If you don’t take charge of your own health and wellness no one will. Change begins with you. It’s time. Here are 5 tips for dealing more effectively with your own health care.
If you’re not happy with your doctor, find another. Ask your girlfriends, family and other doctors for recommendations because “good” doctors know the other “good” doctors. They are your best resource.
Don’t forget to check the doctor’s credentials and research possible violations.
#2: Stop Lying
Studies suggest 70% of patients lie to their doctors. For example, we do not mention that we take aspirin, that we are not taking our medication consistently or at all. We take health supplements and vitamins but don’t consider them medications. It is important to mention because some vitamins and supplements can interfere with medications or make hormone replacement therapy less effective.
Make a list of all the things you take and bring it with you to all your medical appointments.
#3: Be Prepared
Women need to do their own research. Understand treatments and alternatives for a potential diagnosis. It is estimated that patients are interrupted 18 seconds into their appointments. Few patients can say everything they want to in that time, so be prepared.
Send a list of questions to your doctor ahead of your visit.
#4 Take Charge of You
Many of the leading threats to women’s health can be prevented — if you know how. The top causes of death among adult women in the U.S. include heart disease, stroke, cancer and chronic lower respiratory disease, according to statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Remember, if you don’t take care of you, you can’t take care of anyone else.
#5 Find a Health Advocate
Identify a trusted friend or patient advocate, not a family member, that can go with you to appointments. This person needs to listen well, speak up and not be afraid to ask questions of specialists. The last thing you are able to do when you are sick is advocate on your behalf. Put your advocate in your Living Will and Medical Power of Attorney and let them know ahead of time that they are in charge.
It’s your body, own it! It’s critical to get all of your medical records and store them in a binder. They are your records and you’re entitled to them.