National Self-Check Month: Take Charge of Your Health
Too often, we deal with our health in a reactive way; we only call our doctor when we are already sick or in pain, not before. In order to increase our chances of avoiding preventable conditions, or catching a problem in its early stages, it’s important to take a more proactive approach. National Self-Check Month is the perfect time to take control of your wellness. Here are a few easy things you can do to start taking charge of your health:
Make a List
It’s very easy to get in front of your doctor and draw a blank when they ask how you’ve been, and completely forget a few of the concerns you wanted to address. To avoid this, grab a pen and paper (or use the notes app on your phone) and make a list of anything abnormal you’ve been feeling. Do this over the course of a few days or weeks until you see your doctor next, and make it a habit to start new lists between appointments. A running list will ensure you don’t forget to ask about anything that seems small, but could turn out to be major!
Book a Physical
Call your primary care physician and make an appointment for your yearly physical. Do you also see any specialists? Some specialists book out months in advance, so call them as well, and get your appointments set up. While you are at it, make your dental and eye exams also. Embrace this new proactive lifestyle by booking your next appointment before you even leave the doctor’s office! If you need to find a new doctor or specialist, go to the tool on our website.
Learn about Self-Checks
There are many self-checks you can do yourself, such as checking for lumps in breasts or testicles, or observing moles for any abnormalities. You can also monitor your heart rate, blood pressure, and blood glucose levels at home. Most doctors provide pamphlets or instructions on how to do these self-checks, so make it a habit to do them between your yearly physical. This is the best way to find problems early, and allows you to seek treatment right away.
Encourage a Loved One
Do you have a friend or family member who hates going to the doctor, and is never proactive about managing their health? Encourage them to follow your example and make taking charge of their health a priority. Don’t worry about seeming annoying – your encouragement could be a matter of life and death!
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