January 18, 2019

Be Your Own Advocate

By: Stephanie Ineman, MS, RDN, LD

“Take care of your body. It’s the only place you have to live.”-Jim Rohn

You are diligent about scheduling your annual physical, exercise as much as you can in your busy lifestyle, and eat healthy most of the time. This is what makes a healthy individual, correct? While this is a huge step in the right direction, there are often other issues you and your doctor may not be aware of.

I often counsel individuals that tell me, “Everything must be normal, because I just saw my doctor.” I ask, did you share with them that you’re experiencing the issues you’ve shared with me?  Often, the answer is no. It may have just been a quick visit to get medication refilled, or an annual wellness checkup. Your doctor is extremely knowledgeable and a huge asset to your health, but to understand which tests to order, he/she needs to hear your concerns. Just because you had bloodwork done, does not mean everything all issues were tested to ensure normal values. Labs can be very costly, so it’s important to inform your physician of anything that seems a little “off” so the appropriate test can be ordered.

Tune in to your body, and be aware of anything that seems off. Keep a journal of everything you’ve been experiencing throughout the past year. Maybe you’ve been experiencing an intermittent pain or discomfort, but it feels fine during your 30-minute appointment, so you don’t think to bring it up.

Be an advocate for yourself; Nobody knows your body better than you do.  Sure, there are certain things we cannot always feel, such as high blood pressure or high blood sugar, which is why routine testing is so important. Stop dismissing little things that you keep finding excuses for, and start speaking up. Fall in love with taking care of yourself, and don’t leave it up to anyone else.