Go online. Yes, you read that right!
Ever had a doctor tell you to stay off the internet? That’s outdated advice, says Mark Heyman, Ph.D., CDE, PWD type 1, and director of the Center for Diabetes and Mental Health. There’s a wealth of good information on the web if you know where to look, he says, and reading up can help you pose the right questions to your doctor. “We’ve always known that doctors have valuable information to share,” says deBronkart. “What’s new is that good information is also available through other channels, and it’s possible today to find valid scientific information that your doctor didn’t mention or doesn’t yet know about.”
In general, avoid viral news stories you see on social media and stick with websites of major academic medical institutions, government health departments, and large health associations. Online patient forums can be a gold mine, too, says deBronkart, as long as you remember that what works for one person may not work for everyone. Forum members offer emotional support, swap the latest news stories and studies, and share valuable real-word experiences. ( See page 12 for help finding online peer support.)