Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Health Buzz

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Health Buzz

Article excerpt

DO RESEARCH BEFORE TRYING ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE

Alternative medicine can be an option worth exploring or your worst nightmare. Before you opt for alternative medicine practices not typically used in conventional medicine, be a savvy consumer and educate yourself on the potential benefits and risks, and be sure to talk with your conventional doctor before trying any treatment - especially if you take medications or have chronic health problems. Heed the following tips:

AVOID INTERNET MISINFORMATION AND CHECK THE THREE D'S

Although the Internet offers an ideal way to discover the latest in alternative medicine treatments, it's also one of the greatest sources of misinformation. To weed out the good information from the bad, use the three D's:

Dates: Check the creation or update date for each article. If you don't see a date, don't assume the article is recent. Older material may be outdated and not include recent findings, such as newly discovered side effects or advances in the field.

Documentation: Check sources. Are qualified health professionals creating and reviewing the information? Is advertising clearly identified? Look for the logo from the Health on the Net (HON) Foundation, which means that the site follows HON's principles for reliability and credibility of information.

Double-check: Visit several health sites and compare the information they offer. If you can't find supporting evidence to back up the claims of a complementary and alternative medicine product, be skeptical. And before you follow any advice you read on the Internet, check with your conventional doctor for guidance.

Source: Mayoclinic.com

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