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Communicating Your Heart Concerns with Your Doctor

Posted Jan 26 2009 3:40pm

A critical first step in dealing with heart disease is to learn to talk to your doctor about your questions and worries. 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 you have been prescribed medication, make sure you find out the purpose of the drug, if there are any side effects, and possible interactions with other meds, either over the counter or prescription. Ascertain whether you’ll be on the medication for an indefinite period of time or if it’s a temporary treatment. If recommended by your physician, you’ll need to take further tests to monitor the effects of your medication. If you’re on specific medications, many doctors will want to test your liver.

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.

Include your recent history of illness and surgery. This should be recorded in your file so your physician is up to speed on any potential problems.

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. Heart disease kills more people each year than all of the cancers combined. Learn more about the causes, effects and treatments of this epidemic problem at Heart Wellness.

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