Written by guest contributor: Justin Bennett (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Do you advocate for your own health? It’s essential to navigating the healthcare system, securing resources, and getting the care you deserve. Doctors in this day and age are more healthcare partners than they are directors. They help you make informed healthcare decisions, not just tell you what to do. By advocating for your own health, you take responsibility for your well-being and make better health-related choices.
Below, ZenMen explains how you can better advocate for your health:
Get a handle on health insurance
Your health insurance determines many important things – the physicians you can access, how much you’ll pay out-of-pocket, and, ultimately, the quality of care you’ll receive. It pays to learn the ins and outs of health insurance, so you can pick an affordable plan with good coverage. USAGov offers a guide to health insurance, including info on free preventative care through the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
Find a healthcare professional you can trust
Your choice of doctor or other healthcare professional is critical and, arguably, the most effective way to advocate for your health. Having someone experienced, knowledgeable, and caring to team up with is half the health battle won already. There are several ways to find a good doctor – asking friends and family, checking online reviews, checking your insurer’s website, and shopping around. The litmus test is
the quality of care you receive. Also, ask yourself if you can trust your doctor. UnitedHealthcare offers a guide on choosing healthcare professionals.
Prepare before every visit
Preparing yourself for your doctor’s appointment will allow you to make the most of your visit. You’ll be able to address everything you’ve been meaning to address. Some suggestions are writing down your concerns, noting down your symptoms, getting your medical records along, preparing your paperwork, preparing questions, and taking someone you trust with you.
Submit forms in a timely way
It’s critical to complete paperwork and submit forms on time. That way, you’ll be able to get in for appointments quickly, obtain copies for your records, and forward records to any healthcare specialists you work with. Instead of using many files, you can easily keep everything in one file by adding pages to PDFs using an online tool. This tool will also allow you to reorder, delete, and rotate pages.
Know your body, health, and family history
No one knows your body better than you – or that’s how it should be! It’s always a good idea to learn about factors that influence your health – your level of fitness, nutrition, age, race, and family history. At the very least, learn how to identify when to get health screenings and checkups. Knowing your family history will help you identify risk factors, share information with your doctor, and assist in early detection. Maintaining your own records is an excellent idea.
Take control of your health by living healthy
Health advocacy is not just about seeking the right treatment but also taking charge of your health by pursuing a healthy lifestyle. At the bare minimum, you need weekly exercise, stress-busting, and self-care activities. If you’re working a lot, you can still get in physical activity by taking the stairs instead of the elevator and going for a walk during your lunch break.
Ensure you meet your nutritional needs
Nutrition is one of the pillars of good health, as any healthcare professional can tell you. Healthy food gives you energy, makes you happy, and keeps you healthy. Your regular diet may not give you a balanced amount of nutrients. ZenMen offers natural science-based dietary supplements that you can take to balance out your dietary needs.
Health advocacy is all about being an active participant in your well-being. Your doctor, however qualified and experienced, isn’t perfect. With health advocacy, you can team up with your doctor to communicate your concerns, ask the right questions, and receive better results.