Find reliable information on physical complaints online: this is how you do it

physical complaint? Look online for symptoms and within one second you will have hours of reading material. It is assumed that not all information is correct. How do you make sure that you get only reliable information about physical ailments?

know where to look

Search online for the meaning of a particular symptom: many people do. Research conducted by the Consumers Association among 7,015 panelists showed that 81 percent use the Internet to find out the origin of physical complaints.

Do you do this sometimes too? Chances are high that your starting point is a search engine. The drawback of this is that you are so overwhelmed with all kinds of information that sometimes it’s hard to test. Moreover, such a flow of information can be alarming, because sometimes the worst ailments are attributed to harmless complaints.

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trusted sites

You can eliminate all this by searching the websites of experienced hospitals or agencies. For example,, an initiative of the Dutch College of General Practitioners (NHG), is a useful resource. The site uses scientific guidelines Also used by Dutch general practitioners. If the how-to guide is modified, the information on the site will also change. So you can assume that the information is correct and not outdated.

At you can search for all kinds of complaints. Do you find it difficult to identify your disease? You can also visit the site Search by body part† You can then click on the part where the annoyance is, after which you will see a list of possible conditions that could occur here.

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Search in institutions

Do you already have a doubt about what is going on, and you want to check it out? Then it may be useful to refer to the website of a specialized organization. Consider the Maag Lever Bowel Foundation, the Dutch Cancer Society (KWF), or the Diabetes Fund.
Often the websites of these organizations also contain links to other platforms that can provide you with information. Consider, for example, the Patients Union website. They often also have a forum where experts through experience share their stories. Example diabetes, from the Dutch Diabetes Association. Of course it’s not that people in such a forum necessarily have a medical background, but a forum of such an association can suggest more confidence than a more general source of information I came across during a round of googling.

Ask your doctor

It may also be helpful to ask your doctor what he or she recommends as an online resource. You can do this, for example, after you have been diagnosed with a specific disease and you are looking for more information.

(Source:, Margriet, Consumer Association, Diabetes Fund, Diabetes Meeting Point. Photo: Shutterstock)

Megan Vasquez

"Creator. Coffee buff. Internet lover. Organizer. Pop culture geek. Tv fan. Proud foodaholic."

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