Your Body, Your Terms: Educate Yourself

When it comes to your health, you need to be in control; and when it comes to your health care, you need to be in charge. It is your body, after all, so you should approach your health care on your own terms.

Educate Yourself About Your Symptoms

One of the most important things you can do to take control of your health care is to educate yourself about your symptoms. For example, you should understand the difference between a dull, sharp, throbbing, and shooting pain. You should know how to describe the level of pain or discomfort. It could also help you to learn where your organs are located; even if your assessment is inaccurate, by telling your doctor the location of your pain or discomfort can better help them determine the avenue for care.

Symptoms: No Place to Fear

It is also important, when assessing your symptoms that you take an honest approach. You cannot be afraid that your symptoms might lead to a scary diagnosis; after all, you have to know what you have if you want to get the right treatment. Yes, this part of health care is scary, but you will be much better off addressing the terrifying truth—even if it means facing a difficult future—than letting this condition catch up with you.

Conducting Symptom Research

This should be the basis of your symptom research. Always be sure to approach your symptoms focused specifically on the exact symptoms you have. Again, learning where organs are located and understand the different classifications of pain will help you to better research your symptoms.

Discussing Symptoms With Your Provider

Of course, a little anatomy lesson and an honest analysis of the characteristics of your symptoms will make it easier to discuss them with your health provider. This is the most important part of the self-assessment, as it is the thing that will ensure your provider gives you the most accurate care—and treatment—for your condition.