Thursday, January 29, 2009

Heart Health - Talk To Your Doctor

An essential step in preventing and managing heart disease
is being open with your doctor about your questions and
concerns. You're not alone when it comes to difficulties in
talking to a medical practitioner about your health
concerns. But when it comes to heart wellness no question
should be left unanswered.

There are those who hope that their questions will be
answered through the course of an examination, rather than
having to actually voice them. Physicians don't always have
as much time as they would like with each patient due to
their demanding schedules and long waiting lists. In
particular, women need to voice their concerns, since heart
disease isn't as readily associated with women, even though
they are equally at risk.

Questions that you should ask your doctor include what your
blood pressure is recorded as and what is normal for you.
Glucose and cholesterol levels need to be checked to see if
they're in an acceptable range. Ask your doctor which tests
are suggested for people of your age, both currently and in
the future.

If medication has been prescribed, do not hesitate to ask if
there are side effects, what the drug is supposed to do, and
whether you should take other medication, even over the
counter, with your prescribed medicine. Also find out if
this is a long term medication or temporary. Tests to
monitor the effects of the medication you are taking should
be conducted at a later date if it is recommended by your
doctor. The liver is one organ that most doctors consider
testing when a patient is on certain medicines.

If you always get home and remember something that you
forgot to ask the doctor, make a "need to know" list and
take it with you on your next visit. Do not forget to bring
with you the medications that you are presently on as well.
This is essential if you are under the care of more than one
health care practitioner.

Add to your list any surgeries or relevant illness that you
have had and been treated for in the past few years. This
should be in your medical chart so that the doctor can be
aware of anything that might cause a problem.

In conclusion, if you think that you may forget what you
physician has told you, you can always write it down or
record the appointment for later referral. Do not be afraid
to check around for a second opinion if you are not
comfortable with the treatment that your doctor recommends
or if you do not feel that he or she listened to your
worries or questions.


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