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  • How to Advocate for Your Own Health as a Patient

    If you’ve been diagnosed with a serious chronic illness or condition, it’s important to take control of your health. Self-advocacy can help patients get the information and the high level of care they need, so they can make informed decisions about their wellbeing. Even if you aren’t facing a life-altering diagnosis, it’s always wise to be able to advocate for yourself when navigating healthcare. The following tips from Bella Reilly of  Well Now Shop can help.

    Keep control of your health data 

    Your doctor will keep a record of your medical history in your patient file. However, it’s also helpful to maintain your own records. This way, if you seek care with another provider, you can give them a full overview of your past. To easily organize and update records, store them as digital PDFs. 

    Ask for information about your health 

    Being diagnosed with a chronic condition can be an overwhelming experience, filled with a mix of emotions like fear, confusion, and uncertainty. Conducting thorough research after the diagnosis is crucial, as it helps empower you to make informed decisions about your treatment options and lifestyle changes. It’s important to consult a variety of reliable sources, such as peer-reviewed scientific articles, medical organizations, and healthcare professionals, to gather comprehensive information. Alongside traditional medical treatments, you may also discover complementary therapies or dietary changes that could potentially alleviate symptoms or improve your quality of life. However, always consult your healthcare provider before making any significant changes to your treatment plan or daily routine to ensure that it is appropriate and safe for your specific condition.. 

    Stay on top of your healthcare communications 

    Collecting health data is easier if you maintain good communication with your healthcare providers. For example, submit any forms your provider asks for in a timely manner. This will make it easier to get faster appointments, obtain copies of health records, and ensure documents are forwarded to specialists as needed.

    Prioritize self-care and get help when needed 

    Advocating for your own health care is an important step in protecting your mental and physical wellbeing. However, it’s also important to take care of yourself on a day-to-day basis. Prioritize a healthy lifestyle, including a balanced diet and exercise. If you’re facing a diagnosis, learn how lifestyle changes can impact your everyday wellbeing. Finally, remember that you aren’t in it alone. Talk to family and friends when dealing with health issues, or reach out to support groups online or in your area.

    Your health is your most important asset. You want to do all you can to protect it. Being able to advocate for yourself as a patient will help you get the knowledge and care you deserve. Trust these tips, from organizing your health data to investing in your wellbeing, for help.

    Bella Reilly of Well Now Shop https://wellnowshop.com is a guest blogger.

    RB Counseling and Consulting provides compassionate, trauma informed and culturally sensitive psychotherapy. Contact Rachelle Burrell today for more information! (336) 837-4499