A List of ‘Don’ts’ from the Doctor
You may be used to your doctor telling you things like get more exercise, eat a healthy diet and get more sleep, but how often does your doctor tell you what not to do? Here are 5 things expert doctors agree you shouldn’t do:
- Don’t believe everything you read. It’s ok to do a little online research, but don’t take everything you read as fact. In the age of the internet, expertise and ability to publish are not necessarily synonymous. Get some information, write down your questions and discuss your symptoms with your doctor. This is the only safe way to ensure you are getting an accurate diagnosis – even a symptom checker may not offer an accurate diagnosis.
- Don’t assume over-the-counter drugs are safe. Just because it’s not behind lock and key at your neighborhood grocer doesn’t mean it’s a free for all. Over the counter meds come with warnings and restrictions. Read and follow directions exactly as printed on the bottle – and don’t mix medications. Check your medicine cabinet and throw out any medications that may be expired. In regards to retail herbs and supplements, proceed with caution – manufacturing standards are not regulated by any governing body.
- Don’t keep secrets. To really help you decipher what has been ailing you, tell your doctor everything about health and medical concerns. Don’t assume that he or she simply knows. Discuss your symptoms, how you have been feeling compared to how you once felt. Also, be sure to disclose any medications, supplements or alternative therapies you have been taking. This information is essential to an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan.
- Don’t mess with prescriptions. Just because it’s in a prescription bottle, doesn’t make the printed instructions and warnings any less important. Take your medications as your doctor prescribed and don’t hand them out to friends or relatives. A prescription is intended for the person for whom it was prescribed and no one else.
- Don’t rely exclusively on your prescriptions. Everyone wants a quick-fix. There’s a reason the prescription drug industry is a billion-dollar business. But, relying on a pill to solve your health problems is not the way to be and stay well. Drugs are designed to assist healing when coupled with a healthy lifestyle. If your doctor gives you a prescription along with a recommendation for a healthy diet and exercise, you can be certain all are a required part of the treatment plan to achieve better health. There is no magic pill that can save you from poor lifestyle choices.