MedlinePlus: The Best Database You’re Probably Not Using

An oldie but a goodie: this post was originally published on February 12, 2015.

Did you know you can access up to date, authoritative information on nearly 1,000 health topics in easy to read (i.e., non-medical jargon) language for FREE? The U.S. National Institutes of Health and the National Library of Medicine have a terrific resource called MedlinePlus geared toward the general public, and not health professionals.

MedlinePlus: It's like you have a medical professional right in your computer

MedlinePlus: It’s like you have a medical professional right in your computer

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Resource Guide for National Diabetes Month

Diabetes is a disease that affects millions of Americans. Whether you or someone you know suffers from diabetes in some capacity, our Health Sciences Library can provide you with access to top-notch resources to help you get educated about the disease and learn how to manage it. We’ll get you started with a few of our favorite places to start looking for patient information.

Notable Consumer Health Resources

Medline Plus

MedlinePlus is a resource produced by the National Library of Medicine, the world’s largest medical library. You can rest assured that the information found within the site is reliable, up-to-date, and free. Each health topic typically includes a landing page which acts as a portal to more in-depth information. The diabetes page contains links to videos and tutorials, as well as patient handouts in multiple languages, among other quality resources. Perhaps most useful of all is that all information is presented in easy-to-understand language, so you don’t need to be an MD to make sense of the facts.
https://medlineplus.gov/diabetes.html

Center for Disease Control

The CDC houses information on a number of health topics. This month features a great page on managing diabetes, including tips for preventing complications and getting into healthy habits. The main diabetes page can direct you to a bevy of other useful resources, too.
http://www.cdc.gov/diabetes/home/

Healthfinder.gov

Healthfinder.gov is another safe government resource for health information. It is simple to navigate – use the Health Topics A  – Z to search for the condition you are interested in.
https://healthfinder.gov/Default.aspx

Need any additional guidance or in-depth help? Our staff are happy to point you in the right direction. Stop by the library anytime between 8am and 5pm Monday – Friday to talk with one of us. While we’re certainly no substitute for the medical advice of your doctor, we’re experts at finding reliable health information that can help you as you both work together to make responsible decisions for your health.

Looking for medical news? Look no further!

Did you hear that antibiotic shortages are increasing in the U.S.? Or that ovary removal can reduce breast cancer death in BRCA1 gene carriers? How about that people with osteoporosis could be at higher risk for hearing loss?

medline plusIf you are looking for the latest in medical news from just-published studies, then look no further than MedlinePlus. This free government site from the National Library of Medicine provides daily health and medical news updates from HealthDay news service, as well as press announcements from major medical organizations. Health stories found here cite the latest studies from medical journals. You can also sign up to receive the latest health news delivered right to your email inbox, and search for news stories by date or topic. The coolest part? News stories are tagged with links to MedlinePlus entries on related topics. So when you read about ovary removal and the BRCA1 gene, you can also brush up on breast cancer, genetic testing, and ovarian cancer.

Happy news reading!

 

MedlinePlus: The Best Database You’re Probably Not Using

MedlinePlus: It's like you have a medical professional right in your computer

MedlinePlus: It’s like you have a medical professional right in your computer

Did you know you can access up to date, authoritative information on nearly 1,000 health topics in easy to read (i.e., non-medical jargon) language for FREE? The U.S. National Institutes of Health and the National Library of Medicine have a terrific resource called MedlinePlus geared toward the general public, and not health professionals.

Health topics in MedlinePlus are available in many different languages, from Japanese to Samoan, even Swahili and Polish. Topics are categorized by body location/system, disorders and conditions, diagnosis and therapy, demographic groups, and health and wellness. You can also find information on drugs and supplements, and watch videos and tutorials.

Although the content in MedlinePlus is not meant for health professionals, the information found here can be very useful for physicians and nurses. Materials in MedlinePlus are typically written at a 5th to 8th grade reading level, making them perfect for use as patient handouts. According to the National Assessment of Adult Literacy, about 36% of adults in the U.S. have limited health literacy, or the ability to understand basic health information needed to make health decisions. In fact only 12% of the U.S. population is proficient in health literacy.

The next time you need basic information about your heartburn, are curious as to whether you’re getting enough calcium, or want to learn more about a family member’s recent Celiac Disease diagnosis, check out MedlinePlus.

And remember, if you need any help locating good, reliable health information online, stop by the health sciences library and speak to a librarian.