Do you get an annual physical? A baseline is important to understand any deviations in your health. If you don't seek to protect your own body, no one will. Prevention is key! KNOW YOUR NUMBERS. Educate yourself on these numbers and utilize all the resources provided to you. You must be your best advocate. You must empower yourself.
Today is the day. Find a great physician if you don't have one. Ask friends and family for their suggestions. Schedule your appointments. Make it count. To your health
What are the side effects? Are there drug interactions? Do I take this with food? Do I refrigerate? How do I tell if I'm allergic? How does it work? Can I drink alcohol? Where can you find all this information? On that leaflet we give you with your medication at the pharmacy. Look for it. Do you read it? Or do you choose to throw it away? Don't ask me to discard the packaging and leaflets because I won't. I choose to empower you. We give it to you for a reason. Afterall, it's your body. Take a moment to read that leaflet. It just may save your life.
"You never see a crash till its head on..."
"While lifestyle changes can really help bring your cholesterol down, Wong says that not enough people give them a real chance." (Nathan D. Wong, PhD, director of the heart disease prevention program at the University of California, Irving)
"The problem is that both patients and their doctors like immediate results," he tells WebMD. "Lowering your cholesterol with exercise and diet is just not like that."----'High Cholesterol Treatment -- What Works? Safe, effective treatment for high cholesterol isn't hard -- but it can be confusing. Get the facts.' WebMD Feature
Do you ask your doctor about diet and lifestyle changes when a medication is prescribed for you? There are options. Your doctor will discuss the risks and benefits with you. Just ask.
Many need "a pill" and many don't. Look at the big picture, be patient, and see beyond the quick fix. Most indications include diet and lifestyle as treatment options before medication or in conjunction. Cholesterol is just one example.
One of the most common questions I am asked at the pharmacy by young women is "what can I take for anxiety that is natural?". There are options. People do ask. Listen to you body. You are not the only one. Simple diet and lifestyle changes can make a big difference. Then if you still require medication, at least you have explored your options. Anxiety medications can have side effects, drug interactions, dependency, and contraindications. Know what you are putting in your body. More to come...
Do you ask your doctor questions about the prescriptions they write for you? An impromptu survey reveals that 75% of those presenting a prescription at the pharmacy do not know how to take the medication prescribed. Before you leave your doctor appointment, make sure you know what is prescribed, how to take it, and ask questions.
Yes, we are well trained at reading physician handwriting but YOU must be your own advocate. Take ownership of what's going into your body; you will lessen the chance of error. Those patients who are empowered protect themselves.
One of the first questions we are trained to ask you is "how did your doctor tell you to take this medication". Not only does your answer to this question ensure the correct the drug, dose, and schedule for your body, but it helps us help you. If pharmacists recorded every time they had to call a doctor for clarification on a prescription, this number would reach to space and back several times!
Pharmacist are just as responsible for a prescription as your physician. We take this seriously.
Be empowered and become a vital part of YOUR own healthcare team.
Dr. Jessica Lewis
A Balanced Life