How Can You Distinguish Helpful Health Advice Online?

How Can You Distinguish Helpful Health Advice Online?

As everyone has a body and a certain fitness level, it seems that everyone has an opinion on what is and what isn’t good for them. That’s good, we should have somewhat of an idea of how we can maintain our best health. For example, suppose dairy gives you terrible stomach pain. In that case, you may be lactose intolerant or suffer from an allergy, and in this case you should limit or stay away from it entirely, instead searching for dairy substitutes in your diet and calcium elsewhere.

But it’s also true that while we have bodies, we’re rarely experts in what’s best for them. It’s also true that what might be best for me isn’t what’s best for you, even though certain universal principles, like the need to sleep well, stay hydrated, and enjoy good nutritional intake remain the same.

With a sea of opinions, considerations, experiences, YouTube video log diaries, fitness journeys, doctor blogs, and official medical resources online, what and who should you trust? How can you distinguish one consideration from another? Let’s consider that, below:

Evaluate The Credibility Of The Source

Pay attention to the author or brand behind said advice. Are they actually qualified healthcare professionals or experts in the field? Or could they just be sharing anecdotes with an authoritative slant? Remember that blog posts tend to be ranked as more authoritative if they do give the impression of insight, not if they have it. Ask if they cite reputable studies or provide references to support their claims and if not, disregard them out of hand. If someone claims to be a doctor, check if their doctorate information is online. A little validation can go a long way.

Be Mindful Of User Forums

It’s important to look to discussion boards and hold a massive pinch of salt as you read them, proverbially speaking. These forums often provide a platform for individuals to share personal experiences and opinions, which can be valuable but may not always be based on sound medical advice, or proven understanding. 

Odds are a “hack” found by one person might be harmful to you for reasons unknown. Also be aware of users sharing advice they claim to be hidden insight or not told to you by a medical practitioner, especially if that somehow leads to a reference for another healthcare product or item that could make someone money. It’s unfortunate, but sometimes these people can exploit others online. If you’re dealing with a healthy condition and you’re vulnerable, you might not be able to think your way through certain claims. So being skeptical as a baseline is always helpful.

Look Into The Brand

There are many excellent brands out there with helpful supplemental products or healthcare plans to help you get the most out of your wellness journey. From Moshy helping with weight loss to influencers helping you with yoga daily, it can be fun to cultivate your feed and make sure you have the professional support you need.

From there it’s good to look into the brand. What is there mission statement? What is there perspective on a certain approach to their healthcare plan? How long have they been in business, and do they have testimonials? Keeping that in mind allows you to understand the pedigree of each brand and find an outlet that works for you.

Avoid Recommendations That Contradict Established Medical Guidelines

If you come across recommendations that seem questionable or disagree with what you've learned from trusted medical sources like your doctor, it’s good to discount that. Remember that speaking to verified medical professionals will always be the best approach to take, no matter what.

The medical industry does have a profit motive in some cases, sure, and this depends on where you live. But it’s also true that medical practitioners are the most qualified, experienced, and specialized professionals you could ever work with. Conspiratorial thinking rarely helps, especially if it’s asking you to discount everything you’ve learned.

For example, while treatments like chemotherapy for cancer can be very uncomfortable and difficult to go through, that doesn’t mean homeopathic measures should be your only avenue, or discount what your doctor may be telling you. Unfortunately, online discourse can be hard to navigate through, and you’ll find that most people can make a convincing argument for anything, especially if they construct an argument around what they omit as well as what they suggest.

With this advice, you’ll be much more likely to distinguish helpful health advice online in the best way:

Back to blog