Each week, Kim receives tons of questions from listeners about tech concerns, new products and all things digital. This week, Kim received this question about finding answers to medical questions online from Sheila in Massachusetts.
Q: A dear friend, now a patient at a huge cancer center, is dealing with peritoneal/uterine cancer. While the cancer is under control, she is having a terrible time with the ileostomy producing excessive output which causes dehydration. Is there a way, using crowd-sourcing, to see if someone else has had this issue? We are looking for possible suggestions to thicken output. Even her cancer center is at a loss! They have tried about a dozen directions. Thank you so much for your consideration, don't know who else besides you might have a direction for us to take. Maybe as simple as someone in Holland telling her to take corn starch with her protein drink. This issue is life threatening as there is a 10-pound weight loss per month.
That's a great question. There are sites out there that allow you to ask medical questions and you'll get answers from doctors and researchers.
Note: You really need to be careful getting medical advice online, you never know who it is that's actually responding. Remember to take anything medical that you see online with a grain of salt. There's nothing like getting advice personally from your own doctor.
Now that we've established that, let's take a look at a few online resources where you can get answers to your medical questions.
MedHelp.org has been around since the mid-1990s. The site helps guide people through every step of their health journey and helps them achieve the results that they seek.
The site is the largest, most vibrant online health community, where thousands of conversations on over 300 conditions take place every day. Millions of patients participate in its community to receive guidance, motivation, and support from peers and experts.
MedHelp combines smart technology, analytics, peer support and education in a platform that helps people manage their chronic conditions. The site has plenty of ask a doctor forums to get answers. Categories include diabetes, pregnancy, general health, mental health, heart disease, allergies and many more.
Click here to see all of MedHelp's available forums.
Patient.info is a trusted resource for medical information online. It gives evidence-based information on a wide range of medical topics to patients and health professionals.
You can get help with health information, medicines and clinical trials. The site even offers a symptom checker that gives you a list of possible diagnoses based on the information you enter. Don't be alarmed with the results, you need to check with your doctor for your diagnoses.
The site also has discussion forums for numerous topics including allergies, cancer, diabetes, infections, injury and accidents and more. Here you will find information being shared between patients and doctors alike.
Click here to see available discussion forums on Patient.info.
You've probably heard of WebMD. It's been around for over 20 years and provides credible information, supportive communities, and in-depth reference material about health matters that are important to you.
The site combines expertise in journalism, content creation, community services, commentary, and medical reviews to give users multiple ways to find what they're looking for. Board-certified physicians, award-winning journalists, and trained community moderators work together to provide daily information on WebMD.
You can be part of the WebMD community by entering discussions in one of its many forums. There are hundreds of topics to choose from including cancer, eating & diet, pain management, pregnancy, mental health and more.
There is also a Message Boards section on the site. It's a gathering spot for WebMD members. Here, you can read what other members are discussing, share your opinions and experiences, ask questions and get information from experts.
Click here to see all of the forums WebMD has to offer.