Six Questions You Should Ask Yourself Before Your Trip to the Doctor
We all know how frustrating it can be to feel unwell and not understand why. Sometimes it can even be difficult for your doctor to help. Your physician is obviously very smart, that's how he got through med school, of coursebut he or she doesn't know everything, or may not be able to diagnose your condition effectively without some help from you. Getting the help that you need from your doctor is a group project, whether you realize it or not. In order to get the best possible care, you need to come to your doctor armed with knowledge, and able to describe to your physician what problems that you are dealing with as completely as possible.
In this article, we are going to discuss some underlying issues which may be impacting your health and wellness without you fully realizing it. By understanding more about your body and what affects you negatively, you will improve your doctor's ability to give you accurate treatment, or test for chronic conditions which may be suppressing your otherwise good health.
Most doctors focus on a particular set of questions when they assess your health, whether it is during a physical, or other assessment of your health. They will discuss your activity level, and your diet. They will ask you how much water you drink. They will also ask likely ask if you experience feelings of stress and anxiety. Because there are so many questions to ask, there's no doubt that your doctor will skip over some questions which could seriously benefit you. The following are six questions that you should ask yourself before you go to the doctor, and if you find any of the answers unsatisfying, you should discuss them with your doctor. Most patients that suffer from chronic illness will have issues related to their answers to a few of these questions.
Am I Suffering from Digestive Issues?
Most people don't think about it, or even look at it, but your poop says a lot about what your body is going through, and whether your body is effectively taking in nutrients through your diet. Each cell within your body thrives as a result of the calories and nutrients that you intake. For better or worse, you are completely composed of the nutrients that you take into your diet.
Sometimes it isn't enough for you just to eat well, however. Sometimes, the body has issues taking in nutrients effectively because of issues related directly to how your body is digesting food, or how your stomach and intestines are absorbing nutrients. There are many symptoms that are associated with poor digestive health, including bloating, gas, cramping, diarrhea, and constipation.
It may sound a little weird, but taking the time to look to your poop after you go number two can go a long way in helping you (and your doctor) understand your digestive health. And because your food is what makes you, your digestive health can provide insight into your overall health and wellness.
There are many examples of health issues which can impact your digestive health. The following is a list of some of the more common causes:
For patients that are having issues with digestive health, this is one of the most important things to fix as soon as possible, because most digestive problems can be easily treated, and provide significant benefits to the patient.
Am I Eating the Wrong Foods?
Another important part of good nutrition is eating a good diet. Your doctor will likely talk to you about dieting with regard to your weight, but is less likely to get into the specifics of your diet. There are many food sensitivities that people suffer from without even realizing it that can negatively impact health. Some of the more common allergies and sensitivities include nuts, eggs, corn, soy, and dairy. Many people also suffer from gluten allergy which is also a reaction to wheat products.
Often, it's difficult to find the root cause of your food problems. This is because it can take as long as a few days for foods you eat to cause problems, and by then, it's difficult to link the cause to the effect. Also, symptoms may lead to digestive problems, but frequently, the issues can be fatigue or other problems not directly related to noticeable digestive problems. These foods may also lead to widespread or acute inflammation, limiting the optimal function of your kidneys or liver, or slowing down your healing processes.
Food sensitivities are a known health issue, but there isn't a whole lot of implementation because the science is still relatively new. The best way to assess how your diet affects your health is through a combination of selectively eliminating foods from your diet and having your blood tested for specific allergic sensitivities.
How Well Do I Sleep?
Everyone understands that sleep is important, but most people don't understand exactly why. Most of your body's rejuvenative processes are functioning at their peak while you are asleep. If you aren't sleeping well, then you are going to have issues not only with fatigue, but with your body's ability to maintain itself. Human Growth Hormone is one of the mechanisms by which the body promotes healing, and this hormone is produced in its greatest quantities during deep sleep. If you don't sleep steadily through the night, or you toss and turn, this inhibits your healing processes, as well as your memory and cognitive function.
When you don't sleep well, this also leads you to take shortcuts throughout the day in order to keep yourself awake and active. Many people rely heavily on sugar and caffeine, which can both cause issues when used in excess. Too much caffeine can lead to anxiety and jitters and make it even harder to fall asleep.
By talking to a doctor about your sleeping habits, you may be able to uncover what issues are preventing you from sleeping well. Perhaps it could be chronic anxiety or even sleep apnea.
Am I Being Exposed to Chemicals in My Home or at Work?
