Can you relate? I have heard it time and time again from patients, "my doctor didn't help me!" Here are the top ways to get your health care professional to work for and with you!
Know what you are looking for, and what you aren't.
This can be tricky. You're probably seeking help because you don't fully know what you need. This isn't what I mean. It is helpful to know what you are, and are not, interested in trying. If you are interested in a pharmaceutical, you should go to someone who knows them well, and prescribes them often. The same goes for working with herbs, nutrients and other supplements. If you go to a doctor who isn't a specialist in integrative medicine and are interested in herbal supplements, they won't be able to give you the best experience, because it just isn't their area of expertise.
Trends are everywhere. There can be a lot of pressure to try the latest and greatest health craze on social media. Resist the temptation! Not only may this not be an appropriate diet, herb, etc., there are also numerous safety considerations you may not be fully aware of. The internet is full of unethical companies that try to sell you low-quality products that don't work at best - and might be harmful at worst. Most products do not contain high enough doses to be effective, or are contaminated with allergens, or even heavy metals. Brands that your healthcare professional works with should provide them third party analysis for safety and efficacy. Plus your provider knows what treatment you really need, so you'll achieve the best results by committing to follow their treatment plan.
Honesty is the best policy.
Now that you have gotten real with yourself on what you are actually interested in a and have avoided the temptation to buy those cute, pink gummy vitamins, do yourself a favor during your appointment, be honest. Your healthcare professional needs the whole story in order to treat your whole health. Do your best to explain your goals, health habits and symptoms. Your healthcare professional's goal is to relieve your symptoms and solve the underlying cause, but they rely on you to provide accurate and complete information about your health, habits, and lifestyle - and no detail is too small or unimportant, and trust me, we've heard worse!
Everyone wants a quick fix, but the truth is that everybody is different, and so is the journey to better health. You may need to address surface issues before getting the root cause can be properly diagnosed, much less solved. So, trust your healthcare professional and give her/him the time they need; the results will be worth it, I promise!