If you've ever found yourself faced with strange symptoms and you're not sure whether they indicate something serious enough to visit your doctor, then you know how much an online medical encyclopedia can come in handy.
Using an Online Medical Encyclopedia
While any serious medical emergency requires immediate medical care, there are many minor physical ailments and injuries that you can treat right at home if you know what to do.
When to Use a Medical Encyclopedia
An online medical encyclopedia is the best resource to find answers to your pressing health questions. These online resources are best for the following common scenarios.
- Strange skin conditions or rashes
- Dealing with symptoms of the common cold
- Minor cuts and abrasions
- Preventing allergies and dealing with minor allergic reactions
- Tips on proper hygiene
- Nutritional tips
- Herbal or nutritional supplements
Many times, other people have experienced the same symptoms or health concerns that you're having, so checking online resources gives you an opportunity to not only check what other medical professionals say about those symptoms, but also what other people did when they had those same symptoms.
Top Online Medical Encyclopedias
The following websites are a few of the best resources for medical information online. Most feature a useful search engine that you can use to search by keywords that describe your symptoms. Most of them are supported by medical professionals that write helpful articles, and in some cases even answer direct questions.
- Encyclopedia is one of the most popular online encyclopedias for many topics, not just health issues. However, for common medical issues, you'll find that the encyclopedia offers very useful and accurate information.
- Medline Plus has a tagline that reads "trusted health information for you." Considering that the website is provided by the U.S. National Library of Medicine of the National Institutes of Health, that's probably true. Categories are organized by health topic, drugs & supplements and videos & tools. You can even search by age or gender.
- MedicineNet is very much a medical reference tool as it is focused on providing accurate medical terminology from real world doctors. Aside from the MedTerms Dictionary, you'll also find an image gallery and quizzes.
- Medfriendly is a website that was founded by Dr. Dominic A. Carone for the sole purpose of providing the average person with access to medical terminology and health information that's easy for anyone to understand.
- Doctors Lounge is an impressive website filled with valuable medical information and news provided by medical professionals from all around the world. This website is a valuable medical reference organized in terms of medical specialty.
- WikiMD is a fun website to visit that serves as sort of a user-edited medical encyclopedia. However, because it can be edited by any user and not just medical professionals, the information found there should be taken with a very large dose of salt. With that said, you can also discover some very useful medical advice at WikiMD.
- FAQs is a free health encyclopedia written by health professionals and intended primarily for students that are interested in learning how to live a healthier lifestyle.
Don't Ignore Your Doctor
Regardless of which online encyclopedia you decide to use, always make sure to check with your doctor before making any major medical decision such as taking supplements or significantly changing your diet. While the change may help you become more healthy, a doctor will be able to determine whether any changes you make could adversely affect existing medicines you're taking, or aggravate existing medical conditions.