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Our goal is to help you find accurate and reliable sources of information to answer your health related questions.
Within this guide you will find:
- resources that provide an overview of anatomy, illness, symptoms, treatment, medication and general health issues
- tips on how to recognize if health information is reliable (and how to avoid scams!)
- resources for finding information on health research studies
- directories for local hospitals, health professionals and specialists
- contact information for organizations that assist with obtaining health insurance in Massachusetts
While the resources listed here are intended to help you become a more knowledgeable health care consumer, they do not replace the expert advice of a qualified health care professional. We encourage you to consult with a health care provider when making health related decisions.
Communicating with your Doctor
Where to find information on...
Genetics: Basic information on genetics and its impact on health (from the National Library of Medicine)
Household Products: Health and safety information on household products (from the National Library of Medicine)
Lab Tests: Information to understand lab results (from the American Association for Clinical Chemistry)
Travelers' Health: Information you need to know before you travel (from the Center for Disease Control)
Additional resources include:
For additional resources on Medication and Supplements, see the Boston Public Library's Medication Information Guide.
Online Resources for Understanding Health Conditions
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
The CDC serves as the nation's health protection agency conducting critical science and providing health information to protect against expensive and dangerous health threats.
Healthfinder.gov, a website developed by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, is designed to help you find reliable information on health topics, health care providers, insurance and local services.
MedlinePlus connects you to reliable health information on illness, symptoms, diagnosis, treatments, wellness and more. This website created is for the health consumer:
Also see this MedlinePlus website tutorial
Merck Manual Consumer Edition
The Consumer Version of the Merck Manuals is a medical information reference resource providing professionals and patients with digital access to common health topics, drug information, symptom finder, and much more.
National Center for Complimentary and Integrative Health
National Center for Complimentary and Integrative Health, a website developed by the National Institute of Health, provides scientific research on complementary and integrative health approaches. Browse their Health Information webpage for evidence-based information on treatments and conditions.
Browse the Library Catalog by Topic
Mayo Clinic the Essential Diabetes Book by
Call Number: RC660.4 .M3724 2014
Publication Date: 2014-04-29
More people than ever before have diabetes. The disease affects an estimated 21 million adults and children in the US and many people with the disease don't have it under control. Unlike years ago, you have a good chance of living an active and healthy life with diabetes - provided you work with your health-care team to take the necessary steps to control your blood sugar. This title covers: the pre-diabetes stage - taking charge to prevent diabetes; types of diabetes; symptoms and risk factors; treatments and strategies for managing your blood sugar; avoiding serious complications; advances in insulin delivery and new medications; and, recipes
For a list of non-fiction material about Heart Disease, click here.
Heart 411 by
Call Number: RC685 .C6G49 2012
Publication Date: 2012-01-31
The definitive guide to heart health from two of America's most respected doctors at Cleveland Clinic, the #1 hospital for heart health in America. Are you one of the eighty-two million Americans currently diagnosed with cardiovascular disease--or one of the millions more who think they are healthy but are at risk? Whether your goal is to get the best treatment or stay out of the cardiologist's office, your heart's health depends upon accurate information and correct answers to key questions. In "Heart 411," two renowned experts, heart surgeon Marc Gillinov and cardiologist Steven Nissen, tackle the questions their patients have raised over their decades of practice: Can the stress of my job really lead to a heart attack? How does exercise help my heart, and what is the right amount and type of exercise? What are the most important tests for my heart, and when do I need them? How do symptoms and treatments differ among men, women, and children? Backed by decades of clinical experience and up-to-the-minute research, yet written in the accessible, down-to-earth tone of your trusted family doctor, "Heart 411" cuts through the confusion to give you the knowledge and tools you need to live a long and heart-healthy life.
For a list of non-fiction material about Cancer, click here.
100 Questions and Answers about Cancer Symptoms and Cancer Treatment Side Effects by
Call Number: RC263 .K44 2011
Publication Date: 2010-02-15
100 Questions & Answers About Cancer Symptoms and Cancer Treatment Side Effects, Second Edition provides authoritative answers to the most commonly asked questions about cancer symptoms and treatments. Written by cancer professionals and featuring comments from actual patients, this handy guide gives you the information you need to understand the disease and manage treatment side effects. This completely revised and updated version includes topics on cancer treatment options such as surgeries, targeted therapy, biologic therapies, alternative treatments; sexuality, fertility, pregnancy issues, pain and fatigue management, and more! Accessible, informative, compact, 100 Questions & Answers About Cancer Symptoms and Cancer Treatment Side Effects, Second Edition is a unique resource for anyone coping with the physical and emotion turmoil of cancer.
