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Health can be a scary concept for those with little understanding of what it means to take care of yourself. Part of the process is being informed and prepared to question healthcare professionals. If you want to know more about advocating for your health, consider these tips.
1. Prioritize Self-Care
Neglecting self-care is a common problem. It requires taking time from your busy schedule to do something positive for your mental health. Research shows it can be as simple as going for a walk, saying no to something you prefer not to do, or meditating every morning. You can also go on a solo vacation. Whatever helps you recharge is self-care, and it’s a personal process.
2. Learn More About Living Healthy
Taking control of your lifestyle and implementing healthy choices is a central component of being your own health advocate. This can be challenging for someone who works often, but you can find ways to incorporate physical exercise and healthy eating into your daily routine. Take the stairs instead of the elevator, pack a balanced lunch instead of eating out, and go for a brief walk on your lunch break to get some fresh air. Think about small ways you can improve your health rather than trying to make a complete overhaul at once.
3. Keep a Digital Copy of Your Medical Records
Keeping up with your medical records helps you stay informed and ready when you go to the doctor. Start by requesting copies from your healthcare provider. Then you can scan the documents, along with medical imagery. Check this out if you want to combine PDF files by adding pages. With all your files in one place, you can then download them to your device so that you can access them even when you don’t have internet access.
4. Know When to Ask for a Second Opinion
Part of advocating for your health is ensuring you get the best possible medical care. It is okay to question your doctor’s opinion, especially if they are not an expert in your diagnosis. Talk to your doctor about a referral to a specialist when you are concerned about your health and the treatment you’re receiving. It can be uncomfortable, but it is often necessary.
5. Be Confident About Asking Questions
When you see a doctor for any reason, be prepared to ask questions. Part of advocating for your health is getting as much information as you can from the doctor. If you have a doctor’s visit scheduled, prepare a list of questions about your symptoms and what you can do to help relieve them. Go to your annual checkups so you can talk about things that concern you.
6. Do Your Own Research
Doing your own research about your health can be as simple as a Google search, but you need to understand how to vet this information. Avoid self-diagnosing. Any information you gather should be presented to your doctor. Don’t limit your research to your current condition. Research your family history to look for any signs of hereditary illness so you can stay ahead of it.
Being your own health advocate is a process. Keep digital copies of your medical records. Take advantage of the tools available to you, and you’ll find yourself becoming increasingly confident in your own understanding of your health, ready to speak up and advocate for what you need.
Always remember one of my mantras, “The more you know about how your body works, the better you can take care of yourself.”
For more details about the natural approach I take with my patients, take a look at the book I wrote entitled: Reclaim Your Life; Your Guide To Revealing Your Body’s Life-Changing Secrets For Renewed Health. It is available in my office or at Amazon and many other book outlets. If you found value in this article, please use the social sharing icons at the bottom of this post, and please share with those you know who are still suffering from chronic health challenges, despite receiving medical management. Help me reach more people so they may regain their zest for living! Thank you!
ALL THE BEST – DR. KARL R.O.S. JOHNSON, DC, BCN – DIGGING DEEPER TO FIND SOLUTIONS