Taking control of my own health matters.
I understand medical students study for years in order to become doctors. And that their knowledge should be highly valued. But I also know that I am an individual and my body is uniquely made. The human body shares similarities across the board, but how I treat my body (i.e. what I eat), and my own personal environment (i.e. toxic) is not widely shared. Therefore, doctors have something to learn from me too.
I believe that the patient has a role to play in their overall health and wellbeing. And I happily try to be active in finding my own solutions from medically legitimate sources, such as journals, books, etc. It takes time to give your own medical care special attention and not everyone has the time nor the desire to do so. I say at least think about it.
I want to emphasize the importance of good medical care and how hindered a person’s life can be without it. Access to a licensed medical doctor should be a given for everyone. Self-care only goes so far. If you have pain, fatigue, or any other assorted symptoms that haven’t been diagnosed or treated, then how can you work to support yourself or even just live a happy life?
Even for those lucky enough to have access to medical care, they still need to be pro-active with their own care. What treatments will you allow? What medications will you take and not take, and in what amounts? Everyone’s body is different and thus responds differently to every medication. I believe it’s best to work with your doctor; be honest, ask questions, and don’t just assume all is well.
I am personally super-sensitive to medications and so can usually only tolerate low doses. For instance, I was once told by a medical professional that the dose I was taking of a certain medication was merely a holistic one. She said it probably was having no effect nor result on my condition. She was wrong because once I decided to withdraw off of that prescription, I felt my body detoxing (leg pains) and my mind eventually became calmer. I am super-sensitive to medications and there’s the proof. I had previously tried to increase that medication, at her request, but I ended up in Urgent Care, not feeling well. But no offense to that doctor, I believe the patient has a role to speak up when they know there is a problem. It is also the obligation of the doctor to listen, and the good ones do.
An example of a journal I have recently read is this one from The American Journal of Psychiatry Residents’ Journal | March 2019. An Interview With Dr. Joel Fuhrman on the Importance of Diet.
Dr. Fuhrman, states that, “A hundred years ago, one in 100 Americans suffered from depression, anxiety, or other mental illnesses; now it is one in five.”
He further states in that article that,
“Diet and nutrition [are] likely the major contributor[s] to anxiety and depression, not life’s circumstances. The use of medications without addressing the nutritional and biochemical causes of the problem leading to prolonged suffering and dependency is ineffective and suboptimal psychiatric care.”
I’ll admit that I don’t always eat like a farmer who has the freshest of ingredients outside their backdoor. Sometimes I sneak a treat that my doctor would rather me not eat. But overall, I know what is healthy and what I should be eating, more veggies for one. I try my best. And again, I make sure I’m aware of what is healthy for me, and what I should only eat or drink in moderation, or not very often at all.
I aim to be an educated patient. However, I’m not a perfect human being, and sometimes I eat cheat foods, and I don’t always get my daily dose of exercise. I, therefore, don’t hold my doctors up to be perfect specimens either. I give them the benefit of the doubt that they are trying to help me the best way they can. But they must forgive me if I try to get involved in my own treatment and sometimes might question them. My body talks to me via ways of not feeling well. I listen to my body and I tell my doctors.
Again, I am a bit sensitive. But not only to medications. I’m super-sensitive overall; hyperaware. But I’ll leave it up to the doctors to tell me why I’m that way.