Making the most of the NHS website
Thanks to the NHS website, it’s easy for people around the UK to find out about local services – including nearby pharmacies, accident and emergency wards and doctor’s surgeries. But there’s much more to be had from the site than these handy tools.
Browse NHS.uk and you’ll discover a wide range of websites, with a huge amount of educational health information up for grabs. So whether you want to learn more about types of cancer or you simply want to keep track of your fruit and vegetable intake, there’s a lot to learn.
Finding NHS health information online
At an everyday level, the most useful NHS portal is Live Well. There’s a range of articles on general health here, including a health and weight chart, information on the flu vaccine, sexual health advice and remedies for flatulence. Usefully, the menu bar on the right hand side is divided into gender and age specific sections. So whether you’re a teenage boy or a woman aged over 60, you’ll find health advice that’s right for you.
For more detailed information on particular conditions and diseases, the NHS Health A-Z is indispensable. Take their section on diabetes, for instance: here, you’ll find material on type 1 and type 2 diabetes, including their symptoms, causes and treatments. There are also details of gestational diabetes – so if you, or a loved one, has developed diabetes during pregnancy, you can find out more about the condition online.
Their chapter on cancer is also a particularly useful resource for anyone who has been diagnosed with the disease, or for their family and friends who simply want to find out more. There are around 50 different types of cancer covered on NHS.uk, from relatively well known variations like breast and lung cancer, to nose cancer and vulval cancer. There’s also information on chemotherapy, radiotherapy and how to get a predictive genetic test for cancer risk genes.
Elsewhere, the NHS’ heart health advice is very useful, especially for men and women aged over 50. Here, you’ll find details about heart disease and blood pressure, as well as tips for a heart healthy diet and stories from people – sometimes celebrities – about how heart disease has affected their life.
Handy NHS website tools
NHS.uk is an enormous resource and you could spend days reading its reams of well-presented and accessible information. However, there are plenty of quick-fix tools to use here too. If you’re thinking about quitting smoking, for instance, there are applications that help you identify whether you’re addicted to cigarettes and how much money you’ll save if you quit. You can also use their online symptom checker to try to establish what your illness might be – but remember that this isn’t always accurate and you should see a doctor in person as well.
If you’re concerned about your weight, the NHS’ online BMI calculator can give you an indication of whether you’re underweight, overweight or just right. However, you’ll need to enter your correct height and weight measurements for the result to be accurate. And their five-a-day meal planner makes it simpler to keep track of your fruit and vegetable intake, so you’ll know when you’re falling short.
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