Your visits to your doctor are your chance to identify good health habits,
change bad ones, and get new information that will set you on the road
to healthier living.
A simple question can often make you feel better and allow you to take
better care of yourself. Not sure where to start? The questions below
What should I be doing to stay healthy and prevent disease?
It’s no secret that a healthy diet, regular exercise and other lifestyle
choices can make a big difference when it comes to preventing heart disease,
type 2 diabetes, osteoporosis and even certain types of cancer. Don’t
be afraid to talk to your doctor about your body-mass index (BMI), alcohol
consumption and lifestyle factors such as relationship issues; all can
affect your physical and mental health and happiness.
How can I reduce or stop taking some of my medications?
Your doctor needs to know about all of the medications you’re taking
(prescription and over-the-counter.) Bring a list with you of the medications
you take, how much you take, and how often you take them.
Warning: Do not stop taking a prescribed medication without first consulting with
your physician – even if you’re feeling better. It can be
dangerous to suddenly stop taking certain medications. Also, doctors quite
often say that you should not be shy about asking if there are less expensive
alternatives to your current treatment regime.
Am I up-to-date on my routine health maintenance?
The medical equivalent of rotating your tires and changing your oil is
keeping on track with vaccines and recommended screenings, including mammograms
and colonoscopies, as well as routine blood panels to measure your cholesterol
and glucose levels.
Are the supplements I am taking worthwhile?
Natural biochemistry has inspired many life-improving, even life-saving,
compounds and substances, but remember that some health products and supplements
marketed as “natural” are not subject to the same rigorous
scientific scrutiny as prescription medications – either for their
safety or their effectiveness. Talk to your doctor about taking supplements.
What is next?
Primary care physicians answer thousands of questions from patients during
their visits, but, quite often, one question stands out for its ability
to focus on the issues that matter most: “What’s next? Patients
should leave their doctor’s office with an action plan for what
they need to do, work on, or be aware of between visits to improve their
health. For every diagnosis, you should know what is next in your treatment
plan, how to monitor your symptoms or medication side effects, and when
you should return for a follow-up visit.
This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical
care. Always follow your healthcare professional's instructions.