women 4 hope

Dedicated to addressing women’s issues.

Do You Keep Up With Annual Checkups?

Posted by Catherine Morgan on March 19, 2009

Do you keep up with your annual checkups?  We all know we should, but it’s easy to come up with reasons to avoid them.  Instead of ignoring checkups, try understanding why they are so important.  Even better, know the right questions you should ask your doctor, and how your doctor should be communicating with you.

I found a great resource by Merck that allows you to pick a topic and then gives you all the questions you should ask your doctor about that topic.  It’s called MerckSource

Going to see the doctor? Even the best physician can’t give you the right answers if you’re not asking the right questions. Our simple, structured, and easy to read “Questions to Ask Your Doctor” section helps put you in control of your healthcare.

From WomensHealth.gov – How to Talk to Your Doctor or Nurses…

Waiting in your doctor’s office can make you feel nervous, impatient, or even scared. You might worry about what’s wrong with you. You might feel annoyed because you’re not getting other things done. Then when you see your doctor or nurse, the visit seems to be so short. You might have only a few minutes to explain your symptoms and concerns. Later that day, you might remember something you forgot to ask. You wonder if your question and its answer matter. Knowing how to talk to your doctor, nurse, or other members of your health care team will help you get the information you need.

Since heart disease is the leading cause of death in women, understanding risk factors are very important.

While there’s no way to be sure, certain factors can increase your risk of heart disease. You can’t do anything about unchangeable risk factors like age, family history, race or gender. But you can lower your risk by changing some of your habits and taking medicine if needed.

The major risk factors for coronary heart disease that you can modify, treat or control are…

  • Tobacco smoke
  • High blood cholesterol
  • High blood pressure
  • Physical inactivity
  • Obesity or overweight
  • Diabetes

When it comes to questions regarding your heart and blood pressure, the American Heart Association has a great list that you could print out and bring with you to the doctors office.

Many people may have questions for their doctors about tests, surgery and other procedures, therapy and recovery, drug treatment, risk factors and lifestyle changes. Here are examples of common questions; the topics are in alphabetical order.

Asking the right questions is very important, but even more important is feeling comfortable with your doctor and the answers he/she provides you.  If you are not satisfied, get a second (or even a third) opinion.  Find a doctor you like and who will listen to you.  Here are questions from Consumer Reports that can help you choose a doctor.

Understanding your doctor’s responses to questions you ask is essential to good communication.   Here are a few tips…

  • Ask questions until you understand.
  • Take notes, or get a friend or family member to take notes for you.
  • Ask your doctor to write down instructions to you.
  • Ask your doctor for printed material about your condition.
  • If you still have trouble understanding your doctor’s answers, ask where you can go for more information.

Check out RateMDs.com to rate your doctors or help in finding a new doctor.  It seems some doctors would like to prevent patients from sharing their negative experiences…

By Lindsey Tanner

The anonymous comment on the website RateMDs.com was unsparing: “Very unhelpful, arrogant,” it said of a doctor. “Did not listen and cut me off, seemed much too happy to have power (and abuse it!) over suffering people.” Such reviews are becoming more common as consumer ratings services like Zagat’s and Angie’s List expand beyond restaurants and plumbers to medical care, and some doctors are fighting back.

They’re asking patients to agree to what amounts to a gag order that bars them from posting negative comments online.

From The Centenarian – 8 Symptoms Women Over 40 Should Not Ignore

Most minor discomfort is a sign of … not much. Maybe you had a heavy meal, a stressful day, a hard workout — and by the next day you feel fine again. But a handful of trivial-sounding symptoms can sometimes be red flags for something more serious. Since it’s often hard to distinguish between the no big deal and the dire, most of us err on the side of ignoring the problem and hoping it goes away. “Women in midlife are often juggling 20 things at once, so they tend to neglect their own health,” says Nieca Goldberg, MD, author of “Dr. Nieca Goldberg’s Complete Guide to Women’s Health.” “That’s why it’s especially important for them to be informed about what really needs medical attention.” Here, a guide to eight important symptoms: when you should see a doctor and when you can just keep cruising.

From Midlife Matters – Time For Your Checkup

Going for an annual physical is a great way to get a fix on your current health. But if you don’t plan on being totally honest and open with your doc, you could be hurting yourself.

How is the declining economy affecting your health care?

We Can’t Afford to Put Health Care on Hold

With the national unemployment rate now at a 15 year high of 7.9% and experts projecting it will hit 9% later this year, it’s important to remember that all these people aren’t just losing a paycheck, they’re likely losing their health insurance too. With the declining economy and jobless rates steadily increasing, we can’t wait much longer before moving forward with making comprehensive, affordable health care available to all Americans.

Money doesn’t buy happiness, but it does buy healthy food

It was when that platter of fresh fruits and vegetables was brought out that it occurred to me…I love all of those foods…So why do I have such a hard time sticking to a healthy diet? If it isn’t because of the taste, could it be because of the cost?

It can’t be a good sign when people are complaining that their pets receive better heathcare than they do…

My dog’s health care is better than mine…Is this cause for concern?

Now, don’t get me wrong: I’m elated that my dog is finally receiving
such wonderful care. But I’m also struck with a question (and it’s a
big one): If they can do it for dogs, why can’t they do it for me?

My health care experience in D.C. has been, to put it bluntly, utter
crap. After phoning multiple general practitioners, only to be put on a
six-month waiting list or be told that “Dr. such-and-such doesn’t take
insurance and charges $1,500 per appointment,” I settled with a private
practitioner in my Dupont Circle neighborhood.

Universal Health Care: The Health and Wellness of Our Entire Country Is At Risk

Over 8 out of every 10 uninsured person is from a working family. (70% of those are from families where one or more are working a full-time job, and 11% from families working part-time jobs). These are NOT lazy people who just want a “free ride”, these are hard working American families.

Also See:

BlogHer Contributing Editor Catherine Morgan
at Catherine-Morgan.com

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