As a busy health care practitioner, it’s important for me to have all the facts when helping you become even healthier. I ask a lot of questions and generally spend 30-45 minutes at each visit. Prior to even seeing me, our office asks you to fill out a questionnaire and review basics with our medical assistant. Sometimes I find despite all this prep, my patients still hold out on me. Here are the top five things to remember to tell your doctor--honestly.
1) Supplements and medications – as a Naturopathic Physician, patients are already comfortable telling me all the supplements they take. Sometimes patients are taking things they bought off the internet, or are trying for weight loss, or got from a friend and don’t want me to know. Others are popping a pain medication or sleeping pill on a regular basis but are too embarrassed to say anything. Please tell me everything you are taking – internet-bought or not. I need to know so I can make the appropriate recommendations with your health care.
2) Past medical surgeries – sometimes I find that women forget surgeries they had until mid-way through treatment. Had a hysterectomy? Gall bladder removed? Previous abdominal surgery? Let me know!
3) Sexual health – I’m going to ask you about your sex habits. Are you happy? Does it hurt? How’s your libido? Protection? Monogamous? History of sexually transmitted infections? Lying about these things out of embarrassment could actually end up hurting your health! Having a healthy sex life is important and I don’t want you to be unhappy or avoid it because of pain. I have also had women admit to affairs and it’s my job to make sure you are staying protected.
4) Things you have tried before – again, this goes with the supplements and medications, however if there are treatments and plans, I would like to know how it impacted you. Did you do a detox and felt amazing? Get acupuncture and the pain left? Feel less depressed in a tanning bed? Help me out with this information.
5) Your primary concerns – how many of you are embarrassed about your primary concerns and never mention it, or wait until the very end when your visit is over?