TALKING TO YOUR DOCTOR ABOUT YOUR HEALTH, by Bob Cross
Talking To Your Doctor About Your Health
“Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.”
~ From the Constitution of the World Health Organization
The first thing to remember about your doctors is that they work for you. They are highly trained, highly skilled medical professionals that serve as consultants and technicians in your battle against illness. As your paid consultants, they will have opinions; some of these opinions will be valid, some mere personal preference (they’re human, too!). In the end, you are the one responsible for your health because you – not your doctors – will have to suffer the consequences of your choices.
I don’t know any doctors that complain about having too much time on their hands. Doctors feel an intense time pressure that most of us will never know. It’s important to respect the time that you and your medical consultant have together.
- Define your symptoms well – write them down. If possible, send a copy to your doctor a day or two in advance of your visit.
- Do your own research before your visit (don’t “self-diagnose,” just be as clear about your condition as possible).
- Discuss your symptoms in terms of frequency, intensity and duration.
Doctors need to know everything that may affect their development of a disease-fighting strategy for you. Be clear and honest about your habits:
- Alcohol consumption
- Exercise frequency
- Any other habits that could influence the treatment of your health condition.
I suggest that at each visit, you report any and all medications you are taking. Do this in writing to avoid “poly-pharmia” – too many prescriptions! Be sure to add your vitamins and other supplements to this list.
A discussion of vitamins may cause a disagreement between you and your doctor. Some doctors still do not respect the power of nutrients to influence our health. It may be helpful here to remember that doctors are people first. They have views and opinions just like any other person. You can respect their opinion without necessarily agreeing with it. In the end, it is your choice to take supplemental nutrients as you alone will bear the consequences of that choice.
The key issue you need to discuss concerning nutrients is whether or not a specific supplement will have a detrimental effect when combined with your medical treatment. If it does, you will need to discontinue the supplement or change your medications. Any changes you make should be directed by your healthcare provider.
Doctors are your consultants in disease management. They are highly trained and usually quite good in this area. But remember that disease management and healthy living are two different things. Understanding this will keep you from asking your medical consultant to give an opinion beyond their training and expertise.
Take Control of Your Health
- Learn all you can about your medical condition
- Detail your symptoms in terms of:
- Send questions/concerns before your doctor visit
- Report medications and nutrients at every visit, in writing
- Respect the team approach between you and your doctor
Upcoming Weekly Wellness Reports...
- How to gain weight/deal with a fast metabolism
- Liver detoxification
If you have specific health topics you'd like Brazos Minshew to discuss in upcoming reports,
click here to submit your suggestions.
Please note that Weekly Wellness Report topics will be chosen at the discretion of Brazos Minshew and based on general relevance.
These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA, and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.