For a list of non-fiction material about Depression, click here.
Call Number: RC537 .I75 2014
Publication Date: 2014-09-19
It has been estimated that depression may affect 12-18% of people at some point during their lifetime. This accessible introduction covers the causes, symptoms, diagnosis and treatment of clinical depression, and is engaging reading for anyone wishing to understand this complex mental health problem.
For a list of non-fiction material about Stroke, click here.
Navigating the Complexities of Stroke by
Call Number: RC388.5 .C3294 2013
Publication Date: 2013-08-29
Strokes afflict thousands of people every year. Yet, for every fatal case, many more victims survive, often going on to live long, productive lives. Of course, none of it is simple - not preventing a "brain attack," nor survival, rehabilitation, or living with cerebrovascular disease. The keyis education, for both the moment of crisis and the long term.Navigating the Complexities of Stroke provides a practical guide for the lay public and medical professionals. Dr. Louis R. Caplan, one of the world's leading experts, guides readers through the subject in a straightforward and accessible manner. He examines the anatomy of the brain, explaining thespecialized functions of different regions, and describes the flow of blood from the heart. He turns to the mechanics of the stroke itself, clearly discussing the complexities of the two major kinds - the ischemic and hemorrhagic - and the resulting damage. Most helpfully, Caplan offers informationand advice that readers will find immediately useful: the medical conditions and other factors that create risk, stroke symptoms, abnormalities that doctors look for, tests available to evaluate strokes, complications and disabilities that can result, and the paths of treatment and rehabilitation.He offers real-life cases of victims and their families that demonstrate successful recovery, but also reveal the sometimes troubling impact of strokes on survivors and their families, who can suffer frustration and demoralization that the medical profession often overlooks in its biological focus.Caplan also examines strokes in children and young adults, who are often neglected in literature that is largely aimed at seniors. Navigating the Complexities of Stroke empowers victims, families, and general medical providers. It puts in readers' hands the knowledge necessary to avoid strokes, address them quickly, and effectively recover, so they won't lose heart when it is needed most.
For a list of non-fiction material about Arthritis, click here.
Call Number: RC933 .C59 2006
Publication Date: 2006-04-01
Many books about disease promise cures. Sufferers often go from one book to another without getting better. Between 10 and 20 percent of Americans of all ages will suffer from some sort of arthritis. Despite hundreds of prescription and over-the-counter products that target "the aches and pains of arthritis," it is frequently misunderstood. There are dozens of types of arthritis, some serious and life-threatening. Figuring out what type of arthritis a person has is key to the treatment and overall risk of disability a patient may have. This guide provides a straightforward and clear examination of arthritis and serves as a complete home reference for anyone.
For a list of non-fiction material about Anatomy, click here.
The Human Body Book by
Call Number: QP37 .P37 2013x
Publication Date: 2013-02-18
Combining up-to-the-minute descriptions and illustrations of the body's physical structure, chemical workings, and potential problems, The Human Body Book is the ultimate all-in-one guide perfect for families and students alike. With updated content and illustrations throughout — including a new section on aging in the human body and the latest in medical advances, as well as an accompanying DVD with added animation of the breathing and digestive processes — The Human Body Book is the perfect introduction to our inner workings.
For a list of non-fiction material authored by the Mayo Clinic, click here.
Mayo Clinic Diet by
Call Number: RA784 .M39 2010x
Publication Date: 2012-01-01
From Mayo Clinic, a leading authority on health and nutrition, comes The Mayo Clinic Diet, designed to be the last diet you'll ever need. In two simple phases, you'll be on the road to a healthy weight for the rest of your life. Packed with lots of extra encouragementmeal planners, recipes, tips for overcoming challenges, starting an exercise plan, and much moreThe Mayo Clinic Diet gives you everything you need in one book. Toss out the scales and calculators and pick up the foods you love. This is the diet you've been waiting for!