Taking Care of Yourself

Learning how to take care of yourself and your health is easier than you may think.

  • The first step toward quality health care is self-care. Self-care allows you to become a vital member of your health care team.
  • Self-care means knowing when to treat an ailment at home and when to call your doctor.
  • It also means avoiding unhealthy lifestyle choices such as smoking, alcohol and drug misuse, inactivity, and poor eating habits.
  • Finally, self-care means becoming an active participant in your health care choices.

Self Treatment

Many common ailments — such as colds, “flus,” minor scrapes and bruises can be treated safely at home without a physician’s assistance. Check with your local library or book store for reputable self-help medical guides. These guides help you determine which illnesses can be treated at home and which require professional care. When home treatment is indicated, these guides can also provide advice and treatment techniques. Besides saving time and money on unneeded office visits, practicing self-care is a reflection of the way you care about your own body.

Professional Treatment

If an ailment cannot be treated safely at home, be sure to seek prompt medical treatment, and follow your physician’s instructions exactly. You might say that self-care begins again at home after you leave the doctor’s office. By following treatment advice and taking medications as prescribed, you can greatly enhance (and very often, hasten) your recovery. If your doctor’s instructions are unclear, ask questions! “Can you tell me more about my condition? What are my treatment options? What are the side effects of this drug? Is a less expensive generic drug available?” and so on. In addition to treating medical problems, your healthcare professional can also conduct periodic health screenings and routine tests. Periodic tests for common diseases can detect a variety of conditions such as cancer and high blood pressure that can often be successfully treated when detected early.

Habits For Health

Given the choice, most of us would prefer to prevent a disease before it happens rather than be treated for an ailment after the fact. Fortunately many of the life threatening diseases affecting us today — such as cancer, high blood pressure, and heart disease — can often be prevented by making healthy lifestyle choices. Stopping smoking, restricting alcohol and drugs, becoming more physically fit, and eating foods that are low in fats and cholesterol and high in complex carbohydrates are all wise choices for healthier, happier, longer lives.

Health Care And Self Care

Self-care means taking charge of your own health and wellness. And when professional treatment is required, it means asking questions, understanding your options, and when necessary, getting a second opinion. Participate in your health — in a sense, you are the doctor!

Self help medical guides can help you determine whether a condition can be treated safely at home or requires professional medical treatment.

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