge Test, which poses a secure questionnaire about medical history and lifestyle choices in order to demonstrate the ways in which your chosen lifestyle interacts with your medical history to prematurely age your body and mind. RealAge then offers solid advice about what lifestyle improvements to make and how to make them.
Dr. Mehmet Oz:
Chances are, if you are taking the time to read a health news site, you know who Dr. Mehmet Oz is. Dr. Oz is probably best known for his weekday TV show “The Dr. Oz Show,” where he discusses the hottest topics in health news and strives to help his viewers improve their health and lifestyle. His site includes information on a wide range of medical topics as well as healthful recipes, discussion and also challenges. Dr. Oz often presents his viewers with challenges to help them feel better, eat more healthfully, lose weight and begin a better lifestyle.
Dr. Kevin Pho began KevinMD in an effort to bridge the gap between health care and social media, and it quickly became a very influential and well-known health care blog. KevinMD is written by medical doctors and professionals who discuss controversial topics in the medical field such as health care reform and also the top stories in health and medicine. If you are looking to learn about specific conditions, this site may not be the best resource for you. But if you are looking for a professional view on health news, KevinMD can most likely help. The site is also a good resource for anyone pursuing a career in the medical field, as KevinMD offers commentary on getting started.
HealthNewsReview isn’t your typical medical news site. You won’t go to this site to learn more about cancer or STDs; what you find here is much more interesting. On HealthNewsReview by Gary Schwitzer, you’ll find critiques and reviews of news articles about current health trends and studies. It's a great way to dissect what you've read in the New York Times or Chicago Tribune and debunk any health news myths. These journalists and health experts highlight incorrect article information, and all point out any missing pieces or loopholes so you can make sure you have the correct information.
Healthline is fairly well-known medical and health news site that provides information about medical conditions and diseases, drugs and treatments and more. Healthline has a medical advisory board of nationally and internationally ranked medical experts who review and evaluate all its content, so you can trust the information you receive from this site is true and factual. One of Healthline’s unique features is a “Check Your Symptoms” tool that allows you to click through the symptoms you are experiencing and read about some of the possible causes for your symptoms. It has a list of the “Top 50 Symptoms” as well as “Symptoms A-Z” to help you better understand what’s going on in your body.
Wrong Diagnosis is a pretty well-known site that offers a wide range of information about diseases, conditions, symptoms, drugs, hospitals and more. One of the unique features of this site is its list of the “Top 100 Misdiagnosed Conditions.” Whether they are just overlooked, mistaken for something else or diagnosed too often, Wrong Diagnosis points them out so you can be aware of them. The site also has a nice medical dictionary to help the average Joe understand all that tricky medical jargon.
Healthwatch is the Hill’s health care blog from Washington and mostly focuses on health care bills in Congress and health care reform efforts. If health care reform makes you uneasy and you want to keep an eye on Washington, Healthwatch is a great place to get your information.
This is a standard go-to site for medical information today. Most people know about WebMD and visit the site on a regular basis or as the need arises. This site offers a plethora of knowledge about diseases and conditions, drugs and supplements, healthy living, parenting and pregnancy, teen health and even pet health. One of the best features of this site is the community support groups. There are dozens of support groups for visitors to join, ranging from parenting to cancer to pain management and even for those trying to conceive.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) works to protect the health and safety of the public by providing the tools and information that people need to prevent disease, promote health and prepare for new health threats. The CDC is made up of the top medical researchers in the country and provides trusted information. It also has great mobile apps to help you access information about public health emergencies, the flu and other health problems via your mobile device. And, for you health nuts out there, you can say hello and spread messages of good health with a CDC eCard.
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) is America’s medical research agency. The NIH is made up of medical researchers who make important medical discoveries that help improve health and save lives. If you want to be kept up-to-date on the latest medical research performed by the NIH or its grantees, you can sign up for a monthly newsletter or check its site often. On the NIH site you can also access health databases to look for research studies you could participate in, or learn more about body systems, procedures, diseases and healthful living.
These sites are the culmination and the ongoing projects of their corresponding experts’ passion for health education. They aren’t the only online health authorities, but they landed in our roundup because their sites offered something reliable and unique in addition to being robust and focused health resources.
Maria is our expert for medicine, fitness and general health. Her contributions are particularly convincing through completeness, accuracy and her own personal experience. Maria also writes for other health magazines, which has enabled her to build up her expert status.