Nervous of online doctors? Learn how Helen Marsden from Medichecks trusts these five health sites.

We all turn to the web to find answers to our immediate questions but what if it’s a matter of health? There is a frightening amount of incorrect information or industry-sponsored content online. To find out the medical sites that you can trust, we turned to online health expert Helen Marsden for help. Helen is the co-founder of MediChecks, a consumer health company providing easy-to-use laboratory blood tests you can do at home. Here Helen recommends five reliable health sites that offer valuable information.

PUSH DOCTOR – See a doctor online

I just love the convenience of this new breed of online doctors. We’ve all been there; just about to go to Outer Mongolia for a couple of weeks and the tell-tale signs of a UTI come on, or you’ve just remembered you’ve lost your medication or forgotten to get a repeat prescription. Simply get a video appointment and then pick up your prescription an hour later. Panic over, and all without leaving the comfort of your own home.

PATIENT – Trusted medical resource online

One out of every 20 Google searches is on a health-related topic and many people will be scaring themselves silly by extrapolating their completely innocent symptoms to a diagnosis of cancer within minutes of being on the net. Patient has a great symptom checker that can put your mind at rest. Loved by the medical profession too, this is a great site for sensible, well-written advice.

THYROID UK – Test for thyroid disorders

I make no apologies for including a partner’s website on my list of favourites, but it is an amazing example of useful information and advice for a community that can be under-served by the NHS. Thyroid testing is a big area for Medichecks and I’ve been struck for years by how many people have symptoms of thyroid disease but cannot get the diagnosis they need. This site, along with their active community forum on HealthUnlocked, is a lifeline for people who are struggling to get diagnosed and treated.

NUTRITIONFACTS – What is the healthiest diet?

I discovered NutritionFacts and the hugely engaging Michael Greger MD when I was changing to a vegan diet in 2013. NutritionFacts publishes masses of research on the benefits of plant-based eating with videos, blogs and a whole book on ‘How not to Die’. If I’m ever feeling guilty that I’ve not exercised or that I’ve lived off peanut butter on toast for a day or two, I just tap into one of Michael Greger’s videos which reassures me that by avoiding animal products in my diet I give myself a head-start in disease avoidance, regardless of my guilt-inducing behaviour.

HEALTH UNLOCKED – Social network for health

Nothing is more isolating than getting a diagnosis and having nowhere to turn for support. Knowing you’re not alone is so important and most people have so many questions they forget to ask their doctor. HealthUnlocked is a social network that provides the opportunity for patients to get support and advice from fellow sufferers creating a really helpful community resource.

April 2017