Tuesday, March 8, 2011
10 Questions You Need To Ask Your Doctor
Being a 20 something year old woman may mean a whole new level of freedom, but this ripe age also comes with some new, added and not necessarily wanted responsibilities: work, rent, utility bills – just to name a few. And while there's no arguing that being an adult kind of sucks, these are all responsibilities we should have seen coming. But what about those little things that you never really thought about? We all have them – the ones that make you stop and say, "oh no, I have to do that by myself now?"
They're different for all of us, but for me they're doctor's visits. Parents aren't there anymore to hold your hand and make sure you make that checkup appointment or ask the right questions while you're there. Along with your new responsibilities, your mid twenties come with a whole new slew of health risks that you may not have had to worry about before. That said, it's important to make sure you're asking your doctors the right questions. To help you out, here are 10 question that every young woman needs to ask.
1. Are there any particular vitamin supplements I should be taking on a daily basis?
With the busy schedules most young adults have, it becomes harder and harder to get all the nutrients we need solely from our diets. So, it's important to supplement what you're not getting from your food with some sort of vitamin. So make sure you find out what the right vitamins are for you.
2. Do I need the HPV vaccine?
Human Papillomavirus has steadily become the most common STD, putting women at risk for diseases like cervical cancer and other STDs. Luckily, there is a vaccine available, so make sure you ask your doctor if it's right for you. And while you're on the subject, you should also ask about getting screened for other potential sexually transmitted diseases.
3. Based on family history, is there anything I should be getting screened for regularly?
It is crucial that you know your family's medical history, so that you know what you're at risk for. It could be anything from high blood pressure to breast cancer, but your doctor will be able to tell you which tests you should be getting on a regular basis.
4. What are my contraceptive options?
Chances are that this is not the first time you've asked your doctor about birth control, but it's important to continue to stay informed on what options are available to you. With all the new forms of contraception that come out every year, you'll want to make you're staying in the know.
5. What immunizations do I still need as a young adult?
The word immunization may draw to mind teething toddlers, but there are a number of immunizations we still need – even as adults. There are many vaccines you may have already received that you still need secondary or booster doses of, so make sure to ask.
6. What's the ideal, healthy weight for my size
Weight is a sensitive subject, but it's important to know whether you are at a healthy size for your height and age – this includes finding out your body mass index (BMI). Being overweight or underweight can have very danger effects on your health.
7. In terms of self-medicating, are there any over the counter drugs I should be weary of?
While there are many over the counter meds and pain relievers that are great, quick fixes, you still have to be careful. Just because it's sold over the counter doesn't mean it's 100% healthy. Even something as seemingly harmless as Advil or Tylenol can be dangerous if not taken properly.
8. Ask about side effects of any drugs you're taking
This one's kind of a no-brainer, but make sure you know all of the interactions and side effects of any medication you're on. You can't necessarily depend on the bottle to tell you, so make sure you're vocal and ask.
9. How often should I be getting blood work?
This is one of those questions that I've just never known the answer to. We all know it's important to get blood work done regularly, but I have a hard time knowing how often it should get done. You can't leave it up to your doctor to remind you, so get proactive.
10. What am I allergic to?You'd be surprised how many people actually get to adulthood without ever knowing what they're allergic to. Allergies can also change with age, so it's important to know if you've developed new ones or even grown out of old ones.