Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Take charge of your health

A lady medic (or paramedic) taking a male pati...Image via Wikipedia
I can't tell you how many times patients have come into the ED knowing absolutely nothing about what medications they are taking or why.  The response usually is a one liner such as, "my doctor knows."  Needless to say, these patients often find themselves victim of medical errors due to their complete abdication of health responsibilty to the MD.

It is important to take control of your life and health by knowledge of your body, medications and family history.  This post will include five tips about learning to take charge of one's health.

Important screenings

Make sure that you get age appropriate screenings to catch problems before they can actually get a foothold.  For example, blood pressure screenings, EKG, cholesterol, prostate examinations, mammograms and pap smears.  Admittedly, doctors may differ in opinion as to when these tests should be performed.  The best advisce is to follow your doctor's recommendations.  In the case of doubt, don't hesitate in getting a second opinion.

Medications and allergies

Know the name of your medications and why you are taking them.  If you didn't ask your doctor, then do so.  And, don't hesitate to ask again if need be.  If your doctor doesn't like it, well, maybe you should start looking for another one. Keep a list as well of your drug and food allergies.  This is vital! Many drugs are formulated using different things, you never know when you could encounter an allergen in a medication.

An ounce of Prevention
Regular exercise (30 minutes or so daily), controlling meal portions, sweets, fats and carbs are all important preventive steps that you can take in protecting your health.  Your doctor can't do this for you. As a matter of fact, many people find an improvement in their condition once the limit certain foods, etc.

For mental health, learn a language or take up a new hobby like reading, ball room dancing or start doing things like crossword puzzles or other games that challenge the mind.  his will help the brain stay sharp, and delay age related changes.

Find out your family history

This is another biggie.  Alnost all admission assessments include questions on disease that parents, siblings and  aunts and uncles have suffered from.  Try to make a point to note and write it down.  It greatly helps ini administering the best care possible.

Stress reduction

Cut down on stress wherever possible.  This is often a source of disease.

Learn and practice relaxation techniques.  Take a quickie vacation. Buy a pet. Enjoy life.  Simplify and reach out and do something kind for someone else.
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