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How to Be More Aware of Your Health

You have a mind of your own. Doctors can’t know everything. Perhaps some people trust doctors a little too much. They expect miracles, then blame the doctor when things turn out to be less than what they imagined. That’s not fair to you or the doctor. Being more aware of your health is a way to take charge of your own needs and well-being, as well as knowing when to deal with medical issues through a professional, as needed.

Recognize any existing problem. Whatever health issues you might currently have, it’s important to acknowledge them. This might include that you’re overweight, your head hurts, you have stomachache, your back hurts all the time, and so forth. Acknowledgement of what needs attending to is an important start.

  • Don’t neglect mental health––it’s as vital as bodily health and the two are intricately connected. Depression, anxiety, phobias, stress, and so forth, each have impacts on your daily functioning and the physical health of your body too.

Listen to your body. It’s always sending you signals. If it doesn’t “feel right” then it’s time to re-evaluate your options. Trust your internal voice.

Strive to form the bigger picture of a health problem, especially one that seems to have no immediate answer. Through research, keeping notes on your own feelings and experiences, reading journals and books, and talking to different health professionals, you will begin to build up a bigger picture of your health issues and potentially find answers here and there that help you to properly address what’s making you unhealthy.

  • For example, you may have a bad neck ache all the time. You may find it’s a mild but annoying enough pain after sitting at the computer all day, only to get very painful when you try to relax or when you catch a virus. In this case, there are layers of issues, and it may be the lack of ergonomic seating and adequate breaks, coupled with workload stress and it only really gets painful when your body has to fight off a virus and cannot mask the real pain of the neck ache at the same time. Each issue needs to be addressed singly to add up to the whole.

Consider whether the problem is something you can deal with yourself or is something in need of professional attention. Do you need help or can you solve this yourself?

Deal with it yourself. If you feel you can solve the issue yourself, then ask what is the root cause of your problem. Could your stomach pain be related to too many crunches first thing in the morning, the acidic juice you just drank, a physical pain which needs to be discussed with your GP or is there a psychological or emotional matter being dealt with which is manifesting itself in your body?

  • Learning to address your internal issues is as much about good health as is eating the right diet.
  • Find ways to answer simple health problems at home through doing research in reputable books and websites.

Decide which help is likely to be the most useful. If you need help, decide on your first port of call. A doctor is always a good starting point if you feel you need help but in some cases, you may prefer to go to a specialist, such as a dietician, a dentist or an ear, nose and throat specialist. The choice will depend on the problem and whether or not you’ve accurately pinpointed it. In some cases, it may be best to see the doctor first, explain your concerns and confirm who the right person to see is.

  • Check that the doctor or health professional you’d like to use is covered adequately by your insurance or that you can afford their services.

Get a third and fourth opinion for any major diagnosis. For example, your doctor tells you that you have cancer. Confirm with another physician.

Research your medical situation. The internet is packed with information. Go to discussion groups about your medical issue. Go to websites. Print out journals. Dig deep. Why be in the dark about what’s happening with your body? This is your life! Moreover, this isn’t about self-care at home, it’s about self-awareness that you can then bring to the attention of your health professionals caring for you––they’re busy people and don’t have the time to do deep internet research but you probably do. Print the items off and take them in to your doctor and others.

Ask your doctor questions. This is why you pay the doctor. If he or she is worth anything, he or she will be happy to answer your questions and give you ways to find out more information.

  • Some doctors use a sliding-scale fee system. They will charge more if you ask more questions. Find out the cost before your consultation.

Get a doctor you can confide in without judgment or poor reactions. If your doctor gets offended or displays a overly-negative reaction towards your questions, find another doctor. You need a doctor in whom you can place your confidence.