There are a few things in our lives that we have complete autonomy over, and our health is one of them. Of course, friends, family and other people we know can have an impact on our health and the way in which we manage it. But at the end of the day, how healthy we are boils down to how well we look after ourselves, and that is our responsibility alone. However, you may be surprised at the number of people who regularly take chances with their wellbeing, and as a result, end up with health issues that could have been very easily avoided. Sometimes, this can be nothing more than a minor inconvenience, as you may develop a cold or a stomach bug that clears up on its own within a matter of days. Other times, you could end up playing with fire, and be putting yourself at risk of something much more serious. Your health is precious, and you can’t really afford to take chances on it – so with that in mind, here are a few common healthcare mistakes you need to avoid at all costs.
Not getting checked out
How many times have you felt a bit under the weather, or noticed something odd on your body, but told yourself that it’s ‘probably nothing’? This is something that happens to millions of people every single day, as a huge proportion of us are reluctant to visit the doctor’s surgery. Sometimes, this is due to a genuine phobias of doctors (which a reported 20% of the population suffers from), and other times it is because we worry we are wasting the doctor’s time. With a healthcare system already stretched pretty thin, it is little wonder that a lot of people share this view. But as any health professional would tell you, it is always better to get anything suspicious checked out initially – as leave it too long, and you could end up with a much bigger problem on your hands. If you notice anything on the unusual side, visit your doctor as soon as you can, if only for peace of mind. After all, it’s better to be safe than sorry.
There is a lot of conflicting information in the public sphere about what medication we should be taking for what ailment. Unfortunately, prescriptions do not always come cheap, and as a result many people from lower-income families are missing out on drugs they may desperately need to manage their symptoms. No one deserves to miss out on medication because of their financial situation, so don’t resign yourself to ill health just because your first option didn’t work out. If you need some assistance, you can get help for prescriptions here, and there are plenty of services designed to help those of us who need access to cheaper healthcare. For what they are worth, you could also look into alternative and herbal medicines, although do bear in mind that many of these have not been officially tested by medical professionals – so use with caution.
Failing to get a second opinion
Many of us abide by doctor protocol in such a strict manner that we are reluctant to get a second opinion, even when we are sure that there is something wrong with us. Of course, it is very rare that a doctor misdiagnoses a patient, as, after all, they are seasoned professionals. But upon occasion, it can happen. Doctors are only human like the rest of us, and the odd mistake can occasionally be made. Usually, it is not to do with anything serious, so it’s not a matter of life or death. But it can still cause you considerable distress, especially if you have been feeling unwell for quite a while. The key thing to remember here is to go with what your gut tells you. If you feel it in your bones that your doctor is wrong, or that he or she hasn’t taken you seriously, book another appointment and request that you see someone else. You have nothing to lose by doing so – after all, the second doctor can either confirm what you original one said, or they could expand on your previous suspicions. Never under value the importance of a good relationship with your doctor. Sometimes, you may need to divulge very personal information to them, so it is important to make sure that you do not feel embarrassed, judged or uncomfortable in their presence. If you’re not happy with your current healthcare professional, simply find someone else – every patient has different needs, and there is bound to be a doctor out there who is perfect for you.
Not looking after your everyday health
For the most part, diseases and accidents are out of our control – most of them just happen by chance, or are part of our genetic makeup. You can, however, exert a certain amount of influence over your everyday health, and how easily you catch common illnesses like flu and stomach bugs. Often, these types of infections are bacterial or viral, which means they can be passed on from person to person. However, if you already have a weak immune system, you will find that you are much more susceptible to catching them in the first place, and they will probably have a worse effect on you too. Make an effort to remain health-conscious on a day to day basis, regarding both the food you eat and the amount of exercise you get. A body filled with the right nutrients is much better equipped to deal with an infection of sorts than a body fed on nothing but fast food will be. So, with that in mind, try and make an effort to eat a balanced diet with plenty of fruits, vegetables, and protein involved. Even these subtle lifestyle changes can have a huge impact on your long-term health, and you will see your energy levels rise as a result too.
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