This is the time of year when we give thanks for our health and begin thinking about those New Year’s resolutions. It can be tempting — maybe even easier — to place the responsibility for our health squarely on our doctor’s shoulders. But here’s the rub: Health is a shared responsibility, and it’s time to own up to your role in optimal health.
Take, for instance, your annual physical exam. It offers the perfect opportunity to stay on top of the basics and make sure your doctor is aware of any concerns or possible problems you may have. Fortunately, an annual physical isn’t a pop quiz, so you have plenty of time to get your thoughts in order.
Here are a couple of things to keep in mind.
- Keep the doc updated.
If you’re experiencing any changes to your physical or mental health, let the doctor know. This includes skin changes, sleep changes, new aches or pains, changes in bathroom habits, and even vision changes. Open communication is key! It’s normal to be nervous when discussing some topics with your doctor, but it’s essential to be transparent so they can help you.
- Lifestyle changes.
Let your practitioner know about your lifestyle choices, including smoking, recreational drugs, sleep patterns, and diet.
- Review your medications, supplements, and vitamins.
Make sure your doctor knows what supplements you are taking so they can watch for dangerous interactions. Many people think anything bought over-the-counter can’t be harmful, and that’s not the case.
So there’s your homework! Make sure your annual physical is scheduled and that you go in prepared to take responsibility for your health.
On behalf of all of us here at Central Florida Health News, we hope you have a wonderful and peaceful holiday season.