Medical Advice and Being Careful Where You Get It From

So I feel like this goes without saying, but I don’t think it does. Please don’t take medical advice from a blog. Not this blog, not any blog.

I try to always give sources when I’m making statements of fact about things, or when I’m discussing decisions I made, if I made them using medical studies or websites or book, I give the sources so you can do your own research and draw your own conclusions. (and if I ever don’t, please ask!)

I also do a lot of reading of blogs of other medical needs moms, and blogs on health in general, and it’s just appalling to me the amount of bad advice that’s out there, or authoritative statements made with nothing given to back those statements up.

If someone says “X is safe for everyone except if you have liver disease,” don’t just say, “well, my kid doesn’t have liver disease, it must be ok!” Use your internet to work for you – a quick Google of “X counterindications” might show that, in fact, X is not safe if you have liver disease, or kidney disease, or a seizure disorder. Or it could cause miscarriage. Then you’ll be super glad you took the 2 minutes it took me to perform that particular internet search, right?

If someone says “hand sanitizer is evil because it contains triclosan and triclosan is evil,” don’t just take their word for it. Again, a less than 2 minute internet search yielded the information that the FDA doesn’t allow triclosan to be used in leave-on products like hand sanitizer.

If someone says “don’t take fish oil if you’re taking immunosuppressants!” don’t just believe them, unless they publish a source for this statement. (Because studies available at the NIH website directly contradict this.) At the same time, if they said “absolutely take fish oil when you’re on immunosuppressants!” don’t just believe that, either!!

Most of us want our care providers to practice evidence-based medicine. But *you* have a part to play, too – you have to form evidence-based opinions. You cannot base your opinions on what you read on someone’s blog. Even if that person acts like an authority. Even if that person says they’ve done all the research. Even if you’re busy and tired and you think, “hey, this person says they’ve done all the research, I’ll just take their word for it.” Did they provide their sources? If so, look at them. If not, then you have no real reason to believe them in the first place. Be skeptical!! This is your or your child’s health we’re talking about!


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