14 Health Sites and Apps You Can Trust

Good Housekeeping
Healthy LivingApril 10, 2012


Your stomach hurts, so you Google "abdominal pain." You click on a promising listing or two - out of the 19,300,000 that offer themselves - but by the time you finish dodging the pop-ups and sorting out all the "sponsored links," you have a headache, as well. And even if you do land on a site that seems to offer the help you're looking for, you can't be sure the advice is accurate and up-to-date. That's why we put together this cheat sheet: a shortlist of trustworthy websites and free apps covering common health issues. As Jessie C. Gruman, Ph.D., president and founder of the Center for Advancing Health, told us, "You don't need a lot of tools to be a well-informed patient - you just need the right ones." These sources, say the leading physicians and informatics experts we spoke with, are just what the doctor ordered.

General Health

SITE WE TRUST: medlineplus.gov A trove of info from the National Institutes of Health - even the family pet gets a section. Covers more than 900 conditions and includes a guide to thousands of drugs and supplements as well as tools, videos, and tutorials.

APP: Passport to Good Health (iPhone) Like a mom (minus the nagging), it reminds you when it's time to refill an Rx, schedule a mammogram, have a checkup, and more.

Related: Sites You Should Avoid for Health Advice

Healthy Eating

SITE WE TRUST: eatright.org Beyond the expected - info on nutrition and food safety; special sections for vegetarians, athletes, and other groups; plus "get real" reviews of popular diets.

APP: LoseIt! (iPhone, Android) Helps you reach your weight-loss goal by letting you set a calorie budget, then enter your daily food intake and exercise.

Fitness

SITE WE TRUST: cdc.gov/physicalactivity Jump-start your fitness program with sample weekly workout plans from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

APP: BIDMC Pedometer (iPhone, Android) It counts steps, shows your pace, calculates your distance, and - most encouragingly - estimates calories burned.

Breast Cancer

SITE WE TRUST: breastcancer.org Whether you're looking for reassurance, breaking news, or ammo for dealing with your health insurer, this nonprofit won't let you down

APP: Breast Cancer: Beyond the Shock (iPhone, iPad) An active message board, videos, and more are on this National Breast Cancer foundation app.

Related: 15 Foods That Help You Lose Weight

Diabetes

SITE WE TRUST: diabetes.org The place to start when you're first diagnosed - or warned you're on the way - this American Diabetes Association site covers everything from how to track your blood sugar to tricks for rejiggering recipes.

APP: WaveSense Diabetes Manager (iPhone) Track your carb intake, glucose results, and insulin doses - and get feedback on how you're doing.

Emotional Problems

SITE WE TRUST: healthyminds.org From the American Psychiatric Association, discussions of nearly every mental health concern. Nice touch: specially tailored advice for teens, members of the military, seniors, Latinos, and other groups.

APP: Depressioncheck (iPhone) Are you at risk for depression, anxiety, or other emotional upheavals? Take the research- validated test here.


Heart Health

SITE WE TRUST: hearthub.org The American Heart Association's patient site is info-loaded - prevention tips, recipes, a CPR video, and more.

APP: HeartHealth by Liberty Hospital (iPhone) Thirty days to a fitter ticker with daily tips from the Heart and Vascular Center of Liberty Hospital in Missouri.

-By Janice Graham

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