Database of the Month: Consumer Health Complete
It's not easy to do health research on the internet. Google your symptoms and you'll end up thinking you have a rare tropical disease even though you haven't left your house for a year. Then there's someone trying to get you to buy whatever product they promise will do everything from make your acne disappear to cure a common cold. Or maybe your cousin has sent you yet another article claiming that this random guy in Minnesota has figured out the cure to every illness and all you have to do is send this email to 10 other people and subscribe to his YouTube channel. And then when you finally find something that you know is accurate, it has such ridiculously long words that there's no way you can understand the first sentence, much less figure out the answer to your question. It can be exhausting.
Introducing: Consumer Health Complete
Fortunately, there is a site you can go to for well-researched, easy-to-understand medical information. You know it's reliable because your librarian recommended it! Consumer Health Complete is your one-stop-shop for everything you need to know about your health. CHC brings together health reference books, authoritative magazines, animated videos, quick reference guides, and more!
If you have a question about a condition or procedure, you can explore those by using the “Quick Find” box and selecting the first letter of what you’re looking for. One of the best features of this is under the letter ”T”--a series of tips on ”Talking to Your Doctor About...” that covers everything from asthma to cancer and back again. Similarly, under ”R”, you can find strategies for reducing your risk of severe health conditions as well as resource guides for a bunch of different health problems.
Authoritative, Approachable Resources
Sometimes it can be difficult to find resources that you can trust on the internet.
You can use the search box to look for your particular concern—whether you need information on how to lose weight in a healthy way, you're worried about an upcoming endoscopy, or you want to know what causes astigmatism. You can also choose what kind of resource you want to look in. If you learn better with videos or diagrams, there are options for those. Or if you just want a quick overview, you can check out the fact sheets and pamphlets. These are great for if you want to get the basic facts straight on a condition—and the best part is, there’s no fancy medical jargon to sort through!
A Whole-Person Approach
Another great reason to try out Consumer Health Complete is because of how it approaches health. Instead of just focusing on doctors and conditions, it has information about all sorts of factors that can affect your health and all sorts of different ways to address those issues. It has science-backed information on alternative and holistic health treatments, including using herbs and natural supplements, acupuncture, meditation, and hypnosis.
You can also find out about sensitive topics in a discreet manner. If you are curious about sexual health, need information on mental health, or want to tackle some substance use/abuse issues in your life, Consumer Health Complete has your back.
While no database can take the place of the advice of a doctor—the site even makes sure to remind you of this—being informed and prepared for your next appointment is the best way to make sure you feel confident being your own advocate and taking control of your health.