Be Your Own Health Advocate
Start by getting to know yourself. Know your body and how it responds to foods and activities. Know how you feel when you are at your best. You are the person that knows your body the best. You know when something is wrong with your body. You know when things are not balanced and when you need some assistance.
Next find a health care provider that makes you feel comfortable. Look for someone that listens to your symptoms and concerns without judgement. They respect that you have questions or concerns. They are eager to answer your questions and address your concerns. Look for a healthcare provider that explains everything to you in a way that helps you understand without talking down to you. There needs to be mutual respect or the relationship will not work. You need to trust your healthcare provider.
See a health care provider when you have an issue that needs attention. Ask questions. Do not be afraid to voice your concerns. It is your body and your health. You have every right to ask as many questions as you need to be comfortable. That applies to a diagnosis, a prescription or a medical procedure. Gather as much information as you can.
Know all of your medical conditions, prescriptions, and allergies. Write all of this information down. It is a good idea to keep this information where you or a loved one can easily find it. You may want to keep some of this information on you in case of an emergency, especially if you have a severe allergy.
You should know why each medication was prescribed. Be aware of potential bad reactions and side effects. If you feel that you are experiencing side effects of your medication, consult your health care provider. If they do not take your concerns seriously, you can get a second opinion. Always pay attention to what your body is telling you.
Be your own advocate. Ask questions and voice concerns. Do your research. Be as informed as you possibly can. Be aware. Eat a healthy diet and get plenty of exercise. Try holistic and alternative practices. Do what is best for you. Have a healthy relationship with your health care provider.
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