I would very much like to thank Julia Merrill of Befriendyourdoc.org for taking the time to write this for my blog. She reached out to me via the contact form because she is passionate about bridging the gap between patient and doctor. Julia is a retired nurse practitioner with many years in the medical field. Here’s what she had to say:

Your health is one of the most valuable assets you have. It’s what allows you to do the things you love and enjoy life to the fullest. Unfortunately, many people neglect their health or leave the responsibility of their well-being solely in the hands of medical professionals. If you want to live a healthy life, you need to play an active role in your healthcare. The good news is that with the right mindset and tools, you can be your own health advocate. In today’s post, courtesy of Little Trauma Mama, will guide you on how to be an advocate for your own health.

Speak up

The first step to being your own health advocate is to speak up. Your health is a collaborative effort between you and your healthcare provider. If something doesn’t feel right or you have questions or concerns, ask your doctor about it. Don’t be afraid to advocate for yourself. After all, you know your body best.

Make Use of Technology

With the use of technology, it’s now easier than ever to play an active role in your healthcare. There are several health apps available that can help track your food intake, physical activity, and even monitor your symptoms. You can also access your medical records and test results through online portals. By making use of these technological advancements, you can take control of your health and make informed decisions.

Make Healthier Decisions

One way to be your own health advocate is to make healthier decisions. This includes increasing your water intake, choosing healthier food options, getting enough rest, and being physically active as often as possible. Making these small changes can have a significant impact on your overall health and well-being.

Keep a Record of Everything

Keeping a record of your health information is crucial, whether it’s your medical history, test results, or medication records. It’s also essential to track your symptoms and note any changes you experience. By keeping a record of everything, you can provide your healthcare provider with accurate information, which can help in diagnosing and treating medical conditions.

Establish Connections with Healthcare Professionals

Building a relationship with your healthcare provider is essential for being an advocate for your own health. Establishing a connection with them can help you feel comfortable discussing any concerns or questions you may have. It’s also essential to create a healthcare team that includes other healthcare providers, such as specialists or pharmacists.

Clarify What Your Insurance Covers

It’s essential to understand what your insurance covers to avoid any unexpected costs. Be sure to check your plan’s benefits and medical coverage, including preventive care services and prescription drug coverage. You can also consult with your healthcare provider to ensure that their services are covered by your plan.

Improve Your Home’s Health

The environment you live in can also affect your health. Be sure to keep your home clean, and free of mold and other allergens that can trigger respiratory problems. You can also improve the air quality in your home by adding air-purifying plants or installing air purifiers. By making these changes, you can create a healthier living environment for yourself and your family.

Being your own health advocate is a responsibility that everyone should take. By taking control of your health and well-being, you can live a happier, healthier life. It’s essential to speak up, make healthy decisions, ensure you know what your insurance covers, and improve your home’s health. By incorporating these practices into your life, you can be your own advocate and take control of your health

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