Our bodies have some mechanisms to get rid of many toxins, but if we are exposed to too much, this can be a serious health hazard. There are many ways that you can be exposed to toxins. Not too long ago, lead was widely used in a variety of products, before we realized exactly how dangerous lead was. There are still products like that. We may not be exposed to them as heavily and they may not be as potently toxic, but they still can lead to issues. For example, there are many forms of plastic which are not designed to be exposed to hot water, like that in a dishwasher, and leech toxic chemicals without you even realizing it.
Also, your makeup or even your soap or shampoo may contain ingredients which irritate your skin and cause adverse reactions which impact your health. The human body can metabolize or otherwise get rid of certain levels of most toxins, but if you are overexposed, this can inhibit your body's healing processes. There are many products that put men at risk in particular. These are known as Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals, and they have the ability to disrupt the body's Testosterone Levels, which can suppress health and vitality.
Of course, other EDCs can stimulate high levels of cortisol or imbalance hormones in other ways. Many people are also very sensitive to molds. If you have been feeling chronically under the weather lately it may pay to give your house a thorough cleaning and look for ways to reduce your exposure to potentially harmful chemicals.
Do I Have a Healthy Level of Self-Esteem?
Psychological health and physical health are intricately related. If you aren't feeling good about yourself, this can have a devastating effect upon your health and wellness. People that are down on themselves are less likely to take care of themselves, and more likely to feel stress and sadness which prevent them both from living up to their potential and being optimally healthy.
Studies have clearly shown that people with positive attitudes and positive self-worth are more likely to live longer than their pessimistic and self-defeating peers. A big aspect of negative thinking is that you make yourself feel inferior and not up to the task of living your life. As a result, you have a tendency to stress out about things way more than you should, preventing the stress from allowing you to live your life. Stress is a physiological response, largely mediated by the release of cortisol. Cortisol and other adrenal hormones activate what is known as the Fight-or-Flight Response.
Stress is designed to be a short term change of physiological priorities designed to help you overcome high pressure situations, but when you feel long term stress, you overload yourself and your body's protective and rehabilitative processes go into decline.
Take stock of your life. If you experience any of the following characteristics in excess, then you need to take steps to reevaluate yourself and your life to accentuate the positive:
Chronic Tendency to Sell Yourself Short
Beating Yourself Up Over Mistakes
Hanging on to Bad Memories
If you have severe issues with the characteristics above, you would likely benefit from therapy. There are clinical ways to overcome mood disorders, depression, and chronic anxiety, whether they be through therapeutic means, medication, or a combination of both.
How is My Social Life?
Whether you are an introvert or an extrovert, human beings thrive when they make meaningful relationships with others. If you are not fostering close relationships with those around you, you are putting both your psychological and your physical health at risk. People with close friends are more likely to live longer and be happier for a number of reasons. They tend to be less stressed because they have someone to talk to. If they are having trouble and need help, they have someone to reach out to. People with friends simply have more protection from the forces in the world which attempt to break them down.
That doesn't mean that all relationships are healthy, however. A bad relationship with someone you are very close to can be absolutely destructive. If you have a boyfriend or girlfriend, it's important to understand what makes a healthy relationship and understanding when its time to work to make things better and when it's time to cut your losses and run. If you are in a rough marriage, it may be time for counseling. Sometimes people simply surround themselves with the wrong friends. Perhaps they are good and loyal, but they have a tendency to get you into bad or severely unhealthy situations. If you have trouble with drinking, for example, hanging out with your drinking buddies all the time is obviously going to be bad for your health.
Take the time to take stock of your relationships with those around you. Try to take steps to improve your relationships with those that you want to keep and work on maintaining more distance or being more honest with those that put you in an unhealthy place. By making the concerted effort to surround yourself with nurturing people, or people that can promote good in your life, you will be healthier and happier in the long run.
In Order to Stay Healthy, It's Important to Keep Your Whole Being in Mind
The human body is incredibly complex, which is exactly why you need to work with your doctor to get the best treatment and/or health advice possible. He or she can only do so much without your input, but with just a few questions or comments from you, you could totally change and improve the quality of your healthcare.
It's not necessarily your doctor's intention, but he or she is primarily interested in treating the symptoms of the conditions which you are experiencing, but may not be able to figure out the root cause of your chronic problems without help from you. Being and staying healthy is both physical and mental. In order to optimize your health and wellness, you must take steps to improve your quality of life in addition to your simple physical state. By living a conscientious lifestyle, you can live a longer and happier life.