When you visit your doctor you need to know how to get the most out of the visit and avoid mistakes which can worsen your health. In this article, you will learn 3 mistakes to avoid at your doctor visits so you can potentially avoid preventable health problems and get better results.
1. Just “watching” your condition
This often happens when you have a problem that does not meet the criteria to be treated with medication. Examples are prediabetes, or borderline high blood pressure, or mildly elevated cholesterol. You may be told to watch it and come back in a month or two. When this occurs, you might mistakenly conclude that your health challenge isn’t to be taken seriously. As a result, you’re less likely to take action to change factors that you can control, and you may be allowing your health to get worse.
Use your “ borderline” diagnosis like a yellow traffic light, warning that a red light is soon to follow. If you take your problems more seriously in their earlier stage, you may find they are reversible. Get the support you need to develop healthier eating and lifestyle habits now so you can potentially avoid serious problems in the future.
Just because your doctor doesn’t prescribe medication does not mean it’s time to relax and feel complacent. You don’t want to just be watching your health gradually decline when there are ways to be more proactive and get better results.
2. Just treating symptoms
All too often with chronic lifestyle diseases, conventional medicine is designed to just treat symptoms. However, in order to heal yourself you need to start dealing with the root cause. Some patients are convinced that their family history is the main issue so they resign themselves to rely on medications for life.
On the other hand, nutrient-rich plant-based food and lifestyle choices have been proven to support self-healing. Type 2 diabetes is an excellent example of a lifestyle disease that is reversible with plant-based nutrition. [Ref 1]
Eleven years ago I developed prediabetes. Prior to that I was taking numerous pills a day for acid reflux, pain, pneumonia, and inflammation. Finally, I realized that chasing symptoms with pills was not improving my health. So I shifted my focus and began consuming healthier food. A whole food plant-based diet changed my life. When my food became my medicine I reversed my prediabetes and all of my symptoms as well. I was able to get off my prescription drugs. Today I save thousands of dollars on prescription drugs and medical care, plus I feel better and have more energy to do the things I enjoy.
Here are some examples of lifestyle conditions for which medications are commonly used to mask symptoms of disease without addressing the root cause:
- Type 2 Diabetes
- Heart disease
- High blood pressure
- Elevated cholesterol
- Chronic pain
- Acid reflux
- Gastrointestinal diseases
- Autoimmune diseases
3. Not telling the doctor that you didn’t take the medicine
If you are prescribed medication but not taking it, you should tell your doctor so they don’t overreact to your unimpressive labs by piling on more medicine for the same problem. Talk to you doctor about why you didn’t take the first medicine, This way your doctor can give you advice that matches your actual needs instead of adding unnecessary drugs.
High cost is one of the most common reasons why patients don’t take their medicine. A research study found that that one out of three patients do not get their first-time prescriptions filled. [Ref 2]. Unfortunately, even basic medications like insulin are extremely expensive. Even with good insurance, some medicine is unaffordable.
Nasty drug side effects often cause patients to stop taking their medications. Medications side effects are sometimes so disruptive that they impact the quality of life. Dizziness, nausea, diarrhea, pain and fatigue, are all common medication side effects. Remember your doctor may not fully appreciate the severity of the side effects and their impact on you, so it’s very important that you speak up. Have a discussion about alternatives and ask for the information on healthier foods and lifestyle habits that can potentially help you improve your health naturally.
Avoid these three mistakes at your doctor visits so that you can take control of your health. If you are diagnosed with any of the chronic lifestyle diseases, be proactive about learning how to heal yourself. Communicate openly with your doctor so that you get accurate medical advice and seek more information on creating a healthier lifestyle in order to have more energy and lead a productive life.
Ref 1. McMacken M, Shah S. A plant-based diet for the prevention and treatment of type 2 diabetes. J Geriatr Cardiol. 2017;14(5):342-354.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28630614
Ref 2.One in three patients not filling prescriptions, study finds. American Academy of Family Physicians website https://www.aafp.org/news/health-of-the-public/20140428nonadherencestudy.html.
Experiencing diabetes and want to take back control of your health? You may be a good fit for the step-by-step online course, Optimal Health Reset. Learn how to create eating and lifestyle habits to naturally stabilize your blood sugar and heal yourself. The next step is to book the Free Discovery Call to see if the course is right for you. It’s time to get the empowering information you need so that you get started with your healthier lifestyle.
Carla Hightower, MD, MBA is a physician, health coach, workplace wellness consultant, and speaker. She helps people heal themselves with food. Through wellness workshops and courses, she helps companies create healthy, energetic teams.
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